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MOBIANCE 3 – Sharing Cities, Ambient Commons and Urban Futures


Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano
Milan, Italie


A propos


Following the previous seminars and workshops (hold in Nantes 2013 and 2015) based on the relationship between Mobile and Ambiances, i.e. the impacts of mobile tools on urban design, the Mobiance 3 will be hold in Milan PoliMi and it will be open to an international audience.
In the 2017 edition, the aim of the Mobiance 3 seminar and workshop will be to study the relationship between the sharing society paradigm, new mobile technologies and how these are changing the way we interact and design cities. The event is, in fact, intended as an opportunity for exploring novel ideas and for envisioning future urban scenarios for the facilitation and development of the sharing society in cities. Addressed questions will be the following: How will the sharing society and economy approaches transform urban ambiances? Which new forms of interaction and communication will be produced in urban space? Will this modality lead to an augmented city experience? What are the impacts on urban daily practices and on urban design production? What technical and political issues arise from the multiplication of data sharing and people feedback and interactions on urban issues?

The seminar will introduce the main topics on the future trends of the materialization and digitalization of the sharing society paradigm in urban space; afterwards, during the intensive collaborative workshop, participants will explore these topics and are asked to envision and depict future urban and social scenarios. To push the exploration beyond the current technical limits, participants will be encouraged to take into account multi-sensory interaction (light, sound, haptics, vibration, odor, and so on), a multi-disciplinary approach and sharing modalities and no technical limitations. Researchers and professionals together with students will collaborate to identify scenarios and will be asked to produce a report describing the outcomes of the four days of work. Outcomes will be collected in a collaborative publication to be presented at the international conference organized by the Ambiance Network. Moreover, a jury with external experts will evaluate the outcomes and establish a winning project.

Scientific Committee and Organization

  • Barbara E.A. Piga, Labsimurb, Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana ‘Fausto Curti’, Politecnico di Milano_DAStU, Italy
  • Eugenio Morello, Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana ‘Fausto Curti’, Politecnico di Milano_DAStU, Italy
  • Rossella Salerno, Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana ‘Fausto Curti’, Politecnico di Milano_DAStU, Italy
  • Myriam Servières, AAU, Ecole Centrale Nantes, France
  • Daniel Siret, AAU, Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes, France


The workshop (4 cfu) has limited positions.

Please register for the selection sending your CV and Portfolio at:  (object: Mobiance 3 registration)


Cover image Creative Commons J. Milovanovic, Q. Parizot, A. Prugnière (from Mobiance-2 workshop)


Monday 27.02.2017

International workshop Mobiance 3
10.00 – 10.30 Introduction to the workshop
10.30 – 13.00 Students’ groups organization
International research seminar Sharing Cities, Ambient Commons and Urban Futures
14.30 – 15.00 Introduction to the seminar and presentation on the Sharing Cities Project
Eugenio Morello & Barbara E. A. Piga (PoliMi DAStU – labsimurb)
15.00 – 15.30 What does Ambiance mean?
Daniel Siret (ENSA Nantes – AAU-Crenau – International Ambiances Network)
15.30 – 16.00 Mobiance 1 and 2 outcomes
Myriam Servières (ECN – AAU-Crenau)
16.00 – 16.30 Sharing in the history of cities
Ignacio Requena Ruiz (ENSA Nantes – AAU-Crenau)
16.30 – 17.00 Citizens as sensors: actors for collaborative urbanism?
Gwendoline l’Her (ENSA Nantes – AAU-Crenau)
17.00 – 17.30 Towards A Sensory Ecology of the Mobility Enhancement: Urban Flow, Ambiance Intelligence, Embedded Technologies
Steven Saulnier (ENSA Grenoble – AAU-Cresson)
17.30 – 18.00 Open discussion
18:00 – 18.30 International competition launch:
“Envisioning the City of the Future: Making the Invisible Visible”
Barbara E.A. Piga

Tue 28.02.2017 – Wed 01.03.2017 – Thu 02.03.2017

ALL DAY (09:30 – 18:30)
International workshop Mobiance 3

Fri  03.03.2017

ALL DAY (09:30 – 18:30)
Mobiance 3 Workshop Closing & Final Submission



Arnold, Benjamin
Student in Engineering
Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France

