Datavores

A project to visualize and present a well researched and designed scenario of what the city of Wellington, New Zealand would be like in the year 2040.

The Datavore project was a group effort attempting to research and come up with a scenario of what the city of Wellington, New Zealand would be like in the year 2040. with this we were in partnership with members of the Science department of the university. Our group concentrated on the existence of drones as helping hands paralleled with the development of both internet and biological materials. The idea of being data consumers is where the name Datavores originated. The projects roots were derived from the concept of overpopulation, the decline of the natural environment and rising water levels. The 'Bloom' is essentially a floating suburb built of bio-matter and houses self-sustaining communities. the full process can be found on the group blog on tumblr.

  1. Research

    A HUGE part of this project was directed to research, looking at existing technologies and predictions of the future. Ongoing trends such as Moores law of increasing computer power and the development of thought controlled objects were also major players in the research. What I can definitely say now is that the next 30 years are going to be both very very scary and very exciting.

  2. Idea Development and Roles

    Specifying first what direction we wanted to go in then what we each wanted to do for that direction proved very difficult. Each member of the group came from a different discipline and therefore communication was very important. Once this was established it became more about honing ideas down as the areas we were looking into were so rich with concepts and idea. We soon worked out achievable goals however. This part of the process tied closely with the research aspect of the project and there was a lot of going back and forth.

  3. Alpha Stage

    We went away as individuals and worked on our own portions of the greater whole, often meeting and comparing and changing each idea to fit in with the greater whole. Eventually this led to a cohesive bare-bones project which we presented to a small audience of peers and outside experts (mostly scientists). From the feedback we gained from this we went away and honed our ideas further, starting to think of achievable outcomes for our research.

  4. Beta Stage

    At this point I started researching natural phenomena to support our groups hypothesis of a floating suburb. Utilising methods of 3D printing in resin and rubber to explore possible outcomes of these phenomena. The simplistic drone design also originated in this stage and became a central character in our project. My job at this point was to animate the little guy.... so I learnt to model and animate in Autodesk Maya.

  5. Final Presentation

    This occurred as a public seminar given in a cinema complex which we managed to fill with industry specialists, scientists and members of faculty. For our presentation I had created an introduction video (shown above). This was given as an introduction on the big screen, after which we had both a presentation and a Q&A session.

Skills Used

Due to this being a group project one of the main skills used in this project was communication, not only of ideas to the client but also within the group. Having something to show for your time was also an interesting skill picked up in this project, It was very important to have something to offer at every stage of development.

Tools/Technical skills used

3D printing, Solidworks, Animation with Autodesk Maya (which I was new to) and compilation in Adobe Premiere, After effects and Photoshop. Learning to think differently, for instance, how does a 6 legged creature walk?