Designers & Tech consultants
My city is not a techno club for the robot DJs of the smart city or the canvas of record boss Rem Koolhaas. It is a jazz club where live jam sessions are played day and night. There is no audience, because everyone is taking part. Buildings by starchitects are not the backdrop behind which everyone is getting ready for the next performance, but are designed as part of the stage. They connect to the stage of streets, squares & parks. My neighbors and I play the instruments. The spontaneous verbal and non-verbal, direct and indirect interaction between people over time determines the rhythm and the sound. The music that comes out of it reflects the identity of our city. The instruments are provided to us by the designers in the form of places. To the annoyance of the designers, musicians do not always create the sound they had in mind. The rise of digital bleep-music from smart city consultants causes a lot of unrest and confusion. Will the sound that the city produces still be the sound of people?
The confusion that digitization of the city creates and the lack of eye for the expression and ideas of the musicians themselves has offered opportunities for a new discipline within the urban domain: the UX Designer (User eXperience). They work together with the consultants to make smart applications more humane, meaningful and usable for city dwellers. The digital techno-violence complements the sounds that we were unable to make with analog tools. To know which instruments the musicians want to use, the UX designer drags the spatial designer out of his own ivory tower. Together they work on stage so that they can hear and see how people are jamming and enable themselves to respond with smart interventions. Pixels and stones are brought together to create musical notes that suit the city. In other words: human interaction is facilitated digitally and physically. Certainly now that cities worldwide are competing to attract the right people, it is important to continue making the music that suits your city and its people.