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Target_is_New - Issue #148

Hi all! Thanks for opening and reading this newsletter. First apologies for the late sending; proposal deadlines on Monday do not happen that often…
That is also the short summary of last week as I was quite busy shaping a project for a proposal, which is very nice but always more work than planned. I hope we will do the project as it is a perfect fit for the goal of Cities of Things. Which is now officially a foundation by the way. I have been shifting my activities towards this topic for the last few years and with the setting up of the field lab and now shaping this project in Rotterdam, it is not only research in the context of TU Delft.
So maybe nice to give an impression of what it entails by the activities of last week:
  • I have still 5 graduation students working on related projects, some more on the topic than others (a special topic within the Cities of Things research is on the predictive relations, which can also be less related to the city as the graduation project of Peicheng for instance, who is redesigning a robot vacuum into a predictive companion).
  • Research linked is the workshop we are organizing with a diverse group of academics for MAB20 on Subversive Citizenship.
  • For the field lab Amsterdam-Munich we are planning a workshop on 8 July (find more information at Creative Holland website) and we have a symposium at the MAB20 conference on 2 July.
  • The proposal we submitted together with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences for CityLab010. There is a short description on the website.
  • I was invited to share opinions for two Dutch publications; Tweewieler (video) and iBestuur/Automatiseringsgids(podcast).
  • For a special series of New European Bauhaus I shared on Cities of Things, and I joined a panel of Sensemakers AMS. It was interesting how citizenship and activism were connected as a means for improvement. What would that result into if we have the lens of things as citizens; what will things activism look like?
Luckily not every week is like this… :-)
This week (the rest of it), will be also dedicated to preparations for the sessions and workshop of the next two weeks. Furthermore, Jip will have his graduation ceremony this Friday, looking forward. And Peicheng his greenlight on Thursday. We also started serious planning for this year’s ThingsCon (a bit later than usual, you can guess why), and we think we are up to an interesting hybrid format for this year, but we keep you posted as soon as we have shaped it further.
If you have time left to visit events online, I might have some interesting ones: NEXT Conference is having a session with Amy Webb the well-known Future Forecaster that I always visit at SXSW. On Friday afternoon you can choose between Dutch Digital Day (just like NEXT curated by Monique) or keynotes from the Low Carbon Design Institute.
Let me keep it to this for now. Diving into the news funny enough there is a theme for this week: authentic artificial life in robots and other newly added objects.

This Agency Wants to Figure Out Exactly How Much You Trust AI
Delivery robot pilot set to start in Bloomfield this month
Rocki Robot Review: A Remote Tentacle-Headed Cat Bot
This swarm of robots gets smarter the more it works
Canon put AI cameras in its Chinese offices that only let smiling workers inside
Amazon brings cashierless tech to full-size grocery store for first time at new Seattle-area location
Now Cuisine takes on ghost kitchens and drone deliveries
Communal Computing
How scientists are embracing NFTs
Mapping business and data partnerships in the social media ecosystem
Human evolution can be seen through the lens of publishing advancements; from oral language and the printing press, to ad-funded Internet writing.
Planetary Sapience
That is it for now. Have a great week!
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Iskander Smit
Iskander Smit @iskandr

I am working @Infonl as innovation director, also blogger, co-organising @ThingsCon & Behavior Design AMS meetup #bdams
Visiting researcher and lab-director at TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering (

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