Call for Papers

Call for Papers now closed. Full programme to be released April 2015.

MEDIACITY 5 promises to expand our understanding of both media and the city today, and to articulate new sites of practice and working methods for an expanding field.

Download a copy of the Call For Papers here – MEDIA CITY 5_CFP


Much of our thinking around technology and the city is based around polarising paradigms. On one hand we have the smart city agenda that is underpinned by a vision of data-centred optimisation of urban systems and on the other hand we have a open-source, citizen driven approach based around ad-hoc practices and prototyping of counter-culture scenarios. These paradigms of city visions are described variously through terms such as “digital city, screen city, media city, sentient city, u-city, fusion city, hybrid city, intelligent city, connectiCity, pervasive city and the smart city”and we seek to look beyond the rhetoric and critically reflect and imagine new models and approaches to media and the city. In particular we want to challenge over-simplified assumptions around terms such as smart city, and understand in more detail the complex interactions between social actors and technological transformations of the city. The aim of the conference is to consider more fully the multiple, subtle, and interdependent spatio-temporalities which together work to constitute ICT-based urban change. In particular we will discuss models of participation, action and agency, shifting capacity to act beyond the ‘like’ button and to take responsibility for the future shape of the city.

The conference addresses the approaches and the corresponding design responses that meet the challenges of social, citizen-centred, smart cities and communities. It will offer reflective, high quality theoretical and design-based responses to the question of how media and ICTs create can alternative responses to current societal challenges.


We will look at urbanity and digital media and ideas of place and space and reflect on new models, landscapes and frameworks in the social smart city. We explore how the ‘the city’as a site of participation is enabled through media and technology and modes of citizen participant, agency as well as how temporal installations and urban prototyping enable us to imagine other possible futures. We will also look to the Internet of Things to explore the way in which objects increasingly become sentient actors in urban life. Through this we will address broader issues of resilience and sustainability and how these intertwine with media and technological frameworks.

We invite contributions in the form of research papers, projects and case studies. The conference programme will focus on contributions that are high quality, reflective, thoughtful and challenging. We invite papers that present and discuss novel contributions to the Media City topic both on a practical and theoretical level and that further our understanding of the field through case studies, design approaches, and best practices. We expect contributions to critically explore a wide range of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Social smart cities and smart citizens
  • Spatial, social and technical frameworks and infrastructures and networks
  • Urban prototyping, hackable cities and urban interfaces
  • Internet of Things (IoT), augmented spaces and sentient cities
  • Social participation, social media, activism and engagement
  • Spatial Locative Media and games
  • Participatory urban planning, agency and control
  • Code, open data, kinds of information and ‘black boxing’

We welcome contributions as papers, posters, workshops and urban works as part of a citywide exhibition. We particularly welcome and encourage contributions from early stage and doctoral researchers.


1st December 2014 – Workshop Expressions of Interest deadline
4th January 2015 11:59pm GMT- Paper abstract submission deadline and Exhibition submission deadline
1st February 2015 – Notification of acceptance issued to authors
1st April 2015- Camera ready full papers due
1st -3rd May 2015 – Conference, workshops and exhibition in Plymouth, UK


Submissions to be uploaded to the conference’s EasyChair website:

Download a copy of the Mediacity5_SubmissionTemplate_All here.

Paper abstracts

Paper submissions are a two stage process. Authors are asked to submit an abstract for consideration. Authors of accepted abstracts will then be asked to submit a camera ready paper prior to the conference. These will appear in the Conference proceedings.

Abstracts must be a minimum of one (500 words) and no longer than two pages (1000 words), including all additional material such as references, appendices, and figures. The abstracts must include a title, sufficient space for the author name(s) to appear on the paper, abstract and references. There is no formal template for abstract submissions.  The review will be double-blind, so please submit abstracts in an anonymised version.

Conference papers will be approx. 5000-6000 words in length and will be peer reviewed.


Poster submissions should include an abstract of no longer than one page (500 words). The abstract should state the contribution and originality of the work and make clear how the work differs from significant prior research. Posters will be shown for the duration of the main conference.


Workshops can either be based on sharing knowledge or experience around a particular focussed sub-topic or can be a skill-sharing event focused around a particular technology or methodology. Workshops will be half-day events. Proposals should be no longer than two pages and should include: the title, the list of organisers and their backgrounds, and an abstract of no more than 150 words; as well as the workshop’s theme, goals and activities; maximum number of participants, means of soliciting participation, and means of selecting participants.

Exhibition – Urban Interventions

Proposals are invited for artistic and experimental projects that explore the host city as a site of experimentation and participation. These can be a site-specific project, an event or an installation, but should focus on artistic and creative approaches to the social smart city approach and how this can have value and impact for the local citizens and organisations.  These interventions can feed of, play with or supplement the data harvested from the City infrastructure through an ‘Urban API’ being developed by i-DAT as a component of its Operating Systems. A small budget will be available for selected projects. Proposals should be no longer than two pages and should include: a title, a short summary, bios/CV’s of the artist(s), a 150 word description of the project, a timeline, and an outline of how the project will engage with the local city and the types of citizen participation.

All papers will be published in the conference proceedings. Selected papers will be invited to contribute to an edited book to be completed post conference.