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Mapping for Niger
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Manhattan’s Urban Fabric
2008-09-22 01:24:47 - by Nicolas Malevé

A project by Liz Kueneke that took place in Conflux, the annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography.

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Kueneke Manhattan’s embroidering
“Manhattan’s Urban Fabric” is a public intervention which intends to show just a glimmer of this richness, and to make visible what normally remains invisible about a place: our opinions, impressions, and feelings about it. Participants answer various questions by sewing simple symbols into the map, and they are also welcome to embroider freely along the edges of the cloth. Through this work I want to offer a participatory experience to the people (and visitors) of Manhattan, which permits them to reflect upon their own use of the urban space. The project has two main goals. First, the communication between participants about personal memories and community issues is facilitated by the intimate act of “sharing a table” and commenting together about their shared city. Furthermore, the act of embroidering, which for some is a hobby, and for others a new experience, enhances the conversation. Second, the results obtained can be an important source of material for urban planning, or at the very least, as a jumping-off point to discussion. The patterns and nodes of responses created, can contribute to a wider understanding of the complexity of uses of the city.

See some documents of other works by Liz Kueneke at the Hangar’s website.

Database City, call for projects
2008-09-18 12:26:33 - by Nicolas Malevé

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Database City

Medialab-Prado issues a call for data visualization projects to be carried out within the context of the VISUALIZAR 08: Database City International Workshop, that will take place from 3rd to 18th November 2008 at Medialab-Prado (Madrid, Spain).
Submissions Deadline: October 5, 2008
Open call for collaborators: October 15, 2008

Data Visualization is a transversal discipline which harnesses the immense power of visual communication in order to explain, in an understandable manner, the relationships of meaning, cause and dependency which can be found among the great abstract masses of information generated by scientific and social processes.
Visualizar, one of Medialab-Prado’s lines of work, is directed by José Luis de Vicente, and is conceived as an open and participartory research project around theory, tools and strategies of information visualization.
VISUALIZAR’07 was held for the first time in November 2007 and explored the social, cultural and political possibilities of the art and science of data visualization. This year, VISUALIZAR’08: Database City will have the city as its sole focus.
For two weeks, lectures, presentations, and an intense project development programme will involve participants from all over the world in a collaborative process that will culminate in eight new proposals for the city.

VISUALIZAR’08: Representing Data Cities

Urban environments, which are becoming increasingly dense, complex and diverse, are one of contemporary society’s largest “databases”, daily generating volumes of information that require new methods of analysis and understanding.
How can we use the data visualization and information design resources to understand the processes governing contemporary cities and better manage them? What can we learn from studying traffic and pedestrian movement flows through the streets of Madrid? What would happen if we filled the streets with screens providing information updated each moment about water and electricity consumption?

The projects developed during VISUALIZAR’08 will explore questions such as:
What role to information networks and structures play in the construction of a modern city?
What can we learn about cities via the data flows generated by their everyday activity? Can we develop tools to visualize this data to help us improve urban design and management?
How can we integrate dynamic representation of information in buildings and urban spaces?
Several workshops objectives might include the development of:
Visualization tools that enable us to understand how citizens use urban spaces.
Visualization tools that map and represent big cities’ social and cultural diversity.
Visualization tools that show the relationship between networks and the urban spaces where they are located, be they service networks (traffic, public transport, electricity or water networks) or information networks (telephone networks, radio and television broadcasts, data networks).

Visualization tools that represent the activity in specific locations, and that display and integrate them as an architectonic element.

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2008-09-15 09:36:05 - by Nicolas Malevé

"The GeoNames geographical database is available for download free of charge under a creative commons attribution license. It contains over eight million geographical names and consists of 6.5 million unique features whereof 2.2 million populated places and 1.8 million alternate names. All features are categorized into one out of nine feature classes and further subcategorized into one out of 645 feature codes. (more statistics ...).
The data is accessible free of charge through a number of webservices and a daily database export. GeoNames is already serving up to over 11 million web service requests per day."

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An example of this data being used: Walter Rafelsberger has worked on a vizualisation of the worlds cities with a population of more than 1000, [...]. Cities with more than 5 million inhabitants are labeled.

More than the sum of the parts
2008-09-10 11:47:14 - by Nicolas Malevé

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Sonia in action

In his PhD’s dissertation, Ben Shaw discusses «how shared representations enhance design collaboration. I draw on examples from my field study at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where real-time teams have radically accelerated the design of next generation exploratory spacecraft and science missions to Mars. My results highlight the roles representations play in generating possibilities, synthesizing perspectives and consolidating commitment to action, thereby helping collaborative groups bring about preferred futures.»

For his dissertation he created a few network animations of the Nasa designers team meetings.
«The behavior of these networks reflects important aspects of the interaction taking place in a design meeting at any given time, including the level of support and commitment expressed for different proposals, the extent to which participants engage one another’s points of view, and the degree of integration of shared representations in conversation. This behavior can be visualized using animated layout diagrams such as those below (produced with a program called SoNIA and viewed in Quicktime movies). The qualitative information conveyed by these diagrams can be complemented by applying numerical metrics to the network structures, as described in the dissertation.»

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Yesterday’s man
2008-09-04 10:39:20 - by Nicolas Malevé

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Yesterday’s Man

In the framework of The City as Commons in a Divided World, the Kaai Theater presents Yesterday’s Man described as:

" [...] the voyage of a stranger who’s confronted with an ever changing city, Beirut. The project is based on the hypothesis that every city has another city beneath it, and below that another and so on. From time to time, and for unknown reasons, fragments of these hidden cities rise to the surface, confronting the present in the supposedly new city; they appear brusquely or hesitantly and sometimes with harshness and cruelty. "

A collaboration between Rabih Mroué, Tiago Rodrigues, Tony Chakar and Thomas Walgrave. The performance will take place on the 11th of September 2008 at 20.00.
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