J. MAYER H.
J. MAYER H.
A.WAY catching future by the fairytale
Audi Urban Future Award 2010 Curated by Stylepark
With technologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advancement over the last century, things unknown and invisible became perceptible and visible. From atoms to bacteria, radioactivity to the nano world, technology is forever trying to render the unknown perceptible as a means of understanding, controlling, manipulating and improving the world. The digital revolution is the latest step in this development, with the paradox that its advances lie in the disappearance of physical content, yet its effects on the visible world are omnipresent, away and here. Away is the expression of something on the move, into extinction. Away leaves a trace of something disappearing, still occupying space for a moment. Away dematerializes the visible into the invisible, leaving a potential that occupies time and space even if it is imperceptible. Once that potential has been missed, it is definitely gone. The strange character of the invisible cannot be grasped or identified. It is either hidden or camouflaged from the public. It can only be unveiled with the appropriate tool, filter or action. For example, radioactive particles can only be
viewed through the physical interaction with metals. Chemicals measure air pollution and heat dispersion can only be accurately evaluated with infrared sensors. The invisible is out of public control and therefore frightens the masses. When control is given back to the public, away needs to shape its character and stimulate improvisation and creativity. Away creates new forms of social interactions. Away creates bonds between people. Digital technologies know how to manage away. With the growing amount and densification of information on the Internet, the latter had become away, on the verge of becoming blurry and invisible. Digital technologies create filters, stacks, tags and groups as a means of rendering the overdose of information comprehensible. The Internet is shifting its strategy away from a “one-fits-all” content policy to an individualised one where intelligent agents sort out the information according to each individual user’s preferences. Social media allows this system to take into account connections between users, yet creating instant personalisation. Our collective interaction with the information makes it more intelligent and more efficient. We successfully deal with this system by modifying our boundaries of privacy and publicity. On an urban level, our cities will change with digital technologies. The urban environment needs to be thoroughly digitalised so that it can be dealt with in the same way as the Internet and social medias. The urban environment turns into social media, allowing us to highlight parts of it to match our preferences. This “push and pull”, “touch and poke” allow us to better navigate away.
J. Mayer H. Audi Urban Future Award 2010 Curated by Stylepark
ONCE UPON A TIME AROUND 1985, THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE OZONE HOLE.
The ozone hole was the biggest, most radical form of away the world had ever known. On a global scale, it questioned our modes of consumption, production and mobility. Cities were growing bigger, denser, and more complex and congestion zones were the principle causes of pollution. The ozone faded away. Our way of living in cities, our urban reality was at stake. The ozone hole awakened our consciousness and represented the window into a new reality where the invisible and the visible, the immaterial and the material, the virtual and the real could coexist. On the horizon, around 2000, there was the prospect of a new reality controlled by the latest developments in electricity and digital technologies. The car industry ran entirely on electricity taken from a smart grid, also known as the Electricity Embedded Environment (EEE). By 2030, the whole urban environment had been thoroughly digitalised and all information was interconnected.
MULTITASKING IN CAR
Cars incorporated the virtual world. They were fully digitalized and became intelligent.
Live Labs Pivot: A Massive Interactive Zoom on Data http://infosthetics.com/archives/2010/03/live_labs_pivot_massive_interactive_zoom_on_complex_data_ted_talk.html
Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsXjQXJfP6k&feature=related
Augmented Driving for Iphone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kn37kvGpHQ
To wander is to explore with an open mind, with no prejudice and no prerequisite. Purposelessly, one wanders in order to escape social order where regularity, clarity and coherence are required. Walter Benjaminâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flaneur wanders through the city in search of inspiration. The city becomes a spectacle. The flaneur probes his surroundings for clues and distractions in order to awaken consciousness about the built environment and establish a momentary intimacy with it. To wander is to be creative. To wander is to navigate a world of our own construct. One can wander if and only if one is freed from constraints. Wandering happens in a space of infinity where time and space are no longer defined by a fixed route, rhythm and pace. It has neither a beginning nor an end. One may think that car mobility and wandering are incompatible. The purpose of car mobility is to move from point A to point B. But on occasions, one discovers that it is possible to wander with the car through the city. One doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know why one wanders. To wander is to stroll with the hope of discovering something invisible. In this way wander and away operate in the field of the unknown and the invisible.
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES TRANSFORMED THE CAR FROM A VIEWING MACHINE TO AN EXPERIENCE MACHINE.
