Surfacecities is a research and teaching initiative, established to study our changing images of cities in the context of a new visual culture developing around information technologies. The website http://www.surfacecities.com hosts a range of projects developed by faculty and students in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. We are using information technologies to explore new ways of reading and handling cities for a variety of purposes, from environmental activism to extreme commuting. Our approach is to create dynamic, graphic and situated projects that extend or challenge established theories of urbanism. This work cuts across numerous fields (architecture, information science, and urban studies) in order to challenge traditional conceptions of the city that are static, depersonalized, and focused primarily on built form. In addition, it suggests new configurations of people, computers and cities that shift the discourse on human-computer interaction towards human-computer-environment interaction.
with John Zissovici