ANNOUNCEMENT — now and future

announce­ment — past

Machine Teach­ing Com­mons / Teach­ing Machine Com­mons Sym­posi­um and Exhib­i­tion June 2024

Machine Teach­ing Com­mons / Teach­ing Machine Com­mons is a one-day sym­posi­um and exhib­i­tion present­ing key out­comes of the smuc.kitchen pro­ject. The event also aims at open­ing new col­lab­or­at­ive path­ways with research­ers and cre­at­ive prac­ti­tion­ers who have been explor­ing the prom­ise and per­ils of site- and com­munity-spe­cif­ic algorithms for gov­ern­ing urb­an resources and prac­tices of safe­guard­ing autonomy in work­ing with algorithms from dif­fer­ent dis­cip­lines and per­spect­ives. We will engage in crit­ic­al dis­cus­sions and research-based art and design prac­tices across the three areas per­tin­ent to the project.

Exhib­i­tion opening
June 19th 2024. 6 pm.
CIVIC space at FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Freil­ager-Platz 1, Basel

The exhib­i­tion, co-cur­ated by Jaz Choi, presents key find­ings and out­comes of the Scal­ing Mater­i­al Urb­an Com­mons pro­ject and puts them into rela­tion with works by Xiao­wei Wang, Dark Mat­ter Labs, Super­flux, 2050+ Archi­tects, Night­shade and many more.

Sym­posi­um
June 20th 2024
AULA, 1st floor at FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Freil­ager-Platz 1, Basel
9:00: Arriving
9:30 — 10:00: Open­ing by Helen Pritchard (IXDM Head of Research)
10:00 — 11:00: Open­ing talk by Vikt­or Bedö
11:00–11:15 Break
11:15 — 12:45: Pan­el round 1 with Rebecca Fiebrink, Jaya Klara Brekke, Oona Mor­rows; mod­er­ated by Vikt­or Bedö
12:45 — 14:00: Lunch break
14:00 — 15:30: Pan­el round 2 with Xiao­wei Wang, Eunji Kang, Ippolito Pes­tellini Laparelli; mod­er­ated by Jaz Choi
15:30 — 16:00: Work­shop in the exhib­i­tion space

Pan­els will be held in a hybrid format and can be fol­lowed online (link TBA). 

Con­tact

FHNW Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­ences and Arts North­west­ern Switzerland
Academy of Art and Design
Insti­tute Exper­i­ment­al Design and Media Cul­tures (IXDM)
Freil­ager-Platz 1
CH-4002 Basel

mail@smuc.kitchen

About SMUC

Scal­ing Mater­i­al Urb­an Com­mons (SMUC) crafts ima­gin­ar­ies of urb­an futures that recon­cile auto­ma­tion and pre­dict­ive tech­no­lo­gies with com­mon­ing- and care-based use of resources. SMUC uses spec­u­lat­ive city-mak­ing to scale up the com­mon­ing of res­cued food. It does so by pro­to­typ­ing a pre­dict­ive algorithm-based sys­tem, dubbed Smuc.kitchen, that orches­trates the col­lec­tion and drop-off of res­cued food in Basel and London.

Abstract accep­ted at EASST-4S 2024

The con­fer­ence Mak­ing and doing trans­form­a­tion of European Asso­ci­ation for the Study of Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy (EASST) and the Soci­ety for Social Stud­ies of Sci­ence (4S) held in Ams­ter­dam in July 2024 accep­ted the paper pro­pos­al Stay­ing with the struggle: Pos­sib­il­ity, con­tin­gency and fail­ure in three spec­u­lat­ive more-than-human world­ings that attempt to speak-with by Vikt­or Bedö, Kit Bray­brooke, Gab­ri­ela Aquije and Ruth Catlow. 

Paper accep­ted at DRS2024

Vikt­or Bedö’s paper Meal­Sense: A fic­tion about datafic­a­tion and algorithms in com­mon­ing food got accep­ted for the 2024 Design Research Con­fer­ence in Boston with the con­fer­ence top­ic Res­ist­ance, Recov­ery, Reflec­tion, Reimagination. 

Join the smuc.kitchen Field Test in April!

Super­mar­kets ditch piles of unsold but per­fectly edible food every single day. What if res­cued food could be delivered to kit­chens where it turns into a nour­ish­ing meal? How would we teach an algorithm to dis­trib­ute food items in urb­an com­munit­ies? Smuc.kitchen invites you to ima­gine a com­munity-run urb­an infra­struc­ture for teach­ing a machine to dis­trib­ute food fairly. Join us for three work­shops and a din­ner to play­fully nego­ti­ate the cri­ter­ia of food dis­tri­bu­tion, sens­ing, and cook­ing and to engage with algorithms and machine learn­ing crit­ic­ally. The invit­a­tion is open to all Basel res­id­ents. Par­ti­cipants are ideally avail­able for din­ner on March 13 and work­shops on March 23, April 13, and April 27. On some days dur­ing the exper­i­ment, par­ti­cipants will receive deliv­er­ies of res­cued food items. Event lan­guage is Eng­lish and Ger­man. As a small thank you, par­ti­cipants will receive a StadtBon Basel vouch­er. Write to us to learn more or sign up at ozan.guengoer@fhnw.ch. The event series cooper­ates with the FHNW Food Cul­ture Lab.

