Archive for October, 2011

Data Materialized

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

As a creative experiment in temporary urbanism and digital innovation, the 24-hour City Project explored the intersection of data, arts, and technology within the built environment. The project aimed to demonstrate how technology, imagination, and innovation can envision our future cities.

On June 5th, three interdisciplinary teams,  installed exhibitions at the National Building Museum that were meant to encourage a vision of the built environment that is more engaging, relevant to our lives, and accessible to all.

The three teams were led by Elissa Goetschius, Eric Gunderson, and myself, Kashuo Bennett, with much help from FabLabDC,  iStrategy Labs and A Wider Circle, as well as Virginia Tech and RTKL.

My team’s entry, titled “Data Materialized,” won first place in the competition. Here’s a video about the event:

24 Hour City Project from Russell Brothers on Vimeo.

This installation demonstrates how numerical data can be used to drive the shape of geometric form and then be converted into tangible material objects through the use of computer controlled fabrication technology. The form of the undulating physical structure represents higher educational achievement in the District in plan. You can see the number of bachelor’s degrees spike near Capitol Hill and decline east of the Anacostia River. By projecting colored maps of other statistical data sets onto the structure from above (like crime and median income), relationships emerge between data and social demographics. The digitally fabricated surface was manufactured using a laser cutter and has 717 unique pieces (and 4,302 rivets!).

Here is a video of the  fabrication process: