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“After careful consideration, I kindly decline your request… Architecture and Design are not our business strategic priorities for communications.” Excerpt from e-mail correspondence with communications spokeperson of technology company Philips, who runs a “lights-out” factory In Drachten, Netherlands, in which robots assemble electric shaving machines.

“We have discussed internally and unfortunately we are not able to make the time available to assist you in building up a case study.” Excerpt from e-mail correspondence with head of commercial of APM Terminals, the a fully-automated container terminal at the Port of Rotterdam.

“Please don’t publish anything of below answers, it is just an explanation to your questions.” Excerpt from e-mail correspondence with public affairs & communications manager of Rotterdam World Gateway, the second fully-automated container terminal at the Port of Rotterdam.

Notes

  1. Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1947 [1934]).
  2. Mumford’s idea bears a very close resemblance to Benjamin Bratton’s more recent idea of the “accidental megastructure” of planetary-scale computation. See Benjamin H. Bratton, The Stack: on Software and Sovereignty (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015).
  3. Lewis Mumford, Arts and Technics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000 [1951]).
  4. Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine. Vol. 2 (London: Secker & Warburg, 1971).
  5. Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command: a Contribution to Anonymous History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970 [1948])
  6. Adam Greenfield, Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life (London: Verso, 2017).
  7. I define “platform architectures” as the spatial conditions and typologies that result when converting labor-intensive industries and services to capital-intensive ones by adopting software and hardware platforms. For further reading: Víctor Muñoz Sanz, “Platform Architectures,” e-flux Architecture (January 23, 2018).
  8. “Control Room Design Control room solutions that put people and productivity first”, ABB (2017), p. 4.
  9. Ibid., 6. With ABB’s desk system “It’s even possible to have one temperature above the desk and another down on the floor for someone who suffers from cold feet.” ABB, “System 800xA Operator Effectiveness Control rooms of the future are here now” (2012), 4. See patent filing: ABB AB, "Automatic Configuration System For An Operator Console" (International, 2015).
  10. Per Lundmark, “Control room ergonomics with the operator in focus for an attractive collaborative environment.” ABB Value Paper (n.d).
  11. See: Antoine Picon. Smart Cities: A Spatialised Intelligence (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2015). A patent filing by ABB refers to a drowsiness alert system in which a wearable device would monitor the operator’s vital signs. ABB AB, "Drowsiness Alert System For An Operator Console" (International, 2015).
  12. Per Lundmark, “Control room ergonomics with the operator in focus for an attractive collaborative environment.” ABB Value Paper (n.d), p. 6.
  13. For more on social legitimation of organizations and institutional myths, see: John W  Meyer and Brian Rowan, “Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony,” The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, edited by Walter W. Powell and Paul DiMaggio, p. 41–61 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); .Paul DiMaggio, and Walter W. Powell, “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organization Fields,” Ibid. p. 63–82; Peter A. Hall and Rosemary C. R. Taylor, “Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms,” lecture presented at the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, Koln, (May 9, 1996). 
  14. Víctor Muñoz Sanz, "Captives in Futureland," Volume 51 (November 2017).
  15. I define “platform architectures” as the spatial conditions and typologies that result when converting labor-intensive industries and services to capital-intensive ones by adopting software and hardware platforms. For further reading: Víctor Muñoz Sanz, “Platform Architectures,e-flux Architecture (January 23, 2018).