Comment: (1)

MetaMap | MapTube by CASA

Category: city+internet+MetaMap+new technologies+the environment+⚐ EN

MapTube Homepage

Today I present the interview with Richard Milton, member of the research staff at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), a unit at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment (The Bartlett).

CASA’s focus is to be at the forefront of what is one of the grand challenges of 21st Century science: to build a science of cities from a multidisciplinary base, drawing on cutting edge methods, and ideas in modeling, complexity, visualization and computation. Our current mix of architects, geographers, mathematicians, physicists, archeologists and computer scientists make CASA a unique department within UCL.

His current position in the centre is described as the following:

Richard is a Senior Research Associate currently working on the ESRC funded TALISMAN project, having previously worked on GeoVUE and GENeSIS. He is the key developer in these projects, being responsible for the e-infrastructure developed in GENeSIS and GeoVUE, which is currently used for real-time web-based geospatial data visualization. This infrastructure is currently used in the MapTube, SurveyMapper and Gemma websites.

MapTube is a free web resource for viewing, sharing, mixing and mashing maps online. The main principle of MapTube is that shared maps can be overlayed to compare data visually. For example, you can view a map of the London Underground overlayed with a map of building volumes to get a new perspective of the city.

Overlay of London tube map and London building volumes

1. How did you get to the practice of mapping?

I originally got into mapping by working on weather visualization systems for the UK Meteorological Office. After that, I worked on a project in UCL on GPS-tracked carbon monoxide sensors, displaying the data through both 2D and 3D views of the city. Then, I started working for CASA, developing the GMapCreator software, allowing people to create Google Maps from the data stored in shapefiles, which led to the MapTube website.

2. In what way do you obtain and treat the data for your mapping?

I often have to do a lot of pre-processing of the data before it can be mapped, but on an ad-hoc basis. The real-time data is also quite challenging as there are often errors in the data that have to be cleaned and the pre-processing for the London Underground, National Rail, and Bus data are quite involved. The data is sampled on a 3 minute basis, so all processing needs to happen very quickly.

Global McDonald’s Big mac prices, 2007

3. What is the application of the open source mapping you are interested in the most?

I think the amount of data that’s now in the public domain is the greatest interest. We are getting to the point where we are being swamped with data and need to look for methods to handle much larger quantities than before.

4. What is the next phase of development your research is undergoing?

The next phase of development is very hard to quantify. We’re looking into various things like BigData, Real-time data and DataMining.

5. What are you personal references about the theme of mapping (from ancient to contemporary ones)?

My interests are really in automatic mapping, from data and how you handle it from multiple sources (data fusion) to visualizing complex situations.

England grade of land use

This is the last post (for now!) in our MetaMap series about mapping. You can follow the conversation in your favourite social network through the #metamap hashtag.

 

Comment: (1)

placemaking | Collectif etc

Category: placemaking+urban social design+video+⚐ EN

“Our projects are optimistic, open and focused on the spontaneous population of the city”
- Collectif etc

Following our last week’s post on Place au Changement, and still in the frame of our placemaking series, we were curious to meet with collectif etc. From the other side of the Pyrenees, we managed to contact them on their Détour de France, so they could share some impressions about their experience in Saint-Etienne, and ideas about placemaking.

placemaking | Collectif etc from ecosistemaurbano on Vimeo.

The Détour de France

Since October 2011, collectif etc has started a Détour de France, a trip around France to meet different makers of the city – inhabitants, associations, professionals, institutions – who seek for alternative ways and models of generating the urban fabric.

“The making of the city formerly follows complex and vertical processes, according to a hierarchy often excluding the population concerned. Public urban projects tend to remain in the professional field of architects, consultants and clients (often local or national administrations) and to generate isolated solutions from the community’s real needs.
In response to this gap, new participatory processes are emerging in various cities in France, aiming to involve the population in building their own living environment. We are off to meet the actors behind these initiatives, and work with them in the social making of the city.”

The itinerary was initially based on the collective’s established contacts, yet it remains flexible to any potential opportunity along the way. Until august 2012, Collectif etc will be pedaling, meeting, sharing, creating, building, tinkering and designing, adding the preferred co- prefix according to the different people they encounter on the way.

Two objectives in mind:
1. make a census and build a network of the different actors involved in a social making of the city
2. collaborate with them along the trip on interventions in public space

For french speaking readers, you can follow their progression on their blog, and we recommend you read the full description of the project here.

