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Stamps Faculty Collaboration LitKNIT Gateways Shortlisted, Featured

Lit KNIT Gateway mail

This sum­mer, Stamps fac­ulty Nick Tobier, Roland Graf, and Michael Rode­mer col­lab­o­rated on a smart” ver­sion of urban knit­ting that was recently short­listed for the Smart Oxford Playable City Com­mis­sion and fea­tured on BBC Radio.

LitKNIT Gate­ways is a smart” ver­sion of urban knit­ting using LED stripes to cre­ate pro­gram­ma­ble land­marks and play a walk­a­ble light show across Oxford. Build­ing on exist­ing street fur­ni­ture such as light posts, it weaves col­or­ful light pat­terns into neigh­bor­hood gate­ways, knit­ting dis­parate demo­graph­ics into an inter­ac­tive illu­mi­nated metropolis.

Peo­ple can inter­act with this net­work of illu­mi­nated gate­ways both phys­i­cally (e.g. through touch, sound, or motions sen­sors embed­ded in street fur­ni­ture) as well as via a web inter­face (e.g. smart phone). For exam­ple, on a micro level, pedes­tri­ans can touch a respon­sive light pole wrapped with LED stripes with both hands to see their heart­beat dis­played as a pul­sat­ing color sequence. Or, they can swipe their hands, move across or jump next to the pole to set a light pat­tern in motion that spins around or moves up and down the pole. On a macro level, the gate­ways can be linked to a web inter­face and serve as a pub­lic dis­play and sen­sor of basic city data. For exam­ple, a street light pole can become an equal­izer bar show­ing the deci­bel level of local envi­ron­men­tal noise from traf­fic (e.g. a car pass­ing by) or air quality.

Taken as a whole, these inter­ac­tive gate­ways aim at weav­ing” together the larger city fab­ric (phys­i­cally and dig­i­tally) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with local com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tions and res­i­dents. Col­lec­tively they can form a path­way to play a role in annual runs, night­time walks, Crit­i­cal Mass bicy­cle rides, and emer­gent urban games.

LitKNIT Gate­ways | Playable Cities