the Co-Creation of the City on a new book

Just out from press:

Advancing Research Methods with New Technologies:

Advancing digital technologies continue to shape all aspects of our society, with particular impact on the professional research community. These new and exciting developments offer considerable advantages in terms of speed, access connectivity, and economy.

Advancing Research Methods with New Technologies examines the applicability and usefulness of new technologies, as well as the pitfalls of these methods in academic research practices. This book serves as a practical guide for designing and conduction research projects for scientists all of disciplines ranging from graduate students to professors and practitioners.

We have contributed a chapter titled The Co-Creation of the City:

Is it possible to imagine novel forms of urban planning and of public policies regulating the ways in which people use city spaces by listening to citizens’ expressions, emotions, desires, and visions, as they ubiquitously emerge in real-time on social networks and on other sources of digital information? This chapter presents the theoretical and methodological approach, the investigation and research phases, the design and prototyping processes constituting the ConnectiCity initiative, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary series of projects in which artists, scientists, anthropologists, engineers, communicators, architects, and institutions participated to the design of innovative ubiquitous and pervasive systems which were able to transform the ways in which the concepts of urban planning and city-wide decision-making are defined. Novel forms of urban life were imagined, in which cities became the time/space continuum for multiple, stratified layers of information expressing the ideas, goals, visions, emotions, and forms of expression for multiple cultures and backgrounds, producing new opportunities for citizenship: more active, aware, and engaged in the production of urban reality, and in the transformation of city spaces into possibilistic frameworks.


the co-creation of the city

the co-creation of the city

Contact us for samples and extracts.


Iaconesi, S., & Persico, O. (2013). The Co-Creation of the City. In N. Sappleton (Ed.), Advancing Research Methods with New Technologies (pp. 12-33). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-3918-8.ch002

AOS at “HYBRID CITY II: Subtle rEvolutions” with “Real Time Dissent in the City”

We will be at

The HYBRID CITY II: Subtle rEvolutions
Conference, workshops, exhibition and parallel events
23-25 May 2013
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

with our contributions:

  • Real-time dissent in the city: tools and tactics for contemporary disseminated, dispersed, recombinant movements

    • Abstract –  During years 2011 and 2012 we have created a series of open software platforms which are able to analyse in real-time the content which is produced by users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Google+, by combining data-harvesting technologies, natural language analysis and geo-location. We have used these technologies in different ways with the objective of trying to understand the various forms in which dissent manifests itself in the scenario of contemporary urban areas, characterized by the progressive availability of accessible ubiquitous technologies such as smartphones and network-enabled devices.


  • Re-thinking public space and citizenship through ubiquitous publishing and technologies. The experience of Ubiquitous Pompeii for the Italian Digital Agenda.
    • Abstract – In this paper, we describe the first instances of a family of projects with similar characteristics. Through these projects, we aim to establish contact with urban communities to a) suggest visions for possible forms of city innovation and to b) start co-creative processes for imagining, designing and enacting transformative processes. These co-creative processes involve technologies and innovative methodologies which are able to create knowledge, participation, sustainable and inclusive business models. One of these projects is the Ubiquitous Pompeii where our research and design team developed a city wide process in the city of Pompei in Italy. Ubiquitous Pompeii started by engaging high school students with a series of workshops structured in two phases: a) students’ awareness about the scenarios and opportunities offered by ubiquitous technologies; and b) the acquisition of the skills used to appropriate the technologies and methodologies and to embrace participatory design processes. Students were able to design and develop their visions for the development of their city and its communities, creating services and digital tools. Peer-to-peer learning and collaboration practices played a crucial role. Tools, methodologies and roles have been designed and developed to support the emergence of practices engaging all agencies into a networked process for the creation of the digital future of the city. Institutions and operators play the role of facilitators in what basically is becoming a citywide co- creative process. Along these lines, we have structured a transdisciplinary methodology and a technological toolkit dedicated to cities and urban communities including collaborative ethnography to observe the various stages and processes of the project and discuss its meta-stories with the different actors. The project has been declared as an official best practice for Italy’s Digital Agenda, and as such will be scaled to other cities in the near future, also envisioning wider knowledge sharing and collaboration tools which will be able to interconnect the different communities.
The HYBRID CITY II: Subtle rEvolutions

The HYBRID CITY II: Subtle rEvolutions

Eisenhower Fellowships: a journey through the changing scenarios of leadership, innovation and creativity

Salvatore Iaconesi will be on his Eisenhower Fellowship to explore the changing scenarios of leadership in the US, and to understand the opportunities for collaboration and exchange among the arts, sciences, humanities, businesses and public policies.

Eisenhower Fellowships

“identifies, empowers and links outstanding leaders from around the world, helping them to achieve consequential outcomes across sectors and borders. EF provides a transformational experience leading to lifetime engagement in a global network, where dialogue and collaboration make the world more prosperous, just and peaceful.”

Art is Open Source, through Salvatore Iaconesi, will be on the fellowship to explore various types of scenarios.

As we know, everything around us is changing at incredible speed.

The ways in which we learn, express, collaborate, work, consume, relate, exchange information, knowledge and wisdom are very different from they were even a few years ago.

Touched by the impact of digital cultures, the world has mutated and continues in this transformation.

This has extreme, radical impacts on human societies and on the ways in which we can imagine shaping our public policies: our perception of private and public spaces has changed, just as much as what we perceive to be legal/illegal, possible/impossible, suggested/forbidden. Just as our visions, imaginaries, opportunities.

We are in a situation in which giving answers has become not only very difficult, but also not very interesting. What is interesting, today, is to understand what the fundamental questions are, and to create open spaces for discussion, and for their continuous, iterative, participative assessment.

Many signals exist around us that can help to observe – just like anthropologists, ethnographers and cultural geographers – the ways in which things are changing in human societies. These signals can be collected in large quantities and observed according to a series of different approaches: for business, science, art, research, culture, commerce, policies…

We can also imagine collecting these signals to enact some form of forecast.

Possibly the most interesting thing which we can do is to take these signals into account to observe our present and what it says about our near-future, to see which new daily rituals they describe, new ways of doing things, new habits, new things that we have learned to give for granted, or that we have forgotten about.

And to use these observations to create things, be them objects, products, services, processes: real ones, possibly under the form of live prototypes that can be used to inspire further, materialized observations about our near-future.

Some call if Design Fiction, some call it near-future design: what is certain is that it is a practice that needs the contribution of the artist just as the ones of the scientist; of the engineer and the poet; of the businessman and the designer; of the anthropologist and the architect; of the technologist and the politician. In a joint effort to understand, create and leverage the layers of meaning emerging from our human societies.

This is what we will do during this Eisenhower Fellowship, collecting the experiences of leaders throughout the USA, suggesting change and creating the opportunities for exchange and collaboration for a better understanding of our present and of what will come up next.

Eisenhower Fellowships

Eisenhower Fellowships


Trieste Cloud City

Trieste Cloud City

Trieste Cloud City

Trieste Cloud City

Trieste Cloud City

Just published:

S. Iaconesi, O. Persico (2012). “Trieste Cloud City: la Città della Coda Lunga” in “Rivista degli Infortuni e delle Malattie Profossionali”, Vol. 2/2012, pp. 643–654. ISSN: 0035–5836.

Radiohead made a new record, but you can’t buy it, you have to go there

a Serenade in Rome

a Serenade in Rome

Let’s imagine it. For a second.

Imagine Radiohead announcing the publication of their new album. But you can’t buy it.

To listen to it you have to download an app and go to a specific place at a specific time.

SPOILER: sadly, Radiohead have not released a new album of this type. But we at AOS have! :)

Read below to learn how to listen-by-walking to “a Serenade in Rome“.

The musical tracks are disseminated through the locations of a city, created to integrate with the city’s texture, with its daily sounds, with its atmosphere. They connect to the things that happen everyday in those places, or with things which happened in the past, in its history, maybe revealing some interesting facts or stories, or building upon them to suggest narratives and possibilities.

This would be a remarkable thing, as the music in the album would create an alternative version of the city, in which the people, buildings, monuments and natural environment would interweave with the sounds of the musical tracks and create new experiences.

Just wear your headphones and walk: when you reach the proximity of one of the specified locations your smartphone would vibrate, alerting you that “something is there”, and you could start the experience.

When you hit the “play” button, you would start hearing the sounds designed for that specific place (and specific time) interweave with your surroundings, bringing up a novel sensation of the place you are in.

