Photo by: Mads Hobye.

Aural Fixations

Split, Croatia at UrbanIxD konference (September 2013)

Aural Fixations is a Design Fiction project that contemplates on what it means to listen to the voices of the city - it has been contextualized to the city of Split, Croatia.

By: Bron Cumbo, Mads Hobye, Daria Casciani & Divya Viswanathan.

##Humanside It is the age of the smart city.
The city of Split, Croatia has undergone a transformation. Lived in urban spaces have transformed into information streams.

All quantifiable data is collected and processed to maximise the efficiency of the city. A city where Fiaka was a state of mind. [fiaka: relaxed, lazy].

There is an increasing discrepancy between the data the system is capturing and data that is interpreted. The diversity and nuances of emotions, perceptions, and interpretations of the citizens that build their city. Essential elements for the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom.

Will this human element of the smart city fall through the cracks in the bricks and mortar during the digital age?

In this smart cityscape we have played with fictional and absurd scenarios to amplify some of the issues and problems that may arise within it.

##Aural Fixations

Digital data is collected, processed and utilised to optimize.

Privacy amongst residents is maintained through the rare art of conversation. An analogue form of data that cannot be detected or processed by the smart city’s digital sensors.

Friends and families from Split share their personal thoughts within the closed walls of intimate spaces. Their own home. A friend’s lounge room. A favourite café.

These thoughts, dreams, aspirations for a better future are unheard by the smart city.

The bricks and mortar of the city are the caretakers of these citizens. Watching over them as they meet to converse. Capturing the stories exchanged in its walls. Aural prints of words unheard.

A young voyeur lives in the city during these times. Each day and night she roams the streets peering into the windows of these intimate spaces to see how people live their lives. Hoping to catch glimpses of the stories they would share.

She senses that the city is full of lost and unheard aspirations.

In a local flea market the voyeur purchases an old military communication device and extends its listening capabilities to tune into the frequencies of aural prints.

Wearing the device she is able to virtually travel to all corners of the city and hear fragments of the unheard hopes and aspirations of citizens embedded in its walls.

She makes it her mission to collect these unheard aspirations.

#Exhibition setup