Designing for a City of Lies. How to Rethink Belgium’s Smartest City Through Engaging the Imaginaries of Its Local Citizens (Group CITY: Data)

In order to meaningfully speculate on what a city could become, we need to first understand what a city currently is. Designing for a City of Lies is a project that sets out to answer this question, not through mapping what the city is, but what it is not. This is done by asking local citizens to tell lies about their city, and then feed these lies back to the city as designed urban interventions, prototyping new urban futures. Importantly, the project seeks to engage local citizens in new, more inclusive and playful ways throughout this process. The project took place in Hasselt, the smartest city in Belgium, across April 2017 - January 2018, and resulted in the collection of numerous lies and two designed interventions. Returning to Hasselt for PDC2018, the project invites conference participants to engage with lies as a viable data set for envisioning urban futures, pushing beyond the trite renderings of “smartness” so prevalent in current near futures.

Project by Søren Rosenbak