«CSAAR (7: 2010: Amman) Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development \ Edited by Steffen Lehmann, Husam Al Waer, Jamal AI-Qawasmi. Amman: The Center ...»
7 There is also interesting work on the city and media environments coming out of interaction design. See for instance: SJ O'Neill 'The lnteractive Spectac\e and the Digital Situationist', in Exploration 0/ Space. Technology and Spatiality: lnterdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. by P Turner, S Turner, E Davenport (Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2008) And: SJ O'Neill 'Presence, PIace and the Virtual Spectac\e', in Psychnology Journal special edition on Space. Place and Technology: Human presence in mediated experiences, ed. by L Gamberini, G Riva, A Spagnolli, Vo13(2) (2005), pl49 & 161, http://www.psychnology.org/pnj3(2Lspace---.place_and_technQlogy.htm Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development I played in that soft space, first in Cabool, my media nightclub,8 and then in the MediaARTS lab. The lab was blended place, a straddled one. It was on the street, a sort of polis update: Release 99.... The lab wrapped a windowed corner in downtown St. Louis. Artists used digital collage, remix to create new urban narratives, to map and re-mythologize the streetscape. Their work, the evening's digital amalgam/remix was projected on screens and monitor walls facing the street. Subject matter included meditations on film/digital editing; art/science practice; the effect of information technology on social practice; 9/11; the millennium, comic books; and Orwellian media culture. It ran off and on for a couple years.
LH MediaArt st. Louis and laserlnet join a good trajectory of projects, which create opportunities for Geddesian reflection upon the city. They are part-projects.
None are complete yet, perhaps they will always only ever be gestures to the 8 For Club Cabool (1992), see Interior Design (December 1997), DisenoInterior (1998), and Lofts: vivir, trabajar, comprar (Barcelona: Koneman, 2001) Paul Guzzardo & Lorens Holm future, achieving their aims by falling short of them. Fergus Purdie's Curating the City (2009) maps the intellectual history of Perth onto Perth. lt began with a Geddesian survey ofthe learned societies, clubs, and guilds embedded in Perth's history. It issued in an exhibition of maps and screen prints which located them in the city fabric and history of Perth. Tt was not exactly an urban design project, but the prolegomena to one. 10 For Glasgow: City oi Dreams (1996), Will Alsop's strategic proposal for Glasgow, Alsop divided the river Clyde into an enfilade of 12 navigable 'rooms' running through Glasgow, a division wh ich recognized their different characters, and asked different practices to develop ways of drawing out their history and character. For our room, we proposed a mechanism that allowed pedestrians to access an archive of digitised images of Glasgow's Clydeside shipbuilding history and project them across a monumental visual space straddling the Clyde. 11 We are still planning the Re:mix the city project, a network of media stations for Dundee. There is a pedigree of such projects that includes Cedric Price's Potteries Thinkbelt, his hybrid open university-cum-transport system that traversed the Midlands 19th C pottery belt.
PG laserlnet was an experiment in mediating spaces and communities with media platforms. laserlnet was a gallery installation in which a central screen had projected upon it the spaces that it divided. The crowds could communicate across it and could trigger images and sound files that occluded it, from position points in the space. Perhaps the best bit was the blog. 12 But an online off-street installation can only do so much. The blogosphere starts to fee! a little shrunk.
Not always the best arena for the mapping tools that expose the archetypal drama ailire. The phase is Mumford's, his sum-up ofGeddes.
'Part-project' is borrowed without permission from Lacan's 'part-object'. The part object functions by always being less than what it promises to be, like the bits of the body that we eroticise.
Vulcan Works (5 Melville Street, Perth) is a live project in response to Curating the City, an exemplar of direct action in the real world, based on the relation between artist + city. VW demonstrates the Geddesian principal of conservative surgery and resulting regeneration. It is an outlook tower. For more on Fergus Purdie Architects see http://www.fwp-architeet.com/ 11 Published in The MAC Journal 1996. This project was done by Noble Assoeiates Architects, London, with Lorens Holm as project architect.
laserlnet (2006) was a collaboration between Guzzardo, Holm, John Bell, and Adam Covell, funded by the AHRC. It was installed in Centrespace in the University of Dundee's Visual Research Centre. Cf. Guzzardo and Holm, '1s there a digital future landscape terrain' in Michael Spens, ed, Landscape Architecture: Site-Non-Site, special issue of AD: Architectural Design, 77:2 (2007). Cf. also (http://www.dundee.ac. ukipressreleases/prfeb06/laser.html) and (http://www.dundee.ac.uklgeddesinstituteilasemet.htm).
13 Lewis Munford, 'The Geddesain Gambit," in Lewis Mumford and Patrick Geddes: The Correspondence, ed. Frank G Novak (London: Routledge, 1995) p360 Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development LU The stage has to be the street. Wehave to reclaim it as an agent against the programmed amnesia inherent in most city planning, which turns the city into a spectacle for tourism, for business, for raising tax revenues, above all for amusement and investment. Its hyper-real flythrough tropes turn the city into a display whose effect, intentional or otherwise, is to sedate us; to turn us away from the difficult issues confronting us, issues about our relation to our environment, buHt and natural, which, if we could reflect upon them, we would have a hope of solving. Need some new spaces to confront bad times.
