2020 theme: MOBILITY
Mobility, in its broadest sense, is the quality or state of being mobile or movable. It can refer to the ability of a person to move autonomously, without the need for external help, or it can refer to the capacity of resources to circulate or be transported.
In medicine, mobility often refers to the possibility of moving joints or a limb. In physics, it denotes the degree to which objects, particles, liquid or gas are in movement. Economic mobility is the ability of individuals to improve their socioeconomic status and broaden their life choices, while spatial mobility enables connections between people and communities, broadening artistic and cultural exchanges and the flow of knowledge.
Migration and human mobility bring together research from sociology, history, economics and law, and more recently from computer science, with the application of artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain technologies to humanitarian action for displaced people. Mobile lifestyles that consume large amounts of energy and have an impact on climate change require the development of safe and sustainable mobility systems.
CROSS 2020: Selected projects
During the first half of the 18th century, Russia underwent radical transformations in all spheres of life, science and culture, under the rule of the tsar Peter I. The construction ex nihilo of the city of Saint Petersburg, which became the capital of the future Russian Empire, aimed at providing a new, ‘European’, model of cultural life in Russia. Drawing on the data to be collected in the archives of Saint Petersburg and Mendrisio, the project will explore the Swiss Ticinese architects’ contribution to the construction of Saint Petersburg and to shaping the Russian culture at the beginning of the 18th century. The project studies the migration of architects and the knowledge transfer and circulation of ideas, and brings together architecture and historical epistemology of culture.
Over the past 50 years, technological developments in the field of transports and telecommunications have contributed to the reconfiguration of mobility practices which have become more complex involving daily rhythms acceleration. An abundant critical literature has described the harmful effects of acceleration on: individuals, social structures, equalities, modal practices and territories. Beyond an acceleration considered as linear, recent research developed on the case of Switzerland suggests that daily rhythms present a significant diversity in terms of spatial-temporal configuration and activity density. As the literature shows, the analysis of daily rhythms is becoming a central issue. The project aims to develop new analytical devices at the meeting between social and computational sciences to improve daily rhythms understanding.
In an effort to understand our contemporary digital culture, recent studies have shown the importance and limits of online mobility: on the one hand, search engines never fully satisfy users who tend to rely more on step-by-step contextual navigation, while, on the other hand, existing recommendation algorithms do not foster navigability. Users therefore favor personal navigation over search algorithms, steering their own personal course through an ever-growing cloud of data. Bringing anthropological queries and concepts into the picture, and drawing on recent efforts in digital humanities to model different types of navigation practices, this project aims at better understanding online intellectual mobilities, and at empowering users by providing them with tools to generate their own personal mobilities.
As we address climate change as well as the various air pollutions from the point of view of mobility and infrastructure research, we are faced with the challenge of assuring a transition towards a low carbon mobility – walking, cycling, etc.–, that goes beyond purely technological solutions and toward a holistic approach. This project will develop the analysis and methods necessary to conceive multimodal landscape infrastructures that foster active mobility strategies not only as effective transportation modes but also as enjoyable and healthy embodied experiences that benefit from rich and resilient urban and regional ecologies, while also contributing to their enhancement. A catalogue of new infrastructural types called ‘passages paysage’ will be elaborated.
With news of fighters and their families returning being reported on regularly in many European countries, relation public discussions are occurring internationally, both in traditional and social media. By combining expertise in data science and social science, we aim to identify important actors spreading and contesting main frames and argumentative lines, related to returning foreign fighters in Europe.
Drawing on a sample of composers from the period 1600–2000 from the Digital and Cognitive Musicology Laboratory (DCML) corpus initiative, the project aims to develop formal metamodels of the multifaceted phenomenon of human mobility and the mobility of ideas such as musical patterns. Unlike previous approaches, we seek to model mobility in ways that reflect its geopolitical complexity, take uncertainty and conflicting interpretations into account, and are computationally realizable using Semantic Web technologies. The insights will be transferable to other historical and contemporary phenomena that involve similar factors.