Smartgeometry: Drones, Games, and Mathematics are What’s Next in Urban Design

Daniel Davis – 29 July 2014

SmartGeometry teeters precariously on the forefront of the industry. It’s fascinating to watch. If it gets too far ahead, it becomes irrelevant, if it falls too far behind, it becomes irrelevant.  The balance is so fine and yet somehow SmartGeometry has managed to teeter there for over a decade.

This year SmartGeometry invited me to report critically from the front lines of the conference. There were definitely moments the conference wobbled and I held my breath but, for the most part, this year once again brought people together and delivered a solid insight into the future of the industry.

My critical review is still forthcoming. For now I’ve written an article for ARCHITECT that follows three of the clusters I found the most interesting:

The culminating July 18 exhibition displayed the outcomes from the four-day workshop. Several clusters had used new photogrammetry tools to create 3D models of spaces recorded with phones and drones. A number of immersive viewing systems were on display, ranging from the commercially available Oculus Rift to a custom-made inflatable planetarium. The Flows, Bits, Relationships cluster used data-mining to reveal spatial associations between social media posts, sparking a much larger discussion of how big data will affect architecture. And a number of clusters used spatial tracking to monitor the location of workshop participants as well as their body temperature, heart rate, and other vital signs, in order to investigate whether architects might benefit from the quantified-self movement.

As part of Smartgeometry’s press tour, I tracked the progress of three clusters in particular throughout the event that had caught my attention.

Read the full article here. Thanks to Wanda Lau for editing the article, John Nye for taking the photos, and SmartGeometry for inviting me over there.