“Although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance …an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with improvisations.”
– Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961
This year’s MRes student visualisation projects brought to life Jane Jacobs’ quotation, and her concept of “The Ballet of The Street”.
The three groups tackled the project in distinct ways, with Group One (made up of Antoaneta Georgieva, Daniel Smith, Lisha Tan and Ioannis Toumpalidis) taking a multi-layered approach, slicing London and Beijing into “Air, Ground, and Underground” and comparing them at these different levels:
Group Two (Sharron Churchill, Dominic Humphrey, Dugald Wallace and Liang Zhang) incorporated agent-based models of pedestrians and vehicles with land use and observation, and packaging it up into a 3D scene with a uniquely “sketchy” style.
Group Three (Eleni Tziaferi, Julian Ganz and Gabriele Filomena) combined a 2D animation (a Processing sketch with a custom basemap plotting timetabled public transport data) with a 3D Agent-based model built upon real data on the exit frequency and destination of commuters at Tottenham Court Road station.
This year, students also submitted portfolio work – study pieces that each created as they developed their skills and project ideas. There was a lot of interesting work, but I’d like to highlight a few of these below. Overall, it was a year with some ambitious projects that hit some challenges as they came to fruition – and the groups had to strategise to deliver a version of their original vision.