Open City is an adaptation of the T_Visionarium research project and the Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment (AVIE) developed at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research. Produced for the International Film Festival of Amsterdam and the 4th International Architecture Biennale, Rotterdam, it is an installation focused on a century of urbanisation in the city of Rotterdam.

Inside the immersive, 360-degree, 3D cinematic environment of the AVIE, users can access and manipulate a large database of moving media that deals with the concept of living in the “Urban Century.” Provided by the VPRO and other Dutch broadcasting companies, the archive installed includes documentaries, reports and interviews. The interactive presentation provides participants with the opportunity to explore material that focuses on and questions the current state of urban life across the globe, as well as the challenges facing the future of urban planning and development. Sensory technology installed within the projection environment is coupled with responsive programs that allow corporeal engagement with digitised information. As such, the work encourages audiences to actively sort and reassemble media objects in real-time.

This collaboration with VPRO represents one of several commercial adaptations of iCinema platforms and programs. Open City highlights the potential of the T_Visionarium research for novel information visualisation applications. The project is specifically demonstrative of the usefulness of a physically immersive interface for the navigation of large and dynamic databases — a capability of the AVIE that has proven invaluable to developments in museological presentation, digital media arts, virtual reality and artificial intelligence research, and occupational health and safety training.

This project, commissioned by the VPRO, was produced by VPRO in association with 4th International Architecture Biennale, Rotterdam (IABR), the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

ARC Investigators: Dennis Del Favero, Jeffrey Shaw, Neil Brown, Peter Weibel
Project Funding: VPRO (Netherlands), ARC DP0345547

  • International Documentary Film Festival, Erasmus Bridge Tower, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2009
  • International Architecture Biennale, Zuiderkerk, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2009