digital visualisations of new urban developments and the language that frames them

Just found the fantastic Development Aesthetics blog curated by Crystal Bennes (thankyou, Twitter).   Crystal collects examples of the hoardings that surround building sites.  Looks like she’s more interested in (though that should probably read “deeply sceptical of”) the empty advertising language on the hoardings than the visualisations they also display.  But it’s a great site for those of us interested in this new form of imaging urban space.  Here’s one of my favourites, from east London.  I share Crystal’s confusion about what a ‘sky level apartment’ might be…

bennes1

Like Crystal, I’m also collecting images of hoardings with visualisations whenever I seem them, snapping them on my phone.  What I’m finding though is that a lot of the time, the image is obscured in some way: either something else has been stuck over it (in fact you can seen that on the left-hand side of the hoarding in Crystal’s image above); or a doorway has been cut through the hoarding; or the view is obstructed by scaffolding or traffic; or you can only glimpse the image through your car windscreen or bus windowframe as you zoom past.  And then there’s also the limits of my cameraphone (though I quite like the contrast between my wonky framing and low res photos and the compositional gloss of the visualisations).  I’m going to try and put some sort of photo-essay together on that theme later in May.  Watch this space.

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