University of Bologna (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 315-321
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
The contemporary city has developed the ability to build its three-dimensional image through powerful spatial representations, urban high-impact utopias towards social, emotional and cultural imaginary, far away from everyday reality, using new languages and new expressions, which are closely dependent on technology. Through digital interactive tools the existing world seems smaller and bigger than ever because everyone can easily reach any place or have information about it: the way of living and experiencing cities is influenced by images, reproduced and sold through the web, so that consumption of places is detached from a slow and physical knowledge, erasing affection and care.

In the global era the conception of time and space has deeply changed.
Space expresses itself by its physical representation, layering the urban history as well: from past to present we are able to understand its changing values and the morphological transformation in order to find new forms of identity and to create places for people, looking for leisure, entertainment and well-being. Time, the relativistic fourth dimension in urban design projects, is strongly influenced by technological innovation that turns spaces into highly, worldwide sophisticated and competitive places: the dominant spirit of our present age is able to change the normal perception of things, flowing faster and faster together with its feeding high-speed, advanced technology, which is difficult to harness in a predetermined factors grid, however capable of altering the physical enjoyment of urban places.

The contemporary flanerie, the intimate essence of a multi-sensorial perception of space and time, is related to this evolving digital world in which computer’s tools offer dynamic ways to experience different pattern of information destined to a placeless, borderless community populating a “digital realm”. Managing knowledge through virtual models is much more than representing the city in all its characters: it’s a strategy to relate associative information to morphological descriptions, embedding cultural aspects proper of places in a sort of multiverse storytelling.
This contribution will address the extension of consolidated architectural descriptive methodologies, such as sophisticated models, photogrammetric or range based surveys and web-gis frameworks, to a wider territorial context, relating them to the city culture in order to introduce a method that could lead to new gathering data’s techniques, useful to define and design urban places.

Novice designers approaching this idea of “cyberspace knowledge”, an ephemeral no-place where to build digital cities conceived as a multitude of interrelated contents, have to deal with history, intended as a legacy necessary to understand the existing physical environment, and also with new tools. Taking advantage of devices useful to explain spaces and places, future practitioners will be able to describe cities and projects mastering an innovative and smart approach, avoiding overlaps and inconsistencies.
Digital tools, computer models, cyberspace, virtual urbanity.