Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Comfort: Exercise and the Environment

I would like to continue to explore the idea of comfort and how it affects my physical, mental and emotional state when I go running. Running is a relatively new routine that I have adopted and I am still at a stage where I am only comfortable running in certain places and situations. Currently, this means running in a private area that is fairly unpopulated with both cars and people, such as the Botanical Gardens. I try to avoid running on streets where there is a lot of traffic or pedestrians. With the data from Notation Three, I was able to see the beginnings of what it means for me to be in those two different locations: the calm of the Botanical Gardens versus the noisiness of Perimeter Road. Other aspects to explore are: private/public – the private pathways in the Gardens versus the public, exposed streets of Perimeter; natural/man-made – the curvy paths of the Gardens versus the rigid straightness of Perimeter; organic/mechanical – being surrounded by nature versus being surrounded by cars.

            Since we are studying the city as a dynamic, living organism that is constantly changing, I am interested in exploring how that parallels with the body as it is also changing from exercise. I will continue to track my progress as I go running in the two places. It should be interesting to see how not only my physical body changes in relation to my environment, but how my mental and emotional state changes as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Out of Pace_bicycle analysis

This video is an analysis of the determining factors that create the pace
of a bicycle.

Click the link to see the video

Saturday, April 3, 2010

X Clinic - Improvement of Environmental Health through Individual Action

Hello group, here I am sharing a great project Natalie Jeremijenko and her team, The Environmental Health Clinic and Lab at NYU [x Clinic]. It was presented by Dr. Jeremijenko at the Miomimicry panel that I participated in last week in New York City at the Sustainability Practice Network.

The X Clinic rather than looking at the internal biology and genetics of an individual, it looks at the surrounding environment and our dependences on it and it prepares the patient for awareness and action. In this clinic, "you walk out with a prescription not for pharmaceuticals but for actions: local data collection and urban interventions directed at understanding and improving your environmental health; plus referrals, not to medical specialists but to specific art, design and participatory projects, local environmental organizations and local government or civil society groups: organizations that can use the data and actions prescribed as legitimate forms of participation to promote social change."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Collaborative Mapping - Personal Projects and Questions

NOTATION 3 - ARCH 699 - Michael Whitmire

Which is more effective: the gentle journey through a slideshow via progressive images, a series of video shots stitched together as a whole, or an intentionally-linear, photographed and geotagged route through a site? All of these correspond - roughly with the first two and exactly with the third - to a path, a route travelled. The path of the first two are hand-drawn into an online map, which is in turn linked to each video:


Neither route, however, is an exact record of the actual path travelled, nor are the photos of the slideshow tagged with exact locational information. While close, the paths are approximate - and I believe they serve some purposes, such as communication and illustration of existing issues, very well.

The original video, made of actual video footage, is also found here:

The second linked video, the one produced as a slideshow, is also found here:

Ultimately, the slideshow video of the Apartment Complex to to Catchment Basin to Stream (mirroring my own second video, above) co-produced by Nick and myself, and compiled and presented primarily by Nick, has a much more measured, definite, and linear nature. Its production as a linear, measurable, and intentional path was considered from the beginning, and that nature shows up in the final piece. Linking to this presentation with the online Google map is pending.

The embedding of the linear GPS route, presented by Nick is his Flash production to the German group, into the online map is also pending. [*need link to Nick’s Flash presentation HERE*]. I expect that layering the “Route” from the GPS device onto the collaborative online map would manifest a line more quantitative than the hand-drawn lines I have used in that map already to indicate my own two videos. As such, the GIS Route might serve additional useful purposes, such as providing compatible correspondences to other data layers, such as topographical data, speaking for example to expected water flows across the landscape.

As an additional consideration, the linking of historical data with this map would be useful in determining past forms of the site. For example, “Was there a preexisting stream in the area?” and “Does the eroded gully predate construction?” I have heard that Google Earth provides historical data. Surely such data is also available in local historical records, construction records, and the like. The appeal of the online data is that it is so accessible. Which is the best path to answering the questions about past landscape form?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Reading the article by Julian Bleeker, 'A Design Approach for the Geospatial Web,' was exciting and stimulated my creative juices. What possibilities are there for collaborative mobile mapping?

