(Cliccare qui per una versione Italiana)

We are exploring the possibility of a joint installation with MIT/WPI/Santa Fe Institute (SFI) at the upcoming Biennale di Architettura in Venice.

The WPI Venice Project Center will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a series of initiatives, including an artistic/urbanistic exploration tentatively titled “Slow Real Time”, which would seem to fit very well with the theme of the upcoming Architecture Biennale.


The concept is to visualize urban change building-by-building, permit-by-permit, but in real time, by connecting to the City of Venice's one-stop-permitting services (SUER - Sportello Unico Edilizia Residenziale and SUAP - Sportello Unico Attività Produttive). Obviously, this is a slow real time, but it is still real time nonetheless. With this exhibit, we'd like to underscore the fact that the world in which we live is the result of micro-decisions about change that gradually weave the urban tapestry in which we operate. The "mutable necessities of contemporary life" that Aaron Betsky mentions in his introduction (italian version) manifest themselves in large part in the daily decisions made by municipal offices as well as in the incremental modifications made by property owners to adapt to modernity.

The general idea is to use interactive touch-tables and other displays (Redfish), showing the baseline maps and data that we collected in Venice in 20 years of WPI projects overlaid with real-time events representing the various permits approved by the City at that moment in a manner similar to the Wiki City Rome project that MIT Senseable lab recently completed. Since the events may be few and far between (especially on weekends when he offices are closed), an interactive timeline slider (similar to the Wiki Rome one) could loop through the past month of change and allow focusing on specific changes (like conversions of residential buildings into commercial hotels and the like). Second-order models could then simulate the impacts of these chages on "faster" real time scales.


See the specific page about specific ideas for some brainstormng about the details of the projects.


Fabio Carrera - Venice Project Center director, native of Venice.
Steve Guerin - Redfish group - specialized in advanced interactive visualizations and analysis of multivariate datasets
Carlo Ratti - MIT Senseable Lab director - participated in the 2006 Architecture Biennale
Nicholas DeMonchaux - Univ. of California Berkeley - participated in a previous Biennale and has conducted extensive research in Venice


The combined interests and ongoing activities of the participants would complement each other very well:

  • The Venice 2.0 initiative is going to put 20 years of Venice data on line this year, independent of the Biennale exhibit
  • Redfish, SFI and WPI's City Lab plan to collaborate on the creation of interactive exhibits as part of the Santa Fe Complex project (NSF grant) - Venice data will be included in this project regardless
  • WPI and Forma Urbis Sas in Venice have done a lot of work towards the creation of web-based systems to capture SUER and SUAP data.
  • The former head of the department that manages SUAP is now head of the Biennale


Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License