Digital technologies tracked our mobility through urban spaces. Assistants and automated driving gadgets took over the role of the driver, leaving the physical features of the car functionally obsolete. There was no need for left, right, back mirrors and headlights. Digital technologies and assistants freed the body from security issues and from then on one could lay back and enjoy the ride. It was then possible to plug in our digital profile into the car and augmented reality technologies enhanced our mobile experience in the city. A new kind of relationship arose between the human body and the car, and between the car and the city, and between the human body and the city with the car as mediator. All entities were fully digitalised and the distinction between body, car and environment blurred.
Dead angle assistant Adaptive long distance light Lane guide assistant Attention assistant Breaking assistant Overtaking assistant Night view assistant Speed limit assistant
Through the digital the body related in new ways to the car and to other bodies. Their interactions constantly reconfigured data.
PRE 2030 BODY-CAR EXPERIENCE : DRIVING Acceleration and speed created an interlocked relationship between the body and the environment.
POST 2030 BODY-CAR EXPERIENCE : DRIVEN
Sensorial body interaction blurred the distinction between the body and the environment.
Antony Gormley http://www.antonygormley.com/
Starlings on Otmoor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH-groCeKbE
Wash away is the process of elimination. Washing away expresses a more radical form than cleaning away. Cleaning is associated to healing and repairing. Dirt is cleaned away. Clothes are taken to the drycleaner. But on the other side, a murderer washes away the blood from the crime scene in order to erase traces. The initial state of things is restored through cleaning and repairing. Wash away is a much more brutal form of cleaning. It puts a bigger element into play. It removes objects with the application of water or other kinds of liquids. Washing away is very much like flooding. On an urban scale flooding occurs on streets and washes away cars and pedestrians. Tabula rasa is a form of city planning that now belongs to the past. Entire parts of cities were entirely cleared away in order to make space for a new hope. Wash away differs from tabula rasa in the way it operates. It hardly has the power to destroy modern urban settings. It takes for granted the morphology of the city and frees it from the unnecessary. Wash away floods between solids and removes the traces of the old infrastructure, eliminating the parasitic and the obsolete. Only after a wash away can the city redefine its urban character.
THE DIGITAL WASH FLOODED AND CLEANED THE CITY OF VISUAL AND SONIC POLLUTION.
With digital technologies taking over the efficiency and safety of traffic - the street signs, billboards and road markings - became obsolete. By clearing away the visual pollution, the focus was given back to architecture and people. Data-veillance impacted the atmosphere of the city by eliminating light pollution caused by streetlights, traffic lights and headlights. The possibility then arose to create ambient and atmospheric lighting. The city shifted its night focus from infrastructure back to the built environment. Sound pollution caused by engines and horns disappeared and as a result, traffic stress and accidents were entirely eliminated. Once the digital wash took effect, a new kind of city appeared. The traffic had changed its nature. Cars became quiet and the continuous street flow sounded like a streaming river. High-density and congestion zones were turned into high-value real estate zones. The flooding concentrated only in high-density zones and city centers, leaving the countryside dry of digital technologies. As a consequence, lower-density zones rediscovered the true pleasures of driving with speed and adrenaline. The digital wash flooded the city and turned its atmosphere upside down.
PRE 2030 : HARDWARE BASED TRAFFIC INFRASTRUCTURE
POST 2030 : SOFTWARE BASED TRAFFIC INFRASTRUCTURE
PRE 2030 : FUNCTIONAL LIGHT
POST 2030 : AMBIENT LIGHT
LOW-DENSITY ZONES In the countryside it was possible to enjoy the pleasures of speed and racing.
HIGH-DENSITY ZONES The real excitement happened in the city where people were driven to discover a personalised atmosphere.
To flow is to run smoothly. Assuming the flow, we accept that there are no abrupt interruptions and no stumbles. Its fluid, steady, continuous, easy and graceful appearance might be deceiving but a flow can still manage irregularity and complexity. Chaos, disorder and differences are smoothly absorbed by the flow. In fact, it is only through abundance that one can create a flow. The flow is the representation of an event causing a continual shifting of objects towards a goal. The flow naturally models its path according to its need. Once, the flow is ended, it still remains present in the form of erosion and deposits. Already the impact of the flow is accepted and space is created in order to facilitate the next upcoming flow. After all, everything needs to flow.
