Following OxfordDS6’s engagement with Smart City discourse in South Korea last year, the studio will look at how new economic predictions could influence urban transformation. With one-third of today’s jobs predicted to be replaced by software, robots, and smart machines in the next 20 years, current economic models will require significant change. Thinkers such as Rutger Bregman, in his book “Utopia For Realists” presents open boarders and Universal Basic Income as a potential response to this pending shift.

In the above context, Cuba is facing changes of its own with trade, property law, travel policies and even internet use ushering in a new age for its capital. OxfordDS6 will be researching and visiting Havana, using this crossroad in the city’s future as a springing point for speculation as to what the future of the city may be. Will Havana embrace new technologies and augment, mutate, disrupt or rethink what the Smart City could or should be?

What is the studio focus?
OxfordDS6 explores the future of urban networks whether for people, information or matter ; creating projects that augment, mutate or rethink existing urban conditions. The studio employs the use of novel technologies and innovative design strategies with the core philosophy of star ting from the understanding of the individual as a way to analyse and respond to context and scenarios. “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung.

Why is this important?
The early part of the 21st Century is seeing a paradigm shift toward technology-driven networks, exemplified by the sharing economy and social media. In this globally networked data-centric world the construction industry is rapidly evolving, facilitated by the convergence of technologies. Essential to this is understanding the role the architect has to play in communication, coordination and collaboration throughout the design and construction process to offer unique real-time insights for truly smart and agile urbanism.

How do we explore this?
The studio offers a holistic and integrated approach weaving Design, Technology and MPL into a framework of operative strategies described as: Scan-Map-Analyse-Formulate. Students will develop a wearable technology, extending their perception and recording data sets that will be analysed through advanced computation and simulation environments. This will allow students to analyse sites, develop their own personal urban agenda and formulate a specific tectonic response to an existing urban condition.