The current milieu or the non-lieu of urbanization is a polyphony of operational inclusion; of casting spatial potencies or hinderances, creating new cloudy entanglements, and transit subjects. It is as much about the control of scenarios, as it's about the chaos of locality. Surveillant city, as an amalgam of real and fictional localities, is the megastructure-by-chance repurposing humans, places, and nature into a larger project of the big data economy.
The Lab is the technical auxiliary / technical testing ground for the anthropoveillance project, a theoretical-discursive inquiry of surveillance as a designing practice, and design, as a paradigmatically surveillant practice and horizon. How is it that we come to know the collective space of life we call the city? The protocols of control, rituals of reassurance, syntaxes of communion, artifacts of automation are only some of the elements of this assemblage. An underlying presupposition for the Lab is that common architectural-theoretical frameworks are no longer adequate for grasping the world of human being and becoming. Additionally, the journalistic or even artistic encounters with the infrastructures of dataveillance/surveillance tend not to produce knowledge that can allow an architectural-theoretical understanding of the contemporary city to emerge. Given this, the Lab is charged to collect, catalog, and develop advanced techniques that afford an inquiry and a representation of the city beyond the conventional map, or the normative architectural gaze.
Vahan Maksim Misakyan
Founder and Director
Vahan Misakyan is the Cass Gilbert Visiting Assistant Professor at the UMN, School of Architecture. Vahan's research and pedagogy explore modalities in which architectural thought can manifest change, and be changed in real circumstances of human life beyond the built medium. At the UMN School of Architecture, he is teaching studio, theory, and representation courses. For more on his research and teaching please see here.
Taihui Li a current Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. Before starting his Ph.D. study, he obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Science at Jilin University. His current research focuses on Reliable Machine Learning, Support Vector Machine, Data Analysis, and the Applications of Deep Learning.
Abunash is a Computer Science graduate student at the University of Minnesota with a CS background from IIT, Inidia.
Anick is a Computer Science graduate student with interests in Machine Learning and Statistics. He has experience in ML/Data Analysis, people/project management, and software/data engineering. He has been involved with industry work at Amazon, Adobe, and Target.
Ojas Bhavani Narayanann
Ojas is a graduate student in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. He has a background in full-stack development, data analytics, and software/data engineering. He holds a dual degree in economics and has industrial experience in the domains of e-commerce and fin-tech. He has industrial stints with companies like Ameriprise Financial and @Walmart Labs.