New publication “The Hackable City: Citymaking in a Platform Society”

For the journal Architectural Design, we wrote a contribution for the Special Issue: 4D Hyperlocal: A Cultural Toolkit for the Open-Source City. Abstract Can computer hacking have positive parallels in the shaping of the built environment? The Hackable City research project was set up with this question in mind, to investigate the potential of digital platforms to open up the citymaking process. Its cofounders Martijn de Waal, Michiel de Lange and Matthijs Bouw here outline the tendencies that their studies of collaborative […] Read More

Moderation and co-organizing expert meeting “Imaging [Urban] Data Visualization” 27 Feb. 2017

Date: 27 February 2017 Time: 15:00 – 19:00 Location: Parnassos Bar, Kruisstraat 201, Utrecht Url: Imaging [Urban] Data Visualization An expert meeting organized by Datafied Society and [urban interfaces], in collaboration with SETUP MediaLab and MCW Expertise Centre. The goal of this meeting is to facilitate a dialogue between academics and practitioners about the possibilities for innovative, critical and experimental forms of “bringing  back” data to (urban) publics. Or, in other words, we will discuss how creative and critical […] Read More

Conference talk “Hacking Buiksloterham: How Self-Builders Are Making Their City” at Mediations, RCA London

I presented our work at the TRADERS Closing Conference ‘MEDIATIONS – Art & Design Agency and Participation in Public Space’. The paper is included in the proceedings of the event (ca. 19 MB pdf). Here’s the short version with only our chapter (865 KB pdf): de Lange, Michiel, and Martijn de Waal. 2016. Hacking Buiksloterham How self-builders are making their city. MEDIATIONS_S.

Essay (in Dutch) “Stories about smart cities: how citizen can identify with their city”

Recently I wrote an essay at the invitation of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK). In the essay (Dutch), I argue that the lack of appealing narratives about smart cities is one of the reasons why citizen engagement is still such a big unresolved question. I discuss two emerging alternative narratives that indeed do put people in a central role as agents: the hackable city and the playful city. The essay is included in the booklet “Essay Estafette, reflecties […] Read More

Talk “Mapping the smart city: dashboards, data, design” at TRADERS Training Week #3 on Performative Mapping

Just before the Summer Break, on July 3 2015, I gave a talk at TRADERS Training Week #3 about Performative Mapping, organized by Design Academy Eindhoven. The talk was called called “Mapping the smart city: dashboards, data, design”. It was based in part on the research I did for the chapter “From real-time city to asynchronicity: exploring temporalities of smart city dashboards.” in the forthcoming volume “Time Travelers: Temporality And Digital Mapping” (eds. Alex Gekker, Sam Hind, Sybille Lammes, Chris Perkins and Clancy Wilmott). See pdf of presentation […] Read More

In the media(2): article in Dutch newspaper Parool “A truly smart city is a playful city”

For the Saturday May 30 2015 edition of national newspaper Parool (with a strong basis in Amsterdam), I wrote an opinion article called “Een echte slimme stad is een speelse stad” (“A truly smart city is a playful city” – available online in Dutch). See below. Hi-res pdf file of “Een echte slimme stad is een speelse stad“.  

playable_city, now trademarked! :)

Bristol report – “The Playful City: play and games for citizen participation in the smart city”

[see also announcement on the COST TU1306 website] Here you find the report of the STSM (short-term scientific mission) that I recently carried out at the Digital Cultures Research Centre/Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol: The Playful City: play and games for citizen participation in the smart city This STSM (short-term scientific mission) investigates how digital play and games may contribute to fostering citizen engagement and participation in the smart city. By addressing this question the STSM contributes to ongoing research and debates about […] Read More

New chapter “The Playful City: Using Play and Games to Foster Citizen Participation”

Just out in a recent publication, a chapter in which I explore the notion of the playful city or playable city as an alternative to the tech-driven smart city. Although written just before my recent trip to Bristol, the ideas in this chapter are closely connected to the “playable city” program at the Digital Cultures Research Centre/Pervasive Media Studio/Watershed. The chapter can be downloaded from here: de Lange, Michiel. 2015. “The Playful City: Using Play and Games to Foster Citizen Participation.” In Social Technologies […] Read More

