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I was a collaborator on 6under60, an installation at the Shenzhen Urbanism/Architecture Bienanale in 2011. As a key member of the interactive design team, I directed recruitment and outreach to our collaborator cities, led design of the metadata architecture for both installation and web interfaces, co-designed the concept and user experience of the installation and website, built a metadata collection interface, and coordinated collection and annotation of media from all participants involved.

6 Under 60 is a collaborative research endeavor and interactive multi-media exhibition organized and presented by the University of Southern California (USC) School of Architecture, School of Cinematic Arts and Roski School of Fine Arts. An interdisciplinary team of USC faculty, research associates, and students in architecture, design, curatorial practice, and interactive media have analyzed six cities that emerged or were transformed within the last 60 years—Chandigarh, Brasilia, Gaborone, Almere, Shenzhen, and Las Vegas. The research investigates the original intentions, goals, catalysts and master plans of these six cities, how their progress unfolded, and the developments that have made these cities what they are today. The presentation includes empirical data about the population growth, quality of life, industrial growth, cultural vibrancy, and economic success of each city. Geographic, natural, social, political, and economic conditions over the past 60 years of their development is also considered, as well as how those aspects have affected the image of and position taken by each city, and both local and global outcomes. The 6under60 exhibition is an immersive environment with infographics and visual imagery presented on touch tables that invites visitors to explore the data about each city, while also drawing comparisons between and among them. The exhibition also includes moving images and sounds projected within the space that reflect the qualities of each city. Together the research and exhibition consider such questions as what differentiates planned cities from those that develop more organically; what do these cities have in common despite their emergence and growth under differing geographic, political, and economic conditions; and how do these six cities provide a model for the future of new cities?

(Photos by Chao Yen)