Module Reflection

For data and imaging visualisation, not know what to expect of the module to start off with. For floating city there was a degree of fear that came up with it. When it comes to Maya  Having no confidence in it whats so ever with my previous animations not assignments not being amazing to any standard! This was heavily reflected in floating city. If you were to look at the amount I try to do the with software compared to others. I clearly didn’t want to touch it! However once it got the head model where I could focus on it myself and spent two months with it and the software; I finally got to the stage with the software where i could appreciate it for what it was.

My time management with the overall module was okay to begin with. For floating city there was an even enough balance between this project and other projects. However this was due to some of my team members being in my group in both modules so there our group was understanding when things needed to be done in other projects.  For my head model initially however due to my poor time management after the Easter break,the head model was finished a day before the deadline. Honestly this should have been finished earlier.

Through the module, there were lesson to be learned.  Thinking of the head model, learning that all models need a great deal of planning and the topology of the mesh is important. It’s not just how it looks  instead of worrying over the details I’m gonna sort out my time management because at the moment there isn’t one! Thinking back to floating city, what is to be taken from it is to take more risks and dive in a lot more. I wouldn’t have learnt what I did by staying with research and drawings in my book. That was definitely a big flaw in my approach to the module.

So as you can see , there is a lot to learn but to finish off because I feel like I should show more of the topology of my head model. Heres more of the head model…UNSMOOTHED AHHHHHHH!

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Presentation Day

Today we presented our floating city and I think it went well. Glad to know people liked our design and the research given.  I’m really happy with what we produced and I’m so happy I was in a team that have skills and abilities in Maya and design I don’t have! I think if we had more time I would experiment a bit more with the infographics and do more modelling.Here is a link to the presentation

Here is our video for floating city [Updated 31st March 2016] 

Our Floating City


So now that our city is modelled and we have rendered stills, I can talk about them and show off each part! Above is our floating city separated, a big thanks to Jenny who not only textured and put together the city but process the rendered still that we have to show.


This is the mesh is for the top of the city. Allowing as a shield for large debris and creating an aerodynamic  design. The metal design allows for durability and each segment allows for farming and planting such as oranges and olives. the open mesh also allows for buildings to come through.


This is the foundational structure for our city. Based on roman arches, we decided the material should be marble to show that in the new Rome there still are old materials. The arches not only are for visual appearance but acts as a standing ground for the contrasting materials (Metal mesh and swirled marble bottom.) Thinking on terms of tourism for Rome the arches would gives the floating city an attitude that they are open and anyone can visit!


These are the more fancy buildings for the floating city, they are more traditional however they expand and contract to cope with the size of population and the influx of tourism. With tourists spending a lot of money on a daily basis in Rome, they would naturally  be in these buildings.


The amber is the center-piece of the city, inside is the Pantheon which captures the old Rome. The translucency allows for the old building to come through and allows for light to bounce back into the city. As it’s encased in amber, the building inside will no longer need refurbishment which will save the city money.


The bridges allow the public and the population to see the amber up close but still having a safe guard so people don’t fall off. It has a marble material to up keep with the bottom half of city

Bottom Structure

This is the bottom part of the city with a swirled marble material. Inside there is a cascading effect which allows for buildings and the civilisation to be placed. There is a hole at the bottom that allow for the aerial screw to be placed.

Aerial Screw

Based off Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs this is the aerial screw.  It works like expected, the sail turns creating momentum for the city to be kept afloat. To keep with the original design, we kept with the wooden materials.


Here is a rendered still showing a different perspective of the city. This shows a keyhole perspective like in Savello Park. Below are other rendered stills; the darker one was a rendered still done by Jonny. I really like the dark lighting in it with the tones of red.

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Overall i’m really proud of our model, all that’s left is to make the presentation and finishing touches.

Graphic Posters

Continuing from Tuesday’s research; we started on the graphic posters today for the presentation. Jonny came up with a few designs  for the posters which i was able to use as a template. There were complications with the dotted line template that inspired our template however this simplistic design helps us organise all of our data and images; making it much easier to read than the dotted line.

All that was left is the information and the graphics. I along with Kirstin came up with a few designs for each poster. We decided to have a poster about each element of the city to show that the design is influenced by research and statistics making it an effective city.


population stats

This is the first poster concerning housing. As our floating city in theory expands and contracts dependent on the population and the influx of tourism. Showing this with the information, people are living longer with a life expectancy of  80-85 yrs. This as well as a lower death and birth rate shows Rome is at a stand still. As the statistics reflect residents and not tourists, Rome is a congested city. With the use of expanding and contracting buildings this could result in a  less congested city.

amber stat

This is a poster for the amber, As this is the new Rome, the old buildings are left behind but as they the heart of Rome economy. They are needed for the city to survive, however the money to refurbish the city is an overwhelming amount with $35 million to just restore the Colosseum. By encasing in amber, this problem is resolved and tourism is still Rome’s main export.


This is to show that the the buildings created have a class system. The graphic is the city on a birds eye view, the further you go down the city the cheaper it is to live. As the city is one of the most expensive cities to live in, individuals can now live in the city in buildings designed like the Amalfi Coast.

farming shit

This is about the mesh of the the city and how it’s open plan allows for plants and farming. With areas of pastures , crops and cultivations decreasing  the mesh allows for plenty of space to plant crops so they city can live on it’s own produce. As said by our friend Gianni, orange grown well particularly in Rome, the mesh could allow for better sunlight for fruit.

The posters are ready for the presentation, hopefully for the presentation tomorrow everyone will be able to understand the information and it can be read clearly.

Visualising the Data

I watched what I should have watched ages ago, however they is no time like the present. This is a Ted talk on data visualisation by David Mccandleuss, a data journalist. He speaks a lot about the beauty of data and how we can present that information to tell a story.

“Data is the new soil” – by playing with data we work the information, interesting findings can emerge. David said something that was very interesting;”If you combine the language of the eye with the language of the mind, you develop two languages.” To create info graphs we need to be aware of typography, alignment, design elements in order for people to formulate the information.

What we are doing with floating city is compressing all of these facts and statistics of Rome and compressing them so an audience can understand. Visualising data can be fun and can be presented in a way that the information that was uninteresting becomes interesting.

The beauty of data visualization – David McCandless [Accessed 8th March 2016]

With the Ted Talk in mind, I thought posters would be a really good idea to visualise the data instead of just presenting them on the presentation. For that I wanted get a few examples of posters that could help influence the design.

These are just some basic info graphs I found online; I really like the use of a colour palette and using the shapes and symbols for the reader to understand. By not just displaying ordinary graphs and charts, using them as part of the design we can see a nice use of space and as a reader find the information more encouraging to read. As our floating city is geometric and is hexagonal, we could play with that shape in order the design is uniform with the city itself.



These were design I found by chance and I love them. Using the mesh and branching text and images off from it could be really interesting; keeping in with the aesthetic of our design. In my head If we had more time I would make a animated info graph with the mesh moving but that my brain not being realistic! With this I think making a graphic like the hexagonal shape or something even to represent the city.

[Source links for image research: Example 1,Example 2, Example 3Example 4Example 5]

When speaking to Jonny, he was keen to come up with the template taking inspiration from this image here which follows some of my geometric inspirations. Its a CV someone has created but the idea of the dotted lines guiding the eye to the information is interesting. The use of icons here is good, taking upon my own research we could have a graphic for each poster so show the subject of the information with the leading lines taking you through the information.

CV- Accessed 8th March 2016

With the basic idea of what we wanted to achieve, Jonny was going to create the template whilst myself and Kirstin crate a few graphics and gather together the statistics and organise them. For the graphics we were thinking of creating shapes to represent, housing, tourism, farming, economic status etc which would then reflect our design choices.





Revisiting Statistics

Looking at the statistics our group has; we  realised we need a lot more to back up our findings and to correctly visualise the new city. The problem as likely mentioned before is finding accurate statistics based in Rome in Italy (not Georgia as lately discovered)

However I was able to find a website which not only is a legitimate website but is based in Rome.  (Disclaimer: the photo links have to be refreshed to see)They have tables which statistics on regions in Rome as well as specific ones itself on Rome. The ones that were particularly useful were statistics on the population

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 20.17.10
ISTAT- Accessed 6th March 2016

Looking at the statistics you can see the life expectancy of people in Rome has increased and the death rate has decreased. Showing that the population is growing and the a need for house is going to become a growing problem. When we look at the natural balance rate it furthers shows that there is intact an imbalance of the population versus the death rate. However it also shows that marriage and fertility rate are lowering.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 20.28.01.png
ISTAT – Accessed 6th March 2016

For farming I could only find statistics in the Lazio region. When we compare this findings in 2007 to the findings in 2003, we see that agricultural area are decreasing. considering this is in 2007 we can only assume these statistics have continued to decrease.

The website didn’t just have these statistics here but many others which had subsections upon subsections. I found once you started to explore through the figures you could easily get lost amongst what information is necessary but overall it has been a massive help in terms of finding information to back up concepts.



For our floating city I started modelling the bottom part of the city. For the bottom of the city it’s exterior is a bowl shape whilst the interior has a staircase. To create the structure I thought of using a bezzaire curve; however speaking to Gianni I decided to use a  deformer. By creating the staircase first the duplicating the geometry I was able to put them together and and create the bend.   This sounds easy but a whole day of trying to do this with a lot of help of Andrew Coyle and Edward Boyle (2nd Year) But hey I got it, it’s here:

So that the aerial screw can be easily placed in the floating city, I put a hole in the bottom of the structure. (fixed the geometry so theres no triangles) The structure itself reminds me of a funnel but it is now ready for it to be put together.

To help out the other guys, I helped out Jonny with the aerial screw. Whilst he did the main  beam, I made the sail. For the sail I first started with a torus but found manipulating it be  bit difficult so I changed to a helix. With the helix I was easily able to manipulate it into a sail like structure.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 23.58.04
Aerial Screw Sail

even though my modelling abilities are quite limited i’m happy i got something done!