Some more interesting side effects would happen:

  • lots of people could autonomously gather at the locations of the musical tracks, bringing up possibilities for tourism, commerce, socialization, politics;
  • you could create a flow of people through the city, a novel form of urban narrative, a new form of art;
  • you would have actually created a happening, a concert, a performance, without having to rent a stadium, or pay for administrative permissions, or other taxes and fees;
  • you could enhance the experience of your city’s monuments, locations or natural environment;
  • you could transform the city into a platform for creativity, suggesting artists to create other compositions and creations for the various spots of your city, and supporting them by creating a platform which could transform the whole city into an ubiquitous museum and performance space.

A Serenade in Rome, an digital symphony you have to walk through

a Serenade in Rome” (visit this link to obtain it on the Apple Store) is an electronic music album of this type.

To listen to it you have to download an App and come to the city of Rome anytime from April 3rd 2013 (Salvatore’s birthday) to Sept. 6th 2013. And walk through the locations pointed out on the map shown in the app.

Urban Nature in Villa Borghese in Rome

Urban Nature in Villa Borghese in Rome

From the App’s description on Apple’s Store:

“The first in a series of revolutionary music formats.

a Serenade in Rome is a musical experience you have to walk through.

To listen to this electronic music you will have to go to the city of Rome anytime from April 3rd 2013 to September 6th 2013.

While walking through the city of Rome, in the places shown by the map, the tracks of this digital symphony will become available.

Each track has been composed for its specific location and for the unique experience and atmosphere which the beautiful setting of the tiny streets and monuments of the city of Rome are able to suggest.

A smell of bread in a little “vicolo” of Trastevere, near the back door of a traditional bakery, brings up a peaceful electronic sonata.

The beautiful hills of the ancient Villa Doria Pamphili urban park will enable you to experience a soothing natural sensation.

The labyrinth of small streets in the surroundings of Campo de’ Fiori will place you in the middle of a joyful composition of sounds.

And so on, with 12 unique musical compositions created to allow for a walk through the beauty of the city of Rome as you never experienced it.

So, if you plan on coming to the city of Rome anytime between April 3rd and September 6th 2013 consider downloading this App: it’s free and it will offer you the chance to see and feel the city in ways which you will just not find in guided tours or on online reviews of the city.

Imagine an alternative reality in which the tiny details of the daily life of the city make it unique become enriching sound experiences.

“a Serenade in Rome” is just like that.

Put on your headphones, turn on the app and start walking (or using public transportation, or a bicycle).

A map shows you where the musical experiences are, and your current location.

a Serenade in Rome, the tracklist

a Serenade in Rome, the tracklist

On the tracks list, a color code shows you when you will be able to experience each track.

Color “red”: you’re too far. Color “orange” and “yellow”: you’re getting closer.

Color “green”: you arrived at the spot of the experience.

A time-based countdown tells you how far you are from the time in which you will be able to experience the music.

“Now is the time…” is shown when the time has finally come to start experiencing the city of Rome in a completely new way.

When this happens, and whenever you are able to listen to a track (e.g.: you are in the right place at the right time) a vibration will notify you and the track will change color.

Just tap it to listen to it, while you walk in the surroundings. You can wander off as much as you can, as long as you remain in the area (100 meters radius) for the music.

Remember: the music has been designed for that specific place, so try to remain there and experience it fully, to gain a novel vision of the city.

You can experience each track as many times as you want.

When the time has finished (after September 6th) you will be able to purchase the songs in permanent format (only one song, more than one or all of them): please consider buying them (or some of them) if you enjoyed the experience: you will support us in producing more urban experiences like this one, in multiple cities and locations of the world.

a Serenade in Rome, music in the city

a Serenade in Rome, music in the city

“a Serenade in Rome” is the first of multiple experiences we will release in the next few months to promote a new concept of tourism and multimedia. Imagine a movie which is disseminated across several parts of a city, and in which you actually have to go to the movie scene to experience it. Or, like the “Serenata”, a music album which is designed to enhance and transform your experience of a certain location. Or a multimedia experience which can be accessed only when you are near a specific object, person or place. Or a worldwide musical, video and cinematic treasure hunt.

All music in “a Serenade in Rome” is by Salvatore Iaconesi, of Art is Open Source.