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FutureGov Live Brief: Digital Soft Cities

As a Live Brief given by FutureGov, we were tasked to “avoid cultural flattening of the strange, complex and unknowable places”. We discerened and unpicked London. We saw a city defined by the secret discourse between movements, behaviours and physicality with architecture, space and infrastructures that constantly mould and re-mould one another.

Focusing on movement and flow, we wanted to take data and turn it into a bodied experience through rhythm and choreography. We collected two types of data: hard data is found through counting, open source graphs and numbers whilst soft data is defined by drawings, poems, sounds, experiences. We made a scale of relevancy — a scale from culturally generic factors like footfall and internet speed to culturally specific factors like shopping bags in Oxford Circus or chicken bones in New Cross.

We explored methods of expressing these data through displacement, abstractions, relativations. Investigating two contrasting sites within London allows the audience to understand the data experiences through emotive comparison.

Aside from the videos, animations, choreographies, performances, scores and images that we produced, we had gained an empathetic understanding of a place through the whole process. From data collection, applying methods to unpick them to the production of an alternative data experience.

Check the full presentation below: