Scalable City creates an urban/suburban/rural environment via a data visualization pipeline. Each step in this pipeline builds upon the previous, amplifying exaggerations, artifacts and the patterns of algorithmic process. The results of this are experiences such as prints, video installations and interactive multi-user games and virtual environments.

Throughout these artworks, a variety of computer concept buzzwords take on physical form. Wallowing in them provides equal measures of delight and foreboding, creating a vision of cultured forms that we are rapidly creating. The project neither indicts nor embraces this future, but offers an extrapolation of its algorithmic tendencies, heightening one’s awareness of the aesthetics of the underlying logic as it becomes the determinant of much of our cultured existence.

Scalable City is a project by Sheldon Brown and the Experimental Game Lab.

Installation – Calit2, UC San Diego, 2008

I really invite you to visit the website that offers lots of links (text, video, images). And, in the section « in progress », we also see several pictures of Open Sim ….


Award :
A project proposal submitted by Sheldon Brown (Director, Experimental Game Lab, UCSD) and Lev Manovich (Director, Software Studies Initiative, UCSD) was awarded $300,000 two year EAGER grant by National Science Foundation (NSF).  The title of the proposal: A Cultural Analytics Framework for Identifying and Integrating Creative Patterns of User Behavior and Experience in the Scalable City Multi-User Virtual World. EAGER grants aim to support « high-risk, exploratory, and potentially transformative research. »

Source :