Invisible Cities

Alejandro Puentes Amezquita, Yiyang Liang

Sculpting text into a city.


Cities are alive. They are vessels for people’s thoughts and emotions. Unlike cities, city models tend to be cold and technical. We are aiming to fabricate a city model full of life and expression. A model that can express the emotions that we experienced when reading the book through a changing atmosphere. Sadness can be rain, anger can be a thunder and happiness can be a sunny day. It is a conceptual project about adding behaviors and interactivity to architectural representations.

The installation consists of two parts. The first one is the actual model, a static representation of an imaginary data-generated city. We are using natural language processing, sentiment analysis and urban design techniques to produce a 3D printed miniature of a city inspired by Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities.” The second part is about creating an interactive atmosphere that responds to human emotions. Using the Pepper's Ghost technique—an illusion from theater, light and sound, we generate different atmospheres that respond to the mood of the authors when reading the book. It is a theatrical dialogue between users and an Calvino's book, using the city model as media to express emotions.


Coding for Emotional Impact, Sculpting Data into Everyday Objects, Spatial Media