Grids: Re-considering Infrastructural Politics of Urban Space


Grid Patterns Cultural Techniques Urban Grids City Form Surveillance Society Urban Planning Immunopolitics Media of Control Frontier Studies Infrastructure Studies

How to Cite

1. Kolesnikova D. Grids: Re-considering Infrastructural Politics of Urban Space // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2024. № 1 (9). C. 187-210.


For many centuries, the principle of linear planning based on a grid pattern has played a significant role in the spatial organization of urban boundaries. Additionally, the grid principle has formed the basis for policies and practices related to the emergence of “disciplinary societies”, leading to the modern networked society. Drawing on the concept of the grid as a cultural technique by media philosopher Bernhard Siegert, this article examines the functioning of the grid as epistemic frameworks and the media of representation, order, and filteration. The article also provides insights into the manifestation of the grid principle in the context of the emerging field of social research on infrastructures, including the digital infrastructure of smart cities. This encompasses a wide spectrum, from smart devices and everyday communication to pervasive sensors and big data, from the sharing of images and impressions to advanced prosthetics, from the development of smart cities to the deployment of surveillance technologies and predictive algorithms. Through a range of case studies, from the study of structured territorial control of the Roman limitatio to the efficient grid patterns of pre-fabricated housing districts worldwide, the research examines the potential and transhistorical nature of the grid principle. The article is intended for media philosophers, anthropologists, urbanists and digital culture theorists.


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