import/exportChristian Marc Schmidtanything(at)christianmarcschmidt.com



Adaptive Landscapes
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Design can be adaptive, demonstrating a potential for change, as the conditions and context within...

This bibliography includes the reading material that was influential for the development of my...

My thesis begins with several opposing concepts: the ideal and the empirical; order and disorder;...

Modular Systems
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In the early 1930s, American type designer William Addison Dwiggins began working on a ‘roman’...

Phonetic alphabets came from the necessity for clear communication over radio lines, and are...

Self-Organizing Networks
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Warchalking exposes wireless Internet networks through hand-inscribed chalkmarks in urban...

A series of postcards is lasercut with haikus, written by the participants of an online forum, in...

In Rimbaud’s ‘ville’ of ‘Les Illuminations’, flows are structural, and steady-states are ephemeral....

Swarms, consisting of independent agents, exhibit spontaneous expansive and contractive macro...

Programme & Mutable Form
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I am interested in exploring program and mutable form within the urban environment, both as an...

Markets are becoming global, while transitory population segments are growing. Cities are becoming...

A process book summarizes my early thesis direction involving computation. Formed around the text...

Computation & Complexity
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This piece appears as a 16-page section in Multi-Purpose, a book produced by the graphic design MFA...

The similarity between language and landscapes is expressed through ‘linguistic’ mark-making within...

The Club of Rome’s famous 1975 article predicted, based on a computer simulation, that the world...

Globalization may encourage the homogenization of cultures, by accelerated processes of selection...

The statement “You Can’t Fall in Love with a Growth Curve” originated as a piece of graffiti, the...

Entropia is a typeface that responds to sound. Entropia can be set to various states of...

Urban Artifacts
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“New York Places & Pleasures” by Kate Simon, published in 1959, is considered among the best...

Ten of the most familiar utopian city grids—from humanistic plans, based on proportions of the...

My proposal for a new railing along the pedestrian and bicycle walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge...

According to Aldo Rossi, urban artifacts are stable moments in the constantly shifting composition...

The site of the MTA Hudson Yards is located at the Hudson River terminus of the 34th Street...

Sited & Responsive Design

Markets are becoming global, while transitory population segments are growing. Cities are becoming megacities—according to a recent UN forecast, in the year 2030, over 60% of the world will live in areas of urban agglomeration.

While the city has long been seen as an intensely concentrated system of flows, urbanists are more recently attempting to explain facets of modern life through networks [1]. Augmented by technological advances as well as changes in the social fabric of our communities, highly mobilized societies are evolving. In dense urban settings, new forms of social behavior are emerging through the use of location-sensitive, mobile devices. Cellular phone-induced flocking [2], for instance, and ‘smart mobs’—technology empowered, decentralized crowds—lead to the emergence of macro-scale behavioral patterns with unforeseen positive and negative potential.
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[1] Networks for a New Urbanism
[1] Networks for a New Urbanism

[2] Craig Reynolds, Boids Simulation
[2] Craig Reynolds, Boids Simulation

As a product of technological innovation, such as the cellular phone, the boundaries between public and private space are no longer clearly defined. While mobile phones are privatizing portions of the public realm, communication technologies such as the Internet are eroding our private sphere. Design can directly inform the way in which spaces are perceived, through both physical and virtual interfaces, which include not only digital interfaces, such as software applications and digital appliances, but also media, advertising, even architectural facades.

Mutable form is the term I use to describe forms that change of carry the potential of change according to a certain set of parameters, arbitrarily or as determined within the boundaries set by a pre-existing condition. Mutable forms fluctuate either programmatically or randomly between several states, and can lead to the emergence of unexpected results: Cellular automata are one example. A simple ruleset determining whether a pixel is on or off can generate complex, sometimes chaotic patternsin two or three dimensions [3]. Commercial examples of mutable form include the logomark of Expo 2000-the millenium world fair held in Hannover, Germany-which exists in an infinite number of variations [4]; the logotype of SoHo's New Museum of Contemporary Art, a constantly changing composition of multicolored diagonals [5]; and the typeface ‘Twin,’ which changes form according to the outside temperature [6]. Another example are the dynamic dataset-based information graphics explored by architectural studio Asymptote [7] and Benjamin Fry [8].
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[3] Stephen Wolfram, Three-dimensional Cellular Automata
[3] Stephen Wolfram, Three-dimensional Cellular Automata

[4] Qwer, Expo 2000 logo
[4] Qwer, Expo 2000 logo

[5] Honest, New Museum logo
[5] Honest, New Museum logo

[6] Letterror, Twin
[6] Letterror, Twin

[7] Asymptote, information graphics
[7] Asymptote, information graphics

[8] Benjamin Fry, information graphics
[8] Benjamin Fry, information graphics

Contrary to static or singularly manifested forms (independent of media), mutable forms are essentially parametric systems with the possibility of changing form over time, in response to environmental conditions and/or user-induced situations. Unlike static forms, they may hold significance for an increasingly fluid, mobilized society. The element of change has potential to carry meaning, whether anecdotal or informative; I intend to explore mutable form in developing work relating to urbanism as touched upon above. My interest lies in exploring dynamic visualization which relates to the mobility and migratory nature of urban populations.
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