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Angieszka Leszczynski on “Urban platform materialities: aesthetics, glitches, amenities”

26 April 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST

Aerial. People crowd on pedestrian crosswalk. Top view background.

Angieszka Leszczynski on “Urban platform materialities: aesthetics, glitches, amenities”

This talk attends to how urban platforms materially ‘show up’ in cities, and where they materialize. Drawing on a range of empirical instances from North American cities, the talk situates and traces urban platform materialities in three registers: aesthetics, spatiality, and amenitization. Docked bikesharing infrastructure in Vancouver comprises a serialized aesthetics increasingly co-implicated with what gentrification ‘looks like’ at the microgeographic, or sub-neighbourhood, spatialities of the city. An e-bike sited above a tent encampment in San Jose and the ‘emoji house’ in Manhattan Beach, CA appear as aesthetic ‘glitches’ in our conditioned desires for orderly cityscapes and Instagrammable architectures. And finally, informed by the results of a spatial analysis of the locations of platform-based presences in Canadian cities, the talk position platforms as a novel urban amenity class, establishing how and why this matters for our understandings of ‘splintering’ urban development. Read across these registers, platform materialities emerge as vectors of significant urban transformations.

Please note: For reasons of privacy and security, this event will be in-person only. We apologise for the inconvenience.

If you are attending this public lecture, you may also be interested in the launch of Economies of Virtue: The Circulation of ‘Ethics’ in AI, edited by Thao Phan, Jake Goldenfein, Monique Mann and Declan Kuch published open access by the Institute of Network Cultures in late 2022.


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Agnieszka Leszczynski

Agnieszka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography & Environment at Western University in Canada. She is an editor of Dialogues in Human Geography, Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods, and Practice, and a former editor of Big Data & Society. Her current work focuses on the intensifying integration of digitality and cities.


26 April 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST
Event Category:


Kaleide Theatre
360 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia