Published: 8 July 2022

Technologies To The People: Build Your City

by Kirsti Reitan Andersen

A few weeks ago, Artsformation held its second international workshop titled Technologies For The People: Build Your City. The workshop was developed in close collaboration with the cultural center and maker space Radiona, in the city of Zagreb. This is also where the workshop took place, being invited into Radiona’s unique workshop space and community.

The ambition of Artsformation’ international workshops is to engage varying civil actors in discussions of how individual voices can shape the future of digital transformation. With the workshops we wish to pay particular attention to identifying mechanisms for marginalized voices to be heard in the discourse surrounding the digital transformation and exploring how the Arts can offer channels of representation and amplification.

In the workshop Technologies To The People: Build Your City participants explored some of these issues starting from challenges and opportunities within their own city. Thus, the 15 people participating in this hands-on workshop were asked to design and build their own diorama with city infrastructure, containing everything necessary for their own ecosystem functioning in the city. Through the skilful and inspirational facilitation of Radiona, the workshop covered topics of art and technology while tinkering and brainstorming about the role of (digital) technologies in the development of more sustainable cities.

The workshop, and overall approach of Radiona, exemplifies a very meaningful approach to engage so-called marginalized voices in the development of our digital futures. Starting from topics close to the heart of a very diverse group of participants, questions and skills related to these technologies were brought to the table in a non intimidatory manner, creating a safe space for doubts, curiosity, and explorations into the future of technologies – and our cities.

The workshop was followed by a public event at the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, bringing the same questions to discussion with a broader audience.

Having developed the workshop with Artsformation for our International Workshop Series, Radiona aims to explore and use this format also in future workshops, potentially adding to the electronics dimension of the workshop and inviting participants to build more electronics themselves. Artsformation will bring the experiences and learnings from the Technology To The People: Build Your Own City to our third and final International Workshop, which will take place in Paris in the fall 2022.