Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Forms of Sentience and Future Places
    Brock, D ; Roudavski, S (Urban Assemblage: The City as Architecture, Media, AI and Big Data, event by Architecture, Media, Politics, Society (APMS), University of Hertfordshire, Intellect Press and Parade. 28-30 June 2021, 2021)
    Visions of future cities differ greatly. Techno-optimists imagine greater comfort, better health, and longer lives. By contrast environmentalists foresee extinctions and the twilight of consumer civilisations. Whatever the outcome, the technological acceleration will continue to affect the lives of city dwellers, human and nonhuman. This situation calls for further research into capabilities for just resilience in the context of inclusive, more-than-human communities. The approach of this project is to review this challenge through the lens of sentience. Sentience is a contested concept that integrates ecological and technical concerns. Thus, its exploration can challenge existing anthropocentric frameworks and propose novel research directions. Existing discourse on sentience in humanities, engineering, and biological sciences is extensive but disjointed. This disunity results in the exclusion and disregard of sentient agents, existing and emerging. This is particularly apparent in the damaging anthropocentric bias of current design and engineering. In response, this project considers the roles sentience in future cities. It hypothesises that an understanding of sentience as a more-than-human, relational, and distributed phenomenon can promote interspecies justice. To test this hypothesis, we begin with an outline of biological sentience in humans, animals, and other lifeforms. We then compare biological sentience with forms technological sentience in robots and intelligent devices. The last steps of our analysis explore how these forms of sentience can combine in the context of smart cities and discuss implications for human and nonhuman stakeholders. Using project examples, we compare existing conditions, within emerging trends, and long-term forecasts. The outcomes of this review emphasise the importance of ecocentric foundation for further research into nonhuman lives and interspecies communities. Further study of interspecies communities is important as a source of learning about nonhuman subjectivity, cognition, sentience, intelligence, and knowledge that will be crucially important as contributions to the necessary design of future cities.