Interested in cities’ development projects for a while, I chose the specialty “UrbaniSTIC”, one of the cursus proposed by Centrale Nantes, in which we learn urbanism and geomatics. This few months studying the city were very interesting, then I chose to work on urban morphology for my semester project. We saw the importance of the questions of interaction and communication in the city, as well as the influence of new technologies in the development of cities. That workshop will be the opportunity to work about that issue. That is why I want to participate to the Mobiance workshop.
Ecole Centrale de Nantes organized a workshop in collaboration with ENSA Nantes and Audencia Business School named CityLab. I couldn’t participate at the first two days of this workshop, but the third and final day, I saw what the students had achieved. I was really interested in their project and what they had done, so I was disappointed not to work on one of these. The Mobiance workshop will allow me to discover that type of work, where everybody uses their skills from different fields on a common project. Moreover, working with Italian students, particularly from PoliMi, will be an unique experience, and I will learn a lot from it.


Ascari, Jacopo
Student in Urban Planning
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

I’ve always found extremely exciting trying to understand how the inhabitants of a place sees their hometown. This led me, since I was very young, to develop a real passion for urban sketching and drawing. I adore the perceptive side of urban design and authors like Lynch and Cullen really inspired me. Still today, in a world full of representation possibilities, a Scott-like urban block analyses inspires me and, even if the aithor’s hand is prominent, it appears perfectly readable, even by non-skilled people.  I’m sure that Mobiance workshop will give me new opportunities to look at different ways to look at the city, to represent it, to simulate it and to learn from it.I’m exciting to take this chance!


Can Kurtaran, Izim
Student in Architecture
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Regarding my educational background and specialization, I am very interested in the concept of sharing cities in relation with the perception of changing technologies. Trying to understand the transformation, finding solutions for the future, and perceiving the socio-economical outcomes as well as the political results is enthusing for me. Thus, I believe the Mobiance workshop will be very beneficial, in order to comprehend above-mentioned subjects with the series of seminars and the international collaboration.


Chatzaki, Ioulieta
Student in Architecture
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

I have always been passionate about Technology and how it can affect and transform the world as it develops. Furthermore, what fascinates me the most is how Technology in combination with architecture can transform thoughts to spaces, spaces to buildings, buildings to cities and end up in a revolution of renovative future. I am quite eager to participate this workshop since it is hopefully going to give me this opportunity to engage myself with the responsibility to contribute to this vibrant transformation of ambiances and urban environments by utilising and learning essential tools and techniques that can benefit me for my future in this field. Therefore, I am thankful for this opportunity for it is one of the most renovative topics to encounter as an architect.


Faurie, Marieke
Student in Marketing, Design and Creation
AUDENCIA, Nantes, France

Being very curious I always liked to improve my knowledge on one subject. Moreover, as an architect, it was really important for me to questioning myself about the city of tomorrow. And now that I’m doing a Master in marketing, design and creation, in addition to my knowledge about the urban territory, I wanted to deepen the one acquired today and the workshop Mobiance is the perfect place to put into practice these.


Fouin, Yasmine
Student in Marketing, Design and Creation
AUDENCIA, Nantes, France

I am happy to attend the Mobiance workshop because it is about working on a meaningful project with people coming from different backgrounds, and mixing our skills to come up with innovative ideas. It is a great opportunity to think over how all the mobile tools that have become unavoidable can influence the city and its urban design. With this growing mobility, it has become decisive to take the city into account in the technological transformation taking place because we are now part of a sharing society, which has a direct impact on our environment, and which needs the environment to adapt better to these new uses, practices and trends. It is thrilling for me to be part of such a workshop, because we will try and build urban futures.


Ghizzo, Alvise
Student in Marketing, Design and Creation
AUDENCIA, Nantes, France

Mobiance seems to be a great project, given the possibility to work with architects, engineers and students from other fields. I look forward to meeting students from different schools and different cultures. Thinking about cities and how they are going to evolve in the future is a great project I want to be part of, especially since the workshop takes place in the great city of Milano.