Col­lect­ive Machine Teach­ing @ Thing­sCon 2023

Work­shop. Rot­ter­dam. 15/12/2023

The Labelling For the Food Com­mons work­shop engages par­ti­cipants in an exper­i­ment­al machine-teach­ing activ­ity to invest­ig­ate the struggle of keep­ing com­munit­ies in the cyber­net­ic loop of auto­mat­ing the fair dis­tri­bu­tion of res­cued food. 

Hack­TheP­rom­ise Festival

Pan­el dis­cus­sion. Basel. 16/09/2023

SMUC will host the pan­el The Ana­tomy of a Com­mon­ing-Based Pre­dict­ive Infra­struc­ture at Hack­TheP­rom­ise fest­iv­al at neues kino Basel, 16 Septem­ber 2023 5 pm. The pan­el will dis­cuss socio-tech­nics and design prin­ciples that dif­fer­en­ti­ate between com­mon­ing-based and extract­iv­ist approaches to algorithmic urb­an futures. The aim will be to con­trib­ute to more robust and per­suas­ive ima­gin­ar­ies of care- and com­mon­ing-based urb­an futures. 

DIT Apéro Riche (can­celled)

Social. Basel. 24/06/2023

In cooper­a­tion with the Food Cul­ture Lab (rep­res­en­ted by Gab­ri­ela Aquije) we host a Do It Togeth­er (DIT) Apéro Riche. We believe, that the extract­iv­ist “smart city” dream of the 2000s has exhausted itself. We invite you to crit­ic­ally and con­struct­ively engage with ideas of just, open and sus­tain­able uses of tech­no­logy. Our focus is on strategies of nego­ti­ation of where ingredi­ents are needed and why and how a com­munity can teach a deliv­ery algorithm to deliv­er res­cued food accord­ingly. In the event we would like to touch on these top­ics through play­ing a small game with you. Our aim is to start a dis­cus­sion about just and sus­tain­able city, food and tech­no­logy use. Klick here for fur­ther information. 

Towards good enough prediction

Work­shop. Lon­don. 22/06/2023

The aim of this hands-on work­shop is to bring togeth­er Lon­don-based research­ers (form insti­tu­tions such as CUCR, Gold­smiths Design, HCI City, Design Innov­a­tion Lough­bor­ough) the probe mutu­al research interest in just, com­munity-driv­en algorithmic urb­an futures. 

Through cre­at­ing data stor­ies with the par­ti­cipants, the work­shop addresses the prob­lem space of unwieldy data from cit­izen sens­ing (Gabrys et al 2016), optimisation’s inher­ent drive to smoothen out indi­vidu­al dif­fer­ences in cal­cu­lat­ive pro­cesses (Pow­ell 2021) and fric­tions in com­munity-based machine teaching. 

Alis­on Pow­ell: Undo­ing Optimization

Guest talk. Basel / online. 11/04/2023

As an invited guest at the FHNW MA Exper­i­ment­al Design and HGK Co-cre­ate pro­gram Alison’s talk unpacks the prob­lems with and poten­tial responses to the tend­ency towards optim­iz­a­tion in socio-tech­nic­al prac­tice. It focuses on the ways that cit­izens work with, and against, tech­no­logy to exer­cise cit­izen­ship. Optim­iz­a­tion can nar­row the frame­works for civic action in cit­ies to align with techno-social sys­tems and com­mer­cial expect­a­tions. Undo­ing these dynam­ics requires an atten­tion to fric­tion and ten­sion, as well as an atten­tion to the poten­tial oth­er ways of under­stand­ing and con­nect­ing dif­fer­ent forms of know­ledge, includ­ing the datafied know­ledge of sens­ing sys­tems as well as oth­er ways of knowing. 

Alis­on Pow­ell is Asso­ci­ate Pro­fess­or in Media and Com­mu­nic­a­tions at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics. Her work includes research about Join­ing Up Soci­ety and Tech­no­logy for AI (JUST AI Net­work), invest­ig­at­ing the pos­sib­il­ity and con­sequences of explain­ing how algorithms work (Under­stand­ing Auto­mated Decisions), or explro­ing how people make know­ledge about the city through ‘data walk­ing’.

‘Labelling Fric­tion’ Workshop

Work­shop. Basel. 15/12/2022

‘Fam­ily din­ner from leftovers’, ‘bowl for brunch’… Inspired by Vera van der Burg’s work on sub­ject­ive labelling and co-facil­it­ated by guest Iohanna Nicen­boim, the semi-pub­lic Labeling Fric­tion explores exper­i­ment­al labelling meth­ods for com­munity-based machine teaching. 

