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Tag "knowledge"

Knowledge is the recourse of our times. In the form of data and information, knowledge is not only the current hype it is the main topic in many areas. The best illustration for this is probably the rise of Google as a company focusing entirely on the management of knowledge or the popularity of Wikipedia an open source project of recording and arguably generating knowledge.

This shift is however, not entirely reflected in the way education of the next generation. In most countries the education system suffers great cuts and reduction of financial support. Education and the gaining of knowledge is increasingly by officials put as something every person is responsible of gaining themselves, probably from Google and Wikipedia. This leaves of course a big gab between services and users and a lot of people without the basic capacity to take part in this beautiful new world, keeping it an exclusive domain for few.

Campus and the City
Image taken from e-architect / Science City is the development vision for the university campus of the 21st century. The board of governors of the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, or ETH Zurich) formulated a strategic vision as the basis for current and future developments. The campus is required to act as an interface between scholarship and society, somewhere the worlds of business, economics, politics and scholarship can interact. The spatial rendering of this vision is a dense fabric of buildings large and small, squares, courtyards and gardens that provide the ideal environment for research, discussion and development. Thanks to its precisely planned connections to the city and other university facilities, the network also extends to the metropolitan level: from Science City to City of Science. This project features in the book in the section ‘Greenfield Campus’.

On the other hand this also removes knowledge and with it education increasingly from the public space. The remote nature of a lot of education and knowledge building leaves places empty. Through out history campuses were amongst the main elements of place being a major feature of the city. Still today great campuses feature as great attractions and landmarks, even making it into movies.

Nevertheless campuses and places for education, especially higher education still get buit ad are multi billion pound projects. Many are new, but a lot are existing and reinvent themselves. There are of course the archetype campuses Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, but also institutions in the Netherland, such as Delft and Utrecht or in Switzerland the ETH and EPFL campuses and of course in the US for example the MIT campus or the Stanford Research Park amongst many.

‘Campus and the City – Urban Design for the Knowledge Society’ in a gta Verlag publication edited by Kerstin Hoeger and Kees Christianse with contributions by numerous people on the planning and implementation of campuses world wide. The book puts its emphasis on the contextua integration and the potential of syntheses as the generation of place.

Campus and the City
Image taken from supertacular / Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein with the new Herzog de Meuron exhibition building in the foreground. Visible in the back grond is another campus buildings by Frank Gerry. This project features in the book in the section ‘Corporate Campus’.

The book is a result of a conference series inspired by the reorganisation of the ETH Hoenggerberg campus ‘Science City’ in Zuerich, Switzerland. The first conference ‘Campus Design’ was held in 2006 with the following up ‘Competitive Campuses’ with some more events in this series. The conference content has been extended for the book publication with research work undertaken at the Institute for Urban Design (ISB) and was published in 2007.

The discussion around campuses and how to design space for knowledge is very successful at combining different levels as for example architecture with the educational requirements of the new Bologna education plan. This syntheses results in a discussion on urban design that goes much beyond the usual planning context. It is not just for the campus but with the campus in a wider context reaching out to the city and beyond.

Campus and the City
Image taken from supertacular5osa / Mensa Karlsruhe, by J. Mayer H. Architects, is an elastic space, that sits in the center of the Karlsruhe University Campus. As an extension of the already existing facilites, the city of Karlsruhe is building a canteen that will serve the growing number of students. The building becomes the new adress of the campus, negotiating between the identities of three universities as well as between the urban fabric and the Hardtwad forest. The building reacts to this special condition with different stages of porosity. This project features in the book in the section ‘Inner-City Campus’.

The contributions and discussions around specific campuses are structure in four sections. Each section describes a different condition. They can be defined in terms of location as with ‘Inner-City Campus’ or by character as with ‘Greenfield Campus’ or with work conditions and specifications as the section ‘High-Tech Campus’ or also as with the last section on ‘Corporate Campus’ the economic conditions.

Place making has become increasingly difficult, both as a result of the changing technologies but also social configurations. This publication shows in a very practical way how careful examination and far reaching planning can create great places for the network society.

Campus and the City
Image taken from KCAP / Campus and the City book cover.

Hoeger, K., 2007. Campus and the City: Urban Design for the Knowlege Society, Zuerich: gta Verlag.

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This is sort of movie time at urbanTick. Before you press play here, get your popcorn ready and fill your bottle with whatever. The movie you are going to watch is a dramatic 53:57 long, but it is definitely worth it. The most comprehensive documentation at the moment about the visualisation trend we are currently already in the middle of. ‘Journalism in the Age of Data’ is produced by Geoff McGhee: “Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?”

It covers everything, mainly graphics of course, but also technology, narratives, truth, journalism, documentation, colour, interaction and of course data. Data in many forms and shades. This ranging from free data to collected data, data gathering, data collection, data storage, data cleaning, data preparation, data, data, data, data…

Flight paths
Image by Aaron Koblin / Flight paths over the United States. The colours represent the plane model.

It is great how they get the producers of the visualisations to talk about their work, the movement and the critiques. This makes it a rather personal documentation. Of course you also get to see the best visualisations of the past two years. Of course some of them you have seen here on urbanTick before, including for example the ‘Movie Character Interaction Charts‘ by XKCD, or of course the US flight path maps by Aaron Koblin. But now, GO!

And a note here, you can watch a ‘fuller’ version directly at datajournalism.stanford.edu. It is shown together with additional material and comments as a sort of interactive version.

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While living in the era of knowledge the visualisation of content has become ever so important. At least this is what current trends suggest. At the same time incredible and powerful tools are available to do so and synthesis new knowledge as a result. The spiral is turning fast especially in the field of digital or web based knowledge. However there are a few people out there that produces very high quality syntheses with intriguing visualisations. One of my favorit is BLPRNT.
Only recently BLPRNT has put online the visual comparison between two speeches by President Obama on the same topic. One speech was given in July 2009 in Cairo and the second one in Tokyo, during Obama’s far east trip in November 2009. It is all produced using processing 1.0 an open source tool. The project featured in an article on cluster.
It works on the basis of word comparison. The word in the centre is shared by both texts, the size of each word shows how often it is used and text snippets show the context of words or word groups.

Image by BLPRNT taken from cluster, more can be found on BLPRNT’s flickr page.

BLPRNT has earlier developed the tool to compare two texts on a different subject. For this project a clip demonstrate how the software works.

Two Sides of the Same Story: Laskas & Gladwell on CTE & the NFL from blprnt on Vimeo.

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