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NONHUMANS NYC was developed by students Jeffrey Marino, Mariann Asayan, and Rami Saab in Professor Shannon Mattern’s Urban Intelligence (NMDS5676) course.


NONHUMANS | NYC guides the user in a directed experience ‘connecting’ with three iconic NYC animals. The process of bridging the experiential gap is to learn from, and about, another species and its way of being – by walking in its shoes (or claws, so to speak). The result of the guided experience is a net gain of urban animal intelligence, from which we can derive new insights to improve urban living. The project will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac.


Urban “intelligence” ostensibly allows for the optimization of our environments and our selves – for the production of “smart cities” and smart citizens. We reviewed a wide range of urban theory, design and implementation both public and private. We examined in depth how the methods of data science shape our civic values and urban imaginaries, and condition the work of urban design and administration; and we assessed the consequences – for the material environment, for urban citizenship, for quality of life, etc. – when data and efficiency drive design and development decisions. – Jeffrey Marino


Jeffrey Marino has an interest in the residual of infrastructure, systems, and overall spaces. What is left behind, neglected, or becomes “waste.” Jeffrey has a background in media production and SaaS platform development.

Mariann Asayan has an interest in exploring and amplifying what it means to be human, how humans experience their surroundings and if amplifying or creating additional senses could allow the human to expand their knowledge and perceptions of the world around them. Mariann has a background in psychology and design.

Rami Saab has specific interest in non-human users, as well as intervention that would activate public spaces. With a background in architecture and urban planning, he has previous work experiences in app development and GIS.

Click here for more information about the project.

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