UMP: The Urban Mutations Platform

The UMP installation presents a comprehensive urban theory, which identifies so-called mutations in a city: alterations in the city's genetic code, which can be beneficial or harmful, with local or global effect and can drastically affect the city's development. The user can digitally create a city out of several non-specific structural subunits and then apply mutations, represented by structural and functional city elements that signify an explicit change within an otherwise generic city subunit. Mutations distort the city grid and quantify on the city level parameters such as: the type of disturbances caused; the gravity of each disturbance; the size of the affected area. The applied method is inspired by life sciences and recognizes the city as a complex, higher organism. It incorporates several steps: Deconstruction: the complex system (city) is cut into smaller pieces, which can be deeply understood. Mutation: alterations are performed within the subunits. Experimentation: the mutated subunits are allowed to interact and the results are recorded. Analysis and Synthesis: Once the effects of single mutations are understood, more mutations are allowed to interact each time, until a thorough understanding of the entire system can be reached. The city is finally reconstructed back into its totality. The interactive installation is meant to bring people of all backgrounds and ages together around the table, towards a better understanding of the urban systems they inhabit.
The UMP is an interactive installation by: Sofia Georgakopoulou


A small example of the Urban Mutations Platform in action.

ETHZ information Architecture, ia.arch.ethz.ch, prof. dr. G. Schmitt. In Collaboration with: Daniel Z√ľnd


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