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Tag "movement"

Animals have featured on this blog mostly in connection to technology in some form and always in regards to movement. Studying these patterns are especially fascinating as they complement snapshot impressions one normally has if just observing the animal occasionally. It is however also a reminder that movement pattern are much less structured and determined than is generally believed. Movement is goal oriented, but in order to maximise performance it is extremely flexible and opportunistic behaviour.

Movement is therefor very expressive, it tells the story of desire and emotion and is the basis of many art forms, foremost dance, eg. this old post on the movement of the body and creation of space.

Image taken from The Guardian / Snails of the gros-gris (fat greys) species saved from the plate.

snail ballet

An upcoming art work has mixed these aspects together and come up with a brilliantly mistifying snail ballet. Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes and Cyril Leclerc have created a dance of the animals supported by live music. It is also a live event that is coming to London’s Kings Place on Fri 20 & Sat 21 April – booking here.

Pixel lent / slow pixel from Cyril Leclerc on Vimeo.

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Vienna the city at the Donau is rediscovering itself. After decades directly at the iron curtan the city has begun to reestablish and revitalise its former vital connections deep into Eastern Europe.

Between 1945 and the end of the Cold War in 1989 Vienna was effectively cut of its pulsing backcountry in the East. It was the Capital at the Eastern border of Europe surviving on one way connections shrinking from a population of over 2 million in 1910 to about 1.5 million in the 80s and 90s. It has grown since again together with this slow recovery to about 1.7 million.

I am currently in Vienna with a group of Students discovering the city and the intertwined urbanisation and planning processes, with a special focus on the Guertel in Vienna. This incredible resilience, to use an at the moment definitely overused word, of the urban structure to survive and at the same time develop quality during such a long time span of usage and input starvation is incredibly fascinating. It can be a great example of how durable and versatile urban morphology can be, actually has to be and visualises at exempla the meaning of cross generation investment on the level of society.

However it is also clear that this is not achieved only through the form or morphology good architecture or any other single discipline, but is a success proving the resilience of the city as a whole.

24 hours of taxi movement in Vienna
Image taken from Sense of Pattern / One day of taxi movement in the Vienna region. The active spotin the bottom South-East corner is the airport.

Interesting insight in this respect of course provide the visualisation of flows and movement. How is the morphology, the urban structure being navigated, used and interpreted for everyday busynesses? How easy is it for the wider public to access and interact with the city? Those are indicators showing the direct interadaptebility and everyday flexibility of the city in exchange with the citizens.

Taxi data has allowed to visualise these commuting movement pattern to be visualised on the scale of the city, providing a glimps of the hustle and bustle of Vienna over 24 hours. The project Sense of Pattern is continously developed by Mahir M. Yavuz, initially at the Austrian Institute of Technology and is rendered and visualised using processing and some python. The dat was provided by AIT.

4 commuters in Vienna
Image taken from Sense of Pattern / Four different types of commuters out of the data heap. This data was collected over the period of five weeks focusing on just four individuals.

In a series of approaches Yavuz works different aspects in to the focus of the visualisation. This being the sheer volume and the busyness in one, but being the typology and the character of a few in others. This is not providing a final picture but it is painting the characteristics while managing to play the scales and dimensions freely.

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Motion is both elementary and fleeting; it is a fundamental precondition to our survival and our civilization. Motion is the functional basis to the discovery, measurement and exploration of the world that we live in. Elucidating and calculating motion are central issues within our culture, which is not only based on motion but designs it, being built upon a history of dynamics and acceleration.

The Jovis Verlag Gmbh publication Gestalt der Bewegung Figure of Motion is edited by Annett Zinsmeister and was published in July 2011.

The book presents Representatives of different disciplines—ranging from architecture to car design, from art-, cultural- and media-studies to sociology—discuss the depiction and design of motion in art, architecture, design, dance, and technology. This overview of historic developments and current trends discloses some surprising, border-crossing correlations.

An interesting chapter for example is on ergonomics and the history of making human motion to sync with the rhythm of machine production. Inge Baxmann is discussing the work of Frederick Winslow Taylor who used photography and video to dissect complex working processes in to micro movements and reassemble them to fit better with the machine cycles.

This is a very interesting perspective since motion, especially human motion is generally taken given and natural. We simply move the way we move because of some biological constraints. However as Baxmann argues there i a great deal of training and capitalist rationalisation. Of course this would then on a larger scale be similar as to the way we move in cities and urban areas. WHere we are trained to step in sync with he beat of the location.

dance body motion
Image by Andrew Davidhazy taken from people.rit.edu / Figure in Motion
Stroboscopic Photograph of a dancer in motion.

The publication includes essay contributions by Inge Baxmann, Margitta Buchert, Söke Dinkla, Christophe Girot, Scott de Lahunta, Claus Pias, Stephan Rammler and Annett Zinsmeister, and interviews with Michael Schumacher and Chris Bangle.

For a sample preview of the book see HERE.

Figure of Motion
 book cover
Image taken from architecturebooks / Figure of Motion book cover.

Zinsmeister, A. ed., 2011. Gestalt der Bewegung Figure of Motion Weisenhof., Berlin: Jovis Verlag Gmbh.

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Architecture is the creation of space for people to move in. All the most things can be moved within the spaces and rooms, definitely not the rooms themselves.

But wait, wasn’t there this house in Paris, by this french guy, you know the …. Jean Nouvel, you know the Institut du Monde Arabe with its moving facade. Elements of high-tech photosensitive mechanical devices are used to control light levels and transparency. It opens and closed mechanically in the fashion of shutters used in photo cameras.

Villa Il Girasole
Image taken from obviousmag / 3D section of the rotation tower and view from the balcony. To move this 5000 m3 and 1500 tons mass, the architect Invernizzi conceived an artful system of 3 circular rails connected to the cover of the basis-building, where a bunch of 15 “roller skates” were sliding mutually with the superior building. The energy was provided by two diesel motors that afforded the displacement at a speed of 4mm per second, allowing a complete rotation in 9 hours and 20 minutes. It’s more than the necessary time to follow the sun movement.

Oh and there is the version of the rotating restaurant just like the one on the Schilthorn, Switzerland, you remember the scene in this James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ? These sort of restaurants were the big hit in the seventies and eighties. There is one on the top of the BT tower here in London. It has been closed since the 1980ies and was used as a call centre by BT. Plans for a reopening were handed around in the past two years, but its gone all quite now.

Keeping it rotating there is the Dynamic Architecture project pursued by Dr. Fisher, the rotating tower in Dubay, we have all seen renderings of.

Dynamic Tower

And yes, let me give one more example, the Villa ‘il girasole’ near Verona, Italy. It was built by Angelo Invernizzi and Ettore Fagiuoli, with the help of their artist, sculptor, designer and architect friends. Only recently it was completely restored by his daughter. See the trailer of the film ‘Il Girasole: A House Near Verona’ by Marcel Meili and Christoph Schaub. Goes HERE for a flight to the location of the house on Google Earth.

There are quite some examples and architecture does move, in parts. You can probably think of a few yourselve, please pop them in the comments. In fact some of the very important developments in architecture actually have to do with motion. Maybe the wheel could be one, to transport the building material, then the elevator by Elisha Otis was definitely an important development in the 1850ies boosting the hight of the buildings and then in modern buildings there is so much technology reliant on movement, such as sun shading, ventilation, escalators, doors and windows and so on.

The Birkhauser publication ‘Move: Architecture in Motion: Dynamic Components and Elements‘ brings these mobility aspects in architecture together. However it is not just a listing of curiosities, it is also a design manual as it documents in detail how each example works, is designed and built. This includes photographs text, but also detail drawings.

The structure of the book follows an ordering principe of the actual motion the architecture does. This is interesting as it provides a degree of abstraction, very useful to compare and asses the different examples. The list is as follows swivel, rotate, flap, slide, fold, expand and contract, gather and roll up, pneumatic.

Villa Il Girasole
Image taken from yatzer.com / The residential building negates the usual distinctions between inside and outside, public and private. Passers-by can look inside and see what they would normally expect to find in the outdoors: a rocky area. The private spaces are suspended above. The building unites art and architecture. The art created here is integral to the house, but also autonomous. This increases the communicative power of the house. Living Room speaks to the people and the things around it – and awaits response.

The examples are great, especial since they are discussed in such detail. You get the usual suspects, but then the discoveries of gems you haven’t thought of for a long time or never known of before.
Flipping through as a selection: ‘Quadracci Pavillion‘ in Milwaukee, USA by Santiago Calatrava, ‘Sliding House‘ in Suffolk, United Kingdom, by dRMM Architects, ‘Living Room‘ in Gelmhausen, Germany, by Seifert.Stoeckmann@formalhaut, ‘Erika Mann Primary School‘ in Berlin, Germany, by Susanne Hofmann Architekten and the Baupiloten, ‘Rolling Bridge‘ in London, United Kingdom by Heatherwick Studio, ‘Houses on Hohenbuehlstrasse‘ in Zuerich, Switzerland, by AGPS.architecture.

