Digital Media Studio Project 2018



In this project we will investigate Theories and practices from urban data mining, mobile architecture, and level design’s narrative articulation. This design challenge is a provocation for mobile architecture acknowledging mobility and migration in the contemporary urban settings. We will be working on developing a design system using behavioral data for siting living/habitation units in the city of Edinburgh. In this project we will investigate the concept of mobile living units through two stages: 1. Data analytics 2. Design

Locative Data- Data Citizenship

The current urban setting, dynamics and mobility can be defined within Autonomous Decentred Systems (ADS) strategy. The technology of smart phones and multi-layered social, political and cultural networks has made each citizen an active agent whose mobile activities are highly determined via virtual networks. In this project, in the first part of the semester we will be investigating locative social activities using APIs to mine data from social networks. We will create layers of maps indicating hidden footprints and represent the city through its active citizens. 

Following the map layers from the social media networks, we will be mapping potential “gap-sites” in the city using camera gears such as the Google glass or GoPro in order to find leftover lands and spaces for siting the housing units. This part of the project is identified as mapping the realities or actual. The data mapped in this step, feed the next part of the project which is mapping the digitally designed habitation units.


The background of this research project can be followed through Metabolism movement in architecture. one of the well-known projects addressing human agencies and population growth is the Nagakin capsule tower by Kisho kurokawa completed in 1972. this project aimed to “reconnect” citizens with the built environment. It also represented the mobility and migration as well as city dynamics in a pod system habitation units.

Another well known source to mention is the Archigram; which revolutionizes spatial approach in the urban context by developing provocative concepts and stories. Cj Lim, One of the great architects in the paradigm of smart cities and architectural narratives says: “[…] cities are alive. They breathe, they grow, they spawn, they die and they dream.”

One of the contemporary approaches to the notion of habitation can be found in architectural competitions such as evolo which theme is focused on technological advances, data, and innovative design for the 21st Century. They request for stories and advanced design proposals for urban settings.

The Narrative

In the second part of the semester we will design mood boards, story boards and narrative structures in which we deploy the data from the part 1 of the project and current reality of the city and we will use the data feed to introduce concepts and sites for mobilizing our living units. In other words, we will overlay another reality through game design on the actual imagery of the city. I believe game design is a very engaging approach for speculating on real world issues.