Inspired by the CityWall of Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, the CityWall is a social and poetic experiment taking place in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. The research project addresses the issue of augmented cities through interactive, public and connected “monuments”.
The Citywall experiment includes two walls connecting the Alcazar, multimedia center in Marseille and the “City of Books” (La Cité du Livre) in Aix-en-Provence. It is a first prototype, which will later be built on a larger scale with different forms. This project is financed by the PACA Region (Provence, Alpes, Côte d’Azur). It brings together a wide range of collaborators: interaction designers, cultural mediators, information and communication researchers, artists who work on its production, creation and analysis.
The two CityWalls are large multitouch multi users screens. The public can interact and participate in a number of informative, communicative, cultural, and artistic applications. As an urban system, the CityWall can at the same time receive and distribute information. It is designed as an « urban interactive political media » as well as a « new cultural facility »: citizens can express themselves and use its services.
The Codesign Lab and Media Studies analyzes the specificity of this new urban artefact, its production and reception. We define a specific methodology that considers the new “interacting motifs” (Gentes A., Guyot A.), the question of cultural and urban mediation, the scenarization and animation of public places and more generally the impact of “connected urban furniture” on local activities. The methodology also takes into consideration the experimental nature of the CityWall project so as to assess the pertinence of the concept, its contents and its interfaces.
The results of the study will be published in July 2011.