This is however, only the second part of the book, there is a first half to it. Here the authors discuss the different aspects of movement in architecture. This ranges from a chapter on energy evaluating the different technologies for solar gain (Institute du Monde Arabe as above), ventilation and heating and so on, to the movement as an activity using examples of video theater an film as well as the discussions around smart materials and smart structures.

This is really a hands on book, in the sense that it discusses the topic from beginning to end, not linearly but in ordered fashion. Moreover it is not just a showcase but a discussion and definitely a book that belong in every architects library, things are moving and architecture does too. You just have to plan it in the right way and it can be a dream come true.

Villa Il Girasole
Image taken from library du moniteur / Move: Architecture in Motion book cover.

Schumacher, M., 2010. Move: Architecture in Motion: Dynamic Components and Elements, Basel: Birkhäuser.

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Today is RGS day, actually RGS has been on since Tuesday this week. RGS is the Royal Geographical Society: ‘We are the learned society and professional body for geography’. The annual conference of course is a big event, prestigious and well attended we hope. THe official twitter tag for this conference is #RGSIBG10. So look out for this to follow the latest news on the day.

I will be presenting a paper in the session 143 organised by James Cheshire from spatialanlaysis. The session title is: Postgraduate Session: Analysing and Visualizing Social Change

THe paper I will be presenting is on aspects of routine migration in the city, the daily migration from home to work and changes in location on short term. I will be using both, the study using GPS to trace individuals in urban areas as well as the more recent twitter mined data with the New City Landscapes to illustrate these aspects. Important key elements will be time obviously, but also a number of aspects of repetition, memory and the creation of identity. There will also be a focus on visualisation using the Hagerstrand time-space aquarium.

The abstract of the paper:
The research project investigates temporal spatial patterns of citizens. For the study we are using GPS technology to track participants over a longer period to record repetitive activities. The collected data, through the GPS has a timestamp and a location, serves well this purpose. However the challenge is the visualisation and the interpretation of the data. To approach this problem the ‘technical’ GPS data is complemented with individual information collected through interviews and mental maps. This set of data helps to create a context, in which the aspects of temporal experience can be studied as an additional dimension to urban life. Visualisation concentrates on time budget in the spatial context taking location features into account as part of the memory as well as the creation of identity. For visualisation purposes a number of approaches are used, from time-space aquariums to animations.

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It is really something that is the aesthetic of the time. Thin black endless wiggly lines on an abstract white background, densifying here, loosening up here only to cuddle in an other heap of completely tangled up strings over her. These abstract patterns are visually fascinating, but why this is, I am not sure. One thing is the abstraction from an obvious continuos activity of some sort, the presence of an invisible repetition, of which one is sure must be there and the forming pattern of density and mess.
We have, over the last two, three years learned to recognise these sort of drawings as movement line. Movement of people and animals perhaps, but movement lines quite different from other movement paths previously visualised such as the path of the sun or planets, the movement of shadows or water. It contains the aspects of immediate and real-time decision on the spot, the reaction to a range of influences from large scale, distant events, to the immediate surrounding and interactions with other static or moving objects. It represents in this sense a process as a string of events that were actively dealt with. This aspect of process or in this context better ‘creation’ – in the sense of creating as you go along, of individual actions influenced by background, experience and personality – is a unique characteristic that usually is either underestimated and erase-simplified or over estimated by putting it as random. What exactly is its role in a denser aggregated context?

Image by urbanTick / Movement tracking over the period of 1.9 hours working in the evening on some posts and mapping tasks. The activity is captured as curser positions using the software IOGraphica.

The visualisation here, come very close to what has been described above, but actually it does not represent any physical movement, it is a simple track map of the curser activity on the computer screen. There are similarities, however the context is extremely confined and designed to work and relate in a specific way. Nevertheless it produces visually interesting images. And if your bored and dont have time to go for a walk, a stole and drift thought the city, let you mouse curser do it for you. The too is called IOGraphica was deveoped by Anatoly Zenkov and Andrey Shipilov and is currently available in v0.9. A tool to run in the background and track you workday at the desk. One started it records each location of the curser as well as the duration, draws lines between them and upon request visualises the time spent per location as growing black dots. Only a few options available but nicely presented.
Download from HERE. See some more visuals on flickr.