Gonzalez, Morand
Student in Engineering and Management
Ecole Centrale de Nantes & AUDENCIA, Nantes, France

I currently am doing a double degree as a manager-engineer in Nantes (Audencia Business School and Ecole Centrale de Nantes) and I’ll terminate my studies in 2019. For now, I’m eager to take part in this Mobiance workshop. Indeed, I’m very fond of urbanism and feel concerned by all the problems that rose with the 21st century and that are stake nowadays; sand the solutions we may bring to solve them: that’s why I choose to specialize myself into urban planning and geomatics.
I actually had the chance to work on a road construction field in Bogota, where I was able to witness those urban problems, and the answers the head engineer provided with the help of his team. I found this ground experience helpful and very enlightening, it clearly made me want to evolve in the town planning area.Besides, I’m a person that likes group working: I first experienced it during my first year in Audencia Business School, but also during the Alliance CityLab Workshop that took place in Nantes in November 2016, where I worked alongside manager students from Audencia and architecture students from ENSAN. This was my first workshop, and I keep a beautiful memory of it: during three days, each of us managed to make a contribution thanks to a particular skill relative to its formation. In the end, we produced a quality work and our “employer” (le Département Loire-Atlantique) was very grateful.
Then, I feel very motivated about this Mobiance workshop in Milano, and I’m looking forward to taking part to it.


Hallier, Jonathan
Student in Marketing, Design and Creation
AUDENCIA, Nantes, France

Passionate about sharing economy and design, Mobiance Workshop seems to be the perfect event to attend. Very curious, I’m constantly looking for opportunities to work with multidisciplinary teams to enhance my managing and listening skills and develop my self-confidence. I participated to the City Lab Alliance workshop this year and I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate to the Mobiance « Sharing Cities, Ambient Commons and Urban Futures ». As an innovative approach of ideas generation and problem solving, this experience could also give me clues and reflections for my thesis.


Hautcoeur, Matisse
Student in Architecture
ENSA Nantes, France


Hingant, Alexandra
Student in Architecture
ENSA Nantes, France

Mobiance workshop is first of all a great opportunity to mixed project approach as we have the opportunity to work with people from different disciplines, different architectural culture, different city culture.
As a student, from year one, we’ve been mainly studying architectural design through volumes and scale, Mobiance is now an opportunity to complete this formation thinking about spaces qualities, through materials, sounds, lights. Manipulating several layers of ambiance. But also integrate changes we can’t ignore happening in terms of technologies and uses. Declining every steps between the realization and the original intention.


Kovacevic, Ivona
Student in Urban Planning
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

I am coming from small country, where the topic of sharing cities is still far away and no one is speaking about that. Personally, I was reading about this but I am not really sure exactly how it works. According to this, I applied and I am glad that I will be part of Mobiance 3 workshop. I would like to learn how to develop affordable and integrated smart city solutions. The thing that attract me the most is the fact that sharing cities working on citizen engagement and collaboration on local level and in that way creates a stronger connection between cities and citizens. From my point of view this is the most important aspect in planning, having a trust between themselves, because only in that way planners will work for public and community will be more satisfied. I am sure through this project I will learn how to achieve this goal, furthermore how to built smart city in realty.


Larroze-Jardiné, Charline
Student in Architecture
ENSA Nantes, France

The city of tomorrow not yet invented. This is the purpose of research of the sharing and smart city.  How integrate new technologies for city building and design?  How can contribute them for architecture and urban space? Now is the time to be seized to these issues for connectivity and this workshop mobiance 3 encourages us to do. I am passionate about work on these issues, both technical and sensitive. This is a quest for performance while remaining flexible and human-size. These workshops is an opportunity to give the best of oneself. Moreover, it is an opportunity to confront us with new questions, that we can be integrate in our design projects.
On the other hand, the group work and interdisciplinary work is a way to progress. This kind of work shows us different way to design project and shows us different views of cities and urban spaces. Indeed, not the architect has the same expectations of the environment that the engineer or the commerce’s student. The challenges are different and they are a strength for a proposal. This allows us to learn from others and these exchanges of ideas will continue to teach us in our work long after the workshop’s end.


Mandziuk, Piotr
Student in Architecture
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Technology is determining our everyday life aspects and has significant impact to our behavior. We can see that the technologies had made vital changes in Architecture, and it will continue. The point is, to be aware of this fact and be able to control it. We want to live in environment being friendly to us and providing opportunities to develop ourselves and improve our life conditions. We cannot be passive in this progressively evolving environment, we have to point the goals and lead the technologies to help us. This is the field which I am interested and want to broaden my mind, know how to use particular architectural tools to create new ambiences with friendly technologies applied in architecture and being in great harmony with us. One part of this field are mobile technologies thus this is the reason I participate in this workshop.


