Title: Backspace
Project Scope: Team project submitted in contribution to the UrbanIxD Summer School
Location/Year: Split, Croatia. 2013
Collaborators: Olga Surawska, Niels Wouters


Backspace is a design fiction product and scenario developed as a final project at the 2013 UrbanIxD Summer School. The UrbanIxD Summer School is part of a two-year European Union sponsored project exploring critical issues at the intersection of design, technology and the urban environment. Taking place in Split, Croatia, the Summer School brought together an international group of 40 young creative professionals for 10 days of applied design workshops, lectures and professional development events.

Backspace is a device for urban data explorers. Worn as a backpack – a universal symbol of the wanderer and dreamer – Backspace is outfitted withadvanced technology that enables anyone who is in its vicinity to embed stories and memories into the urban environment.

Layered over time, these memories paint a vivid picture of human experience that stands in contrast to the seamless and frictionless vision of the datafied ‘smart city.’

Backspace is a provocative design proposal that imagines a future scenario where technology enables citizens to intentionally disrupt or ‘glitch’ the urban landscape and thereby reclaim the city as a site for human interaction and expression.

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