Interactive & Motion Research

Motion Design in the Context of Place, a new publication in the book, The Theory & Practice of Motion Design Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice

I am very excited to announce that the chapter, Motion Design in the Context of Place, was published in the book, The Theory and Practice of Motion Design: Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice, 1st Edition, edited by R. Brian Stone and Leah Wahlin, this past summer, July 2018. This chapter was completed in collaboration with colleague, Cotter Christian, Interior Design professor at Parsons, The New School. 

Click here for more details on the book.

The chapter addresses how motion design and place can reshape the way the other is perceived, generating meaning that creates more dynamic experiences between people and their environment.

When motion design is an integrated or applied part of a building, or another spatial environment—interior, exterior, or other, it becomes part of the built environment, adding meaning and potentially, creating a stronger sense of place. Simultaneously, the context of place—the environment, the activity, the interactions that take place within a space become part of the motion work itself. 

This chapter introduces a range of motion design projects to show the versatility of work and methods used in various contexts. Some of the examples discussed include the commercial branding applications of the Union Square Capital One Building in NY, the breath-taking artistic installation projections of URBANSCREEN’s Lighting the Sails on The Sydney Opera House, the dynamic information graphics of the LEED Dynamic Plaque Display, and the interactive generative data visualizations of ESI DESIGN’s Color Play in Terrell Place, DC.


Place-based workshop captures essence of local neighborhood discussions during the Art and Place Conference in Memphis

Like many cities that struggle with under-developed, neglected neighborhoods, Memphis has experienced an influx of artistic interventions focused on community renewal in many different forms and applications.

Public art is a popular form of artistic intervention and can range in style, form, and expertise. It is often executed with objectives for improving livability in neighborhoods and serving as a catalyst for greater change. Community engagement is a key role in identifying, defining, and implementing artistic interventions in local areas, especially those with limited budgets.

This spring, I was invited to plan and participate in a local conference, hosted by Rhodes College, called Art & Place. The conference discussed principles of creative placemaking with plenary speaker, Maria Rosario Jackson. Additionally, three place-based sessions offered panel discussions specific to three neighborhoods: Crosstown, the Edge District, and Orange Mound.

I ran a workshop through the place-based sessions that isolated and captured ideas from the community discussions and mapped them into thought maps. Each participant was provided with a toolkit for writing and drawing ideas for urban interventions, specific to their neighborhood. A student team helped by collecting and mapping thoughts onto the board. The final artifact was a participatory thought map (4’x8′).


A Catalyst for Change: An Examination of Citizen-driven Placemaking (CDP)

Citizen-driven placemaking (CDP) can be defined as residents of a community taking ownership of public urban space and repurposing it for their own benefit or need using guerrilla tactics. Examples of CDP can include a range of urban interventions from temporary to permanent installations and activities, among other ephemeral occupations.

CDP provides an opportunity for citizens to be activists in their community, creating meaningful places driven by their needs rather than government agencies or developers who may not understand the intrinsic needs of that group.

The benefits of these interventions can include beautification of blight, city “improvements,” artistic interventions for self-expression, activism and/or politically charged occupations, among others. Often, with sophisticated communication and technology, these interventions can evolve into global movements, thus becoming a catalyst for change.

In this research, we begin to categorize types of CDP projects by examining characteristics such as motivation, practice, tactics, and outcomes. Through the examination of multiple case studies, we are able to summarize findings and learnings.

Examples of Placemaking

Moving Forward

This research will be presented at the Ninth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, March 12-14, 2015.