Remap is an interactive environment to explore the characteristics of buildings and redefine their relation with the territory. The project avoids the conventional idea of a map in which each building has its unique place in the urban tissue. In this sense, the basic strategy is to negate fixed positions and define a new territory based on the shape and social content of each building. Thousands of outlines and tags were extracted from OpenStreetMap and analyzed in order to treat buildings as autonomous objects with the capacity redefine the representation of city based only on its own specific attributes. A new territory can be organized according criteria such as rectangularity, dispersion, area perimeter, income, etc., revealing relationships that are hidden in the conventions of the traditional map. In the end, the project is a disturbing crossover between a tool for urban analysis/visualization and a dispute of micro-organisms under microscope lens.
Firstly, this project shows my architectural obsession with diagramming and building form. How changes in the outline of the building reveal a complete different attitude towards space and the interaction of people in space. Besides, there are external references that were very important to me in two fields: urban fragmentation and micro-organisms.
In terms of fragmentation, I have to cite:
– David Griffin and Hans Kolhoff’s City of composite presence (1978)
– Armelle Caron’s Anagrammes graphiques de plans de villes or Les Villes Rangees (2005-2008)
I had to learn many new things such as geodata, data scraping and physical simulation. I am a researcher in Computational Design and usually I try not to use libraries. However, in the project I needed box2d to deal with interaction of the buildings and also control p5 to define the interface. The project ended up very much as what I expected, but as I had to learn at the same time that I was doing, the code is still chaotic. Besides, when I deactivate collisions I still use the solver of box2d to move the buildings, so it keeps calculating a lot of overlapping of masses that it is not going to be applied – I need to implement a specific non-physical solver for movements without collision in the future.
Finally, the project can be understood as pure art or as a data visualization tool. Depending on the user, the criticisms and suggestions always point to develop it towards one end. However, I think this ambiguity and deviation are what make the project so interesting.
See the code on github.