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Who controls the city and its crowds? Mark Wasiuta (GSAPP Columbia University) and Pedro Rivera (architect and Studio X Rio) drew a complex and fascinating image of the city of Rio de Janeiro as a matrix of different forces. Read the text of the lecture of Pedro Rivera.

As Rio de Janeiro prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics the command and control hub Centro de Operações Prefeitura do Rio de Janeiro, (COR) is optimized. With origins in IBM’s Smart Cities endeavour, this ‘Control Room’ gathers diverse forms of information supplied by weather stations, traffic flow cameras and mobile apps in order to optimize circulation and safety. For the installation Control Syntax Rio at Het Nieuwe Instituut, curators Mark Wasiuta and Farzin Lotfi-Jam examined how COR remaps the city as command and control syntax. The project asks about the encounter between algorithmic rationality and the reality of disruption.

After the lecture of Wasiuta, Rio based architect Pedro Rivera talked more about some of these ‘disruptive’ forces that are at work in the city, namely those of collective civil action and self-management. With Studio X Rio he recently made the exhibition Fight, Squat, Resist that reports on social movements that fight for the right to housing. One of their strategies is to use major events like the World Cup and the Olympics to coordinate series of squatting and protests.

After the talks there was room for discussion with the speakers and the audience about different strategies of control and the impact mega events have on city transformations. Flora van Gaalen is moderator of this evening.

Read more about the installation Control Syntax Rio.

Mark Wasiuta

Mark Wasiuta teaches at GSAPP Columbia University where he is Director of Exhibitions, Director of Collecting Architecture Territories, and Co-Director of the MS degree program Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture. He recently co-curated Environmental Communications: Contact High at the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015 and Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation. He is partner in the design and research office the International House of Architecture. 

Pedro Rivera

Pedro Rivera is partner at Rua Arquitetos who’s experience ranges from the domestic to the urban scale, with focus on spaces for art, creative economy and education, historical and contemporary heritage requalification, temporary installations and exhibition design. Since 2011 he is director and curator at Studio-X Rio that is part of a global network by the GSAPP at Columbia University to think about the future of cities. Recently Studio X realised the exhibition Fight, Occupy, Resist: A look into urban squatting.

20:00 – 22:00

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.