It was fantastic to see Ayesha Khanna, my PhD student, successfully defend her PhD today. Her work focuses on the temporal nature of information infrastructures within a SmartCity initiative in Berlin identifying the importance of temporal rhythm. The research will be of interest to practitioners involved in building smart cities, strategic niches for innovation, and for those involved in large digital infrastructure development work. She faced an excellent viva with Dr Edgar Whitley and Professor Margunn Aanestad examining. PhD Thesis Abstract
This thesis investigates the importance of temporal rhythms in the study of information infrastructures (IIs), responding to the call to address an II’s “biography” by focusing on its evolution over time. It enriches understanding of how socially constructed rhythms, a temporal structure under-examined in the II literature, influence II cultivation. A strategic niche project to develop an e-mobility II in Berlin is used as the case study and reveals the influence of rhythm in disciplining (constraining) and modeling (motivating) II cultivation. It demonstrates how the intermediary mediates these influences through the interventions of harmonising, riffing and composing. Based on these interventions, the study develops the concept of facilitated II cultivation, which adds to the literature exploring the tension between planned and emergent infrastructure work. In doing so, the study presents a framework for combining short-term implementation concerns (strategic interventions by the intermediary) with long-term path dependency and evolutionary concerns (influences of past and future temporal rhythms) for IIs.
When her minor corrections are complete I will post a link to the final version of the thesis.