Tag Archives: Architecture


“Enabling DEMO:POLIS” is a participatory urban planning installation, presented as part of the DEMO:POLIS exhibition at the Berlin Akademie der Künste (http://www.adk.de/demopolis – 11.3.2016 – 29.5.2016). The installation engages the public in the design of open space and consists of six terminals that run a custom, interactive software application.

The software leads the user through a number of typical urban design tools (space allocation, streets, buildings, landscape, etc.) and concludes with a fly-through through the generated 3D scenario, in this case, the Rathausforum / Alexanderplatz area in Berlin.

The following video demonstrates a full cycle of a possible design.


Stefan Arisona – https://robotized.arisona.ch

Open Source

Source code, data and a binary build are available at: http://github.com/arisona


Concept: Stefan Arisona, Ruth Conroy Dalton, Christoph Hölscher, Wilfried Wang

Data & Coding: Stefan Arisona, Simon Schubiger, Zeng Wei

Support: Akademie der Künste Berlin, FHNW Switzerland (Institute of 4D Technologies), ETH Zürich (Future Cities Laboratory and Chair of Cognitive Science), Northumbria University (Architecture and Built Environment).

Data & Software Workflow

Enabling DEMO:POLIS builds on Open Data, in particular the publicly available 3D models of central Berlin provided by the Staatssenat für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt (http://www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/planen/stadtmodelle/)

The original 3D models were initially imported into Autodesk AutoCAD for layer selection and coordinate system adjustments, then imported into Autodesk Maya for data cleaning and corrections. In a final step the data was imported into Esri CityEngine for final data adjustments & cleaning, merging, labelling, etc. The data was then exported as OBJs. The software application is written in Java, based on the 3D graphics library/engine ether. As indicated above, all source code and data is available as open source.

Detecting the Dynamics of Urban Structure Through Spatial Network Analysis (IJGIS 2014)

Journal: International Journal of Geographical Information Science

Authors: Chen Zhong, Stefan Müller Arisona, Xianfeng Huang, Michael Batty, Gerhard Schmitt

Abstract: Urban spatial structure in large cities is becoming ever more complex as populations grow in size, engage in more travel, and have increasing amounts of disposable income that enable them to live more diverse lifestyles. These trends have prominent and visible effects on urban activity, and cities are becoming more polycentric in their structure as new clusters and hotspots emerge and coalesce in a wider sea of urban development. Here, we apply recent methods in network science and their generalization to spatial analysis to identify the spatial structure of city hubs, centers, and borders, which are essential elements in understanding urban interactions. We use a ‘big’ data set for Singapore from the automatic smart card fare collection system, which is available for sample periods in 2010, 2011, and 2012 to show how the changing roles and influences of local areas in the overall spatial structure of urban movement can be efficiently monitored from daily transportation.
In essence, we first construct a weighted directed graph from these travel records. Each node in the graph denotes an urban area, edges denote the possibility of travel between any two areas, and the weight of edges denotes the volume of travel, which is the number of trips made. We then make use of (a) the graph properties to obtain an overall view of travel demand, (b) graph centralities for detecting urban centers and hubs, and (c) graph community structures for uncovering socioeconomic clusters defined as neighborhoods and their borders. Finally, results of this network analysis are projected back onto geographical space to reveal the spatial structure of urban movements. The revealed community structure shows a clear subdivision into different areas that separate the population’s activity space into smaller neighborhoods. The generated borders are different from existing administrative ones. By comparing the results from 3 years of data, we find that Singapore, even from such a short time series, is developing rapidly towards a polycentric urban form, where new subcenters and communities are emerging largely in line with the city’s master plan.
To summarize, our approach yields important insights into urban phenomena generated by human movements. It represents a quantitative approach to urban analysis, which explicitly identifies ongoing urban transformations.

