Service Design Days

Service Design Days

Erik Roscam Abbing
  • Erik Roscam Abbing
  • Director
  • When:
  • Thursday, 2 April 2020 at 9:00 am - Sunday, 5 April 2020 (CEST)
  • Where:
  • Disseny Hub, Barcelona

  • Pricing:
  • EUR 315,- - EUR 540,-

Smart citizens: subservient technology in people-centric cities

21st century cities are hubs of innovation. Urban areas are melting pots of design challenges, ranging from mobility, housing, energy, and waste to education, participation and inclusivity. A very dominant angle in the urban design discourse is the concept of ‘smart cities’, where sensor technology, data analysis, AI and ubiquitous 5G are the supposed key enablers of better cities. 

In practice however, the smart city discourse has mainly focused on the technology side of the story, and much less on the empowering citizens side. And on top of that, experiments in smart city solutions have sometimes proven to be beneficial to local governments and large corporations but, in the best case not very useful for ‘the woman in the street’ and in the worst case detrimental for her privacy. The good news is that there’s a changing tide, where the discourse is shifting from building smart cities to empowering smart citizens. And service design plays a key role in this shift. 

In this lecture, Erik Roscam Abbing will take you through a number of inspiring examples from cities around the world. Through this ‘smart citizen tour de monde’, he will analyse with you how technology can empower citizens to contribute to inclusive, sustainable, healthy and livable cities. And together you will analyse why service design, in its mindset, approaches and tools, has such a key role to play in making this shift a reality. He will leave you with a ‘design for smart citizens’ manifesto, in which he will lay out 6 key principles to empower service designers to stand up to the challenge of designing 21st century cities in which we would love to see our children grow up.

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