What if everyone on Clemson Campus could "tag" locations easily on a mobile, collaborative mapping application that would upload them to a common, collaboratively-created map? For example:

The "I would love to see a sitting space [HERE]" map.


And the person has voted, and tagged a spot, including user info (to control for one person overtagging or "multiple voting" relative to others).

A map idea I had in while living in the Carrboro, NC area had to do with preserving sacred spaces in the city. If each person could "vote" on their favorite (single or multiple) "sacred spaces" in the city, would that not lead to an emergent collective awareness, as well as some possibly unique and yet highly citizen-appropriate directions for planning and preservation? I would have marked a certain rock formation in a certain stream in a certain part of a certain park in Carrboro. Someone else may have marked their favorite "sitting and contemplating" spot. The uses for that data could re-define how we see ourselves as a people and as a citizenry.

In the article, interestingly, is the inclusion of craigslist as a location-mapping application. It does not use GIS -- and yet is tagging locations and making connections with every new entry.

What other things did you think of when reading this article? How could GIS, non-GIS, mobile phones, handhelds, ISP addresses, iPhoto tags, blogs with location tags, an other technologies evolve into novel ways-of-seeing, understanding, and interacting in the future?

How could they enhance other projects you have considered or are engaged in?

Response to REDEFINING THE BASEMAP by Alison Sant

The gist of this article seems to be a call to reexamine the traditional, static, landmark-based mapping systems. "New mapping" technologies such as GPS and wireless reveal different patterns. Events, flows, routes, processes, and data based on statistical sums of multiple individual humans define the graphic patterns emerging from the locative-media-based mapping. The author cautions us to consider abandoning the traditional basemaps as well, with the view that some emergent pattern may therefore be more allowed to emerge.

I do think there is a lot of promise in locative technologies for mapping. Pulses and flows of life, for example between locations of day (work) time and evening (home) time for many individuals would reveal emergent patterns of home locations for various elements of the workforce. "Routes" prioritize chosen pathways of movement and may be more appropriate to examining the living processes within cities, while traditional "streets" prioritize official named landmarks but do not reveal use statistics or a myriad of other sociological data. Mapping events and processes, and the discovery of emergent patterns based on locative technological mapping, is a promising direction for understanding our lived spaces.

This is technologically-based, however. Without locative technologies, we would not be entertaining these novel emerging potentials. The technologies themselves, therefore, are foundational and pre-defining in much the same way that a "traditional static basemap" may be. Can we drop the "technology" and imagine mappable potentials beyond both locative technology and static physicalities? Conversational topics, perhaps -- admitedly based on the idea of "mapping" cellphone conversations? Aesthetic reactions throughout daily activity, multiplied by all of the people in a locale? Arousal? Interest? Cognative activity or level of awareness? Feelings of wellbeing? How would these be measured?

Additionally, the argument in favor of the traditional "basemap" is its representation of relatively static physicalities. In terms of orientation, that is an important factor. Will there likewise be more "static" processes -- ongoing events -- which emerge from locative mapping? "Most frequented locations", perhaps, by "the highest variety of people" -- would that be a shopping mall? A public park or downtown plaza? Certainly, these will also shift and change over time, but surely there will still be gradiations of permanence in process-mapping as well as mapping of physicalities. After all, the physical, the solid, the static are processes as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kracauer, Sigfried, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality.

Are films, "manufactured dreams"?

What relations can be drawn between dreaming and creativity?

Is their a connection between separating from reality and the process of design, in relation to the way this article defines film?

Hello again: CT-scan New Group

We have started a new semester. It has started fast and with a great interdisciplinary group of students:

Michael Whitmire, Planning Design and Built Environment

Kevin Wayne, Planning Design and Built Environment

Shirley Yu, Digital Production Arts

Jason Butz, Architecture and Art

Nick Barrett, Architecture

We will also be joined by another six students from the Universität Kassel led by Marc Kirschbaum in one week for a three week exchange.

Join us on the Urban CT-scan discussion that will continue this semester.