MEDIACITY 2015 : MEDIACITY 5 International Conference and Exhibition
Call For Papers
The fifth Media City conference reflects on social smart cities.
Much of our thinking around technology and the city is based around polarising paradigms.
On one hand we have the smart city agenda that is underpinned by a vision of datacentred
optimisation of urban systems and on the other hand we have a open-source,
citizen driven approach based around ad-hoc practices and prototyping of counter-culture
scenarios. These paradigms of city visions are described variously through terms such as
“digital city, screen city, media city, sentient city, u-city, fusion city, hybrid city, intelligent
city, connectiCity, pervasive city and the smart city” and we seek to look beyond the
rhetoric and critically reflect and imagine new models and approaches to media and the
city. We want to challenge over-simplified assumptions around terms such as smart city,
and understand in more detail the complex interactions between social actors and
technological transformations of the city. The aim of the conference is to consider more
fully the multiple, subtle, and interdependent spatio-temporalities which together work to
constitute ICT-based urban change. In particular we will discuss models of participation,
action and agency, shifting capacity to act beyond the ‘like’ button and to take
responsibility for the future shape of the city.
The conference addresses the approaches and the corresponding design responses that
meet the challenges of social, citizen-centred, smart cities and communities. It will offer
reflective, high quality theoretical and design-based responses to the question of how
media and ICTs can create alternative responses to current societal challenges.
We will look at urbanity and digital media and ideas of place and space and reflect on new
models, landscapes and frameworks in the social smart city. We explore how ‘the city’ as a
site of participation is enabled through media and technology and modes of citizen
participation and agency as well as how temporal installations and urban prototyping
enable us to imagine other possible futures. We will also look to the Internet of Things to
explore the way in which objects increasingly become sentient actors in urban life.
Through this we will address broader issues of resilience and sustainability and how these
intertwine with media and technological frameworks. We provisionally propose three main
Place : Urban Design, public place-making, network infrastructures and resilience
People : Social participation, urban prototyping, big data and agency
Things : The Internet of Things (IoT), sentience, social memory and networked objects.
The conference audience will be drawn from an interdisciplinary field of architecture,
geography, human computer interaction, planning, media studies, art and sociology to
gather and exchange multiple perspectives on common challenges.
We invite contributions in the form of research papers, projects and case studies. The
conference programme will focus on contributions that are high quality, reflective,
thoughtful and challenging. We invite papers that present and discuss novel contributions
to the Media City topic both on a practical and theoretical level and that further our
understanding of the field through case studies, design approaches, and best practices.
We expect contributions to critically explore a wide range of topics including, but not
• Social smart cities and smart citizens
• Spatial, social and technical frameworks and infrastructures and networks
• Urban prototyping, hackable cities and urban interfaces
• Internet of Things (IoT), augmented spaces and sentient cities
• Social participation, social media, activism and engagement
• Spatial Locative Media and games
• Participatory urban planning, agency and control
• Code, open data, kinds of information and ‘black boxing’
We welcome contributions as papers, posters, workshops and urban works as part of a
citywide exhibition. We particularly welcome and encourage contributions from early stage
and doctoral researchers.
Submissions to be uploaded to the conference’s EasyChair website:
Paper submissions are a two-stage process. Authors are asked to submit an abstract for
consideration. Authors of accepted abstracts will then be asked to submit a camera-ready
paper prior to the conference. These will appear in the Conference proceedings.
Abstracts must be a minimum of one page (500 words) and no longer than two pages
(1000 words), including all additional material such as references, appendices, and
figures. The abstracts must include a title, sufficient space for the author name(s) to
appear on the paper, abstract and references. The review will be double-blind, so please
submit abstracts in an anonymised version.
Conference full papers will be approx. 5000-6000 words in length and will be peer
Poster submissions should include an abstract of no longer than one page (500 words).
The abstract should state the contribution and originality of the work and make clear how
the work differs from significant prior research. Posters will be shown for the duration of
the main conference.
Workshops can either be based on sharing knowledge or experience around a particular
focused sub-topic or can be a skill-sharing event focused around a particular technology or
methodology. Workshops will be half-day events. Proposals should be no longer than two
pages and should include: the title, the list of organisers and their backgrounds, and an
abstract of no more than 150 words; as well as the workshop’s theme, goals and activities;
maximum number of participants, means of soliciting participation, and means of selecting
Exhibition - Urban Interventions
Proposals are invited for artistic and experimental projects that explore the host city as a
site of experimentation and participation. These can be a site-specific project, an event or
an installation, but should focus on artistic and creative approaches to the social smart city
approach and how this can have value and impact for the local citizens and organisations.
These interventions can feed off, play with or supplement the data harvested from the city
infrastructure through an ‘Urban API’ being developed by i-DAT as a component of its
Operating Systems. A small budget will be available for selected projects. Proposals
should be no longer than two pages and should include: a title, a short summary,
bios/CV’s of the artist(s), a 150 word description of the project, a timeline, and an outline of
how the project will engage with the local city and the types of citizen participation.
All papers will be published in the conference proceedings. Selected authors will be invited
to contribute papers to an edited book to be completed post conference.
If you have any questions or require further information please contact: