Cecilia is an exploration of the perception of cities.

The project presents real-life city data in a naturalistic and free-form manner, opposing its normally regimented and discrete manifestation. However, though not intuitively recognised as a ‘city’, these forms are constructed from the same roads, buildings and land-plots as their predecessors – what separates the two, then?

A highly versatile displacement script allows meshes to be manipulated based on an input map. Maps used were processed maps of real cities, with building, land, and road data split into separate channels. This data then informs a reinterpretation of the original city through pushing, rotating, and scaling different meshes into curiously natural forms.

Cecilia Profile

The real physical city maps controlling geometry displacement were brought into Processing using MapZen and UnfoldingMaps. A custom TileMill map skin split buildings, roads, and open spaces into separate RGB channels. Multiple filters softened the maps images to be more appropriate for use as displacement maps.

Cecilia Maps Development
Cecilia Displacement Example