Whether we like it or not, the near future will be defined by automation, artificial intelligence, smart infrastructure, urban intensification and massive demand for energy to power it. This rapidly approaching reality begs several questions: How will we co-exist with machines? How will we perceive and relate to destinations with unpopulated architecture? In the absence of universal access to technology, how will we promote diversity in thinking, living and working without succumbing to the creation of smart societal enclaves?

IUS@ArtEZ approaches these complex issues from different angles, STEAM where A represents art and architecture, exploring Spatial Ambiguity, Re-Tooling the City, New Urban Scenography challenging 20th century norms and codes. This interdisciplinary and innovative approach opens up a dialogue between producers and consumers to create (architectural) stratagems that adequately reflect the cultural, social and economic realities of a context wherein digital systems converge with the physical and influence the way we experience, navigate, work and socialise.

Iain Macdonald was invited to attend the new collaborative design studio at UCL

Prof. Iain Macdonald was invited to attend the new collaborative design studio ‘Atlas of Nuclear Islands’ at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. ‘The new studio, titled ‘Atlas of Nuclear Islands’, challenges students to research and design the potential contribution of nuclear batteries (NB) for tackling global warming and the future of the built environment’ (UCL website, 2021). Iain commented in an event with the studio as ‘The transition to a digital data driven economy is throwing up many design and technical challenges for architects, engineers and industry. Providing a supply of intense localised, zero-carbon electricity and

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