When our passport expires, we go to city hall and have it exchanged. The municipality has all the data in the computer; we bring a recent picture, sign our autograph and make a thumbprint. How long before this description of events becomes obsolete?

Design Academy students from the department of Man and Communication have worked with the City of Eindhoven to envision a range of design proposals for a future smart society in Eindhoven. With the aim of completely reinventing the municipality’s digital systems, the students worked throughout the second semester of the past academic year, exploring an array of questions surrounding data, governance and ownership.

What would society look like if citizens had control of their own data?
What would be the role of a government in such a society?
How can citizens and government keep up with the speed at which technology is changing the world we live in?
To what extent are these changes improving our quality of life?

During the Dutch Design Week 2017 a selection of nine bachelor students will present the outcomes of their visions for the future at Stadskantoor (Civil Affairs) Eindhoven. A wide range of prototypes, visualizations, statements and other striking concepts will be on display, from a ‘love-intensifier-bench’ to fluid politics that allow for improvization, and from a full service society free from ownership to the city viewed as an empathic organism.


Monday, October 23rd & Friday, October 27th
09:00—19:00 h.

Tuesday, October 24th, Wednesday, October 25th & Thursday, October 26th
09:00—17:00 h.

Stadskantoor (Inwonersplein)
(Council of Eindhoven, Civil Affairs)
Stadhuisplein 10, 5611EM Eindhoven
Location on Google Maps


The implementation of city surveillance systems, while intending to maximize values of security and efficiency, inevitably establishes an asymmetrical power structure between the city and its citizens. Despite its ubiquity, and increasing power to automatically analyze and correlate data, surveillance systems often take on discrete forms, where its functions are packaged and placed at an eye level susceptible only to those looking out for it. As citizens that feed the data being collected in a city, should we not be equipped with an understanding of how we are doing so, but also have the opportunity to decide how we wish to engage with it?

An EYE lights up upon detecting your presence and follows you, microphones attached to a pair of EARS extends and retracts to the sound it detects, and a NOSE sniffs or sneezes when it recognises a change in air composition. SMART SENSES begins by dissecting existing surveillance cameras and the increasingly prevalent “electric NOSE”, and translating their data collecting characteristics into interactive tools that proposes a two-way, democratic approach to data collection. A MOUTH stands on the side “shouting” the data being collected by its fellow Senses, concluding with an understanding of what data is being collected. Smart senses strives to essentially provide citizens with the conceptual tools necessary to engage in conversations about data and the role they could play in it, within the increasingly smart city that we are moving towards.


FLUID POLITICS explores the possibilities and potential shortcomings of a technology-facilitated, direct democratic system replacing the representative democracy we have today.

The scenario uses a participatory platform for political decision-making as a basis. On this platform citizens can put up concrete proposals or open-ended questions for collective deliberation using the citizens’ actively contributed input and judgement. This system allows city politics to adapt and move quicker and for smaller initiatives to pop up more spontaneously due to quick implementation.

With an increasing number of people rethinking democracy through the means of digital technology: What would a future look like where citizens had such decision-making power over city affairs?

Within the setup of a live, open talkshow, positioned in the near future, we explore and are witness to a variety of consequences of such a system unfold. The performative talkshow serves as a stimulating starting point for discussion, where the audience is invited to join the thought experiment.

As the obstacles with participatory platforms are not mainly of technical nature, this talkshow helps to make such speculations more approachable and to investigate what circumstances need to be created for a wide demographic range of the population to be accurately represented in today’s political decisions.

