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The current bundling of data-mediated spaces in urban cores masks and obfuscates an extended geography of extraction, processing, storage, transmission, and control that underlies the ideologies, practices, and forms of tech-driven urbanism. This is the enabling geography of “the cloud”; A global operational landscape dominated by cables, data centers, extraction sites, tech campuses, manufacturing plants, and dumping sites that literally tether the cloud to the ground.

Related Publications:

Ali Fard, "Not Sharing: Urban Techno-Colonialism in the Age of Big Data," PLAT 7 (Fall 2018), 249-256.

Read here.

Ali Fard, "Cloudy landscapes: On the extended geography of smart urbanism," Telematics and Informatics (2020),

Related Courses:

Technology, Urbanization & Design / ARCH 5500-3 / Fall 2020 / UVA School of Architecture

Instructor: Ali Fard

Projects: upcoming


The material presented on this website are part of an ongoing research project led by Ali Fard at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. This is still a growing body of research and as such new material will be added and updated on an ongoing basis. 

The work has immensely benefitted from the collaborative efforts of students and research assistants at the UVA SARC, particularly: Chenjie Xiong, Ted Bazil, Ziyuan Yang, Tian Wang, Jingyi Hu, and Hannah Kemp.

This research has been supported through the Dean's Office at UVA SARC and the UVA Smart Environments Project.

For inquiries about the work please contact Ali Fard at 

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