Visualising atmospheres: digital placemaking in the 21st century


In the so-called 'experience economy', architecture and urban design have become vital to place-making and urban branding strategies, as cities re-invent themselves on a global stage. Digital visualisations of buildings and places are crucial tools for imagining and designing new urban developments, as well as for projecting what they will feel like. They have become an ubiquitous part of the urban visual landscape, and now constitute the main platform for interaction and communication between architects, developers, planners, and the public.

This free conference at The Building Centre on 31st August from 10.00 - 17.00 is open to all, bringing together a range of design professionals and urban academics to discuss these issues. Registration is essential.

10:00 Coffee, Arrival

10:30-12:00 Session 1: Digital Atmospheres
This session explores how digital technologies are used to evoke and produce particular feelings or moods of place in a range of digital places such as architectural visualisations and computer games. James Ash examines how video game designers create games to have particular bodily effects on their players; Ben Townsend will take us into a visualisation studio and discuss the process of evoking atmospheres in digital places; and Monica Degen, Clare Melhuish and Gillian Rose discuss how digital technologies are changing the way architects work and conjure cities.
• Dr James Ash, Northumbria University
• Ben Townsend, Squint Opera
• Dr Monica Degen, Dr Clare Melhuish and Prof Gillian Rose, Open University, Brunel University

12:00-13:00 LUNCH

13:00-14:30 Session 2: Place Making
In this session we discuss the importance of visualisation techniques for branding architecture and cities. In particular we want to explore how digital technologies have changed placemaking strategies. Michel Mossessian reflects from an architectural point of view how the use of CGI has impacted on his practice; Ann Cronin analysis how branding in the city has changed how individuals relate to their urban environment; Mark Davy discusses how digital visualisation has impacted on place making strategies in his consultancy company.
• Michel Mossessian, Mossessian & Partners
• Dr Anne Cronin, Lancaster University
• Mark Davy, Future City

14:30-14:00 COFFEE

15:00-16:30 Session 3: Participation
This session considers how digital visualisations enable or disable public participation within the planning of future cities. Ola Soderstrom explores the role of the visual sense in planning participation; Sophia de Sousa discusses the opportunities and challenges digital technologies bring to participatory planning; and Rebecca Ross investigates the relationships between participatory planning and various visual practices.
• Prof Ola Soderstrom, Neuchatel University, Switzerland
• Sophia de Sousa, The Glass-House Community Led Design
• Rebecca Ross, Central St Martin’s College

16:30-17:15 Plenary: Digital Placemaking In The 21st Century

The key themes that have evolved during the day will be discussed with the speakers and the audience.

To register your interest for this one-day conference, please complete this registration form.