Active since September 2009, Collectif etc is a combination of sparking energy, innovative dynamics, social engagement, creative experimentation and human interactions. Their practice materialises in various forms - built structures, ephemeral interventions, urban furniture, workshops and debates –  where the common key is about generating a process, and building a community. Their projects take root in the existing climates of exchange and creation, grow from collective action and intelligence, and catalyse the existing dynamics of the community into the design of their living environment.

In short, a breath of fresh air in the scope of city related professionals. You can be sure to here from them again.

Comments: (0)

placemaking | Zuloark

Category: placemaking+urban social design+video+⚐ EN

Following our last week post on the Campo de Cebada, and still in the frame of our placemaking series, we decided to interview Zuloark, so they could tell us about their own field experience. In the end, we managed to find two Zulos in El Ranchito, absorbed in the construction of their new Open Offffice, and catch a few minutes of their time among drills, nails and hammers. Ironically, they shared their story on the few remains of City Island, first initiative at the root of the Campo.

placemaking | Zuloark from ecosistemaurbano on Vimeo.

“For us it has always been a kind of test, a laboratory where we would put ideas
that weren’t necessarily very clear. [...] The idea is to generate opportunities.”

What is Zuloark? An office, a collective, a platform, a frame, a kind of commitment?
- “You could be Zuloark.”

Indeed. Zuloark is an open and unstable network, a group of individuals who identify themselves as such, as members of a collective identity. The collective’s organisation is based on a completely liquid hierarchy, a mutable structure changing at all times and for each project, challenging the inherited hierarchical models.

By defining itself equally in each of its members, Zuloark doesn’t focus its professional activity on a specific theme, but constantly aims to multiply and extend its fields of intervention by generating various research lines, often linked to architecture and urbanism. You can tell their story from the actual spaces they worked in, some virtual like Zoohaus and Inteligencias colectivas, others physical, like the Campo de Cebada, all focused on building open networks and generating opportunities of co-working.

In terms of working platform, Zuloark considers itself as a zone of proximal development (ZPD), meaning the difference between what one can do with and without help. In other words it promotes a new knowledge environment based on a peer-to-peer model of horizontal collaboration and learning with more capable peers.

Which is precisely what aroused our interest. Despite its unstable and undefinable nature, Zuloark precisely finds meaning and consistency in the latter: a networked, open and unlimited structure aiming to promote collective intelligence and collaborative creation. Beyond an office or collective, beyond fulfilling projects and involving neighbours, citizens to participate in generating their own public space, Zuloark calls for a step further: a completely open and horizontal structure, a new participatory model where professionals and participants are no longer distinguishable.

Comments: (0)

placemaking | Ooze

Category: placemaking+urban social design+video+⚐ EN

Following our recent posts on Théâtre Evolutif in Bordeaux, a project carried out for Evento 2011 to temporarily occupy square André Meunier, this week’s placemaking post is dedicated to the architects Ooze, Eva Pfannes (Würzburg, Germany) and Sylvain Hartenberg (Paris, France).

placemaking | Ooze from ecosistemaurbano on Vimeo.

“Cities aren’t buildings, they’re people”.
- Luis Fernández Galiano

Ooze define architecture and design as natural organisms, ecosystems of interdependent elements belonging to a greater whole: a city, a neighbourhood, a home; an individual. “Architecture and design are vital forms of expression, capable of provoking a broad range of thoughts, experiences, sensations, emotions and memories.”

As architects, Eva and Sylvain have worked on different scales and projects – from exhibition designs and scenographies, temporary interventions and installations like Théâtre Evolutif in Bordeaux (France), Between the Waters in Essen (Germany) or the community garden and kitchen in Amsterdan (Netherlands), to individual housing, and urban scale planning like the Bottrop city development strategy in the Rhur region – including different fields and actors.


Between the waters – Community Garden, and autonomous water treatment system in Essen


Community garden and kitchen, and urban empowerment strategy in Amsterdan

“The process is not so much about designing as it is about emergence.”

As part of our placemaking series, we were particularly interested in these architects’ social commitment, supplanting common designs for a standard mass, to spontaneous and subjective interactions, and individual stories. Ooze describe their first approach of a place as “an archeological research” : what was here before, who is concerned with this space, and who is likely to become so? “The occupants and users of any given space bring their own stories to bear upon it. They draw upon these narratives – their backgrounds and perspectives – to continually recreate the environment in which they find themselves.” Then, architecture is about joining individual details in a larger entity, about building a collective memory around on-going process.

