The Master in Prototyping Future Cities will be developed in the city of Moscow, but
aims to be developed in a networked mode with other cities like Barcelona, Miami, Mumbai
The end goal of the program is to train experts in the development, applications and
implications of the information technology, within the projects of urban development and
regeneration, with a holistic, multidisciplinary and global mindset.
The Master in Prototyping Future Cities is directed to:
a) Professionals from diferent felds related with the city and urbanity, interested in
amplifying their technical and project based knowledge spectrum, with the aim of
learning about more advanced technologies and tools that can be applicable on city
b) City managers, interested in understanding the full potential of information technology
in order to optimize the efciency of their cities or implementing new principles that
afect a cities performance.
c) Private sector workers in the feld of developing, maintaining and/or managing a city
and its urban services, interested in integrating information technology in the process
of their work.
d) Experts in the feld of information technology interested in the performance of a city
with the end goal of developing new application implementable at an urban scale.
The aim is to render the students capable of developing projects related with the Urban Habitat, in all the layers of the City Anatomy, including in the city’s physical structure (environment, infrastructure and urbanism), urban services and informational fuxes, the social relationships and governance of information technologies in all the phases of analysis, project and management of the city.
Prototype Project Methodology. The strategy is that the students learn to develop prototype projects applicable in any aspect that relates to the city, starting with their capacity to analyses data, to integrate appropriate technology and design proposals that will change the current reality, which also includes the proposal of an economical model that is managed accordingly.
Project = Analysis + Technology + Design + Fabrication + Implementation
Environment. The program takes place in a network laboratory type of environment, where the students work in a very close and hand-on relationship with technology, preparing prototypes, investigation and analysis of the city through data, while developing projects that come as a relevant response to the particular problems that afect the city. In the end, the student will have the skills developed by the various areas of study that he has undertaken, thus able to tackle any kind of project. To achieve this, the students will have to work both individually, in order to further develop their own skills, but also in collaborative group projects, either remotely or physically, with other universities or cities in which the Master in Prototyping Future Cities is active.
Double accreditation. The students have the possibility to choose between focusing on one program dedicated to one city and accredited by one university, or choose to focus in their frst year of study on one city and in their second year in another one, which will provide them with a double accreditation. This initiative of the double accreditation and the opportunity to work with cities of diferent cultural, social and economic conditions, share the same methodology and the same technology, aiming to achieve:
a better integration of the proposals tackling global challenges, with which we operate increasingly around the world
a capacity to work in diverse cultural and linguistic environments
the creation of an ample network of contacts, that fuel the future of international cooperation in the development of projects and solutions in front of contemporary challenges.
In the summer of 2018 a 15-day workshop trip will be held with the Trans-Siberian. The route, between Moscow and Vladivostok, will allow a one time life experience, where students will work intensely aboard a train and visiting various places across Russia. The aim will be to develop a project for a new city in the Far East, near Vladivostok, which is one of the most unpopulated regions of the world but at the same time has a greater potential for growth.
The project will develop technical, cultural, historical and economic aspects, and will put into value the strategic logistics position of the Far East also linked to climate change (and the opening of the North Pole route), economic development in Asia, and natural resources.
The trip will be carried out in partnership with various institutions and with students from all over the world.
Scope of the Assignment:
Assignment II is an assignment in which we were to make items of our choosing using the basics gained up to that point in time, these being the laser cutting process as well as the basics of press-fit. Inception: The process of 3D printing is fast gaining popularity especially with regards to prototyping where it has become a must have component if one is to make a prototype. Having a prototype printed out is essential to the process of design since it helps to actually feel and see the item being prototyped. In anticipation of various items to be used in the "City Project" field, I chose to focus prototyping on components related to the "City Project" Troubleshooting: Duration of 3D printing Process. Depending on the complexity of the item being printed, the process can either take just a few minutes, to several hours.
The modeling of the above captioned palm bracelet was subsequently instrumental in determining the ridiculousness of our initial assumption both in terms of utilitarian inconveniences as well as ease of use, not to mention the fact that it just failed to serve its purpose. Subsequent modifications forced the team to think more organically. This hands on approach enabled the team to acknowledge and understand the scope and limitations of the technology in use. Depending on the task at hand, I was able to optimize and subsequently better choose the means with which to make each respective prototype component. This outside the box approach to the prototype (heck, the box was thrown out entirely) was one of the issues in that it presented a steep learning curve to me personally. The optimization of the design is enhanced by the fact that the item becomes tangible and it can be tested (if printed to scale). This is one of the few shortfalls of the virtual environment and simulations in CAD software as a whole. The printing process is also limited by the dimensions of the printer used. For instance, the Ultimaker 2 Go has a build volume of 120mm x 120 mm x 115mm. Materials Used: Printing was done on Ultimaker 2 Go, using PLA (Polylactic Acid) which as it turns out, is one of the more commonly used 3D printing materials. The model was saved in STL format and was prepped for printing using Ultimaker Cura.
