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Friday 05/29/15 12PM-8PM


First Street Garden
Enter at the corner of East Houston Street and 2nd Avenue Directions

Social Innovation in the Data Age: Inventing a Truly Smart City

Part of the ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion program

Co-hosted by Kickstarter, Parsons The New School for Design, Environmental Health Clinic at New York University, and Google Creative Lab

We live in a digital society. Communication, commuting, and communities are driven by codes and computers. Data is helping us become more efficient and make better decisions, and, in the future, our buildings will be based on an invisible digital infrastructure that turns cities into smarter environments. However, to ensure that technology will not be simply self-referential but rather serve people and society, we need to define innovation in a broader context, putting social values as well as economic benefits at the center of a truly smart city.

The think tank W.I.R.E., Savida, and ETH Zurich are joining forces with the Environmental Health Clinic at New York University, Kickstarter, Google Creative Lab, and Parsons The New School for Design in an interdisciplinary salon to engage in a discussion on how to design a “truly smart city.” As part of this year’s New Museum IDEAS City Festival, and together with interested New York City citizens, we will look for solutions for how to strengthen communities, drive innovation in city spaces, and enhance privacy. RSVP here.

The salon will unfold in three sessions:
12–1:30 p.m.
Lunch Session—Develop Ideas
During the lunch session, the Pavilion is open to the public to participate in a fast-paced idea speed-dating session and explore ideas for the future “truly smart city.”

2–6 p.m.
Afternoon Session—Create Prototypes
For the afternoon session, the Environmental Health Clinic at New York University, Kickstarter, and Google Creative Lab will moderate a prototyping workshop to deepen selected ideas from
the speed-dating session and develop inspiring prototypes for the future. (The afternoon session is for Parsons students only.)

6–8 p.m.
Evening Session—Debate
During the evening, all findings will be publicly presented, discussed, and celebrated. The session will be complemented by a beat-boxed summary of the day.

ETH Zurich brings a cutting-edge artifact of the future to the East Village: a pavilion created from waste materials. Recasting “trash” as a valuable asset, ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion will redefine the notion of waste, acknowledging its value as a resource from which new cities can rise.

Waste belongs neither to the family of natural resources nor to the category of finished products. It has, until now, been a by-product—an (ideally) invisible part—of our cities. Featuring discarded beverage cartons as its construction material, the expressive roof structure will visually float in the narrow slot of the First Street Garden. The shape of the vault has been designed such that the stresses in the structure will be predominantly compressive, allowing the weak product to act as a structural material.

Over the course of three days, the ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion will host events, workshops, and an exhibition outlining the future metropolis. Food and drinks will be provided by Café Select. Check back for updates on programming, times, and more information about how to RSVP here: #ETHMeetsYou

Participating Organizations: ETH Zurich, SAVIDA, Swiss Think Tank W.I.R.E.

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