Jesse Lavalaye, Carl Kerchmar

Culture Odyssey

'Culture happens, know about it.'

Combines information signs and a mobile application with intranet supported by wifi mesh technology. Once a static “you are here” sign now becomes an interactive path to cultural happenings near you. Culture makers, tourists and citizens can discover and post.


Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Found on Flickr, image by Andy Field -

Make cultural happenings visible by installing a wifi intranet with interactive billboards in a city region. This physical installation is connected with a wifi mesh intranet and becomes interactive via online devices with a simple application for discovering, distributing and sharing information about cultural activity. Culture happens, know about it. The GoalStimulate cultural exchange, participation and awareness. While simultaneously laying down a wifi mesh infrastructure for a city intranet. Making the city transparent and increase the exposure of cultural events. Culture happens everywhere and is a democratic process laced with tradition, mash-ups and participation. Culture Odyssey lays down the information technology infrastructure for cultural producers and participants to engage, innovate and proliferate. In the long run, neighborhoods grow 'tighter' increasing local initiatives whilst enabling the tourist to get a deeper appreciation of culture in specific city regions. Culture Odyssey, and it's physical network presence in the city, has the potential to develop into a real time platform for local governance, social wellbeing and trade.AudienceThis technological intervention (wifi mesh, public screen, mobile application) enhance a primary need for humans to come together and share culture. From ritual sites in prehistoric times, to forums, market halls and congresses people need to cluster in order the reach their audience and enrich their collective and individual cultures. In this way, the Monolith positioned in key public spaces serves as a meeting point and node in a network of city districts. The Culture Odyssey scales up what humans have always been doing by increasing the ease and speed of information about cultural happenings.Both producers and participants in cultural happenings: including museums, artists, municipalities, tourism, music, culinary, merchandizing … the expression of culture is wide, yet Culture Odyssey is strictly place bound… this platform showcases a city region whose perimeter can be democratically adjustable yet is constrained by the intranet infrastructure.StakeholdersProducers of culture, tourists and the citizens of city regions should find the Culture Odyssey easy to use and relevant for regular use… meaning residence and producer should find it easy and added value to post, discover and share information. The interface on the Monolith and in your personal device needs to be intuitive and relevant for the types of cultural expression in the city region, in so doing studioNUM encourages a survey and area research so that the process of developing Culture Odyssey expands on existing networks rather than force fitting someone's idea on a city region.The municipality: Culture Odyssey improves the quality of cultural appreciation in city regions and needs to have a close relationship with the local municipality. For technical reasons like approving a wifi frequency for the city region intranet and securing between 3 and 6 locations for triangulating the wifi signal that is built into the Monolith. Eventually, the municipality could decide to use the sensors on the wifi mesh infrastructure to expose urban data relevant to the citizens of a city region for goals including sustainability, safety and education.

New Media

At the essence of the Culture Odyssey is the people who make and share culture. Information Technology simply accelerates this human condition of cultural exchange. Today the city is not transparent, yet cultural creation and participation happens everywhere. For most forms of culture, its point is to share it with others. New Media, in particular here wifi mesh technology and real time billboard screens expose cultural happenings. Peoples of many cultures have a tradition of centralizing cultural participation in forums, town squares and architectural marvels. This human condition is extended by the use of new media…. because we already know and have a need to look for data at these cultural centers, the Culture Odyssey extends that need to the entire city district democratizing and proliferating cultural production and participation. Culture Odyssey scales up and makes efficient the activities humans have always done: share culture and tell each other "what's up."

InnovationWe've all seen them before on campus, in tourist sites or in entertainment parks, they are the static information signs hosting a map of attractions with a big icon saying: "you are here." Culture Odyssey takes this information board and makes it real time; enabling people and cultural institutions to post, share and innovate cultural happenings. We all have the intuition to use the Monolith. The technology that makes it happen are simple outdoor screens that are connected to a wifi mesh intranet system. This intranet connects with any type of internet mobile phone and hosts all the data on a private server. The city becomes transparent and cultural exchange accelerates. Think about festivals, even big ones like Queens Day, with these Monoliths and wifi mesh technology there is no limit to the amount of data transfer nor a limit on the quantity of users, in fact, the more users the more powerful the signal. Culture Odyssey's Monoliths with wifi mesh technology lays a ground work for business opportunities for local venues, culture workers and tourist services. So forget about clogged up lines and long download waits, get access to culture now, and map your way to contribute and enjoy. Winnaars Publieksprijs KJO10