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At night vision through data

by Mar Santamaría & Pablo Martínez
Barcelona, Spain

“Atnight” aims to explore the potential of representation techniques of the city image by developing a night cartography (focused in Barcelona), taken as a process of experimentation of the own drawing tools that enables us to assign geometry and measure to intangible aspects of the reality, making the invisible visible (drawing intangibles).

In this sense, data visualization has emerged as a key tool for urban design thinking that harnesses the immense power of visual communication in order to explain, in a transversal manner, the relationships of meaning, cause and dependency established between citizens and their environment.

Moreover, the need for further description of landscape as a cognitive and sensitive relationship between people and their environment creates a new context for identification of citizens with their territory which is based in digital technologies. According to the irruption of the smart city model, the process of “identity construction” has apparently changed trough social technologies that have intimately hybridized our behaviors towards the environment.

Given that recent technological developments have led to the consolidation of an urban model which unfolds the use of sensors of all kind to monitor urban life in real time (weather, traffic, flow of people, contamination, etc.), what if these same digital achievements allow us to use the data in reverse, enabling a creative process to build a common imaginary from the collective and collaborative contribution?

In this regard, “Atnight” not only uses data visualization to set up a possible interpretation of night values but also to generate a model of intervention which unveils the possible landscapes hidden behind the visible. They believe that the opportunity to lay the basis of nightscape design and other intangible assets involves the construction of a valid representation of itself. A model according to which they could share, discuss and develop ideas, that should transcend from singular to shared experience, by means of an abstraction process that should teach us to look at the territory with aesthetic interest.

Mar Santamaría is an architect based in Barcelona who focuses her activity on research and teaching (ETSAB). Her theoretical and educational activity investigates the understanding of new territorial and urban processes through landscape projects. She has engaged herself in the development of new cartography tools to represent urbanity (Mirades Urbanes and Atnight project).

She operates with Pablo Martinez  300.00Km/s, a professional firm based in Barcelona that provides data analysis and consulting on cities. They apply technology to architecture, cities and land, searching for new ways to transform the environment. They work in the field of urban analysis, cartography, urban planning, digital tool development, and digital humanities. Their knowledge stems from architecture, urbanism, geographic data analysis, urban history, restoration, museology, industrial design, project management and software development. They provide data analysis services and data products to help cities make better decisions based on data. They have collaborated successfully with public entities, international companies, and cultural institutions. If you want to see the rest of their work, click on “source”. 

Last Updated:
26th of February, 2021

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