Author Archives: 02 Baixin Ren

GIS and Diagrammatic City Making

For planners and urban designers, GIS is a powerful tool includes large amount of information about geographic diagrams and database. Usually, GIS engineer build up the city’s database through investigations, collecting data from companies, in order to provide planners accurate data for analysis. For example, they can easily get access to different categories of data such as age, racial, gender, income, education level, housing vacancy, transportation, etc. Also, according to its sharing nature, planners and engineer use this public stage to share files and data each other, which will also helped a lot. However, GIS is more like a 2D tool in terms of space analysis and simulation. So, it is sometimes helpful for people to combine this Geographic Information System with modeling programs to make it possible for large scale computation and management, making planners and designers easier and quicker to visualize the results.

Since our target is set up to present how these two programs can be applied to specific planning or design issues, the way we choose to present is to select several real problems in Cincinnati. In terms of the principles of these two stages, our topic relates to both spacial diagram and information database. In this process, spacial diagrams mainly worked as something we directly imported into Rhino or Grasshopper, which format is the most common applied in this crossing area; while statistics could be mostly used through grasshopper, where you also need extra plug-ins to read excel.

We group choose Cincinnati downtown as sample place. I did two experiments about our public service in this area. Firstly, parks service accessibility. In this phase, I find out parks shapefile in CAGIS, clipped the extra area and leave out for downtown parks only. Then, the format we save as is .dwg to realize the transfer from ArcGIS to Rhino program. After the shapefile present in your Rhino as a diagram, you can begin edit it through various ways which up to what results or analysis you want. Since grasshopper really provide people a way to handle large scale city or large amount of data, it becomes a perfect tool to let computer do it rather than planners and designers themselves. In this experiment, what I want to is to do a deeper analysis to classify people’s accessibility to parks in this area. The ranging of the radius is related to the size of the parks which means larger parks may serve more people. Also, I use meatball to connect the center of the parks to see people living where could have multiple choices for parks.

When you overlapped the two area, the vacant area means they are not covered by parks service or hard to access to parks.

Secondly, I use a program in grasshopper—people flow simulation to try a new way of designing cities, which has been tried by architects like Zaha Hadid. The experiment show how people hopes to go according to the functional zones such as schools, hospitals, commercials, and parks, which is their daily story. However, using GIS information could help you out with large scale city information.

To this conference, we did several experiments to show other students how we connect GIS program with Rhino. What we hope is not only figure out a way how these two powerful programs work for each other, but also provide others what possible issues we can come up with a solution easier and quicker. Even though we still have a long way to explore more in this process, but I think my job—leading others interested and have a desire on trying this is done.

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This fabulous cloud is created by Caitlind r.c. Brown, an artist, filmmaker, and collaborator based in Calgary, Canada. CLOUD was exhibited for one-night during Calgary’s first Nuit Blanche Festival. It is an interactive sculpture consisted of 6,000new or burnt-out bulbs. During the process to create CLOUD, artists collected bulbs from local households, businesses, museums and eco stations.

How CLOUD works: This steel installation has an incandescent light bulbs skin. Audiences could interact with CLOUD through simply turn on, off, and pull. All of the bulbs are connected to a pull-string, which people could stand beneath the sculpture and pull the lights on and off, enjoy the flickering aesthetic of the CLOUD. Also, CLOUD’S form and light attract the audiences on a more internal level, allowing them to loiter happily.

This installation in relationship to our project shows that not only about digital-control form for the sculpture, but also the energy and social related issues, and this interactive design combine action with voice and light.