Lessons Learnt: The prototyping process is made much easier with the use of 3D printers. The choice of materials (of the prototype) should be taken into consideration during the printing process. The use of a resin laser 3d printers is a more accurate method of 3D printing.
CITY PROJECT – AUGMENTED COMMUNICATION
This project serves as an ideal introduction into the vast world of Prototyping. The possibilities entailed therein are limited only by the imagination. Choices in themes were likewise developed at the discretion of the students, allowing for a more direct involvement of the student as opposed to the conventional methods in which the courses’ Project Supervisor would have directed the student in choice of themes. The Project Supervisors guidance was key in nurturing and subsequently bringing into fruition, the concepts developed by the students and for this, the teams eternal gratitude goes out to the Course Project Supervisors. In our case, the initial theme chosen was “SOUND”, and so began an exciting journey from concept inception, through several iterations, all the way to optimization and production of the final chosen prototype – An Augmented Communications’ Module.
With the vast array of inter-complimentary disciplines available during the first semester, inspiration for the initial concept was not a problem, on the contrary, it was narrowing it down that presented some difficulty. The choice to work with sound within specific contexts seemed like a logical starting point considering the high levels of artificial ambient noise in the environment. This choice was well justified when the subject was researched, revealing myriads of possibilities for concept development. Under the expert guidance of the Project Supervisors, the teams ideas were narrowed down and the possibilities for development were assessed.
Proof of Concept: The idea at this early stage was to present working evidence to the effect that the technology available can facilitate construction of a functional prototype. The idea was to implement core skills attained at the Technologies course to implement a prototype. The initial concept was centered around augmenting the sound experience by making it tangible, whereupon it was anticipated that applications for such a unit could be found in the field of Augmented Reality, however, results for haptic sensitivity attained upon construction of an elementary glove unit were inconclusive, ergo, this direction was promptly discarded in favor of more practical field of application. The unit was determined to be limited in functionality, possibly due to the mechanical nature of the design (Fig – 1a & 1b). Sights were turned to Sensory perceptions for a broader and yet simpler field of application – Touch! Prototyping Logs were maintained for the various stages of development.
And thus began the systematic development of the Augmented Communications’ Project, through the following stages:
- Assessment of Concept: The concept was reassessed. It was deemed necessary to revert to first principles to find a simpler and more elegant solution. Man perceives his environment to a large extent, through touch. The entire human body is sensitive to touch, logically, we sought to take advantage of this by developing a device that would stimulate the senses of touch. With the intention of making the unit as accessible and as cheap as possible, it was decided that low tech solutions would suffice, and so Vibro-motors were selected for stimulation of the haptic sensors. (Fig 2a Vibro-motors Concept, Fig 2b – Tests on a glove interface).
- Modifications on the Concept: The concept was further simplified on the basis that the hands are not necessarily the most sensitive of the human skin surface, nor is it the most convenient for stimulation by such Haptic devices. It was determined that having a glove for such an interface would hinder the normal functionality of the hand. It was therefore decided that the device would have to be something more versatile and should be deployable on any part of the body. A series of tests on the sensitivity of the skin to touch were conducted on various surfaces from the hand, through the upper back to the neck region, upon which it was determined that even though sensitivity varied, one was able to distinguish and perceive the Vibro-motors with an acceptable degree of accuracy.
- Iterations on the haptic Strip: The choice of a final working concept was made on the basis of its versatility. It’s suitability and functionality was conclusively established during the tests on the early versions of the haptic strip. (Fig. 3 – Haptic Strip on hand).
At this stage the haptic strip existed in its elemental form, this being comprised of the ICU – Arduino – Nano, the Input – output transmission and reception module – in the form of a Bluetooth module, and the Vibro-motors. (Fig. 4 – Components of the Haptic Interface). Subsequent iterations of the same ranged from the hand interface, to a strip on the arm, of which there were several versions depending on the materials chosen and of which it was decided that silicon would be best suited for the intended purposes. (Fig. 5a – Tensile cloth haptic interface, 5b – Silicon Haptic Interface)
- Conclusions and lessons Learnt: Not taking into account the various technical skills required to produce the prototype, and assessing the Project exclusively on the criteria of the resultant prototype, its functionality – as per intended design and its aesthetics, the prospects for future optimization of the prototype are realistic. It was likewise determined that applicability and use of such a prototype within certain contextual communication protocols was not farfetched. The intuitive nature of the patterns made for easy memorizing when the prototype was used. Further developments of this interface could be carried out in the direction of design of hardware compatible apps for devices such as cellphones and tablets. In addition, further work can be done with regards to miniaturization of the strip. This can be achieved by accessorizing the element as a part of inner ware such as lightweight vests once the strip has been thinned out to appropriate scales. In this instance, concerns still exist over the safe washing of such wearable technology, in light of which it seems appropriate to have the strip along with all electronics installed as a removable device which can be temporarily glued onto the vest or a long sleeved shirt. In such an instance, the wearable tech should merge seamlessly with the inner garment.
- The Prototype: