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Datathink 2024 / AI & Cities
Call for Participation
How to Apply
Organizing Institutions

Call for Participation

Datathink 2024 / AI & Cities: Sampling the Past, Interpreting the Present in Future Tense

Winter School. March 4-8, 2024

Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome

Call for Participation

We invite doctoral students and early career researchers to participate in a 4-day winter school exploring emerging intersections of artificial intelligence, machine learning, urban studies, and architectural and urban history. This interdisciplinary forum will critically investigate how we understand cities’ pasts, presents, and futures in light of these accelerating sociotechnical shifts.

The thematic lines for Datathink 2024 revolve around the following questions:

  • How do algorithmic techniques like deep learning and computer vision challenge or complement existing methods in fields like architecture, urban studies, and architectural and urban history? What new questions and blindspots emerge?
  • As urban data extraction and analysis grows increasingly automated, how does this transform disciplinary notions of evidence, objectivity, and knowledge production?
  • How do algorithmic interfaces, predictive policing, and automated urban management systems constrain or enable social justice claims and aspirations in the city?

We encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds in the arts, humanities, social sciences, information science, engineering, and design to apply. An ability to converse across disciplinary perspectives is essential.

The winter school is offered at no cost upon application and selection. The travel, accommodation, and food costs will be covered individually by the participants themselves.

Co-organized by Digital Visual Studies, a Max Planck Society project hosted at the University of Zurich, and the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape at the University of Montreal, Datathink 2024 is hosted by the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, in Rome,  one of the most recognized institutions in its field, giving us an invaluable chance to get to know its assets and interact with its staff and researchers.


How to Apply

Send an abstract (max 250 words) and CV to:

Deadline: February 05, 2024,  

Notification of acceptance: February 08, 2024.



(Final program, with guests, to be confirmed soon)

All participants present their papers on the first day.

Instructors: D. Negueruela del Castillo, Shin Koseki, Iacopo Neri

Keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Silvio Carta

…more to be confirmed…


Everyday 2 pm to 6 pm

Monday March 4th: Presentations of papers by participants

Tuesday March 5th: Keynote presentations + Feedback sessions

Wednesday March 6th: free

Thursday March 7th: Writing workshop + hands-on workshop

Friday March 8th: Writing workshop + hands-on workshop



Organizing Institutions

Organizing Institutions


Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, in Rome, promotes scientific research in the field of Italian and global history of art and architecture. Established as a private foundation by Henriette Hertz (1846–1913), it was inaugurated in 1913 as a research center of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft. Today, the Bibliotheca Hertziana is part of the Human Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society and is considered one of the world’s most renowned research institutes for art history


Digital Visual Studies, is a cooperative project funded by the Max Planck Society and hosted by the University of Zurich, starting January 2020. The project’s aim is to establish Digital Visual Studies to expand Art History towards the Digital Humanities, modernize its methodologies, and contribute to forming a first generation of Digital Visual Humanists. The project includes Predoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Fellows, who work in the areas of visual, textual, spatiotemporal and multimodal research. Digital Visual Studies is connected with a national and international network of partner institutions and digital initiatives. This cooperative project seeks to generate avant-garde research and methodological, technical, and intellectual innovation.


The UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape of the University of Montreal contributes to education, support, and raising awareness among elected officials and municipal experts, governments, and citizens for the future of their landscapes and quality of life within urban settings. Through the implementation of its objectives, the Chair builds bridges between the academic world, civil society, local communities, research, and political decisions. Thereby, it participates in the education for the sustainable development of cities. Since its creation in 2003, the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape is associated with the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Montreal.