From Mobile Playgrounds to Sweatshop City

Situated Technologies Pamphlets 7

The Situated Technologies Pamphlets series explores the implications of ubiquitous computing for architecture and urbanism. How is our experience of the city and the choices we make in it affected by mobile communications, pervasive media, ambient informatics, and other “situated” technologies?

Trebor Scholz and Laura Y. Liu reflect on the relationship between labor and technology in urban space where communication, attention, and physical movement generate financial value for a small number of private stakeholders. Online and off, Internet users are increasingly wielded as a resource for economic amelioration, for private capture, and the channels of communication are becoming increasingly inscrutable. Liu and Scholz ask: How does the intertwining of labor and play complicate our understanding of exploitation?

For more information, go to