Tag Archives: Dr Duncan Rowland

Twitter garden wins gold

The University’s Twitter-reactive garden has been presented with a gold award at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.

Part of the STAN (Science Technology Architecture Networks) project within the Schools of Architecture & Design and Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, the garden responds to social media by monitoring Twitter and translating the trends into changes in the landscape of the garden. Planting reflects the contrast between a harsh built environment and a lush utopia.

Visitors to the show, which ran from 12th to 14th September 2014, were invited to tweet about #harrogateflowershow and change the garden’s landscape.

The STAN research project, which involves computer scientists and architects, is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

Richard M Wright, Senior Lecturer in the Lincoln School of Architecture, developed the construct, together with fellow academic Barbara Griffin and students Andy Hayeselden, Nicholas Sharpe and Liam Bennett from the University’s School of Architecture. Dr Duncan Rowland, a fine artist and Reader in the School of Computer Science, developed the software application.

STAN 4

Twitter tech used in award-winning garden

Expertise from the University of Lincoln has once again contributed to a win at one of the world’s most prestigious flower shows.

The Essence of Australia garden, which Dr Duncan Rowland from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science worked on, won a Gold Medal and Best in Show at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Dr Rowland’s research into how Twitter can be used to control and affect external objects was used to regulate a water feature within the garden.

This follows the University of Lincoln’s Gold win at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. The unique Twitter-controlled garden, Digital Capabilities responded to live Twitter activity, enabling the public to directly influence how the garden appeared at any one time.

That project was a cross-disciplinary collaboration between academics from the University’s School of Computer Science, School of Psychology and School of Architecture together with designers Harfleet & Harfleet.

The inspirational Essence of Australia garden was designed by the Australian landscape designer, Jim Fogarty, for the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in partnership with Tourism Victoria, Tourism Northern Territory, Qantas and leading UK tour operator, Trailfinders.

It tells the story of the Rainbow Serpent, an Aboriginal dreamtime story about a mythical creature that lived underground and created the mountains and the gorges. Visitors can ‘wake up’ the serpent by tweeting #EssenceOfAus. The presence of water in the Australian landscape is also an integral part of the design.

The garden celebrates Australian flora and contemporary design, evoking the relaxed feel of Australia and Australians’ love of outdoor living as well as celebrating the states and gardening landscapes of Victoria and Northern Territory as two key travel destinations for British holidaymakers.

Dr Rowland’s primary research interests focus on engaging in creative practice to explore the human condition via relationships with digital devices and more traditional media.

He said: “It was fantastic to see Twitter activity controlling the water feature, which represented the waking of the mythical serpent. But what is also nice on a personal level is that the curiosity-driven research I initially did on interfacing and Twitter has had such immediate utility. I began by simply turning my desk lamp on and off with Tweets and set up a Tweet-able webcam in my office window. The work developed and was then included in the Digital Capabilities garden last year.

“It’s great to be able to evidence the value of blue-sky research at Lincoln and it has been an honour to work with such well-respected horticultural talents again.”

Dr Rowland’s research is also used in the University’s STAN (Science Technology Architecture Networks) research project, which is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

The STAN garden, which is controlled by people’s responses via Twitter, consists of an articulating raw steel structure that continuously transforms itself.

It has already appeared at the Garden Up horticultural event in Sheffield and the Lincolnshire Show.

Essence of Australia garden
Essence of Australia garden

Social media garden is first step in creating ‘emotional’ buildings

A Twitter-reactive garden could provide a prototype for the future development of ‘smart’ buildings that can adapt to our emotional state.

The structure has been created by academics from the University of Lincoln, UK, taking its inspiration from the University’s Digital Capabilities garden, which won Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

The STAN (Science Technology Architecture Networks) research project, which involves computer scientists and architects, is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

The garden consists of an articulating raw steel structure, which sits vertically and horizontally, and is controlled by people’s responses via Twitter. In this way it is continuously revealing what the landscape is covering, while also remodelling itself.

The STAN project will be making its first public appearance at the Garden Up horticultural event in Sheffield on 7th and 8th June 2014.

The garden will react to activity on Twitter when people use the #gardenup hashtag, translating this information into movements of the garden’s mechanical landscape.

Richard M Wright, Senior Lecturer in the Lincoln School of Architecture, developed the construct, together with fellow academic Barbara Griffin and students Amy Hayeselden, Nicholas Sharpe and Liam Bennett from the University’s School of Architecture.

He said: “The garden essentially points to a future in which buildings could modify themselves in response to monitoring our emotional state via social media. For example, if we feel like wearing a big cosy jumper and sipping a cup of boiling hot soup, it will turn the temperature down and open a window. Buildings may also begin to reflect the mood of a populace by changing colour or shape, constantly remapping our perception of our urban environment, with façades becoming animated, reflective and mobile in response to communal desires and emotions.

“The fact we decided to retain the structure’s raw metal appearance is a tangible reminder of Sheffield’s industrial past, changing and weathering as a result of the environment.”

Dr Duncan Rowland, a fine artist and Reader in the School of Computer Science, developed the software application. He added: “We exist in a dynamic flux of social information; the software aims to intercept and expose some of this data in a tangible representation.”

The STAN project will also be making an appearance at the Lincolnshire Show which takes place on 18th and 19th June 2014.

Horticultural experts, Crowders Nurseries of Horncastle, will be providing the plants for Lincolnshire Show with Samantha Snowden providing horticultural and plant design expertise for both events.

Follow @thestanproject on Twitter to learn more about the project.

STAN garden top

The STAN project
The STAN project

First workshop for Performance and Games Network

The first of three workshops for a new research project looking at creating new videogames will take place this week.

Led by the Games Research Group at the University of Lincoln, the Performance and Games Network involves several researchers from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, including Dr Patrick Dickinson, Dr Duncan Rowland, Dr Conor Linehan, Dr Ben Kirman, Dr John Shearer and Kathrin Gerling, working with Dr Kate Sicchio from the School of Performing Arts and Dr Grethe Mitchell from the School of Media.

The first session, which will bring together games developers, performance practitioners and academics, will be hosted by the University on 25th and 26th March.

Themed around movement and gesture based input devices, the core of the activity will be centred around a “hack” style event in which participants will work in small groups on design and/or prototyping exercises around a number of sub-themes and software.

Some of the sub-themes include mobility impaired performance; physical games in playgrounds; and audience and movement games.

Experts in the field will also be giving special talks. Guests include Ida Toft and Sabine Harrer from Copenhagen Game Collective at IT University, Copenhagen; Nick Burton from Rare Ltd; David Renton from Microsoft; and Matt Watkins from Mudlark.

The research group is also collaborating with Performance and New Media Professor Gabriella Giannachi, from the University of Exeter, and Arts Queensland, based in Brisbane.

The project is being sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of a wider initiative to develop the creative industries and put Britain back at the forefront of creative technology.

There will be two more inter-disciplinary workshops in Nottingham, UK, and Brisbane, Australia, where researchers working in games studies, human computer interaction and technical aspects of game development will continue to work with developers and performance researchers/practitioners to prototype new collaborative game ideas.

Performer on keyboard