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Event Details

50 years in the global village – an examination of the modern city in the technological age

Start date : 1 October 2014 02:00
Date de fin : 3 October 2014 02:00
Where : Los Angeles
Hosted by : School of Media, Culture and Design and the School of Architecture. Woodbury University – Burbank

Information sources :

2014 marks the fifty-year anniversary of one of the 20 th century’s most influential texts -  Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan not only introduced the media-as-the-message, it presented the world with the metaphor of the global village.

Half a century after the publication of this revolutionary text, The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference seeks to explore the multiple ways in which the city of today is experienced, perceived, represented and constructed as a ‘mediated’ phenomenon.


Today, we are perfectly attuned to the photo-realistic imagery of design presentations; daily experience the ever present moving imagery of the commercialized urban landscape; and still watch the ‘city symphonies’ of a new generation of filmmakers. We are familiar with the digitally laden experience of the contemporary public transport ride, and still see ‘the city’ as a site, subject and protagonist in cinematic productions from California to Mumbai. In this context, urbanists imagine the future of an interconnected ‘smart city’ and the design process itself becomes mediated, as architects simulate user behavior as a form of ‘space syntax’.

As McLuhan identified in 1964, today’s global village is a place of simultaneous experience; a site for overlapping material and electronic effects; a place not so much altered by the content of a medium, but rather, a space transformed by the very nature of medias themselves.

For some, this is little more than the inevitable evolution of urban space in the digital age. For others, it represents the city’s liberation from the condition of stasis. For scaremongers, it’s a nightmare scenario in which the difference between the virtual and the real, the electronic and the material, the recorded and the lived, becomes impossible to identify. In every case, corporeal engagement is placed at one remove from the physical world.


The intention of this conference is bring together people from various disciplines to explore how their work, their ideas and their practices overlap and inform each other. Architects, urban designers, filmmakers, animators, theorists, academics, artists, web-designers and programmers will share their work and their positions.

In this context, The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference will not stipulate or prescribe themes beyond its interest in openly and creatively exploring the multiple ways in which the city can be said to be ‘mediated’.

It welcomes theoretical examinations of the cinematic city; practical debates on the architect’s role in filmic production; conversations on the use of apps to navigate ‘metropoli’; considerations on the simulation of the urban environment; debates about the nature of the ‘virtual’ building; and discussions on the digital mapping of the world by companies like Google – and much more. is anticipated that conversations across disciplines will evolve and emerge through the juxtaposition of multiple perspectives.

Practical informations :

Key dates – Los Angeles:

15 Feb  2014              Deadline for abstracts / initial proposals

01 Mar 2014               Feedback on abstracts / initial proposals

15 June 2014             Deadline for full papers / detailed proposals

15 July 2014               Feedback on full papers/ detailed proposals

01 Sep 2014               Resubmission of full papers

01 Oct  2014               Conference – Los Angeles (Woodbury University)



The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference revolves around the standard conference format of short paper presentations. A book publication is anticipated in collaboration with Cambridge Scholars Publishing. However, the organizers propose a range of activity formats such as those listed below and invites delegates to make their own alternative proposals:

Conference Paper……………..–     Standard 20 minute presentations

Panel Discussions……………..–      30-60 minute debates on selected themes

Workshop Activities……………–      Time limited collaborative sessions

Screenings / Q&As…………….–      Films, videos, documentaries etc.

Product / Book launches………–      Presentations of new and alternative ideas


Delegates wishing to submit papers or make proposals for any of the above (or other) activities, at The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference should submit their paper abstracts or alternative format proposals using this Abstract Submission Form

Return all completed forms to Rachel Isaac-Menard:

For queries on ideas and themes before a formal submission contact Graham Cairns:



Full 3 day fee:   Delegate fee: $225    :    Audience fee: $60    :    Student fee: $30    :    Woodbury students: free

For information on registration, travel and recommended accommodation contact:

Campus Map

This event is organised by the:

School of Media, Culture and Design and the School of Architecture.

Woodbury University – Burbank

7500 Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504-7846

Tel: (818) 767-0888

Woodbury University:

School of Architecture:

School of Media, Culture and Design: