Ignacio Farías, Assistant Professor, Munich Center for Technology in Society

Reconstructions of Urban Anthropology

Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes... The entanglements of cities with overwhelming earthly forces often end up with vast reconstruction processes - reconstructions based on new problematizations regarding what the urban cosmos is made of and the entities and forces that need to be taken into account and rearranged. To the extent that it captures a reflexive and recursive mode of constructing the city, the value of reconstruction as an urban anthropological concept extends well beyond post-disaster situations. Tourism, noise abatement policies, smart city projects, to name some random examples, they are all attempts at reflexively refiguring and reconstructing the urban, semiotic-material orderings based on the articulation of urban problems, knowledges and values. Accordingly, urban anthropology itself can be understood as an epistemo-political project of articulating urban experiences, as a form of situated concept work and writing that reconstruct cities in a recursive manner.

Ignacio Farías is assistant professor at the Munich Center for Technology in Society and the Department of Architecture of the Technical University of Munich. His research interests lie at the crossroads of urban studies, science and technology studies and cultural anthropology. His most recent work explores the politics of urban environmental disruptions, from disasters to noise, as well as current experiments in technical democratization. Together with Anders Blok, he has recently co-edited Technical Democracy as a Challenge to Urban Studies (City, 20(4), 2016) and Urban Cosmopolitics: Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres (Routledge, 2016).

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