Hyperlocal Imaginaries

Claire McAndrew, Paul Sermon

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


From Peter Cook’s Plug-In City — of the radical 1960s Archigram group, to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, fictional narratives can contest urban realities and envision alternative utopian futures. The Visual History of the Future (2014) commissioned under the UK Government’s Foresight Future of Cities Project, is a reminder of the relevance and power of the imagined. Visualisations entering mainstream architectural consciousness can act as a stimulus for the design, planning and construction of cities. Publications such as Lucy Bullivant’s 4D HYPERLOCAL (2017) are even venturing into ‘city making’ in today’s ‘platform’ society. With hackable cities used to create alternative urban imaginaries, Waal et al. suggest: ‘The success of cities partially lies in the fact that they are open platforms’ offering a ‘redistribution of power in practices of city making’ (2017: p.52). 3×4 contributes to such social imaginary by providing a platform to see informal settlements differently, disrupting common perceptions through artistic performance. 3×4 metres are the dimensions provided in some resettlement colonies in New Delhi. Cities such as London, are also seeing reductions in living space, with ‘affordability’ simply translated into ‘smaller’. Connecting public audiences at Khoj International Artists’ Association in Delhi and the Southbank Centre in London via an immersive, telematic installation, opened opportunities for citizens to participate in their city and practice new ways of seeing. Citizens were invited to upload and co-create images of 3×4 metre living spaces, whatever they interpreted and imagined that to be. Crossing reality with fiction, these images become the background scenes in which audiences were co-located. Artistic performance can bring built and imagined spaces closer together, creating new typologies that shape thinking about how we occupy space in cities. It is from this search for alternative imaginaries at the fold of physical place and digital space that cities of the future will arise.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017
EventsIREN Conference 2017: Arts and Digital Practices - Edinburgh College of Art
Duration: 31 May 2017 → …


ConferencesIREN Conference 2017: Arts and Digital Practices
Period31/05/17 → …


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