Exploring the scenario together means to shape it, as the demand for more democratic politics is of timely necessity


CRYSTALBALLZ is a data-analysis company specialized in predicting positivity. We believe data-analysis can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pointing out a situation sucks will most likely make things worse. So why not use this principle to make a situation better? We developed a bench that plays romantic music and shines a pink light when sitting on it with someone you like. Creating more love, that creates more love, that creates more love…


Our society is getting smarter every day. Around 29 billion connected devices are predicted to exist by 2022, from which about 18 billion will be related to the Internet of Things. In 2018, mobile phones are expected to be surpassed in numbers by IoT devices, which include connected cars, machines, meters, wearables and other consumer electronics. The goal is to ultimately extend our human experience by increasing the control we have on our private and social environment. But the distance between ‘being in control’ and ‘being controlled’ can be very narrow, therefore I decided to investigate the smart-human intersection looking at the real impact that the usage of smart devices might have on individuals.

HOME SMART HOME is a film installation that resembles a typical Control Center. All the screens exhibit a set of ordinary daily life activities within a smart domestic environment, where the human is surveilled by his own smart objects. The spotlight is on the psychology and behavior of the (data producer) male character that is being observed, measured, analyzed and eventually directed by his own smart tools within his very own ‘private’ space. The result is a dystopian scenario which displays the hypothetical conflict between the human and the machine once they get even closer. The boundaries between what is considered private and what is considered public is a complete blur.


The installation UNDER CONTROL consists of a computer and a connected screen. On this screen avatars move around in a virtual space and interact with each other and with their surroundings. This virtual space looks like a terrarium with avatars resembling natural primitive people to compare and question the difference between actual basic needs like nutrition, physical activity and hygiene and basic needs of contemporary Western culture.

The avatars are generated by the data of citizens collected while living their daily lives. The profile that is being made with this information will generate the avatar so it will interact in its own particular way like it has its own personality. In this case data are collected from different health apps which are concerning nutrition, physical activity and hygiene. For instance the more you order pizza, the more your profile creature becomes fat. When using your running app you profile becomes more fit and active. The more you use apps for healthcare and beauty the more your profile becomes clean and neat (and beautiful). The avatars shown in this installation on the screen are based on the data of the citizens of Eindhoven. In the future it will be possible to meet your own generated avatar based on your own data profile.


The sharing of data is becoming more understood and valuable. It now somewhat functions as a currency. But how personal could this data trading system become?The idea of ‘selling your own body’ has been around long before any currency that exists now. This world rides on the roles of the viewer and performer constantly interchanging. As the number of viewers increases, so does the performers income.

When placed into everyday life would you perform to pay for your groceries? How much would you reveal in order to put on a viral show and earn your credit? Would you survive in a world where the only thing you own is your body?


People are becoming aware of how much they are being tracked and have an understanding of the growing surveillance state surrounding them. Being conscious of surveillance allows you to recognize the presence of this power. The watcher and watched scenario that surveillance creates, amplifies and exaggerates the sense of power in the person doing the watching. That, on the flip side, enhances the sense of powerlessness in the person being watched. That power has the possibility to shape reality and truth. 

Surveillance has engineered an expansive city wide stage where you are the unwitting performer, unaware who your audience and watchers really are. PERSON OF INTEREST is an exploration into various surveillance methods, subverting the shape of the body until it is incomprehensible to surveillance technologies. By hiding in plain sight the costumes mimic current tracking methods, like trajectory trailing and gait recognition, upsetting these programs and creating inconsistencies. As well as utilizing the  characteristics of surveillance cameras, such as auto exposure. This project gives agency to the person of interest to disrupt the power dynamics of a potential surveillance state.


We are very proud to announce that the city of Eindhoven is now the first society where everything is a service!”  – The future mayor of Eindhoven

In 2030, in Eindhoven, ownership is a rarity. Your house, your car, your food, but also your choice of hairstyle, or the time you spend being productive – they are all services. And as services, all are mediated by License Agreements. These documents tell what you can do with your surroundings,  how much access you have to them, and how much data is collected from you while you sleep, shower, shop or work.

This scenario was used in workshops to kickstart discussions about how cities should engage with the service economy, and, with the technologies and binding contracts that come with it. What role should the Local Government, Companies and Civil Society have? Should giants like Google be legally obliged to invest in cities they collect user data from? What would future residents give up or gain?​

And you? Would you fully accept a Full Service Society without hesitation?