Marinkovic, Natalija
Student in Urban Planning
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

In order to broaden my horizons speaking about Architecture and Urban Planning, I was always interested how the progress of technology that is having a huge impact not just on human life, but also on space will manifest in the future. I was reading a lot about Sharing Cities and the interesting aspect that it is offering a framework for citizen engagement and collaboration, making a sharing society. I want to go in deep analysis how this sharing society is related with advanced technology and how urban space will be transformed. This opportunity to participate in Mobiance 3 workshop is a privilege that will be very relevant for knowledge and personal development, since participants are from different fields of study with different experiences. I am very glad that all these issues will be combined on one project in order to have a great output at the end.


Nedevska, Maria-Yoana
Student in Architecture
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The main reason I would like to participate in the Mobiance 3 workshop is to acquire even wider knowledge and understanding of Architecture, how the city relates to it and what is the future of that relationship, regarding the new developing technologies. I believe that these studies will widen my horizons and architectural skills. Furthermore, I think that it is essential to be familiar with various perspectives, tools and techniques about designing the city and the architecture it comprises of. Architecture is not a one-sided subject, you should be able to understand also people’s minds and to try to combine technical and artistic skills in order to create a good and well-accepted from the society architecture. Architecture is about experience. The more you have seen in this world, the more you can develop in your architectural skills and points of view. I believe Mobiance workshop is a positive initiative that can help a lot the development of young and motivated people, so I think it is a great opportunity!


Ohata, Noriko
Student in Architecture
ENSA Nantes, France

After graduated from Japanese architecture school, I was working some years in Tokyo as an architect. So, first of all, I am so excited to work with the international team, as I will be able to see the difference of the way to discover the designing solution in Asia and Europe.
When I was in japan, I was working on architectural design mainly, sometimes I had chances to think about urban design though. But I think DESIGN has no limit. Architectural designing, urban designing, product designing and so on. Every designing has relationship more or less. So we, architects, have much possibility, which can make the people’s life better through the designing.
Our life-style can change so fast according to development of digital devices. But if we create big hard-design once, for example buildings, it’s not easy to adjust that to the quick changing of our life-style. In other words, the changing speed between hard-design and soft-design is different.
So, I would like to discover the possibility of the design extending of architecture/urban design corresponding to our changing life.


Petri, Valentina
Student in Urban Planning
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Working within the Urban Simulation Laboratory of the Politecnico of Milan, I was able to become aware of an aspect of urban planning that until the last year of the master I had not considered. This is the reason why I chose to develop my master thesis about Augmented Maquette, a mix of physical and tangible elements together with the digital world; find a workshop that would satisfy my desire to expand my knowledge in the field of simulations it was not easy. I was already aware of Mobiance previous edition since I was already involved in the Laboratory, and I found it interesting, because my interest is in new technologies with which we relate to the environment. Fortunately this year, I have the opportunity to participate to this project of co-working design, and develop new future scenarios on the urban environment.


Puech, Benjamin
Student in Engineering
Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France

Cities are a fascinating human creation, they are in perpetual evolution as a reflect of our society and technological advances. These technologies can allow people to share and exchange like never we did in History. Thinking about what their future might be, envisioning how digital advances will change cities passionate me.
This workshop, with its muti-disciplinary approach, is a great way to shape all sorts of potential future applications. With both my civil engineering and urbanism formations, I am very curious and excited to participate in this workshop to explore the possibility allowed by technologies and new ways to shape the future of cities and design the urban space.All of this have to improve the city experience and the well-being of its inhabitants and I am enthusiastic to take part of this workshop.


Zhang, Jacques
Student in Engineering
Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France

At the end of November 2016, I had the chance to participate to the Citylab, a similar workshop about Smart Cities. I really enjoyed the experience, because of the way everybody was working and making progress as a team, despite the very different points of view of each person: in fact, we were working with students from the fields of architecture and business. The Mobiance 3 is an opportunity to repeat that rewarding experiment.Of course, I am very interested in urbanism, and on a larger scale in sustainable development and environment, and It is very appreciable to be able to put into practice everything that we have studied in class, and learn more about it. Besides, since I’m living in Paris, I always felt like it is a dense, and noisy city. I feel like the ambiance of the city, which is the main topic of the workshop, could be improved, and I am very interested in thinking about what kind of solutions there are.
Finally, the location of the workshop, obviously attracts me. I’ve never been to Milano, and since I almost surely am going to study there from September, it would be a first contact with the city, and its students, which would be very helpful.


Mobile Facilities Platform

By: Izim Can Kurtaran • Marieke Faurie • Matisse Hautcoeur • Benjamin Puech • Maria-Yoana Nedevska
The “Sushi” city is an idea project for a car-free towns of the future, where the problems of excessive air and car pollution, accessibility, crowded public spaces and social exclusion in terms of mobility are no longer existent. People will have an opportunity to wander around wide, open streets, where the wild and free vegetation has started to create a new habitat for the biodiversity. The citizen can marvel at beautiful, newly created landscapes within the city and at the same time can take advantage of the unique, revolutionary transportation devices.
Since the individual usage of cars is abandoned, the city needs new vehicles in order to satisfy the need of faster mobility. Thanks to the new technologies the platform benefits the maglev transport method, that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles. The platform makes part of the old infrastructure, which used to be for the cars, but this future one is placed along the largest road arteries and creates constantly moving mobile facility platforms. On the other hand, along some secondary streets, people can benefit individual vehicles to move faster, using again the maglev method.
The moving platform comprise of shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, exhibition spaces, libraries, temporary areas for concerts, and other leisure activities. It is also possible to find some services such as groceries, shoemakers, locksmiths…The majority of the functions vary due to time and day. As an example, during the lunch break on a workday there will be more catering services in order to satisfy the demand. There are two platforms going in opposite directions, which allows for better mobility and accessibility. In certain areas (commercial, residential) the platforms can move out of their usual tracks and create temporary places for people to have lunch, coffee etc., only while needed, and then they go back to their place with the help of magnets, whenever a free place on the platform arrives. All these facilities are moving around the city, giving the people an opportunity to have close to them everything that they possibly might need in their everyday life and at the same time making the mobility in the city easier, entertaining and less time-consuming than before.
Rather than creating divisions, the aim of the project is introducing the new shared spaces and moving meeting areas in order to bring closer the neighbourhoods that were divided by old infrastructure of the roadways. Now it offers an easier way to cross and share from one side to another. The other aim of the project is not replacing all the city services or spaces, but creating a useful alternative and new Ambiances. Even though the routine of the daily life changes in the city with the introduction of the platform, the crucial spaces and services will remain as they are (such as historical piazzas or hospitals). But for instance there are not anymore bus stops and stations, where people should wait for their transport to arrive, looking at timetables and getting annoyed from the delays and constant traffic.
As far as info-sharing is concerned, the citizens will receive real-time information for the type of platform that arrives and its distance to the person himself. The small personal device knows the exact interest of the citizen, as he has registered previously and has entered the preferences he has on the online sharing platform. All that data will be stored into a watch/bracelet gadget, that shows a pop-up balloon with the information of the nearest platform of your interest passing by. This will happen whenever you need it, or whenever the device notices, through a sensor, that you are sick, hungry, sad, cold or hot and suggests you to take the nearly coming café, restaurant or shop platform. In terms of Sharing this systems is allowing people to communicate their location fast and in the case your friends are passing nearby on the platform, it will give you a pop-up notice, so you can join them.
This future city has the potential to create a new type of Ambiance and Mobility, where people are enjoying every step in their everyday existence. The new technologies help for the creation of a sustainable and free of car pollutants habitat, where people and nature can coexist together in a better symbiosis.

