THE FUTURESCAPE CITY TOURS
Urban technologies can be mundane or substantially enchanted, sustainable or not, of infrastructure-scale or held in hand, yet in any case are knitted into urban experience in both profound and quiet ways. Deeper than calling attention to the materiality of the world, we wish to turn a gaze to the ways in which technologies structure nearly every aspect of contemporary experience, helping to formulate our sense of agency and our ideas about future possibilities. We suggest that traditional approaches to public engagement in science and technology can be augmented with visual, digital and experiential methods to deal with the oft invisible yet nevertheless pervasive interweaving of technology in the city.
The Futurescape City Tours (FCT) are a constellation of public engagement activities composed of an urban walking tour, varied interactions between members of the public, stakeholders and experts, and image-based deliberative sessions developed by researchers at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society. The Futurescape City Tours seek to better understand the value and functionality of public engagement activities that integrate diverse stakeholders and publics, tend to the politics of place, rigorously trigger imagination, and creatively use multi-media tools. An interdisciplinary team of STS researchers conducted the Futurescape City Tours in North American cities in 2013:
PHOENIX, AZ: Cynthia Selin, Kelly Rawlings and Kathryn de Ridder Vignone (Arizona State University)
PORTLAND, ORE: Thad Miller (Portland State University)
SPRINGFIELD, MASS: Gretchen Gano and Krista Harper (University of Massachusetts/ Amherst)
WASHINGTON, DC: David Tomblin (University of Maryland/ College Park) and Mahmud Farooque (Arizona State University)
ST. PAUL, MN: Roopali Phadke (Macalester College)
EDMONTON, CANADA: Kevin Jones (University of Alberta)
More information about the FCT can be found on the CNS-ASU website.
In 2014, we developed a Guidebook for Practitioners in the hopes that this method will be taken up by others.