Digital Cities 9 workshop “Hackable Cities: From Subversive City Making to Systemic Change”, 27 June 2015, University of Limerick

[see original workshop page and most up to date announcements on]   Workshop “Digital Cities 9 – Hackable Cities: From Subversive City Making to Systemic Change” 27 June 2015, University of Limerick, Ireland, prior to the Communities & Technologies Conference 2015.   DEADLINE EXTENDED until May 8 2015 (24:00 CET) List of organisers and their backgrounds Michiel de Lange (Utrecht University, The Mobile City) Nanna Verhoeff (Utrecht University) Martijn de Waal (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The […] Read More

The Playful City: Can play and games help to make truly smart cities?

This is the presentation for the talk that I gave at the Playin Siegen International Urban Games Festival & Seminar on Sunday 19 April 2015, for which I was kindly invited by Judith Ackermann, Anke Lenk and Daniel Stein. The title of the talk is “The Playful City: Can play and games help to make truly smart cities?”. The Playful City: Can play and games help to make truly smart cities? (pdf, 1.5 MB)

The Playful City: a short term scientific mission in Bristol

End of March/beginning of April 2015 I will visit the Digital Cultures Research Centre UWE based at the Pervasive Media Studio in the Watershed in Bristol. My aim is to do a short inquiry into the notions of the “playable city” and “playful city” as people-centered alternatives for the “smart city”. Funded by EU COST Action 1306, my aim is to do the following: The Playful City: play and games for citizen participation in the smart city Michiel de Lange   This proposal and […] Read More

Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures

Book “Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures” now available as free pdf

It is a pleasure to announce that the edited volume “Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures” has been published by Amsterdam University Press. The book will also be made available as a freely downloadable Open Access publication via Below the kind endorsements by Mathias Fuchs and Douglas Rushkoff, the Table of Contents, and the cover.  “Playful Identities is an illuminating study on the increasing complexity of digital playgrounds, ludic media, ludic interfaces and technologies of the self. The book presents […] Read More

NWO KIEM funds new research program “Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam”

[announced earlier at The Mobile City website >>] We are happy to announce that NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) has granted funding to our research project “Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam: investigating the future of city-making in urban lab Buiksloterham”. The project is a collaboration between Michiel de Lange (project leader; Utrecht University, The Mobile City) & Martijn de Waal (University of Amsterdam, The Mobile City), Christina Ampatzidou (embedded researcher UvA/CIRCA), Matthijs Bouw (One Architecture), in partnership with Frank Alsema […] Read More

Meet Your Stranger - Sander Veenhof

Teaching a new course in minor “Creative Cities” (English) 2014-2015

Next academic year 2014-2015 I will teach a new course in the Utrecht University minor “Creative Cities” (in English), together with my colleagues Sigrid Merx, Eugene van Erven and Peter Selten. My course is called “Creative urban technologies: exploring and navigating the smart and social city“. Download the Minor Creative Cities brochure concept (pdf) for an overview of this minor. The minor Creative Cities caters to students interested in emerging artistic practices, subcultures and new media and how these phenomena relate to creative […] Read More

“From realtime city to asynchronicity” abstract for workshop “Time Travelers: Temporality and Mapping”, University of Oxford, 27-28 May 2014

Last week I was in Oxford for the workshop “Time Travelers: Temporality and Mapping”. The workshop was organized by the research team of the ERC-funded project “Charting the Digital: digital mapping practices as new media cultures” (Sybille Lammes, Nanna Verhoeff, Clancy Wilmott, Sam Hind, Alex Gekker, and Chris Perkins) based at the University of Warwick (in collaboration with Utrecht University and the University of Manchester) and Jesus College at the University of Oxford. Thanks to the organizers for a great […] Read More

Playing for the Future: event April 17 2014 about play, games and urban (re)developments

Last year, The Mobile City partnered in the project “Rezone Playful Interventions” about the use of playful design strategies to repurpose vacant spaces. In this project three teams composed of an architect and a game studio collaborated and created a temporary playful urban intervention for a near-vacant factory at the edge of the city center of Den Bosch. The three teams were: Maurer United x Marieke Verbiesen, DUS Architects x Monobanda, ZUS Architects x Fourcelabs. The DUS Architects x Monobanda intervention has also been part of our recent project […] Read More