The Mobile Living Unit

By: Ioulieta Chatzaki • Yasmine Fouin • Charline Larroze-Jardiné • Piotr Mandziuk • Jacques Zhang
We see the new future city as a shared home with buildings as a separate function rooms. The buidlings can serve the functions of each room of an apartment or house. This sharing house experience will develop human interaction which will lead to treat citizens more like flatmates or family in huge house- city. To keep the minimum privacy in this community we propose a floating private unit which travel form one building to another as you move from one room to another with all the comfort you have in private room.
Mobile living units are small individual spaces in which each person can have access to minimum comfort: a couch or bed, depending on the person’s lifestyle, internet connection. We’re coming back to the basic, the necessary. In the mobile living unit, you can live and commute easily. They can fly from place to place. And park anywhere. The interest we had when creating the concept of mobile living unit is to give people a minimum private area, and turn the city into a shared home, encouraging social interactions.
Contrary to what might be thought about the mobile living unit, it is not because it is a small individual space that it breaks social link and isolates people. The first reason for this is that a unit can be connected to other units, for instance to have a bigger home for several members, or to have friends over. The other reason is that the whole city has evolved to become more collaborative. Imagine shared spaces for every sphere of social life, such as working, eating, studying, and so on.
The idea is that the city would be organized around big buildings contributing to stronger social links. For instance, you would have access to giant cooking buildings where people would share their meals and cooks together. These places would be administered by local public authorities, but each person using the facilities would have to contribute to the community, whether it be by cooking for other people as well as for themselves or by helping to clean the place, or else by donating cooking items.
These building would offer the possibility to park the mobile units directly inside the building: you would have holes in the buildings, with the same size as the units. You could control your unit with your smartphone to choose your location, similarly to the Google Car. For example, Sarah, an architecture student, wants to go to the library. She can select the location on her phone, and get there quickly, keeping the comfort of her room while commuting. Once she gets there, she can select a free spot in the building to park her unit. Then, she can just leave her unit, the same way as for a car in a car park, and go to the library.
Public space would also be different with the expansion of squares and parks for instance, which would be huge gathering places where people could socialize as they want. There would be more spaces like these because less space would be needed for housing if the mobile unit becomes more popular. Therefore, the feeling of freedom conveyed by great spaces would exist in big cities and not only in smaller areas at the countryside, reinforcing the feeling of community at the same time because of all the collaborative infrastructures.
About the unit itself, one of the most interesting parts would be its sustainability. It only uses renewable energies: solar power, wind power, and a new kind of energy, pollution-converting power. This futuristic energy would be produced by a system taking air pollution and small particles to transform them into energy. These renewable energies would enable the unit to fly from place to place and its electricity system to be fully powered: heating, air conditioned, lights, and so on.
Each person can decide the way they want to organize the inside of the unit, in terms of colors, materials and items necessary to their comfort. They could also decide whether they are comfortable living in it or just using it on specific occasions, such as commuting. They would therefore have the possibility to let the community use it when they are not using it, in the same way as couchsurfing, for instance. Then, the outside appearance would also depend or their taste: to make it simple, there would be a standardized frame to be able to park everywhere, but people could make it look the way they want.

The Sensitive Dragonfly

By: Benjamin Arnold • Jacopo Ascari • Jonathan Hallier • Noriko Ohata • Valentina Petri
Making the city more comfortable and pleasant for the citizen is our main objective. We decided to focus on the notion of comfort and use this concept as a guide line. In a city, the comfort can be defined as the feeling that make a citizen say « this is the place where I want to be ». We imagine a system where individual can interact and communicate with the city and have a direct influence on their environment. To do so, we collect data that are treated and used to benefit to the Common Good and the well-being to turn the city into an intelligent and prophylactic unit thanks to changing and reactive structure (Totem) that provide comfort. They are named physical objects because they have to keep the identity of the place. These totems participate to change the ambiance (through light, sound, sensations, micro-architecture, particular services and objects) which is based on the feeling, willing and emotions of people who are around.
The solution is divided in two levels:
  • At the base of the solution, you find the citizen who benefits from a digital avatar that helps him organizing his activities, answers to his questions and advices him. The personal digital advisers are linked to the « totem network system » which help it to provide the best answer as possible according to the situation in real time in the city.
  • In the city hotspots, devices are placed in strategic points: they are totems that react to the direct environment conditions (environment and mood of the people around) by creating a particular ambiance to maximize the citizen’s comfort.
Totems are linked to the Avatar of each citizen who are close to them. Citizens have the choice to switch on or off the communication between their avatar and the totem. Totems read the information of the Avatars and use it to create particular ambiance, comfort according to what people fee, wish and desire. Thanks to the changes, citizens are surprised, because in the same place, they can discover different ambiances depending on when they come and who are around. The creation of a particular ambiance is passive. If there are divergent thoughts and desires, a citizen have the opportunity to interact directly with the totem through the Avatar by asking to check which are the main feelings at that moment in the surrounding. After checking these information, the citizen can change his mind and contribute to the changes he wants to see or to get.
For example:
  • Around a totem, the majority of the crowd is annoyed by the noises, the Totem will generate an intangible barrier around it to block the noise and offer a moment of calm to the citizens.
  • In winter, citizens feel a bit sad: if the majority of a crowd feel so, the totem can create a surprise and contribute to change the mood of people in its surrounding from a negative feeling to a more positive one.
  • In summer, it’s hot very hot. People around the totem want water, shadow and somewhere to seat. The majority of the crowd are thirsty and need water, the 2nd majority want shadow and the 3rd part want somewhere to seat. The totem will provide all this product and services according to the ranking of the crowd. People can change their mind or change the importance of their needs: the totem will adapt by changing the environment. The shadow will be more important, the water fountain less important and the seats more numerous for instance

White Box

By: Alvise Ghizzo • Morand Gonzalez • Alexandra Hingant • Ivona Kovacevic • Natalija Marinkovic
The Problem and Origin:
Everyday habits are leading people to different places in the city : from home to work or other places and always back to home.
Ambiance is an ambivalent/dual notion : on the one hand, it is subjective because it is related to our personal experience, on the other hand, it is objective since people experience it together. Given that, we are up to imagine some adaptive place fitting both individual and collective requirements.
Then how adaptative ambiances can improve everyday life and the unconscious levels of sharing ?
The Idea: The Mood (Self and neighborhood)
People’s mood define their day from the moment they wake up. From this point of view, the state of mind can give a positive or negative spin to any given day, letting anyone entering a virtuous or vicious circle. At this point, the idea is to preserve this energy thanks to ambiance, playing with sensoriality and how to modulate repetitive habits.
From a wider perspective, residents of a neighborhood define a general mood and inclination influenced by the social hubs in districts. In other words, the atmosphere of the city is defined by the migration of people.
The Concept: White Box → MOOD & SHARING
We came up with the concept of a place that adapts itself to the mood of people and to the function they need during a day : White Box. The place physically transforms in different spaces providing people what they need and creating a specific ambiance for their mood. Concretely, White Box is a chameleon room.
Consequently, during the day, it turns into a workspace “adapted” to the employees’ mood working in it. Thanks to sensors and some cutting-edge technology, this work space will be able to transform itself, not in a digital but physical way, and create an ambiance – or ambiances – in adequation with employees’ needs and state of mind. Considering that the notion of ambiance is subjective and proper to an individual, the technology would pick an aspect of everybody’s own ambiance to create a new one: the workspace is tailor-made for the team.
Focusing on an example : during the afternoon, a boss and the employees need to hold a meeting to discuss an important topic. The box will set in advance a large soundproof space dedicated to that meeting, including a floor of foam and a reverse sound system to absorb sound waves. The meeting team and rest of the agency are then isolated from other’s noise without a physical separation : this is a new way of sharing space in a workplace.
Once work is over, the box will transform into a public and social place that surrounding inhabitants need at the moment : a cinema, restaurant, bar, and other socio-cultural activities. This place can run 24/7 so as to create social connections between citizens in line with their mood at any time. When no one needs the white box, it dematerializes to leave an empty space. It creates a new atmosphere in the neighborhood, bringing dynamism as space changes.
For example, the white box can turn into a restaurant as soon as employees are done working in it. Any citizen can then come and enjoy a special meal there. So as to fully create an immersive experience, the box proposes a sensitive menu based on the olfactive faculty : instead of visualizing dishes on a board, the table will offer the customer smell samples of those dishes.
At night and during the weekend, a white box could become a cinema. It offers a brand new sensitive experience to tell a story in an immersive ambiance ; viewers are no longer static in front of a screen, the audience wanders in the box that keeps on transforming itself, constantly creating decors adapted to the story being told. Moreover, holograms are displayed in the room to interact with viewers. What is interesting is the non linear way to tell the story. Each person is guided in the White Box thanks to a unique luminous path, and thus is told a unique story that fits his inner wishes.
At the end, viewers are invited to share about their feelings and perceptions of the story, which is the same yet different to everybody.
These examples are just a glimpse of what White Box could provide in terms of ambiance, sharing and social experiences. Let’s say someone needs room to hold a meeting with friends/collaborators, that person just has to go to the closest white box that will create/materialise the perfect and adapted spot.
In that way we will have place that meets everyone’s needs and where it is possible to share experience, knowledge and items.
This white box organisation then makes its daily life easier for every citizen : people would not lose time traveling from neighbourhoods to neighbourhoods. Thus, spatial occupation is made efficient at a maximal level since White Boxes are constantly used and shared by people, otherwise they disappear and momentarily become inexistent. From a geographical point of view, this innovation modifies cities’ morphology, which keep on transforming themselves, Boxes constantly “appearing” and “disappearing”.
Comments on the experience

