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.