Bio Mapping: How can we use emotion to articulate cities?

Christian Nold


How does the city make us feel, and how can we use our feelings to make cities? The text explores what emotion can ‘do’ when its measurement and articulation are organised using different methods. The text explores the difference between two ways of mapping emotion that both use physiological sensor technologies in relation to the city. One is an art project that uses body sensors to allow people to articulate their relationship with the environment, while the technocratic approach uses sensors and crowdsourced data to build an emotion layer for urban planning. While using similar technologies, the projects build radically different social and political relations with the environment. The study suggests that research only matters when it arouses ‘interest' in others and create unexpected connections.

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