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Broadcasting Yourself: Social Media Urbanism

Beatriz Colomina

Thursday, 5.7.2018

In English
Moderation: Dennis Pohl

Perhaps the most important transformation in the social, cultural and economic life in the twenty-first century has been the arrival of social media. A new space for design has opened up. Through its multiple platforms, we not only communicate and collaborate but also refashion ourselves. Images, videos, texts, emojis, stickers, tweets, gifs, memes, comments, posts, and reposts are deployed to construct a digital personality. There was no social media before 2000. There has been an exponential acceleration in the number of channels, users, interconnections, and speed. A few seconds has become a space for design. This is a complete transformation of the way we live with huge implications for the city.

This lecture will explore social media as a new form of urbanization, the architecture of how we live together. Social media has constructed a new kind of virtual city that has taken over many of the functions of the traditional city. We now inhabit a kind of hybrid space between virtual and real. As with the arrival of mass media in the early 20th century, social media redraws again what is public and what is private, what is inside and what is outside. It even redefines and restructures physical space, the architecture of houses and cities.


Beatriz Colomina is Professor of Architecture and Director of the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University. She has written extensively on questions of architecture, art, sexuality and media. Her books include The Century of the Bed (2015), Manifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies (2014), Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X (2010), Domesticity at War (2007), Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994), and Sexuality and Space (1992). She has curated the exhibitions Clip/Stamp/Fold (2006), Playboy Architecture (2012) and Radical Pedagogies (2014). In 2016, she co-curated the third Istanbul Design Biennial with Mark Wigley and published Are We Human? Notes on an Archeology of Design.