Datapolis: Exploring the Footprint of Data on Our Planet and Beyond


Paul Cournet (ed)
Negar Sanaan Bensi (ed)
Delft University of Technology | Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Keywords: Datapolis, Digitization, Data Infrastructure, Data footprint


DATAPOLIS looks into the materiality of data, its inherent ethical and political contradictions as well as cultural and environmental footprints, by following two main trajectories: the first one attempts to define what ‘the cloud’ is and how it operates. From the systems and infrastructures behind the Internet to the apparatus, gizmos and buildings that can transcend scales and temporal dimensions. The second one explores how data penetrates our existence, not only by affecting the ways we live and work, or design and make cities, but by offering distinct ways of life and organization that otherwise would not have been possible.

Through various visual and textual materials, this book speculates on the ways in which architecture can engage with data and digital technology beyond its mere instrumental use in making (smart) cities.

DATAPOLIS is edited by Paul Cournet and Negar Sanaan Bensi. With contributions by Kees Kaan, Kate Crawford, Shannon Mattern, Ruha Benjamin, Marina Otero Verzier and Joost Grootens a.o.

The most complete version of this work was published in 2023 by nai010.


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Author Biographies

Paul Cournet (ed), CLOUD

Paul Cournet is a French architect based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In 2022, Paul founded CLOUD, a creative agency that focuses on architecture, research and design. He is also the deputy editor of Capsule—the International Review of Radical Design & Desire Theory—a new publication delving into the world of design and its broader definition. Previously, Paul worked at OMA*AMO as a Senior architect between 2010 and 2021. At OMA, Paul worked on several projects currently under construction or built such as the future headquarters of SNCB*NMBS in Brussels and Lafayette Anticipations, the cultural foundation for Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Paul also worked within AMO, the think-tank branch of OMA. Projects Paul worked on for AMO include the Pierre Paulin Program exhibition in Bordeaux (2019), the Palermo Atlas—an urban study for the art biennale Manifesta 12 (2018), exhibitions and set designs for the fashion house Prada, and Monditalia—an exhibition for the 14th architecture Venice Biennale titled Fundamentals (2014). 

Negar Sanaan Bensi (ed), Delft University of Technology | Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Negar Sanaan Bensi is an architect, educator, and researcher. She is a lecturer at the Architecture faculty, TU Delft, the chair of Borders & Territories. She holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from TU Delft and she is an UKNA fellow. She received an honourable mention in the National Archiprix 2011 in the Netherlands for her master graduation project. Her research focuses on the relation between architecture and territory, infrastructure, and inhabitation, specifically in the context of the Iranian Plateau and the Middle East. She has taught at TU Delft, Tilburg Fontys and Rotterdam Academy, Syracuse University NYC, and lectured at the University of Antwerp and IIAS in Leiden. She is part of the editorial board of the Footprint Journal and online Modi Operandi publication series (B&T). Some of her recent publications are: the upcoming book An Inhabitable Infrastructure: Rethinking the Architecture of the bazaar (Routledge), “The Qanat System: A Reflection on the Heritage of the Extraction of Hidden Waters” in Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage edited by Carola Hein and Footprint #23: The Architecture of Logistics as the (co)editor. She is part of the research group “Borders & Territories” in the Architecture Department at TU Delft. She has experience in practice individually and in collaboration with several offices such as ZUS [Zone Urbaine Sensible], Import. Export Architecture, and GFC.

cover 'Datapolis'


February 5, 2024


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