From Footsteps to Data to Art: Seeing (through) a Bridge

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While the guiding vision for IoT suggests that the technology withdraws to the background, this paper explores the specific case of a highly physically visible, IoT-enabled footbridge to be placed in Amsterdam early 2020. The question is: how do aesthetic relationships with the bridge shift as knowledge of its IoT capabilities increase? The outcomes of user observation and two community design workshops are discussed, focusing on 1) what individuals desire to know about the bridge’s IoT capabilities, 2) how to best inform users that the bridge is collecting data, and 3) what capabilities people would want a smart bridge to possess. It is found that a post-phenomenological lens might help address changing aesthetic relationships between people and the bridge. This revelation might be useful to apply to other “smart” infrastructures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Aesthetics
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2020
Event2nd Philosophy of the City Summer Colloquium 2019: Urban Aesthetics - University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 17 Jun 201919 Jun 2019
Conference number: 2


  • IoT
  • Data
  • Citizens
  • Data Representation
  • Citizen Centered Design
  • Post-phenomenology


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