Manhattan Timeformations (2000)



Manhattan Timeformations
http://www.skyscraper.org/timeformations

An old school website consisting of animated, wireframe representations of New York City high rises and urban development since 1890, produced for The Skyscraper Museum with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

12.01.2000: inception date

Manhattan Timeformations was begun in the early 90’s by architect Brian McGrath, author of a folio called Transparent Cities, “a boxed edition of twenty-four historic and contemporary maps on clear acetate — twelve of Rome, twelve of NY — that invites readers to assemble, transform, and contemplate the ever-evolving urban spaces of almost any city”.

In 2000, McGrath and The Skyscraper Museum received public funds from a Technology Initiative Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, allowing this previous research to be revisited with specific focus on New York and the age of skyscrapers. Designer Mark Watkins was brought in to put the website together, and to help reimagine the project in interactive form.

Throughout the Summer of 2000, The Skyscraper Museum, curated by Carol Willis, held a series of informal discussions with the public, presenting the aims of the project while 3d digital models of New York skyscrapers were constructed in the gallery by Parsons School of Design architecture students Akiko Hattori and Lucy Lai Wong. These models, also built by McGrath and added to his large, historical / analytical model of Manhattan, were exported and formatted for online presentation.

I was responsible for research, analysis, interface design, production, animation, presentation. The project consists of 3D models brought into Flash. Heavy Photoshop preparation. Praised for intuitive navigation. Recognized by the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica (Award of Distinction for Net Excellence), the 2001 New York Flash Film Festival (Winner in the category “3D”), received a Macromedia Site of the Day Award (December 19, 2000). Exhibited at Ars Electronica 2001 in Linz, Austria (background image), in “net.ephemera” at Moving Image Gallery (May 2001, NYC), the 2001 Los Angeles Siggraph Technical Images Gallery, at the MIT “Image and Meaning” conference, on the online art database Rhizome.org, and featured in the 2001 New York Digital Salon and in the pages of Wired (November 2001), Architectural Record (June 2002), Leonardo, and others.