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Theatrum Urbis

This, the Studio’s main project, is based on two hypotheses. The first, inspired by Richard Sennett’s The Decline of Public Man, is that in the streets and squares of pre-industrial cities people were actors as well as spectators: each citizen had a dramatic and structured civil part to play, like an actor on a stage; and that the historical decline of this art of public performance has diminished the urban experience – and perhaps social cohesion generally.

The second hypothesis is that new technology might help recover this art.

So the students were asked to design a mobile phone service or application which supports people acting together in a ‘structured’ manner in Venice’s calli and campi, and to prototype its interactive behaviour.

The studio kicked off with a two week Processing workshop; during which second year students were set a data visualisation project—MealTweet.