Technology has increasingly lodged in unanticipated aspects of our lives.
Looking back, we understand that
"the transformations that we are observing today are inseparable from conditions like globalization. They are also the result of a much longer and more complex historical process than the recent conversation of designers to digital tools”.
(Picon, in 'Digital Culture in Architecture. An Introduction for the design professions').
The vast advancements brought by the information society at the end of the 20th century are unquestionably affecting all areas of knowledge. Perhaps some of the biggest transformations across many disciplines can be attributed to the extensive use of digital tools, the easy access to information, and the newfound capacity to access and to generate data.
Digital technologies - computer and computer-controlled machines - have pervaded all aspects of life, delivering sustained and accelerated rates of societal and economic evolution. Digital technologies will incontrovertibly be one of the key drivers of innovation of the built environment in the 21st century.
Explosive innovation and adoption of technology and rich sources of data are changing the cities in which we live, work, and play.
We are living in the era of smartphones, communication has never been so easy, with social media we are always connected to our friends and millions of other people, no matter where we are, at a very low cost we can easily exchange messages, get all sorts of notifications and share information, all we need is a smartphone with internet connection.
How much do we need to remember when it can be effortlessly recalled for us by a machine? We all increasingly rely on our electronic devices to remember information for us, since they represent an unimaginable amount of information at our fingertips.
From cuneiform to computer chip, our memory technologies give us a unique survival advantage: knowledge. Memory and the way we remember, forget, and recall events, people, places, etc., at the individual level, have been a very sophisticated topic of theoretical research for a long time. However, the notion of collective memory as a socially generated common perception of an item has been introduced and studied only recently, about the time that our societies started to become highly connected through new channels of communication. These studies however are all concerning offline settings. But the developments in digital technologies in recent years have influenced the way that we keep track of events both at individual and collective levels significantly. These technologies also have provided us with huge amounts of data, which are being used to study different aspects of our social behaviour. However, there have been only few large scale empirical studies on online remembering at the global level using these data.
Recently developed information communication technologies, particularly the Internet, have affected how we, both as individuals and as a society, create, store, and recall information.
“I can speak of memory and I recognize what I speak of. But where else do I recognize it except in my memory itself? Can it be that the memory is not present to itself in its own right but only by means of an image of itself?”
(St. Augustine, in 'Confessions')