‘Mapping the city – design strategies in the urban space’, Master Workshop 2013

Meldung vom 12.02.2013 in der Kategorie Workshops

Flyer Final Presentation & Discussion  (public event)

International Design Workshop 2013, February 26th to March 1st, 2013

The Master of Arts in Design at the Zurich University of the Arts hosts every year an interdisciplinary design workshop and proposes to 1st and 3rd semester students an exchange of ideas, methods and visions related to design, arts and theory, with professionals and lecturers from different backgrounds.

This year’s topic is ‘Mapping the city – design strategies in the urban space’.

Due to political, economic and socio-demographic transformations in the last decades, cities (urban centres) have become increasingly the focus of our present time. The rapid development of the urban change has put a severe test on the innovation and strategic capacity of mankind.

The starting point for new design approaches demands a systematic understanding of a city and its society. There are several scientific and artistic methods to investigate and evaluate its development. However, the effective use of these methods depends on a creative system of understanding changes and an explorative mapping of pertinent ideas. Based on the expertise of six invited guests and their distinctive approaches, we intend to promote a critical and creative notion of the city;

investigate unexpected aspects,
analyse and reflect existing phenomena,
elaborate unusual scenarios,
invent exceptional products, interactions and media,
illustrate, draw and generate views of the city,
create new representation formats and proposea thought-provoking speech.

Based on the curriculum of the Master of Arts in Design study, we will explore and discuss the
following topics:

What possibilities and potential are there in approaching the city from a designer’s perspective?
Which design solutions can be evoked by a certain way of surveying the city?
How may creative strategies and new technologies improve the relation to the urban space?
How can the knowledge be implemented and displayed for a better understanding?

For further information: karin.zindel@zhdk.ch – Research Assistant

Workshop 1: City Avatars
Paul Beardsley, Disney Research Zurich, www.disneyresearch.com

How do you measure the personality of a city? Is Barcelona happy or unhappy? Is Zurich worried or relaxed? How can you represent the personality of a city visually?
These are the challenges of the ‘City Avatars’ workshop. One could use human intuition and stereotypes. But the goal of the workshop is to identify automatic ways to measure the personality of a city, and automatic methods to convert the measurements to a visual representation. Here’s an experiment – stand on a street corner looking lost and ask people for directions. Count the percentage of people who help to measure a city’s ‘kindness’. Or go to Google Maps and count the percentage of bars to characterize if a city is ‘extrovert’. The second challenge is to convert the personality measurements into a visual representation. Would you use a traditional avatar, abstract design, or would you attempt to illustrate the city’s personality within a traditional street map? You can choose to focus on the personality of Zurich as your home city. Or you can use online sources to produce personalities for a range of cities. The workshop will utilize your analytic and creative skills to make ‘City Avatars’.

Paul Beardsley is Senior Scientist at Disney Research Zurich and has a PhD from the University of Oxford. He works in the area of mobile robots for Theme Parks, with projects in terrestrial, climbing, and flying robots. His second research area is in modelling environments, and analysing the position and motion of people and robots in an environment so that people and mobile robots can interact safely.

Workshop 2: Instant Mapping in Rapid Game Design
Viktor Bedö, philosopher, Josa Gerhard, musician and game designer, and Anna Hentschel, stage designer, invisibleplayground.com

Invisible Playground creates site-specific games for urban spaces.
During the workshop we will use the rapid game design method to create, test and play street games; small scale games for 5-10 players with a playtime of 5-30 minutes. We will map chosen sites in Zurich and show how to feed back the findings into game mechanisms. The mapping research will cover urban phenomena of different scales and try to include macro and micro factors into the game experience.
Factors we look forward to mapping together contain: human facets (fiction, fear and fantasy), spatial and temporal dynamics (traffic, people’s paths, train schedules, light barriers, etc.), architecture (escalators, benches, trees, etc.), microstructures (texture, material). The workshop will also attempt to develop located social software content or available public urban data connected to the chosen sites. No game design experience required.

Invisible Playground is a collective of Berlin-based artists, game designers and academics. Founded in 2009, Invisible Playground makes site-specific games of various sizes and formats. Drawing from a broad range of influences ranging from experimental musical theatre and performance art to video games, the collective develops playful experiences that grant participants entry onto the invisible playgrounds they walk across every day without noticing.

