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The 20 Research Projects

Multimodal Representation of Urban Space

Representing space is not only a long-standing challenge to the arts but is also a major task in the planning process for buildings, cities, and many other products. This particularly applies to the "Urban Renaissance" of our days with its emphasis on public places. Space - more than the surrounding objects or buildings - seems to demand to be represented not only visually, as it is not only determined by the visible surrounding objects, but also by sound and smell which are literally "in the air", and by an integrated multimodal body experience which is related to the space itself. Nevertheless, spaces, especially urban spaces in planning processes, are today usually only represented in a visual manner.

The major hypothesis of our project is that much better results for convenient and appealing urban spaces could be achieved if all sensory factors were acknowledged and controlled during the design process. There is no doubt about the multimodal quality of urban space - it always appeals to all senses. But all these factors are usually poorly represented (if considered at all) during the design process.

The major research question of our project is how such an appropriate representation of the multimodal qualities of urban space might be achieved during the design process. Further questions are: How can space be represented in general? What means of representing space have already been developed? What kind of design control could be achieved if the multimodal qualities of spaces were also included into the design process? What kind of creativity might be evoked by using methods of multimodal space representation? What affordable and practical technologies might be used in common design processes for spaces? Our research project will try to find answers to propose appropriate means for designing future urban spaces in a multisensory manner.

Call for papers:

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Principal Investigator:
Gordon Mair
University of Strathclyde
T: 0141 548 2258
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