Tech Project

Aarhus City Lab
Open Call
In Residency
Residency Outcome
Creating awareness of Aarhus City Lab and its opportunities while adding new value to citizens’ everyday lives
From Jan. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019
  • View of City Lab
    View of City Lab
  • Example of City Lab LED Screen
    Example of City Lab LED Screen
  • Aarhus Open data Platform
    Aarhus Open data Platform

Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project

The purpose of the Aarhus City Lab is to be a test facility for Smart City solutions and a showroom for new smart city initiatives. The City Lab will function as a playground for partners, a test facility for current and future EU initiatives and a place where Aarhus can develop its digital citizenship. The concept of a Smart City can be hard to make tangible for citizens. This means that solutions/experiments within this space do not create the intended impact because citizens living and working in the city are not engaged. Aarhus has a broader and more citizen-centric perspective on what a Smart City is and can be. Aarhus City Lab is intended to be the meeting place for these co-created and engaging urban experiments, artworks and solutions. How can art help realize this vision? How can a seemingly non-technology enabled public space to engage citizens into the concept of a Smart City?

Brief description of technology

The following technologies are connected to Aarhus City Lab: LPWAN: Aarhus is one of the first cities to have a public-owned city wide LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) based on LoRaWan for IoT devices and sensors. This network makes it possible to connect sensors and devices across long distances at low costs and enables new types of experiments and solutions. Sensors currently installed on site: • Plug&Sense! Smart Water (measuring water temp and pH value) • Plug&Sense! Smart Security (measuring water level, air temp, humidity, and pressure) • Plug&Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO (measuring soil moisture, UV, temp, soil temp, lux, wind force and direction, and precipitation) • Open Data Aarhus is a platform based on CKAN with a range of open data sets from the city - including sensor data from City Lab. Open Data Aarhus aims to make data from Aarhus freely and openly available to support productivity and innovation - as well as more efficient use of public data. Examples of City Lab data Hardware/channels: • 23 m2 LED Screen with automatic brightness installed on site, which can be used for e.g. events, experiments, public hearings, and polls. • Furthermore access to public screens at DOKK1 (the main library placed next to the City Lab) as well as 8 smaller vertical screens located around the city of Aarhus The above mentioned technology and data will make it possible for the artist to get inspired, see and/or create patterns and build artworks. It will be possible to create digital, interactive use cases based on real time data. We will help the artist get started with our knowledge and connections about LP WAN, the use of sensors and other connected services. We will create a site as entry for the artist and will help give access for the installation of new sensors and to use the existing sensors. Any hardware and actuators/installations that will enable interaction of different kinds as well as generate data-visualization can be connected through LPWAN e.g touch, energy, sound, smell and light sensors as well as movement sensors for registering movement by people, interaction in sports arenas and playing fields. This can either be sensors or hardware that are bought or build by the artist. We will collaborate with the artist about creating data. We will start by connecting them with our Open Data platform, introducing them to the data that exists now and if possible help acquire new data based on the sensors and hardware in the City Lab.

What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable

The project is looking for co-created, engaging and playful interactive artwork that builds on real citizen needs, and challenges the citizens on the use of technology in an urban setting. We are looking for an artist that can help bring the concept of a Smart City into a context that is relatable for citizens in their everyday lives. We are not looking for a doomsday view on technology in cities, but rather how technology can be used as a force of good. Some of the concepts/artworks we are inspired by in this regard are Hello Lamppost - and “every thing every time” by Naho Matsuda -

Resources available to the artist

- An office space with a desk, office supplies, meeting facilities, internet and print access - The previously described data and technology - Staff with technical, graphic, design thinking, or management competencies can give support from the department for Innovation, Technology & Creativity (ITK) - Matchmaking with local stakeholders e.g. citizens, businesses, urban and creative grassroots, and research institutions. - ITK is placed at DOKK1 the world famous public library: - A small budget can be possible e.g. If there is a need to install more sensors. It will be handled along the way and agreed with local management