“The process is not so much about designing as it is about emergence.”

With regard to to such perspectives, Ooze was brought to recently participate in urban art festivals, like the Emscherkunst in 2010, and Evento in 2011. Indeed, working on ephemeral interventions allows a more experimental approach, disconnected from the usual official procedures that come with an architectonical project “With the art project you can allow yourself to advance without knowing the outcome”. It allows to experiment, aiming to understand the local and collective identity of a place and different individuals, by observing immediate and spontaneous reactions; then consequently react to real-time issues of the place. Then, the architects’ role goes beyond a punctual intervention, to settle a flexible process and encourage an “informal evolution”, in which people are involved.

Comments: (3)

placemaking | Ooze talks about “Théâtre Évolutif”

Category: placemaking+urban social design+⚐ EN

placemaking | We recently published “Théâtre évolutif” in Bordeaux the first post of our new series about placemaking, which is finally ready and will be published each Monday along the next two months. The following post shows some more images of the project and a short interview to Ooze, the architects that together with Marjetica Potrc co-designed and co-constructed it.

How were you brought to participate to Evento 2011, and especially to co-design the Théâtre Evolutif?

We recently participated in a number of public art on-site projects with Marjetica Potrc; in 2009 in Amsterdam and last year in the Emscherkunst 2010 with Between The Waters, the Emscher Community Garden. Both had a participative and multidisciplinary nature. Following these projects, in spring we were asked by the curatorial team of Evento 2011, “L’art pour une re-evolution urbaine”, lead by Michelangelo Pistoletto to work on Place Andre Meunier and collaborate with the artist collective Bureau d’Etudes on this location.

Théâtre Évolutif did not start as a concept as such but from the square, “Place André Meunier” – a place with a lot of history and a loaded past which had in time become almost a void in the city, not a place to stay, more a space to pass through.

In the team we came up with the idea to include the building site in the artistic concept. We decided to salvage the trees from this one and other building-sites in Bordeaux as well as the excavated soil. And most importantly we decided to build forth on the notion of the building site as an ongoing work in process and evolution.

How would you describe Théâtre Evolutif?

Théâtre Évolutif performs a collective action that demonstrates the cultural and physical remaking of the neighbourhood – an action that spans diverse disciplines and backgrounds. Through their direct involvement with the project, Saint-Michel residents are articulating a need for greater social innovation in the building of a sustainable city. They are giving new value to their identity with the neighbourhood and their commitment to it, even as they enact their vision of, as they put it, ‘how we want to live together’. For the municipal government, Théâtre Évolutif is a pilot project that tests a bottom-up approach to the design of the city.

Théâtre Évolutif is, fundamentally, a shelter and an agora, a place where groups and individuals can come together with a common purpose to engage with and learn from one another. Equally important, however, they can engage with and learn from the ‘relational objects’ of the Théâtre Évolutif – the open-roof structure, the water-supply infrastructure, the vegetable gardens, and the animals. For visitors to Evento 2011 Place André Meunier becomes a playground where they can discover and participate in examples of coexistence between urban life and nature, a laboratory where they see a new kind of city imagined and constructed.

The project is organized around three cycles: the dynamic cycle of citizenship (participating in the remaking of the public space), the human water cycle (the drinking water station and the public toilet), and the bio-dynamic cycle (interacting with the natural world for example, through gardening and beekeeping). The project enacts coexistence between the architectural site (“Chantier architectural”) and the social site (“Chantier social”).

What were your objectives and expectations, as architects and Evento guests?

Our objectives were to engage with alternative processes to remake the city based on bottom-up strategies, to look into a narrative which involves the residents, local associations and public authorities in the remaking of the square. For us it is very interesting to work on temporary art events as architects with the idea to extend the temporary work to a permanent one. We are very interested in the energy and the momentum that this type of event is bringing to a city to achieve results which normally would take much longer.

Architecture is by nature more permanent and therefore there is not much spontaneity and it is more political loaded with regulations which make the design and decision making process heavy. Art on the other hand, because of its temporariness can go a lot further to break more grounds in the physical, but also in the social. So with the art project you can allow yourself to advance without knowing the outcome, which in architecture you cannot afford because the stakes are higher and it is more frozen.

