New digital technologies promise to fix common bugs and glitches in construction. But as the story of the world’s second-tallest modular tower reveals, the labor, politics, and material complexity of building don’t always follow rules of computation.
Facial recognition. Tenant screening platforms. Biometric databases. A new set of digital products seeks to disrupt the real estate industry. But these technologies are fast becoming weaponized against a familiar target of housing discrimination: working-class tenants of color.
From video-enabled visual interpretation to 3D audio effects, smartphone wayfinding apps have a lot to offer Blind users. But these new features are no substitute for public infrastructure — digital or otherwise — that accounts for nonvisual navigation of the built environment.
More than a convenience store, the humble bodega is a deeply networked site where neighborhood life intersects with larger scales of social, cultural and economic exchange — and a growing digital presence.
Communities on the front lines of the climate crisis have seen the immediate benefits of locally-managed digital infrastructure. But beyond resilience, grassroots networks are a test case for a collectively-forged technological future.
About this Series
This series is guest-edited by Shannon Mattern.