Smart Spaces, Information Processing, and the Question of Intelligence

Casey R. Lynch, Vincent J. Del Casino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


As spaces increasingly come to be described as “smart,” “sentient,” or “thinking,” scholars remain in disagreement as to the nature of intelligence, knowledge, or the “human mind.” This article opens the notion of intelligence to contestation, examining differing conceptions of intelligence and what they might mean for how geographers approach the theorization of “smart” spaces. Engaging debates on the distinction between cognition and consciousness, we argue for a view of intelligence as multiple, partial, and situated in and in-between spaces, bodies, objects, and technologies. This article calls on geographers to be attentive to the multiple forms of intelligence made possible by innovations in information processing and to the ways in which particular intelligences are prioritized—as others might be neglected or suppressed—through the production of smart spaces in the context of our rapidly changing understandings of the “humanness” of intelligence. Key Words: cognition, consciousness, digital technology, intelligence, space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-390
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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