Deep City:
Climate Crisis,
and the Digital

Conference postponed Brand new event
24/27 March’21
Conference postponed Brand new event
24/27 March’21
Conference postponed Brand new event
24/27 March’21

Open Call

Big data, smart systems, machine learning – it is inevitable that these new technologies will change the way we study, build and manage our cities. At the same time resurgent interest in consensus and contributive action seems to oppose an exclusively data-driven urbanism. Is the opposition of machine intelligence and democracy inevitable, or are shared trajectories possible?


Politicians, social scientists, urbanists, and architects find their working methods and disciplinary knowledge challenged by insights derived from big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). As both citizens and experts in the many respective fields, our mission must be to bring in our disciplinary knowledge and civic engagement to support the appropriate development and discussion of data-driven tools, to consider both their biases and potentials, and to promote broader social literacy and criticality. Ultimately, it is a question of both decanting the technical quality of these new instruments of design, management and decision making, as well as enhancing democratic control over them. How do we do this?  Do our disciplines currently lack adequate strategies to understand, let alone critique or exploit the knowledge-products of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data?


DEEP CITY Latsis Symposium will be a scientific conference staged as a social and cultural event, a dialogical field capable of moving beyond disciplinary boundaries. It will host keynotes and paper presentations, as well as a range of crossing formats such as workshops, political debates, table dinner, an exhibition and guided tours. DEEP CITY will take place on the EPFL Campus in Lausanne, from March 24th to 27th 2021. To ground this dialogical field and foster meaningful exchange, we invite proposals, ranging from operational practices to speculative and theoretical questionings. These can be presented in written, built, coded, drawn, figured, imagined, filmed, modelled or in any other way conveyed format.


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The dialogical field of DEEP CITY will evolve over time through a series of differential events, both scientific, social and cultural, each with their own unique character. Its changing spatial disposition will shift according to coexisting temporalities and activities as to support the encounters between different voices, practices and knowledges. Its activities will be documented and post-produced along the way, and a pamphlet publication will summarize the main outcomes at the end of the event.


The full program will be announced soon.


Submission deadline

Review results

Notification of Acceptance Early Bird Registration opens

Normal Registration opens

Registration closes


Fees & Registration

To attend the DEEP CITY Latsis Symposium, both as participant or general public, it is necessary to be registered. Only accepted and registered proposals will be able to take part in the conference, appear in its proceedings and conference documentation as well as on the exhibition. The registration fees includes admission to all sessions, parallel activities and keynotes conferences, as well as breakfasts, coffee breaks and dinners. For all those who can attend only one day, or general public interested in the evening keynote conferences, there are specific passes available at lower rates.

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EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It welcomes students, professors and collaborators of more than 120 nationalities. EPFL has both a Swiss and international vocation and focuses on three missions: teaching, research and innovation. EPFL collaborates with an important network of partners, including other universities and colleges, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and the economy, political circles and the general public, with the aim of having a real impact on society.

The Fondation Latsis Internationale is a non-profit, public benefit Foundation established in 1975. Based in Geneva, it is established to support scientists and research teams in recognition of their outstanding and innovative contributions to various scientific fields.


DEEP CITY Symposium Latsis EPFL 2020–21 is organized by two EPFL labs, ALICE (Atelier de la Conception de l’espace) and the Media and Design Laboratory (LDM). This joint adventure allows us to bring together ALICE’s concern for situated practices dealing with the emerging and supportive qualities of space as well as with the collective and political dimension of architecture and the city, with LDM’s attention to the links between physical and virtual environments and the effects of digitalization on architecture and contemporary cities, all while making the most of their experience in transdisciplinary cultural and scientific projects.

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