A Happily Tracked Day / Ying Long for the Shenzhen Biennale (UABB) 2019

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The volunteer’s movement in daily scenes © Ying Long and Zhaoxi Zhang

The volunteer’s movement in daily scenes © Ying Long and Zhaoxi Zhang

What happens when the sensor-imbued city acquires the ability to see – almost as if it had eyes? Ahead of the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), titled “Urban Interactions,” Archdaily is working with the curators of the “Eyes of the City” section at the Biennial to stimulate a discussion on how new technologies – and Artificial Intelligence in particular – might impact architecture and urban life. Here you can read the “Eyes of the City” curatorial statement by Carlo Ratti, the Politecnico di Torino and SCUT. If you are interested in taking part in the exhibition at UABB 2019, submit your proposal to the “Eyes of the City” Open Call by May 31st, 2019: www.eyesofthecity.net

We live in a world full of electric products, and we have been influenced by them deeply, especially by those with digital screens, like cell phones, computers and TVs. We use computers for work and social media like Twitter and WeChat to connect with others, we use Mobike for short-distance commutes, Dianping to navigate us to a good lunch and then Alipay to pay the bill. At the end of a long day, we usually spend the rest of our time watching TV or playing online games in order to finally relax. These electric products bring convenience to our life, but at the same time, they are kidnapping it. The overuse of them immerses us in a virtual world and pushes people farther apart. We are losing face-to-face communication and ignoring the enjoyment of real life. Currently, people are spending more time on their mobile phones than ever before. According to a report published by Aier in 2018, the average screen time in China is 6 hours per day, and the average person uses their cellphone 108 times. This mobile-dependency is leaving our lives increasingly fragmented. 

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