Tessa Steenkamp is a design researcher in the project Human Values for Smarter Cities, which runs from 2022 to 2026.
The project addresses the use of image recognition in public space. How could these algorithms be designed and communicated, in such a way that a wider public is aware of, and engaged in, their deployments? Tessa will explore these questions through designing digital and spatial experiments, applied to real-life use cases.
With her design studio Bits of Space, Tessa gives shape to the interactions and relations between people, place and technology. The studio crosses traditional, professional boundaries, and instead takes human interactions and public values as starting points.
Before starting Bits of Space, Tessa alternated between being a coder, digital designer, urban planner, and public servant. She was an experience designer in the architectural process at UNSense, a startup of UNStudio. As an in-house designer at City of Amsterdam, she set up a lab for redesigning local democracy, exploring what digital tools could do for collective decision-making. Earlier, she worked as a designer and maker at Umbrellium, and as a software developer at Relational Urbanism.