• Tomasz Jaskiewicz
  • Spreker

    Tomasz Jaskiewicz

Hogeschool van Rotterdam

Tomasz Jaskiewicz | Hogeschool Rotterdam

'Codesign your civic life with autonomous objects'

Autonomous robots are on the verge of following e-scooters and dark stores as the next wave of tech-driven innovations disrupting our cities. Delivery robots, cleaning robots, advertisement robots, security and monitoring robots, waiter robots, are just some examples of devices that are already in early adoption or testing phase. What most of them have in common is the commercial ambition of their makers and little concern for the actual needs of the to-be-affected communities.

The Cities of Things Lab 010 turned this around. They have developed a low-cost kit for building neighborhood robots, fondly termed “wijkbots”. Through co-design sessions with citizens of Rotterdam, they have used this kit to create a variety of wijkbot prototypes, and used them to investigate ways in which robots can support civic initiatives and become part of local communities, stimulate local entrepreneurship, and trigger systemic transformations on local scale. This work helps envision a near-future civic society, pro-actively taking charge of technological innovation in their city.

Research partners: The Cities of Things Foundation, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie, Zeewaardig Service Design, Municipality of Rotterdam


Tomasz Jaskiewicz is Professor (lector) of Civic Prototyping at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Design Fellow in Prototyping Complexity at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft. Tomasz’ core belief is that technological innovation should be an inclusive and democratic process. To this end, his research revolves around developing new tools, methods and strategies supporting designers and non-professionals in iterative prototyping with digital technologies. His work is strongly influenced by his background in architecture and urban design, experience of running and failing a startup, and a life-long passion for building quick-and-dirty interactive prototypes.