What the participants said on the Mobiance workshop experience

Benjamin Arnold — Participer à Mobiance a été une expérience enrichissante. Travailler avec des gens de différentes origines et cultures, ainsi que de différents domaines professionnels permet de découvrir d’autres points de vue et complète notre perception des choses. Ainsi nous avons pu fournir un travail qui vient de ce mélange et qui en est d’autant plus intéressant. Cependant pour moi il aurait été bien de définir des objectifs  permettant d’utiliser réellement les compétences des différentes personnes
Jacopo Ascari — Mobiance has been something more than a standard academic workshop but a real full immersion in an exciting futuristic atmosphere. I really appreciated the different backgrounds of the participants, I think we all had the chance to add a different perspective and to such an exciting debate. I recommend everybody to take part in such a stimulating think tank!
Ioulieta Chatzaki — Mobiance 03 has been a fantastic opportunity to create an alternative insight on architecture that deals with one of the greatest challenges: the creation of a world that does not exist just yet. It has been enjoyable with an absolutely creative team of professors and participants that encouraged us to think outside of the box and develop an ambitious perspective in our field. It would be great to see more workshops like this in our academic life.
Marieke Faurie — Ce que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant dans ce work shop, c’était de travailler avec des profils différents et de nationalités différentes. De plus, en tant qu’architecte et faisant ma thèse sur la ville du futur, il était passionnant de se plonger dans les imaginaires de tous et voir comment la ville se transformera dans quelques années. Cette expérience a été très riche, notamment par ce que le champ des possible était très ouvert laissant place à notre créativité.
Alvise Ghizzo — Pour résumer mon expérience à Milan, je peux dire que travailler en choeur avec des étudiants ingénieurs et surtout architectes a été une expérience formidable tant au niveau de l’émulation qu’au niveau de l’ouverture à de nouveaux champs. Au delà, la qualité et la créativité des rendus de chaque groupe m’ont transporté dans un futur qu’il me tarde de réellement expérimenter.
Jonathan Hallier — Ce que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant en plus d’être dans une université à l’étranger c’est de pouvoir travailler avec des étudiants d’horizon totalement différent en terme de parcours, de nationalité et de vision. Le fait d’être à Milan a aussi contribué au fait de me sentir (paradoxalement) plus à l’aise (l’excuse du touriste peut être?).  De quitter leur zone de confort a été à mon sens déterminant pour que les étudiants puissent exprimer au mieux leur créativité.
Ivona Kovacevic — The ambiance workshop was very innovative and interesting. The topic was inspiring, because we could finally think out of box. One of the best think is that the workshop was international.  Certainly, great experience! I would recommend everyone to take part of it.
Izim Can Kurtaran — Mobiance workshop encouraged me to think about the cities of future without having unnecessary boundries. It was helpful to understand how to reach our cutting edges and was making us dream in order to use our imagination as architects.
Piotr Jan Mandziuk — Great workshop experience to develop and stimulate architect’s mind to look further into future.  The essence of conceptual work had been broaden much more than usually. Mobiance made an opportunity to let us enjoy the best part of architectural work.
Natalija Marinkovic — The Mobiance 3 workshop was a definitely new experience in terms that the topic was very unusual, completely open to new ideas, giving possibility to look out of the box, and imagine something that is far from the way of life today, without any restrictions. Other very interesting thing was the opportunity to have students from France, with different backgrounds, and the challenge was how to combine the ideas of students that are having different backgrounds in one project.
Maria-Yoana Nedevska — I should admit Mobiance has been the most challenging and exciting workshop I have attended till now. It gave me possibility to express some of my « bravest » thoughts as far as the future of our cities is concerned and at the same time it showed me that nothing is impossible as long as you have a clear and strong idea that engages the community, the ambiance and their mutual symbiosis! Great results from all groups! It was a pleasure to meet you all!
Valentina Petri — I found the experience of the Mobiance workshop very inspiring. What made it different than a classic workshop was the effort we put to imagine future scenarios, totally out of the box, at the limit of feasibility. I found it very interesting to compare the « polytechnic » approach with the French students on the co-working front; we have a very different approach to dealing with themes, and I’m convinced that I’ve learned something from this.
Benjamin Puech — Ce workshop nous a permis de laisser libre cours à notre imagination et de rêver une solution à des problématiques urbaines actuelles, en s’affranchissant des limites techniques. Il s’agissait d’un exercice inhabituel et décontenançant pour un futur ingénieur car ici les compétences techniques ne sont que peu mises à profit. Mais la diversité des participants et la taille des équipes sont parfaites pour profiter de la pluralité des profils, confronter les méthodes de travail et encourager la créativité.L’exercice fut donc très intéressant par son cadre multidisciplinaire et multiculturel, forçant à l’écoute et au partage.Ce workshop me marquera par son contexte, autant insolite qu’enrichissant, une expérience que je ne peux que recommander.


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