My problem statement for Solving Public Problem stems from my architectural thoughts that today’s city and architecture lacks public responsibilities to create identity of places.
I was wondering to create AR, virtual landscape on top of real city but now which aims to be data of value for architecture yet that is almost data buildings. I’m still wondering which is better, to be honest.
Problem statement for Collective intelligent building for architectural designing and citizens (tempo)
Although the ending results of architectural designs are used and shared by the public, public citizens rarely have the opportunity to participate in the designing process of the architectural and urban development. To date, urban planning has relied mainly on fixed and rigid laws and regulations, such as conservation programs and standardized building codes. The design process is driven by the architects, urbanists, and developers through their professional abilities, knowledge and intentions. These professionals use their expertise to apply urban and geographical data into their design process. However, this current process does not offer the opportunity of sharing information and design considerations for its users: the citizens who are affected by the resulting product.
The biggest problems of this current system are time and cost. Due to the rapid development of technology, architects can now work remotely for any part of the world, which makes it difficult for them to become immersed within the culture and become experts in a particular location. To appeal to their clients, architects are taught to develop and offer a diverse set of designs. While tackling the design aspect, architects also have to apply the public responsibilities that were taught in their academic education into their designs. Cost is another factor. The costs of conducting research and analyses are usually not included in clients’ bills even though architects spend much time performing these tasks. Caught between the limited amount of time and restricted budget, architects struggle with this balancing act, and the quality of work provided to their clients is never as good they want it to be.
Another problem is that urban data is ‘a product’ to make a profit. There has been a number of companies collecting and analyzing data for marketing. Economists for instance, have journalists network around the world and collect geographical and historical data. However, this data is typically kept partially undisclosed because the data can be sold for academic and commercial purposes. Therefore, architects and urban planners are unable to access and integrate this data into their work. Not only is this a problem for architects and urban planner, but also for the public. Since the existing data available for the public is incomplete, we need to collect the data ourselves to have the most comprehensive data set.
Moreover, the architects’ clients are not always conscious about the cultural needs of the public, the end users. Instead, clients shape their architectural developments based on their business and marketing needs. Due to this reason, architects are forced to prioritize their clients’ requests over their public responsibility.
Therefore, modernized cities continue to develop in the same manner as before. Through globalization, we can now share human resources (architects, urbanists), materials, and engineering/design processes all over the world. But as a result, we lose the distinct dialects, identities of the cities, and cultural values of the individual cities. Today, we can find the buildings of internationally known architects in every modern city. While the building is a signature of the architect, it is not a signature of the individual cities’ identity.
The loss of identity of the cities has created a distance between architectural designs and its users. In the past, the users were deeply involved in the construction process and understood the history and progress. For instance, traditional Japanese architecture was based entirely on the timber structure. Architects were not involved, but master carpenters. These carpenters used timber from local forests and employed local people. This process allowed the users, the local people, to construct their city and give them a sense of belonging. Today’s city development process now relies primarily on the machine industry, and today’s users cannot identify with their city.
Today’s users need visually accessible cultural symbols to identify a connection with their city. For example, the Empire State Building is listed as an important landmark of New York City, noted for its great engineering, Art Deco-style, and lighting system. The Empire State Building was ranked number one on he AIA’s List of America’s Favorite Architecture in 2007. Other Art Deco-style buildings such as the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center are significant buildings within New York City, and provide a strong identity.
Nevertheless, the problem is not only to open data yet also how citizens today moving around the world to feel sense of belonging to their cities. While symbols, ornaments, landmarks, and monuments can be used to create strong identities for cities. The problem of connecting the end user to the city itself remains without knowledge about and strong relationships with them, it is hard to feel their attachment to their cities. My project and its use of data can offer a solution to this problem so that users have access to historical and cultural information of their cities and their environment.
What problem do you seek to address? Why is this problem important? What are the causes of the problem you wish to tackle?
Although we can estimate and measure energy usage, crime rates, population growth, temperature or CO2 emissions in a particular city, it is difficult to measure the cultural value of specific locations or architectural buildings within a city. My project “Urban Mnemonic Building” aims to collect, measure and visualize the emotional data, such as love and hate, of urban spaces.
The concept of “Smart City” has been a predominating influence on the maintenance and upgrades of our buildings and cities. The use of high technology and the concept of big data have given us the opportunity to make our cities more economical and more efficient. For example, we can collect data on transportation routes and traffic information to decrease congestion and conserve energy. We can build crime rate maps to promote safety. However, the development of these new methods can potentially create cultural conflicts that could unintentionally influence our living conditions.
Artists record their emotions through paintings, literature, photography, film, and songs. The subjects of these emotions are often urban spaces and architecture, such as 42nd Street and the Empire State Building – 42nd Street was the title of a popular musical and the Empire State Building has played a great significance in multiple films and songs. Urban spaces and architecture are not only significant for culturally created media, but also for public events such as festivals, carnivals, riots, wars, and natural disasters. The data is, in a way, a series of dramatic pieces about urban spaces and architecture. Urban Mnemonic Building unveils the context behind these locations. It provides a record of meaningful living memories amidst the constantly changing environment.
Using text-filtering programming, we can extract and aggregate the words used in books, songs, and films. I intend to use the public library to access historical digital materials. I also plan to set up a public, editable, encyclopedia webpage, which allows anyone to post and to contribute to the data.
As well as mapping the data by using GPS online or iBeacon, this project aims to use Augmented Reality technology to display mixed-media data to places, objects, and architecture buildings, and the urban places and buildings would essentially be the indexes of this new encyclopedia. The devices of AR technology can be smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices. The future greatness of a city could potentially compete based on the amount of data rather than the population size and height of buildings within the city.
The advantages of Urban Mnemonic Building include changing the public’s experience of the city, enhancing city inhabitants’ knowledge of the city, and attracting tourists to see the first virtual landscape on top of a physical city backdrop. Both current and future inhabitants will be able to appreciate the deep and rich background stories of their environment. Similar to how we value and conserve monumental buildings because it allows us to visit and reconstruct the memories of history, this project allows us to preserve and connect fragmented memories of urban spaces and architecture.
By collecting, recording and visualising this data, we can gain more deep understanding and present how people value a city.