Sensors for Cities: Ben van Berkel Explores Technology-Integrated Urban Design
How will buildings and cities communicate with their users in the future? Which technologies will remain relevant for the architectural profession? In this interview, Ben van Berkel shares inspiring insights about founding UNSense, his new ArchTech start-up on sensorial technologies for future cities.
Ben van Berkel started UNSense not because he wanted to set up a tech company for architecture. But he wanted to give the tech aspect of architecture more directly relevant content and design direction – rather than simply coming up with gadget oriented solutions. Working with technology has always been native to UNStudio in terms of designing, but what really interests him today are the changes that are happening as a result of emerging technologies and how these technologies can be directly applied to the built environment.
In our interview Ben van Berkel talks about his interests and excitement to use these new techniques for intelligent space-making and why he is convinced that it will vastly improve our buildings and cities for their end-users. Read a summary of the interview highlights below:
Highlights and Insights from the Interview
- The reasons Ben van Berkel founded UNSense, a startup with a combined focus on architecture and technology.
- The problems UNSense aims to solve in the future?
- How sensor technologies and sensorial design will impact the built environment in the future.
- Insights on the first projects and products UNSense is developing right now.
- What sensor-based technologies are and how will they make cities more tangible.
- The challenges of implementing an start-up within an existing structure of an architecture office.
- His opinion on the biggest opportunities for architects to embrace new technology in their work or business model.
- His opinion on the future of architecture and the built environment.
- …and much more!
Inspiring Quotes from the Interview
“I firmly believe that new technologies can make architecture much more human-centric than ever before.”
“We want to make things that make sense for the built environment and create new ways of experiencing architecture: with all our senses and not just the visual, the ‘image’ of architecture – from acoustics, to light, to air quality.“
“The digital revolution is driving change in every part of our lives and it’s now time for the built environment to catch up.“
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