Join us for a series of workshops where we will dissect, debate, break apart or (re)configure a future society where everything is a Spotify-like service. That is the Full Service Society——where your house, your car, your food, your time, public space, art and nature are all licensed to you.

Together we will actively question what it means – today – to own something and what that ownership could imply in the future. It’s not so crazy for start-ups to ask if we actually need to own things (or ideas), especially when it’s so cheap and convenient not to. But how would that shape city life? What about our life? What would society look like if everything was a service and there was barely any ownership in sight? Let’s find out!  Let’s talk and figure out if an ownership free, service society can  be “a good deal” serving everyone well and fair. And if not, let’s break it, fix it, twist it and turn it until we see something we like.


In our current media landscape we consume, mainly, small bits of information - mostly hard to place back into a bigger context. Hence, there is a inherent value in contextually curated information, creating more space for interpretation of the embedded content. Ubiquity offers a space that aims to - over time - grow into a research collection on the subject of Smart Cities implicitly following this line of thinking.

Ubiquity brings you a curated body of content, plus a set of tools - building on technological means we have, from machine learning to content management - to examine the topic at both large and small scale, in order to discover relations between seemingly unconnected sectors and paradigms. This offers a more nuanced view on the topic, which is not a luxury but a step towards better communication between parties involved and a better understanding of the topic at hand.

To create this improved coherency the two main points of focus within setting up the page were on curating articles that all were qualitatively good enough to be used as proper source material and on bundling all functionality needed to examine the topic into the website itself, so visitors have access to everything you need to find relations between items that interest you or background information through the application itself.



According to the planning the Smart City Plan will start in the beginning of 2100. The following 360 experience is based on an interview with various citizens of Eindhoven and conducted by an AI.

“Are you aware of technology?”
“What is the most advance technology you have seen?”
“What is your desire living in a city?”
“What is your biggest challenge living in a city?”
“What do you think of living in a smart city in which 80% of the environment is embedded with AI?”

To properly view this project you will need the following equipment:
· Smart phone
· VR Glasses
· Headphones (optional)


When you would be granted access to your own data, the value of it to you becomes less as it would be for other parties. To understand it, it has to be visualized. The interpretation of this visualization is crucial. Data Church is about autonomous data collecting and translating this into a data narrative. Speculating about a holistic data collecting society where ‘man’ does not have any direct access and/or ownership of anyone’s data. However, it is being autonomously collected by the AI of each community and translated through a permanent audio/visual installation in churches. Creating immersive reflection pieces for society. This proposal re–utilizes churches for people, believing in their data. To act upon this concept of connecting and translating all possible data-sets, the current installation consists out of network data being autonomously translated in an audio visual experience. (Live Recorded)


Municipality of Eindhoven

Guus Sluijter
Strategic Advisor

Olha Bondarenko
Strategic Advisor

Lorenzo Goudsmits
Program Secretary Smart Society

Design Academy Eindhoven
Man and Communication [(Hu)man & Media] 2016–2017

Catelijne van Middelkoop
Department Head, Project Initiator/Supervisor

Jaap Knevel
Department Coordinator, Project Coordinator

Alan Boom

Sander Manse

Ryan Pescatore Frisk

Pawel Pokutycki

Rick Vermeulen

Tessa Blokland
Relation Manager Educational Projects


Strange Attractors Design/Ryan Pescatore Frisk


Nikola Djurek
Audree K

Gerard Unger

Project Texts and Imagery

Iosif Abaab, Vito Boeckx, Jade Chan, Job Claassen, Luca Claessens, Antonio Davanzo, Alexandra Hsu, Martina Huynh, Marica De Michele, Nicoleta Pana, Ellen Pearson, Tristan Roques, Joep Truijen

©2017 Man and Communication, Design Academy Eindhoven