The soft technologies of urban development – the need for a broader technology concept
Conference contribution, 2018
These tools are moreover identified as ‘soft technologies’ with many similarities to regular technologies but also critical differences. Based on the definition of technology by Brian Arthur: “technology concerns the capturing of phenomena for a purpose”, the conclusion is drawn that if regular technology typically captures natural phenomena for a purpose, soft technologies capture phenomena related to human abilities, such as perception, cognition and emotions. In simple terms: discourse captures cognitive abilities related to rational thinking in the purpose to convince, institutions emotional abilities related to fear of shame or sanctions for the purpose of abidance and spatial form perceptual abilities for the purpose of navigation.
These three broad technologies are scrutinised by identifying the human phenomena captured in them and discussing how a deeper understating of these may improve the technology. The aim is to contribute to a theoretical foundation of these tools as technologies, that also may bring a basis for their knowledge development, which ultimately may lead to improved practice. In extension, such a discussion opens for a broader conception of technology, important for issues of sustainability.
Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning
Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Areas of Advance
Building Futures (2010-2018)