Outer Space and the City


Cities are sites of capital accumulation and locations whereby technology finds concrete expression. As new urban interventions are needed to respond to conditions of massification, densification, mobility, global health, and environmental degradation, this seminar addresses the relation between outer space exploration and urban infrastructures. Outer space science and technology plays a central role in the design and development of urban, architectural and transportation systems, yet its impact and ubiquity often go unnoticed. Because outer space science and technology is a field that heavily relies on the tools and methodologies of information science (IS), IS specialists can play a crucial role in developing ethical frameworks for the urbanization of outer space technology. This seminar will equip students with the tools to identify -and develop- practical, tactical, and speculative modes of engagement that critically assess (document, evaluate, and subvert) the impact of outer space at an urban level. Students will be introduced to key concepts, theories, and case studies in science and technology studies, architecture, urbanism, and art to reflect -and speculate- on the cultural, social, and political implications of an interplanetary project of inhabitation. Students will engage with how outer space is reconfiguring the ways in which we design our cities by studying urban communication and infrastructures, satellites and drone technology as well as sites where the future of human inhabitation under extreme conditions is currently being envisioned and constructed.

Exclusion courses: INF1005H section 0103: Information Workshop I: Space and the City, and INF1006H section 0103: Information Workshop II: Space and the City