Digital Urbanism and Social Culture: Enhancing Cultural Activities with Digital Media

1st Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Joachim Hasebrook (ISNM)

2nd Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader (ISNM)

This paper consists on an investigation on the gradual decontextualization of public spaces and its effects on the City as a producer, or facilitator, of social relationships and cultural interchange. Contrary to the currents that present digital ICTs as the cause of the dematerialization of public space, and consequently, of public life, and contrary as well to the currents that defend the “tabula rasa” design approach which supposedly aim towards creating flexible spaces, this paper is aligned with the research and writings of scholars as Whyte, Sennett, and Augé. The author believes that the dematerialization of public spaces is due to a series of historical events and economical factors, shaping a complex system in which ICTs are just a tool, their uses being a reflex rather than origin of the problem. Furthermore, the author also defends that places must have a clear identity and that this should be fostered, for it is fundamental for urban life. Bearing this in mind, the media art installation “Past People of Potsdamer Platz” was chosen as a case study. Finally, this paper defends the use of Media Art as a tool for recontextualizing places and communities, by creating identity and diversity.