ML and Place-making Symposium: Human-Machine Interaction

Key information

A symposium hosted by ARCH+ at the University of Hertfordshire and University of South Wales Sydney UNSW.

Date: 14 and 15 September 2023

Venue: Online – Zoom

Contact: Events Team and Silvio Carta

Admission fee: Free

Hashtag: #MLPM23

Symposium outline

The increasing use of intelligent systems is transforming the ways in which cities are designed, made and managed, but also how they are perceived by people.

In experiencing the built environment, people perceive space and places through the subjective lens of their own daily lives. Examples of this includes commuting, strolling, running errands, meeting people, finding places, discovering new urban areas, or getting lost.

The experience of the urban environment is mediated by an invisible layer of information that has been increasing in both quantity and quality for the past 30 years. The combination of widely available wi-fi or 4G/5G networks and user-friendly mobile technologies are a good example of how people and digital information are increasingly intertwined. Within a more physical domain, autonomous machines (robots) represent an emerging space of interaction for people and their physical environment. As programmable systems able to perform complex tasks, robots can be considered an intelligent interface between people and the ubiquitous layer of digital information. Within this definition, robots represent the interface that humans have between the physical and digital worlds.

We argue that the relationship between people’s physical experience of their environment and the information layer that surrounds them can be qualified through a series of progressive levels of interaction. Starting from a low level of impact of intelligent systems to people, we can think of how information can mediate, influence, inform and –finally-- direct people’s actions and daily routines.

With this symposium, we want to explore the extent to which urban place-making is affected by autonomous and intelligent systems (specifically AI and ML), robots and automata through these four levels of interaction human-machine.

We welcome theoretical contributions, thought-provoking positions, projects and experiments that explore this interaction and help defining current and future relationships between cities and people, artificially and human intelligent systems, interaction with natural agents, and –more broadly—humans and machines.

In particular, we are interested in:

  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Design of Social Robots
  • Moral Robots and robot rights
  • ML and automation in cities and different environments
  • Applications of ML and AI to healthcare
  • The impact of assistive technologies for the city
  • Sensing nature interactions


World-leading researchers and practitioners in the field of urban informatics and computational design will be presenting their views on the subject. These presentations are combined with open contributions. Please, send your abstracts to Silvio Carta by the 10 September 2022.


  • Launch of the call for contribution: 15 July 2022
  • Deadline for abstract submission: 10 Sept 2022
  • Contributors to submit full papers: 28 Feb 2023
  • Symposium: 14th and 15th of September 2023
  • Publications of the book of proceedings with by the symposium (TBC)