WEDNESDAY 14 – FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
NDSM-werf (Picnic Village)
Will you make it to Picnic 2011? We’ll be popping along to share links, images and notes on what we find interesting and relevant during the festival (in fancier terms: micro-blogging).
For those not fully familiar with it, since its foundation in 2006, Picnic has been annually uniting creative minds from all around the world with its three-day interdisciplinary festival focused on exploring the intersections between media, society and the environment. During the festival the attendees are encouraged to discuss, share and collaborate in projects, with the festival performing as an active platform, where being the audience of a lecture is only a small part of the experience.
The theme for this year is urban futures: urgent and relevant in the face of the explosive growth of population, reduced natural resources, and the delicate and vital interlacing of technology in every aspect of contemporary life. Following this idea, Picnic will begin with what can be best described as a productive sense of nostalgia. The opening talk, ‘The Best City Never Seen’ (by Lorenzo de Rita, Inventor & Director of The Soon Institute), will discuss cities that have been collectively imagined, but that never came into being, as a source of inspiration for future urban design. These imagined cities might as well be the ones that the TV shows, films and books that we grew up with drew for us: flying cars, underwater infrastructures and space hotels… nevertheless it’s not strictly transportation that has recently changed the way cities are inhabited. Instead it’s connectivity and data recollection, storage and production – while bodies remain still, as fuel prices rice to the sky, data is always moving. In this sense, augmented reality, smart phones, artificial intelligence, networks, media surveillance and data-bodies make our present urban reality very much amazing and intense, probably even more than flying cars would. Furthermore, these technologies are yet to be fully understood and integrated into the city’s daily life in the most effective ways, while at the same time they are pushing for the redefinition of older term such as city, social, natural and communication.
Further into the festival, Adam Greenfield (founder of Urbanscale LLC) and Tim Campbell (Chairman of the Board, Urban Age Institute) will be examining the structure of what can be truly be considered ‘smart cities’. Similarly, the environments that are giving shape to ‘real-time cities’ will be the subject of choice by Carlo Ratti (Director, SENSEable City Lab, MIT). Other workshops and projects will deal with environmental solutions, with sustainability, artistic expression and institutional responsibility at their heart. But no matter the discipline, the overall idea that Picnic reinforces is that creativity, imagination, and even a sense of humour, are necessary to generate change and improve the quality of life.Tweet