Urban SimulationJohn Underkoffler, Dan Chak, Zahra Kanji, Professor Eran Ben-Joseph (Department of Urban Studies and Planning), and Professor Hiroshi Ishii / 2000

Urban Simulation

The Furp (“Future of Urban Planning”) project exists as a first step toward disseminating the work undertaken in the Luminous Room project into the world at large. Specifically, we are engaged in a collaboration with MIT’s Department of Urban Studies; the first effort has been to develop a customized version of the Urp system (see Luminous Room) for use in a live classroom setting (Professor Eran Ben-Joseph’s 11-304J:Site and Urban Systems Planning). The system has recently made its in-class debut, and is now undergoing intensive week-by-week modifications and refinements in response to what’s being learned about its real-world usability and about requirements for additional, unforeseen features and functionality.

Our short-term goal is to transform Urp from its state as a (successful) proof-of-concept system into a tool convenient and facile enough to permit ongoing and casual use in a classroom context. Longer-term concerns include extrapolation from these class-centered experiments to a better understanding of which modalities and contexts are susceptible (and which are not) to the luminous- tangible interaction techniquues that underlie our Luminous Room work.