Is it worth sacrificing control of our lives just so the fridge can order in some more preserved lemons when we run out?
There's something comforting about the wispy metaphor for the network that underpins most aspects of our daily lives, says James Bridle. It's easy to forget the reality of its vast physical infrastructure
The designer's films offer a glimpse into a nightmarish sci-fi future in which every surface, appliance and inch of peripheral vision fizzes with data – an onslaught that might be just a couple of years away. Designers, he says, must shape this world – or be shaped by it
Thinkers in art, technology, fashion and product design are responding to the threat of mass surveillance with a range of privacy-conscious gadgets that have a distinctly villainous aesthetic
An affordable electric scooter that will rely on a network of battery charging stations could revolutionise transport infrastructure in densely populated cities. David Phelan was at the product's launch last week in Las Vegas
MVRDV's grand gesture in Rotterdam, architects' role in the war and Owen Hatherley's angle on the Walkie-Talkie caused a buzz among Icon readers this week
A new generation of cities are being wired up to control themselves by harnessing huge quantities of real-time data. But by turning a city onto autopilot, are we in danger of losing what makes it human?
Physical versions of pie and bar charts and a tapestry that represents human voices are attempts by designers to make data more accessible
Watch the designer's films that depict a future in which a virtual layer of data is a continual presence in our lives
From smart cities to mass surveillance, our December issue – out on 1 November – looks at the complex relationship between democracy and big data
Fabrica's internet-connected ambient lights let the user share what's going on in the sky above them