Peter Murray, Director of the NLA, and Bill Hillier – Professor of Architectural and Urban Morphology at the University of London and Director of Space Syntax Laboratory – opened the latest exhibition at the Building Centre called Smarter London: How digital technologies are shaping the city.
Hillier explained to a crowded room that the ways we consider our cities has radically changed since he started working in the built environment and the rise of digital technologies has exploded. He described a time when streets were seen primarily as routes from one part of the city to another. It would never have occurred to those that governed London that infrastructure has the power to make a ‘place’, and he cited Oxford Street as an example of an area where the shops owe a debt to the road that bisects Central London.
Times have changed and we’re now facing a future capital planned and managed using smarter digital technologies. The exhibition looks at how these digital technologies can deliver more efficient transport; build smarter, greener buildings; and help us deal with an ever-growing population.
The show is made up of a wide variety of content supplied by architects and industry experts, such as a series of videos from NBBJ architects that details how computational design is radically altering how we approach building design from the very outset. There is also a virtual London that allows visitors to explore the capital from an entirely new perspective using the Pigeon Sim – where the use of gestures allow you to swoop and soar high over the city.
The exhibition is on until 18 December and is held at NLA , The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT.