Auto Pilot Cities, Computational Urbanism in Southeast Asia

  • The team of Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta studies the intensifying urban development pressures in Southeast Asia.

2020 M+ / Design Trust Research Fellows Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta, of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York, will investigate the intensifying urban development pressures in Southeast Asia, with a focus on computational and data-driven planning. Increased reliance on technology has fundamentally changed the way in which urban planning is carried out, and this tendency is often positioned as a way for developing cities to skirt traditional planning and move effortlessly into a computationally organised future. By studying selected cities across Southeast Asia, Lotfi-Jam and Wasiuta will explore the deep implications of computational development and ‘smart’ urban futures for the region.

2020 M+ / Design Trust Research Fellows Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta, of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York, will investigate the intensifying urban development pressures in Southeast Asia, with a focus on computational and data-driven planning. Increased reliance on technology has fundamentally changed the way in which urban planning is carried out, and this tendency is often positioned as a way for developing cities to skirt traditional planning and move effortlessly into a computationally organised future. By studying selected cities across Southeast Asia, Lotfi-Jam and Wasiuta will explore the deep implications of computational development and ‘smart’ urban futures for the region.

The M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship programme consists of two separate fellowships investigating issues related to architecture and design. One supports research projects focused on Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area in an Asian or global context, and the second supports research projects related to Asia more broadly, closely in line with the curatorial position of M+, the Hong Kong museum dedicated to visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Past fellows include: Ling Fan (2015); Joseph Grima (2016); the team of Daniel Cooper and Juliana Kei (2016); Thomas Daniell (2017); Hugh Davies (2018); the team of Fan Lok Yi and Sampson Wong (2018); Yasmin Tri Aryani (2019) and Oliver Elser (2019).

More details about M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship here

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M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship

2020
Fellow: Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta

Farzin Lotfi-Jam is director of Farzin Farzin, a multidisciplinary studio that designs spaces, software, and media, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at GSAPP. His research investigates how architecture and cities are transformed by digital technologies and their attendant power relations, looking at scales from the corporeal to the planetary. His work has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, MAXXI, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and elsewhere.

Mark Wasiuta is a Lecturer in Architecture and the Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture programme at GSAPP. He is the recipient of recent grants from the Asian Cultural Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Graham Foundation, where he is currently an inaugural Graham Foundation Fellow. His research exhibition practice focuses on archives and under-examined projects of the post-war period.

Organisation: M+, West Kowloon Cultural District, Design Trust

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometer waterfront promenade.

About Design Trust
Design Trust was established in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007, as a grant-funding platform. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise and build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines, from graphics, media, and architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design, and the development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.