A critical view on Information Super Highways

3rd Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium
November 13-15, 1995, Monte Verità, Ascona

The speakers of the 3rd Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium discussed from the perspective of urban and architectural planning, the question of the extension and intensification of computer networks. To think about space involves attention to the social and economical implications of the increasing presence of computers. Will we still travel work when it becomes possible to have TV-conferebces with our partners, be they in the same town as we are or at the other end of the world ? And when, as today, it becomes possible to work together on a document shown on the screen ? Such a possibility was still recently science fiction but it is now becoming increasingly possible for all possessors of a PC, a telephone line and some accessories. The Colloquium gave even a practical demonstration of this as one of the participants was unable to attend at the very last minute (he broke his leg !), but was able to give his speech as a videoconference – and proposed even at some point the auditors to add on screen some comments on a written document he showed from his home.

Several of the conference papers were later published (in French) in the Revue économique et sociale
n° 2, 1996. In this issue Blaise Galland – co-organisazer of the Colloquium – proposes a reflection on “glocalisation”, on how the global and the local will necessarily have to meet in a new manner, when the functions of production, exchange and information tratment will move from cities where they have traditionally been developed to the virutal space and the ubiquita of information networks. Kaj Noschis formulates some more psychological comments on the topic of the relationship between communication and encounter. Jean-Claude Gabus asks general questions on the appropriation of new technologies by handicapped persons. Which are the conditions to be fulfilled in order that human beings can make an adequate use of these technologies ?

Participants: Lydia Buchmüller (EUROPAN, Lausanne), Martine Buser (Swiss Federal Institue of Technology Lausanne), Jean-CLaude Gabus (Fondation Suisse pour les Téléthèses), Blaise Galland (Swiss Federal Institue of Technology Lausanne), Olivier Glassey (Swiss Federal Institue of Technology Lausanne), Urs Hintermann (Ascom Systems), Franz Nahrada (Centrum für Soziale Innovation, Vienna), Karin Palm-Linden (Lund University), Ritva Routio (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, Helsinki), Valerio Saggetti (Colletta di Castelbianco, Milan), Derek Smith (London Docklands Corporation Development), Colin South (British Telecom), Antoine Wasserfallen (Lausanne), Tomas Wikström (Lund University)