Shortlist 2013


Hi All,

I'm making 3 little films that expand on a specific element of the project:

Here's the first. It's Truck and Travel, and why this project is designed to move...
Let me know what you think!

The City You Dreamed Of: Trucks and Travel. from Laura Kriefman on Vimeo.

Can you tell me a bit more about the 'beautiful data mashup' it sounds exciting but I'm not sure what it is.
Thanks and good luck with the project.

Love it! Love the idea of the blocks just arriving in a space anonymously and without warning.

How heavy will they be ? Can kids as well as adults play? What if someone nicks a block? Can it go to other cities too? Actually, can it go to rural places maybe as well, would love to come across it in the middle of the moor!

Hi there,

Thanks for your comments: Good questions!
The majority of the blocks will probably be made of firm upholstery Foam- it's light enough for everyone to handle, and it holds it's shape so you can build complex structures. It's fire retardant and easy to embed the sensors into.

The blocks will be quite big- A rhomboid (3d rectangle) will be about 2 foot x 1 foot x 1 foot. So quite fun to handle. The idea will be that the blocks are big enough to make an impression, and for you to feel productive in your building, but small enough to be easy to handle.

With all my work I'm happiest when 3 yr olds are playing alongside 73 yr olds -so I hope so! And it would be great to bring it to the moors- how amazing would that location be to respond to.

The idea is that we can tour the project to cities all over the world- and that we capture the different designs and imaginations of each city. Somethings might be similar everywhere we go, but I think each city will produce a distinctly different style that reflects the architecture and ideas of the city people currently live in. A snap shot of all the designs will be shown in each subsequent city, and we will create an online channel where people can see all the Cities we dream of.

Thanks for asking about the "data mashups"

Mash up is term that comes from the programmers community- and means that data or software from two different sources has been combined to make something new. It's often used to create visual interpretations of something that as a spreadsheet might be unintelligible.

In my eyes it's one of the most beautiful digitally native art forms, and a comunity I've wanted to engage with for ages: Our sensors generate data all the time- that's how we can make them make music. So what happens if you record that data and give it to someone completely new- what will they combine it with? What will they be inspired to do? How will it look?

That the ultimate full circle- make something happen in public, that magical because of the sensors, give the data to someone else and let them create new art- ALL because a member of the public moved the objects in the first place. It's a really creative use of information and a different way of representing anonymously how people have played with the blocks.

There's some great examples here, if you would like to find out more:
and Wiki's got some good information about mashups. hope that helps!Mashup (web application hybrid)

Here's my second little film:
Bricks and Pieces: Making it Real.

Playable_City_Bricks_And_Pieces from Laura Kriefman on Vimeo.

All questions very much welcomed.

This sounds like an awesome idea! Making things magical again is just what we need.

I love the idea of a big truckload of giant building bricks, the simplest ideas are often the best, most effective and this is a real world fun experience that also has some depth to it in that it is asking people to connect to their ides of what their dream dream city might be. I confess I haven't been able to decipher quite what the mashup and technological elements might be but I think if they don't overcomplicate the actual play element here then it is one of the most appealing ideas of the lot..

Completely agree with the above - simple yet exciting because of the scale of the pieces involved. Like the fact that the technological element is there as a surprise additional factor (in terms of the blocks themselves) rather than being the main 'draw'. Can we quote on these ideas?

Final film:
All that pesky technology:
sensing the magic: technology explained:

sensing the magic: technology explained. from Laura Kriefman on Vimeo.

Wow! So there is a fair deal of complexity hidden within the project, but the way its explained here it all seems possible (even easy!). Wanna see this happen!

I love the physicality of your idea and the movement and 'designing potential' of the blocks, there seems so much 'underneath' the project, a relatively simple idea with layers of depth and complexity. I like the way you have talked about the project, I can visualise it really well. My 3 year old son loves building blocks and, even more so, tipper trucks, this project would be his dream come true!

wishing you all the best of luck with your project

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