The goal of the Cities of Things Foundation is to increase and disseminate knowledge about the coexisting with intelligent autonomous objects in the urban environment. This knowledge is collected for and made available to designers of urban space and objects in that urban space and policymakers of urban space, and all other stakeholders.

The foundation achieves this primarily by bringing together experts and professionals in knowledge sessions, field labs, and other activities that can multiply knowledge. The knowledge is disseminated by producing publications and organizing meetings, trips, presentations, and other activities as well as everything that is directly or indirectly related or beneficial to this.


In 2017 Iskander Smit was invited to take the role of Design United visiting professor at Delft University of Technology, Faculty Industrial Design Engineering, next to his role as innovation director of INFO. As visiting professor Iskander worked closely together with prof. Elisa Giaccardi and the Connected Everyday Lab. As a new research program PACT was initiated (Partnerships in Cities of Things). The first result was a postdoc research program in collaboration with AMS Institute, performed by Maria Luce Lupetti and Nazli Cila (part-time). Two master graduation projects started to research Things as Citizens (Louise Hugen) and Hidden Civic Futures (Sen Lin). That was a good moment to establish a so-called Delft Design Lab themed Cities of Things, to build knowledge through te commissioning of master graduation projects. Maria Luce and Nazli completed the post-doc with a conference paper on near future cities of things, and a workshop format, later accompanied with a conference paper.

In the beginning of 2018 the Delft Design Lab was established with founding industry partner INFO that funded the in-kind coordination hours of the lab director. Multiple graduation students did projects for the lab research or in collaboration with one of our partners Advier, AMS, WAAG and INFO. Next to master graduation projects specific research and educational projects connected to cities of things were initiated.

Beginning 2020 the Creative Embassy AMS-MUC – a partnership between the cities of Amsterdam and Munich – invited Cities of Things to set up a field lab to connect industry partners from the two cities. A consortium of now 9 Dutch creative companies are now involved together with the Munich Urban Colab as partners. Due to Corona, the official launch was postponed to the last quarter of 2021.

In 2021 Cities of Things started building another field lab in Rotterdam together with Creating010 of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Rotterdam creative industries, projected to start in 2022. Cities of Things is established as a foundation to bring even more focus in the making the connection of research and practice around the theme of cities of things.

The core theme of the research goal is the notion that we more and more will live together with intelligent things, and relate to intelligent systems. In our research, we have a focus on the design of these new relationships and interactions.