Auto­ma­tion And Pri­vacy Workshop

Work­shop. Basel. Oct 12th 2022

Machine learn­ing, pri­vacy and data secur­ity expert and act­iv­ist Dav­id Som­mer joins the SMUC.kitchen team for a work­shop to explore feas­ible and spec­u­lat­ive auto­ma­tion tools (such as lin­ear algebra neur­on­al net­works) and review pri­vacy-related flags. 

Cards For Food Res­cue Work­shop 2

Work­shop. Lon­don. Date TBA

In a series of work­shops, SMUC is devel­op­ing a sub­vers­ive exten­sion card set for the IoT Ser­vice Kit. The SMUC IoT Card Deck (work­ing name) focuses on ‘min­im­al neces­sary datafic­a­tion’ (See Pow­ell, Undo­ing Optim­iz­a­tion) and more-than-human IoT. Its aim is to facil­it­ate the nego­ti­ation of data streams, diet­ary require­ments and cook­ing cul­ture for the auto­ma­tion of food rescue. 

Cards For Food Res­cue Work­shop 1

Work­shop. Basel. June 20th 2022.

In a series of work­shops, SMUC is devel­op­ing a sub­vers­ive exten­sion card set for the IoT Ser­vice Kit. The SMUC IoT Card Deck (work­ing name) focuses on ‘min­im­al neces­sary datafic­a­tion’ (See Pow­ell, Undo­ing Optim­iz­a­tion) and more-than-human IoT. Its aim is to facil­it­ate the nego­ti­ation of data streams, diet­ary require­ments and cook­ing cul­ture for the auto­ma­tion of food rescue. 

Sym­posi­um Growth x Sustainability

Work­shop. Lon­don. June 2nd 2022

The Sym­posi­um of the Ger­man Soci­ety for Design The­ory and Research (;dgdt) titled Growth x Sus­tain­ab­il­ity will fea­ture the SMUC Design Fric­tions for Pre­dict­ive Food Com­mon­ing Work­shop. To learn more or par­ti­cip­ate, see Sym­posi­um pro­gram.

SMUC x Moth Cities

Pub­lic­a­tion. Basel/London. Janu­ary 2022

Vikt­or has pub­lished his reflec­tions on role­play as a research meth­od when design­ing ser­vices for non-human city inhab­it­ants as part of the More-Than-Human Data Inter­ac­tions In The City, the pro­ject reflec­tion book­let of Moth Cit­ies. The reflec­tions build on the par­ti­cip­a­tion in the ‘Moth City’ work­shop series and explor­a­tions with the design stu­dents of the exper­i­ment­al design course ‘Grasp­ing the Future City’ at FHNW. 

SMUC x HvA Mas­ter Digit­al Design

Cooper­a­tion. Basel/Amsterdam. Novem­ber 2021

SMUC cooper­ates with the Mas­ter Digit­al Design at the Ams­ter­dam Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­ences by provid­ing a design chal­lenge for a stu­dent team’s 2021 gradu­ation pro­ject. Learn more about their pro­ject in the Frag­ments.

Food res­cue part­ners wanted

Call. Novem­ber 2021

Call for busi­nesses, insti­tu­tions, or indi­vidu­als based in Basel or Lon­don who reg­u­larly make res­cu­able food avail­able and are inter­ested in explor­ing urb­an food futures. Inter­ested parties are wel­come to join one or two loc­al work­shops and help shape a bike deliv­ery-based food col­lec­tion and drop-off infra­struc­ture. Please reach out to the prin­cip­al invest­ig­at­or Vikt­or Bedö. 

Pro­ject kick off

Update. Basel. Septem­ber 2021

Scal­ing Mater­i­al Urb­an Com­mons pro­ject kicks off! We are excited to share how the pro­ject pro­gresses in the Frag­ments sec­tion of the web­site. Also, please feel free to reach out if you want to learn more about the pro­ject or wish to cooperate. 

Con­tact

FHNW Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­ences and Arts North­west­ern Switzerland
Academy of Art and Design
Insti­tute Exper­i­ment­al Design and Media Cul­tures (IXDM)
Freil­ager-Platz 1
CH-4002 Basel

mail@smuc.kitchen

About SMUC

Scal­ing Mater­i­al Urb­an Com­mons (SMUC) crafts ima­gin­ar­ies of urb­an futures that recon­cile auto­ma­tion and pre­dict­ive tech­no­lo­gies with com­mon­ing- and care-based use of resources. SMUC uses spec­u­lat­ive city-mak­ing to scale up the com­mon­ing of res­cued food. It does so by pro­to­typ­ing a pre­dict­ive algorithm-based sys­tem, dubbed Smuc.kitchen, that orches­trates the col­lec­tion and drop-off of res­cued food in Basel and London.