4. laserlnet: Cahokia Indian mound on the outside, digital platform on the inside PG Ws time for new pro~ects-praxis. How do we build an ur-map? How do we build a wiki on the street? 4 Its not going to happen without a radical rethink of place making, creative practices and media re: sourees. I know that system thinking and Walter Benjamin are rarely coupled but this is going to take a tiger's leap off street and then back. And there is something happening 'off street' that draws me. It has money and smarts. It is computer gaming. And yes most computer games fall in that vast hyped hyper-bounce blastscape. This is a niche. It is called Serious Games and has a Geddesian hum to it. Here's the canned
The ecology 0/ computer games with a purpose beyond play... games that have the potential 0/immersing the individual into an environment that is en~aging, challenging and fun, and most importantly, educational 5,4 wikipedia, an 'Encyc1opaedia Civica of the future', went on line in 2001, eighty six years after the publication of eWes in Evolution. A wiki is a software that allows multiple users (players) to introduce content to a collaborative or community website. It involves the visitor in an ongolng process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape. The most weil known use is the online encyc1opedia, wikipedia, from which this note was paraphrased. Cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki 15 Serious Games website at http://www.seriousgames.org/about2.html Paul Guzzardo & Lorens Holm Serious gaming emerges out of "deep game engine" architecture. Players move "in and out" of a trajectory, a sequence of domains. Serious game theorists examine game design in terms of the potential for rich leaming and literacy. The sage behind the field is James Paul Gee. When 1 read Gee it seems as if Geddes's ceuvre, devised for the city as a creative cauldron of progress and humanization, has been hijaeked to a gaming spaee. Polis-sequel has drifted to soft semiotic domains, a term within game engine architeeture. The platform has switched, from city to game. The new lingua franca of serious gaming - issues of domain and social practice, effective participation, domains for multi-literacy, experiencing the world in new ways - all share a jolting similarity to the Geddesian playbook. And like the one on the ground, it involves trajeetories through a sequence of tableaus, places for lingering meditation, for thinking flaneurs. Intended or not, these game theorists have appropriated Geddes' read of the city as the platform for shared understanding and knowledge.
LH Traffie is a serious game. We play it all the time. We glimpse game-space in the traffic congestion of our cities. Not because it is accessible to a11, but because it is interactive for all players; more so in Europe than in the US (where drivers slumber in their lanes). It has a grammar, a predse domain, rules. It continually evolves in response to the city, and the city continually evolves in response to it.
Lets celebrate the much maligned traffic engineer for his Geddesian drift of the city.
PG The game is about drift. So is the city. But the team is now playing in a virtual realm, and there is no indication that it is eoming off that field. And that's a problem. It involves more than discourse. I1's also about money. The sustainable city and the serious game are both in search of new system platforms, platforms that are more than spectacle delivery shunts, new maps for a recursive urbanism.
The barrier that separates city and game praxis needs to blend. We need collaborations, a profound rethinking of civics, planning, and creative. 17 practlces.
16 James Paul Gee, What Video Games Have To Teach Us - About Leaming And Literacy (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2003) l7 "Games for Change" is a serious game not for profit. Here's the mission. 'Games for Change seeks to hamess the extraordinary power of video games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, human rights, global conflict and climate ehange. We are a voice for the transformative power of games, bringing together organizations and individuals from the nonprofit sector, government, journalism, academia, industry and the arts, to grow the sector and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and resourees. Through this work, Games for Change prornotes new kinds of games that engage contemporary social issues in meaningful ways to foster a more just, equitable and tolerant society.' Visit (http://www.gamesforchange.orglourwork) Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development LH Geddes understood the itch to game. The agonistic frontline for this biologist was the street. It was the font for creative struggle, wakefulness and synthesis.
Here are a couple lines.
....competition is the essential factor of the progress of life. For, if competition be, as we are to/d, the fife of trade, competition must also be the trade of fife.
What coufd the simple naturalists, like Danl'in and his followers. do but believe this and thence project it upon Nature and upon human fife with a new.
authorzty.,18 PG Seems apt that 'the Dundee street' where Geddes spent twenty years teaching is horne to Realtime Worlds, the company that brought us Grand Theft Auto and now All Points Bulletin. Street maps and street fights, mixed and remixed by
Scotland's digerati. Here is a cut and paste from their website:
According to Dave Jones, APB is a server-based real time interactive city environment, that is modified by user CONTENT. You enter the game through a street space.
LH Geddes, eities in Evolution (1915) p77 Grand Thefl Auto is a video game series created by David Jones, founder and creative director of Realtime Worlds. The Grand Theft Auto franchise has had a signiticant impact on the medium of the videogame. It is now one ofthe most recognized video game brands on the market. APB (All Points Bulletin) is an upcoming massively multiplayer online video game based in urban sprawls and featuring two sides, Enforcement and the Criminals. Players may join either side, and form sub-groups in these. The quote was accessed on 13 01 2010 trom the APB website at http://www.apbgame.com/. For images of APB,... there are twelve screen shots of APB al http://www.apb.com/screenshots/. Our strip of 3 favorites (accessed on 13 12 2010) are numbers 12, 10, and 6. They imagine locations in the city of San Paro (http://www.apb.comlfeaturesl).