Projective Empowerment

Krietemeyer, B., “Projective Empowerment.” Architectural Design, 4D Hyper Local: A Cultural Toolkit for the Open Source City, Edited by Lucy Bullivant (2017)


This essay explores interactive visualization and simulation methods that enable designers, researchers and end-users to experience and shape the aesthetic and energetic characteristics of buildings and their urban environments. Through a combination of hybrid-reality visualization and energy analysis techniques, interactive design tools are being linked with environmental sensors and instrumented data to virtually experience dynamic city flows and to simulate speculative performance at building and urban scales.These techniques and their implications are discussed through the lens of an interactive media projection exhibit in development in Syracuse, New York. By establishing a ‘projective urban design laboratory,’ this public platform sets the stage for an open dialogue between the community stakeholders and professional designers, one which informs future urban revitalization activities and promotes an awareness of users’ needs and interests through participatory architectural design. By providing designers, researchers, and end-users with capabilities to interact with and receive realtime feedback on design decisions – whether through modifying building materials, redirecting waste heat of buildings, or interacting with architectural design proposals to visualize resulting ambient energy flows—the capacity of simulation modeling is expanded by empowering a wider audience to better understand their local ecologies and to co-construct sustainable design ideas. This enables the community to actively engage in the making of their environments both bioclimatically and symbolically.