This final unit is an opportunity to develop and present a substantial digital media artefact and portfolio piece. The following posts will document developed skills and understanding of various domains; drawn upon from course experience and future trial and error. The culmination of this journey will be presented at Bournemouth University’s end of year exhibition. In the previous unit, Developing Media Design Concepts, I produced a dossier in which the following graduate project was proposed.

Regularly experiencing public spaces as a design problem has led to a proposal of a development tool using projection mapping to stimulate discussion on urban renewal for urban settings. This idea originally formed through experiencing my closest city and one I regularly visit, the city of Southampton. This city was heavily bombed during the second world war and left a large need for new housing; thus many high rise flats were built. Through researching the history of architecture in this city a deeper understanding was gained of functionalism’s influence over city architecture.

“Functionalism was an integration of ideas on the aesthetics of buildings with ideas on desiderata for family and community living” (Coleman, 1985).

 

Functionalists envisioned people thrown together by designs by the sharing of building and grounds to promote a strong community and social life. However, this resulted in anonymity amongst the communities and created confused spaces with no clear indicators of which blocks pertain which grounds. This anonymity resulted in questions of ownership and lack of identity. Looking at this as a design problem I developed my ideas through Guerrilla Gardening movement and The Do It project; in order to propose ideas of the community regaining ownership over their public spaces. Guerrilla Gardening is simply defined as: “the illicit cultivation of someone else’s land” (Reynolds, 2008). Whereas the Do It project is “the generation of a work by following written instructions, and the insertion of chance in the realisation of an artwork.” (Obrist, 2004). In these movements a bottom up approach from individuals groups and activists sees the public creating their own public spaces, rather than the functionalist creations where a higher power creates residences without consulting the residences first.

I hope to create an interactive installation model of a cityscape, possibly Southampton, as this is the city closest and most personal to me. The city model will be made out of cardboard or polystyrene which will be modelled as a birds eye view of the city. A projector will be suspended above and project an image downwards on to the model. The project will be interactive and either a Kinect camera or Arduino sensor will be used to detect audience interaction with the model. This interaction will be detected and project an image in that area of the model. The images projected will be ideas of how to improve the area: such as plants, allotments, artworks etc. This could provoke discussion on further uses for the spaces and hopefully result in a digital tool which communities can give input and visualise their public spaces. This project could be set up in community centres or art galleries. It could assist with community or local action plans, appraisals and community forum.

 

 

References

Coleman, A. (1985). Utopia on trial. London: H. Shipman, pp.9-122.

Obrist, H. (2004). Do it. New York, NY: E-flux.

Reynolds, R. (2008). On guerrilla gardening. New York: Bloomsbury, pp.1-3.

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