“Tomorrow 2.0” is a re-envisioning of Flushing Meadows/Corona Park as a next- generation urban environment/ecosystem. Flushing Meadows/Corona Park presents a provocative mix of legacy and challenge for anyone contemplating a re-envisioning or re- framing of the possibilities: a wildlife habitat, a dump, site of two world’s fairs featuring technology-driven visions of future cities and ways of life, a ruin, an exceptionally generous allocation of land as a public park, and a huge naturally-occurring recycling/water treatment system.
“Tomorrow 2.0” will take up these challenges and possibilities within the framework of a massively collaborative and participatory virtual sketchpad and laboratory: the lead artist will collaborate directly with students to develop the base model at the school (an approach already tested in Brooklyn and Bremen in the first stages of development of the Betaville platform). As the base model takes shape, other researchers at NYU-Poly, NYU, and research universities in the EU-based ThinkBETA consortium will be invited to provide specialized expertise and critiques of design concepts from the various relevant disciplinary perspectives: geotechnical, social, creative, environmental, long-term planning and design… and others as they arise. Where appropriate, other researchers and creative professionals associated with NYSCI will be invited to log in to the virtual park to offer their expertise and ideas.
Vistiors will “fly through” a virtual Flushing Meadows/Corona Park using a large Smartboard touchscreen, to see possible exhibits for a hypothetical next world’s fair, created by local artists and students in consultation with scientific and community advisors. Tomorrow 2.0 is created and presented using the open-source Betaville platform, developed since 2008 by students and faculty at the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center and the M2C Institute for Applied Media Research in Bremen, Germany. Local partner schools on the project include the Dwight School and the Urban Assembly Gateway Institute, Manhattan; the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and Louis Armstrong IS 227, Queens. Wizards: Skye Book, software; Joe Fattorini, technology in the schools; Levis Reyes, 3D modeling. The support of Microsoft Research, the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and NYU-Poly is gratefully acknowledged.
Carl Skelton designed and founded the Integrated Digital Media programs at NYU-Poly, and now directs the new Brooklyn Experimental Media Center. He is currently working on Real City, a public projection piece for the Manhattan bridge; The Multimedia Programming Fakebook (with Luke DuBois) for MIT Press; and several experimental media development projects.
For video introducing the Betaville project:
http://urbanomnibus.net/2011/01/betaville/ or http://mas.org/summitnyc/2010/08/newtools-for-civic-engagement-betaville
Betaville in Web Urbanist: http://bit.ly/nKPL8p