Oliver Broadbent

Advanced Urbanism…

My role in the KA-AU is to provide advice on training in the field of Advanced Urbanism. Apart from the KA-AU, I’m the director of a group called Think Up, in the same group as Useful Simple Project. It is an agency that trains engineers and designers in the field of design, so I am already working a little in this pedagogy. What I think useful to show you here is a model of this mode of training with engineers, who can give us advice on how to understand reactivity in the field of advanced urban planning. It’s not one of my models, but I’ll explain it to you. It is a model that comes to us from an American-Hungarian psychologist, who is called Mihàly Csikszentmihàlyi. I reassure you, it is not obligatory to know how to say the name, it is written, and here is the model. It is a model that explains creativity as a system; And according to him, creativity can not exist in isolation. One can not have isolated creativity, it is difficult. He says that for all novelty-generating ideas one has to have a context. To have a new idea, one has to ask oneself “is it new compared to what? “. So our dear friend here postulates that there is an element, an area in which ideas are anchored; And he will say that the domain of existing ideas gives context, and at the same time he affirms that all new ideas are existing ideas mixed in a salad bowl; This is not a very technical term, but the picture is fair. So, there must be a strong link between the individual creative, and the context in which it is exercised. The field in which these ideas are exercised is part of a culture, and of course there are many other cultures. When we think of creativity, we must think perpetually about this link between individual and context (domain and culture). At the same time, creativity is always judged by someone; It is always something subjective. There will always be people to say that it is a good idea, and others to say no, it does not. There are always people who value ideas, so always take into account this link with the public who will approve the ideas. It is thanks to them that ideas are inserted, introduced into culture. So it creates a system, it’s good, I’m an engineer and I love systems, so it works for me! This is very useful in my training, because we can work every point, and every element of this system. How is this reinterpreted in advanced town planning? Six points seem to emerge. First connectivity, which allows individualities to be more connected to multiple domains and cultures. We can see on the internet what people are doing, what is in the whole world. Connectivity gives us new perspectives on existing ideas. In a second time, we saw with Luis Falcon, that there are hidden cultures that these new areas reveal to us. We now see the trail, the trajectories of the people in the city, we are able to see where they are walking. We see what they buy, what they value through the photos they take and they publish on social networks. It is a new culture, which we did not see before, but which we have access to now. As an individual, we had other hidden cultures that now appear to us in full view. The third point: the individual to tools to shape creativity and by the same, the city. I was able to participate in a workshop at the IAAC where we were able to see all this incredible technology, and I could experience this process of playing with. Modeling tools generate ideas. This way of using technology causes ideas and this is very useful and even fundamental for students. At the same time, these tools of visualization, virtual reality allow people to understand ideas. Because it is true that sometimes the architects will propose things, but people on the street are likely to not understand. It also happens to me as an engineer. So virtual reality, as explained by Areti Markopoulou, will allow people to understand new ideas, and this helps a fortiori to value ideas. At the same time, connectivity makes it possible for people to see several ideas via the Internet: “Look, in Dubai there is a tower that will turn …” This is a way in which connectivity is going to be the Transmission of ideas. And finally, connectivity helps ideas to be inserted into culture. We’re going to finish the project, put it online, download it, share it with friends, and it’s all over again; The individualities will find the ideas of others, put them in their own “bowl”, mix them, and the system continues. So to conclude, creativity is useful to fit into a system, where every part of the system can work. Technology in advanced urban planning has benefits, and is tied to every element of that system. I think that in this area, we have a rich creativity, which will emerge in advanced urbanism

by Oliver Broadbent

Useful Simple Project