Thanks to Paul M. fo the link

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Movement through the city has many different forms and shapes and speeds and purposes and desires and impacts and joys. Parkour is on e of the more specialised forms of moving around and definitely one that has changed the perception of movement in space in recent years.
Not to dwell on its history, a quote from Wikipedia: “It is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, as if moving in an emergency situation.”
To visualise the type of movement here a great timeLapse visual – enjoy.

Found through dpr-barcelona

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We have been logging Twitter activities in the London area (M25) over an earlier weekend in January with some code Steven Gray has put together. The idea was to log the location based traffic and see what the mapping of it would bring. There are a number of twitter mapping projects out there already, for example twittermap.tv from where the timeLapse of the weekend activity was captured HERE, or the first big mapping project twittervision.com. However, we wanted to focus on a local region, a city, to see what the traffic is and how the location might play a role. The traffic visualisation page tweeTOMeter is part of this interest.

Image by UrbanTick / Screenshot of Twitter data visualised in GeoTime’s space-time aquarium.

One could think of this investigation as following the urban story quite literally, while following the tweets of citizens. However it is quite tricky to make sense of it all. The dataset for the weekend, which covers Friday evening to Monday morning contains some 300’000 tweets. Not all of them are properly geo referenced. Only 1’700 have actual Lat/Long information in the geo tag field. Furthermore some 60’000 have Lat/Long details in their profile tag field and the ret only has a generic profile location, such as London. This probably is because of the relatively new geo support of the Twitter API. Most users still seem to have little interest to include their actual location, as well as a lot of the applications do not yet properly support the format. Interesting seems to be the network. Whom are tweets directed at? It seems to be quite a high average of direct tweets, almost 3 per message. Also who will actually read it, how many followers are there in average?
Working with the real geo referenced tweets, surprisingly they contain quite a bit of movement.
For a quick look at the data it has been visualised in GeoTime. The representation in the time-space aquarium makes the diagonal lines, that suggest movement, very distinguishable from the vertical stationary lines. While looking at the replay in the 2D view the weekend really comes to life and London gets busy.

Similar visualisation, with snippets and names, but without the river Thames, can be fund HERE.
GeoTime here really offers a powerful and very quick way of visualising the data in space and time and offers a whole pallet of different visualisation types, each including a set of tools for analysis and manipulation. Import comes either via ARCGIS or even quicker excel.
The main problem really is the quality of the graphics, the design of the result. Here the user has hardly any choice or possibilities to manipulate anything from colour palette to line style or font. This is a bit annoying especially because the tool is kind of an end of the line analysis tool, after you have prepared the data elsewhere.
The second quick one goes into Google Earth obviously. Here the data again comes from a simple excel spread sheet with a VB macro to write the KML file. This literally takes 5 seconds to do and you have a KML file, including time tags in Google Earth.
This one only plays the locations though, also in a time window of some six hours.

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Visualisation of the transport network of Washington D.C. over 24 hours. Developed by Rahul Nair in Processing. It is visualised in processing with a data set from WMATA transit system. The transport network has made their dat available through the open Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS). If you want to have a go the set is available from HERE. It has been made available to allow for the third party development of application, especially mobile applications for travellers. This way the transport provider hopes to source attractive and convenient applications without having to pay for it. A good plan I guess. However, what I didn’t know is that there is a whole lot of feeds available through this GTFS schema. The list can be found HERE, only US, but pretty cool.
Beautiful how the the dots buzz around. The back and forward pattern is not as obvious as expected, for this the D.C. area is simply too busy. The overall pattern of an ebb between two and four in the morning is something one would expect, however it seems surprisingly short.

Second try can be found HERE.

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I have been talking a lot recently about the creation of space as a synthesis of body and body movement. The idea is directly linked to observations or better visualisation method used for the UrbanDiary data.
The track log is simply points with a lat/long coordinate and a time stamp. However it can be assumes that around this location up to certain distance, depending on physical objects, the environment is experienced. Regarding the sequencing along the clock time information, these experience multiply and over time create a spatial corridor.
Purely by thinking of the body as a physical object moving you can imagine the same creation of ‘space’. This idea heavily draws on the use of memory, of the fading ‘space’ and the imagination of possible ‘spaces’.
To illustrate this idea of choreographed movement here is a series of dance moves that create the space along a clearly defined stepping sequence.
Image taken from chas.utoronto.ca – T’ai-chi footwork

The instruction to Thriller – taken from Nada Mas

For the Thriller instruction here is the original for more facial expression! check it out.

Thriller from Mauro Firmo on Vimeo.

If you have noting to do over the weekend here is the step by step youtube instruction.

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