CONSTANT FLOW OF TRAFFIC CREATED NEW AESTHETICS AND GROWTH POTENTIAL IN THE CITY.
Digital technologies changed the nature of the traffic in the city. Compartmentalization between cars and â&#x20AC;&#x153;stop & goâ&#x20AC;? traffic were eliminated in favour of a constant fluid traffic. Parking was no longer necessary as cars were fitted with car emitters. The emission rate was synchronized with periods of low-peak and high-peak demand. Cars were always on the flow, streaming through the city centre. Access to high-density zones was limited to cars with a blue sticker indicating they were fully equipped with automated driving technology. Living downtown was like living by the riverside. Traffic optimization algorithms successfully compressed the number of street lanes. The regained space on the side of the flow was given back to the city. The city expanded not only outwards but also inwards, thickening inside its own tissue. More flexible space was available to develop as an elastic space for negotiating between inside/outside, public/ private, commercial/non-profit, etc. The flow transformed the aesthetics of the city by materializing on pedestrian areas and on building facades. The car blended in with other forms of gadgets. The car industry collaborated with the mobile telecommunication industry, establishing a business model for mobililty network providers. New collaborations between the city, providers and car-mobility brands came alive, each time offering individualised urban experiences and services.
PRE 2030 : STOP-AND-GO TRAFFIC / GREEN BADGE Compartmentalization between drivers created congestion and therefore sound and air pollution.
The ecological badges minimized co2 emissions and reduced traffic by restricting access to high-density zones.
POST 2030 : FLUID TRAFFIC / DIGITAL BADGE Fluid and silent traffic brought a new relaxing mobility experience to the city.
The digital badge ensured the optimal flow of traffic by restricting access to cars with automated driving technology.
FLOW Automated traffic flowed like a river both at low peak and high peak periods. Cars left traces of their interaction with the elastic zone.
Digital technologies blurred the boundaries between inside and outside by thoroughly 3d-mapping the built environment.
Surveillance through mobile phones http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,701230,00.html
ENVIRONMENT DATA MAPPING
LAYERS OF NEGOTIATION SPACE The compression of street lanes allowed for different expansion possibilities: energy harvesting, green space, commercial and social areas could take form within this soft territory.
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THICKENING CITY Potentials for expansion appeared. Buildings as well as pedestrian areas could extend their boundaries. The city grew inside its own tissue.
ELASTIC AND RESPONSIVE SPACE AS MEDIATOR
POST 2030 : CAR EMITTERS AND MOBILITY NETWORK SERVICES Car emitters controlled the rate of cars available for carpool in the city.
Mobile network providers created alliances with car brands in order to provide mobility network services.
Pedestrian mass movement http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,699080,00.html
A splash is the scattering of smaller particles of water through the interaction between an object and water. In order to create a splash, a certain amount of violence in movement and speed needs to be created. A splash can leave a trace of its action on another object. Some will unarguably find it thrilling to hit a target while playing a paintball game. Similarly, a skirt becomes wet when one splashes a glass of water on to it. The interaction between an object and the water are displayed very noticeably through the traces left by the splash. After a while the trace dries off or fades away. However, sometimes a splash leaves a stain and cannot be washed away anymore. The splash becomes a trace of transformation or reconfiguration by the interaction of two entities. Hence, the splash only takes position in time and space. In the city, the interaction between a car and a puddle is the most known form of splash. We fear the car splash because of the unforeseeable dirty wet traces it leaves on our body. Splashing has no specific purpose except to disrupt the condition of an element. Weather, a light form of splash, impacts the condition of the city to such an extent it becomes the beginning and end of informal conversations. Similarly, the “poke” and “like” features in Facebook allow interaction without full involvement. Splashing and poking go hand in hand in a way as they encourage people to come up with their own readings and visions.
THE DIGITAL SPLASH GAVE BIRTH TO POKEVILLE.
Pokeville was the ultimate, digitally-flooded city. Streets were filled with rivers of digital information. The physicality and densification of the city were now digitally enabled. Digital technologies provided new ways of navigating and perceiving the city through the car by splashing the userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preferences and customized virtual information onto its built environment. The street became a river in which cars and bodies participated in a common communication experience. The user became the creator of his own urban environment through the interaction with the touchscreen windshield. User-relevant parts of the city were selectively highlighted while irrelevant parts were blended out. With the experience machine and the splash, the user could finally relate to the city and interact with it in new ways. Social networking tools enhanced this experience by creating a new form of interaction between cars and bodies. The car was able to poke the digital information of the city and leave a temporary trace of the interaction between a user and the city. The poke became a test run of interaction. The poke temporarily modified the digital information of the city, thus creating an infinite number of events and scenarios, and luring one to poke back. The personalized status became a constant communication signal to other users, calling one to be contacted or poked by others. In Pokeville, the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sensory characteristics were exchanged 24/7.