Title: Detecting the Dynamics of Urban Structure Through Spatial Network Analysis
Authors: Chen Zhong, Stefan Müller Arisona, Xianfeng Huang, Michael Batty, Gerhard Schmitt
Journal: International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2014
DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2014.914521
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13658816.2014.914521#.U8P6N1bsd8E

A Visual Analytics Framework for Large Transportation Datasets (CAADRIA 2014)

Conference: 19th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia CAADRIA 2014

Authors: Chen Zhong, Stefan Müller Arisona, Gerhard Schmitt

Abstract: The advancement of sensor technologies makes it possible to collect large amounts of dynamic urban data. On the other hand, how to store, process, and analyze collected urban data to make them useful becomes a new challenge. To address this issue, this paper proposes a visual analytics framework, which is applied to transportation data to manage and extract information for urban studies. More specif- ically, the proposed framework has three components: (1) a geographic information system (GIS) based pipeline providing basic data processing functions; (2) a spatial network analysis that is integrated into the pipeline for extracting spatial structure of urban movement; (3) interactive operations allowing the user to explore and view the output data sets at different levels of details. Taking Singapore as a case study area, we use a sample data set from the automatic smart card fare collection system as an input to our prototype tool. The result shows the feasibility of proposed framework and analysis method. To summarize, our work shows the potential of geospatial based visual analytics tools in using ‘big’ data for urban analysis.

Award: Won best presentation award.

Title: A Visual Analytics Framework for Large Transportation Datasets
Authors: Chen Zhong, Stefan Müller Arisona, Gerhard Schmitt
Proceedings: 19th International Conference on Computer- Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia CAADRIA 2014
Publisher: The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA)
Year: 2014
Pages: 223 – 232
Link: http://cumincad.scix.net/cgi-bin/works/Show?caadria2014_014

smartgeometry/sg13: Constructing for Uncertainty

Good news to start the year with: Our cluster proposal “Projections of Reality” has been accepted for this year’s smartgeometry at The Bartlett of UCL from 15 – 20 April 2013 in London. Cluster gurus: Stefan Müller Arisona, Eva Friedrich, Bruno Moser, Dominik Nuessen, Lukas Treyer. Continue reading

Book: Digital Urban Modeling and Simulation

Edited by Stefan Müller Arisona, Gideon Aschwanden, Jan Halatsch, and Peter Wonka, 2012

About this Book

This book is thematically positioned at the intersections of Urban Design, Architecture, Civil Engineering and Computer Science, and it has the goal to provide specialists coming from respective fields a multi-angle overview of state-of-the-art work currently being carried out. It addresses both newcomers who wish to obtain more knowledge about this growing area of interest, as well as established researchers and practitioners who want to keep up to date. In terms of organization, the volume starts out with chapters looking at the domain at a wide-angle and then moves focus towards technical viewpoints and approaches. (Excerpt from preface by Stefan Müller Arisona). Continue reading

ETH Zurich’s Singapore-ETH Centre and the Future Cities Laboratory

The Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) in Singapore was established as a collaboration between the National Research Foundation of Singapore and ETH Zurich in 2010. It is an institution that frames a number of research programmes, the first of which is the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL). The SEC strengthens the capacity of Singapore and Switzerland to research, understand and actively respond to the challenges of global environmental sustainability. It is motivated by an aspiration to realise the highest potentials for present and future societies. SEC serves as an intellectual hub for research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, postgraduate and postdoctoral training. It actively collaborates with local universities and research institutes and engages researchers with industry to facilitate technology transfer for the benefit of the public. Continue reading

Esri CityEngine – 3D City Modeling for Architecture, Film, and Games

Esri CityEngine, is a 3D modeling software application developed by Esri R&D Center Zurich (formerly Procedural Inc.) and is specialized in the generation of three dimensional urban environments. With the procedural modeling approach, CityEngine enables the efficient creation of detailed large-scale 3D city models with merely a few clicks of the mouse instead of the time exhaustive & work intensive method of object creation & manual placement. CityEngine works with architectural object placement & arrangement in the same manner that VUE manages terrain, ecosystems & atmosphere mapping & is equally as diverse in its ability of object manipulation & environmantal conformity/harmony as its VUE counterpart. The recent acquisition of CityEngine by Esri is aiming to push the innovations in 3D GIS and Geodesign technology (from Wikipedia). Continue reading