Workshop 3: Soundmapping – Investigating soundscapes in the urban space
Simon Grab, music producer and sound designer, www.ganzerplatz.ch

Most of the existing soundmaps show geo-located audio recordings, gathered by large communities around the world. The illusion of place and the preservation of the sound memory at a particular time seem to be a common goal at this type of field recordings. Technological advances in mobile computing, wireless communications, binaural audio simulation and global positioning systems (GPS) have led to new approaches of soundmapping.
In the workshop we will analyse existing sound maps and look at scientific, artistic and media usage of this technology. We will reflect on widely used terms as ‘soundscapes’, ‘sonic reality’, ‘audio environments’ and ‘sonic matter’. We will sharpen our own consciousness by listening to and recording our own sonic environment, and discussing the potentials of creative sound design strategies in the urban space. At the end of the week the participants will propose their own concept of soundmapping in form of a sonic experience for the audience at the final presentation (performance, installation or online).

Simon Grab is co-founder of ‘ganzerplatz soundstudio’ and has been an active musician and producer in a wide range of musical contexts. As a composer and sound artist he produces music and sounddesign for feature films, documentaries, theatre and radio. In live performances and installations Simon Grab uses the venue as an acoustic playground. He likes to explore new grounds by negating existing borders.

Workshop 4: Exploring hidden structures
Christian Labonte, product designer, Audi Urban Future Initiative, mooove.com/audi-urban-future-initiative

How will we live in urban centres in 20 years? How will mobility evolve in these centres? How can mobility in megacities become a positive experience for the city, rather than an essential need for urban commuters? How can design create a new and different individual mobility system?
Starting from these questions, the workshop ‘Exploring hidden structures’ will investigate the local condition of Zurich. It will analyse its urban structures (typologies; architecture, traffic zones and open spaces), its physical and virtual infrastructures (transport, communication, energy, social, cultural) as well as its inhabitants (identity, social-demographics, interaction) and its different modes of mobility.
Besides existing research studies and official data, participants will make a subjective, empiric field study and document own impressions, situations and incidents. As a next step, we will abstract the investigated material into two- and three-dimensional mock-ups and suggest new concepts of urban mobility. The goal of the workshop is to visually contextualise Zurich’s mobility system into a comprehensible map.

Christian Labonte is product designer and responsible for strategy and future innovations within AUDI mobility. As co-founder of the Audi Urban Future Initiative and member of the Insight Team, he was responsible for the content, organization, as well as for the corporate and international networking of the award 2010, 2012 and the Summit in 2011.

Workshop 5: Go west – stories from the Limmattal
Markus Schaefer, Isabelle Bentz and Esther Reinhardt, Hosoya Schaefer Architects, www.hosoyaschaefer.com

Cities are places of exchange, where we find jobs, contacts, goods or inspiration. Cities make our global civilization work. They are its very core.
Traditionally we map a city by tracing its streets and colouring in the footprint of its buildings, neatly separating the public from the private realm. But the space depicted by such a map is but an empty stage. The scene then is charged with potential generated by accessibility and infrastructure, and brought to life by the interaction of people. To understand this we need new kinds of maps focused on events, exchange and relationships, from the ‘derives’ of the Situationists to the infographics of today.
With the advent of mobile Internet and geo-referenced social media, it is finally possible to observe a spatial imprint of social interactions in real time. Cities which we normally only experience as the sum of daily phenomena start to glow with data, engage us and let us interact as individuals in entirely new ways.
Building on the understanding of urban systems and visual methods we developed in our office, our workshop will combine graphic mapping, with geo-referenced social media and film in an attempt to create a dynamic depiction of the city we live in, part map, part experience.

Hosoya Schaefer Architects is a Zurich based studio for architecture and urbanism. The studio has been involved in research, media installations and film productions for clients such as Volkswagen, ZDF and ETH, and is co-founding a start-up aimed at using Big Data to track city performance in real time. Markus Schaefer has a Masters in Neurobiology from the University of Zurich and a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University.

Workshop 6: Mapping Zurich’s Innovations
Gijs van Wulfen, economist and founder of the FORTH innovation method, www.forth-innovation.com, www.forth-innovation.com/movie/

The workshop ‘Mapping Zurich’s Innovations’ proposes an innovation expedition to discover the problems, challenges and aspirations of people, companies and the municipality of Zurich. We will map the city of Zurich by inspiring innovations; each of you will create or solve relevant challenge and make dreams come true. The end result will be an innovative event, game, product, service or visualization, depending on your own field of excellence.
We will use the structure of the FORTH innovation expedition (www.forth-innovation.com) to realize concrete end results in four days. You will be working both individually and in groups learning from each other and from me, a professional innovation facilitator with no background in arts or design but in business and marketing. Organizations and companies normally use the method in 15 weeks. We will do it in 4 days. It will be inspiring and hard work at the same time.

Gijs van Wulfen is an economist and the founder of the FORTH innovation method to generate new products, services and business models. He wrote the book ‘Creating Innovative Products & Services’ in 2011 and is a regular speaker at international Innovation, Creativity and Design conferences like ISPIM, ECCI, ServDes and the Design Thinking Festival.

Aktualisiert am: 25. Juli 2013