Comments: (0)

Hamar Experience 13 | Lets get active and green

Category: events+⚐ EN

As every week, today we are announcing today’s Hamar Experience session, which is a live broadcast made by de Ecosistema Urbano team, full with stories and updates about the dreamhamar project. There goes the original text (by Marisa):

Go green

In this session Belinda Tato will talk about last week ACTIVITIES WORKSHOP. If you have seen the pictures, then you already know that the participants had a great time and really enjoyed themselves. As Creative Guest Elger Blitz said, playing is good for everybody, regardless of their age.

We also have a guest: ENVIRONMENT Community Activator Romy Ortiz, a human geographer from the University of Bergen. She works in the Centre for urban ecology, on environmentally friendly urban development, urban meeting places, and integration issues. This is what she writes about her role:

“Come to the workshop, so we can design a square that is human and environmentally friendly!”

If you don’t feel like surfing dreamhamar.org, this is your best shot at getting the latest news on what’s going on in Stortorget Square!

See you today, on Monday 17th, at 18:00 on dreamhamar.org!

Comments: (0)

Hamar Experience 12 | Cultural Rucksack and art in public space

Category: dreamhamar+events+⚐ EN

This evening the energy of the young and the inspiration of the muses make a somewhat different Hamar Experience, but don’t be afraid, for it is what happens when you have so many things to talk about with such nice guests.

Kathrine Berg is a lovely woman and artist who is working with the 1,300 kids from the Cultural Rucksack Project. By the way, the Cultural Rucksack will finish this week and we are looking forward to seeing the results.

Inger Lise works on a different project about art and youth. Whatever she has to say, it is going to be interesting. And yes, we are letting her tell you the details about the project. We think it’s more interesting that way.

And there is more, because next week ACTIVITIES workshops begin and you are going to get a preview on what is going to happen there – What? You haven’t registered yet? It is free, it is fun and you’ll meet interesting people while talking about Hamar. And we might just invite you to coffee and cake, too.

There will also be a surprise for the technology oriented, so don’t forget your smart phone or your tablet pc.

Let the muses and the younsters inspire you this evening at 18:00h on Hamar Experience 12.

Comments: (0)

Hamar Experience 11 | Technology workshop

Category: dreamhamar+events+⚐ EN

Last week the TECHNOLOGY workshop took place and Hamar response was even better than expected. We also had a workshop with students from Bergen School of Architecture, who resulted in a free lunch on Stortorget – with a cow as special guest!

On today’s Hamar Experience 11 Belinda Tato will share pictures and anecdotes from the workshop and the free lunch.

And of course, because Hamar is the star of dreamhamar, Belinda will share the spotlight with a citizen who participated on TECHNOLOGY workshop – Morten Fridstrøm. He will tell us about his experience and if the workshop was everything he expected!

Unfortunately, we will not be able to bring the cow to Hamar Experience. Nevertheless, you’ve got a date with the progress of dreamhamar on Monday, at 18:00h on http://www.dreamhamar.org/category/hamar-experience/

See you this evening!

Comments: (0)

fondaRIUS :: Migration as Mutation

Category: migration as mutation+⚐ IT

E’ da quando siamo tornati dall’esperienza a Madrid che ci interroghiamo sul continuo migrare degli architetti italiani all’estero

Mi|gra|zió|ne s.f.
1 CO il migrare e il suo risultato
2a TS antrop., spostamento da un luogo a un altro di un popolo, di una nazione, di una tribù alla ricerca di migliori condizioni di vita
2b TS sociol., emigrazione, provvisoria o definitiva, da un luogo a un altro di una parte significativa della popolazione attiva, causato da ragioni economiche
3 TS zool., spostamento compiuto da alcune specie animali e determinato da vicende stagionali, necessità alimentari o riproduttive.
[def. dizionario De Mauro]

Partendo da questa definizione pubblichiamo di seguito l’intervista allo studio fondaARIUS

Comments: (0)

eutv: Bill Gething – Architect

Category: architecture+eutv+video+⚐ EN

Comments: (0)

eutv: Richard Burdett – Professor London School of Economics

Category: architecture+eutv+sustainability+⚐ EN

Comments: (3)

eutv: Ken Yeang – Architect

Category: architecture+eutv+sustainability+video+⚐ EN

Comment: (1)

Anne Lacaton – Architect

Category: architecture+eutv+sustainability+video+⚐ EN