How Infrastructure Learns

I’ll be giving a talk by the title above, at 4pm in the conference room of the Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street in Cambridge. The occasion is the regular bi-weekly meeting of our Infrastructure Group — an informal collection of folks interested in the topic. The group was gathered by Christian Sandvig, an authority on the topic. (Christian gave a great talk last week in the Berkman luncheon series. Check it out.)

Infrastructure has long been a focus of my work as a fellow with the Center for Information Technology & Society at UCSB, although at this stage I’m still more of an observer of the topic than an authority on it. You’ll find lots of photos tagged with “infrastructure” in my Flickr stream (now more than 34,000 shots long), plus more at the Berkman Infrastructure Group’s own Flickr site. I’ll be leveraging some of those, and putting what I’ve gathered into the helpful contextprovided by Stewart Brand‘s great book, How Buildings Learn — What happens after they’re built (which was later made into a BBC series you can watch on Google Video).

Look forward to seeing some of ya’ll there.

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2 Responses to How Infrastructure Learns

  1. Mike Warot says:

    Hey Doc,
    Where is the video from your talk? I’d like to watch.

  2. Frank Coluccio says:

    Hi Doc.

    FIrst off, I second Mike’s request for a link to your video above.

    Strand’s work is very interesting, IMO, paralleling in some ways how networks behave – they can either evolve, or worst case, freeze and become ossified in time. In building architecture, I have heard the modifier “transive” sometimes used to describe how subtle changes in architecture take place over time in order to respond to changing stimuli. The point that Strand makes in the first video, where he discusses the limitations of the Media Labs open spaces for interpersonal communication, recalled a recent design piece which centered on Cooper Union’s campus addition: See my trailer note here:


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