The Unfinished Swan http://vimeo.com/1807754
GIVE & TAKE A.WAY
To give is to receive. By giving something to someone, you assume that person will return the favour. Hence, the action of giving engages an exchange, a dialogue. Giving defies the notion of ownership. When you give something away, it is not yours anymore. Giving away is free, but indirectly, you offer to give away something that was private. Opening an email account is free, but you agree on renegotiating the boundaries of your private sphere. By giving away, you not only give, but you also reveal something that hasn’t been made public yet. It is part of a greater community. You engage an endless process of exchange through giving and receiving. The borders between public and private space are displaced. The give away is the action of making the invisible visible. The barcode, matrixcode and semacode need to be decrypted with the appropriate action in order to give away information. A negotiation process is created between the invisible and the visible, the immaterial and the material, the virtual and the real. Marketing sectors have successfully dealt with giving away. By giving away something to the public, they attract their clientele’s attention for buying something bigger. Give away is a form of trade. So remember, don’t forget to give away all the information in this book. You might receive a pleasant surprise in exchange.
POKEVILLE THE NEW MODEL FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING.
Pokeville became your own personalized city. More potential for interactions appeared, and not only on the street level. Flexible zones between inside and outside came to life, blurring and negotiating the boundaries between public and private. The resulting new aesthetics represented the seductive nature of the digitally enhanced city. Pokeville changed the way we live together and communicate. The negotiation between individual and community dissolved with the introduction of digital technologies, yet other kinds of firewalls needed to be constructedâ&#x20AC;Ś The level of interactivity between user and the new car introduced an unprecedented shift in the materiality of the city. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;driveruser-drivenâ&#x20AC;? was finally able to experience and manipulate the built environment via the interaction of digital tools. This displacement of boundaries between the real and the virtual introduced an alluring sensorial space to the city. The car was the primary interface between the body and the all-inclusive environment. The urban environment was experienced as an interior space where interactive and smart materials participate in a tactile, temperature-sensitive, olfactory, audible and visual experience. All the senses played a role in creating a new interiority for the urban environment.
SOCIAL NETWORKING In Pokeville the car became a catalyst for social interaction, triggering an infinite number of communication scenarios conducive to interpersonal connectivity.
Car as social media http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tREIVuQVra0&feature=related
SixthSense - integrating information with the real world http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense/
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ok to poke http://www.mikemccready.ca/ blog/2009/11/its-ok-to-poke/
Pillsbury Dough Boy http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=i64NSCzkNys
Despite the probability of the system collapsing, the city kept on going, knowing that with any disruption it would be forced to improvise, adapt and move ahead. By 2030, the world adopted the model of Pokeville; electrified, digitalized and smooth, and we lived under a protected ozone layer again,
HAPPILY EVER AFTER, HERE AND AWAY.
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Car Hacking http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/ science/14hack.html?_ r=1&scp=4&sq=cars%20internet%20 engine&st=cse
© 2010 J. MAYER H.
A hardcover copy is available through the following publisher: Verlag / Publisher Trademark Publishing Westendstr. 87 60325 Frankfurt am Main Germany www.trademarkpublishing.de ISBN 978-3-9813228-5-9
Grafik Design / Graphic Design Vanessa Enriquez www.local-37.com Text Jürgen Mayer H. Paul Angelier Copyediting Amy Patton Typefaces: Cholla Sans, OCR A Std ISBN 978-3-9813228-6-6
J. Mayer H. http://www.jmayerh.de
für / for Audi Urban Future Award 2010 Curated by Stylepark AG Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Konzeption / Concept J. MAYER H. Berlin, Germany www.jmayerh.de
... A.WAY is a fairytale exploring the potential of digital technologies in the context of the future of mobility. It takes the reader on a journey to discover the creation of Pokeville, a model of future cities in which cars turn from viewing machines for maneuvering through traffic to sensorial experience machines. In Pokeville, the car becomes a catalyst for social interaction and a personalized perception of the city. It invites you to wander A.WAY ...