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MusiCityX: Real-time 3D interactive application for refining urban landscapes through their musical footprint

Algiannaki Maria

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Year 2020
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Maria Algiannaki, "MusiCityX: Real-time 3D interactive application for refining urban landscapes through their musical footprint", Diploma Work, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2020
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Designers such as architects, employ analogue and digital design tools such as 3D models, drawings, sketches, etc., in order to design the functions of contemporary cities which is not the result of a single, coherent, decision making process. The commonly used visual, 3D digital design tools for urban environments often fail to capture the aesthetic as well as functional aspects of an urban design, mainly focusing on its geometrical properties. The scope of this thesis is to introduce a novel conceptual design tool for urban architecture based not only on the visual sense but also introducing reciprocal composition between music and architecture. Initially, in this thesis, a sophisticated translation method was developed that parallels the parameters of a building affecting its connection with the urban environment, with the musical characteristics of a chord affecting its harmonized connection with the rest of the musical piece. Subsequently, this thesis develops a multimodal interactive tool called "MusiCityX" which offers an urban designer the ability to create an urban landscape and subsequently convert it to a musical footprint. The user can interactively and musically alter the derived musical piece so that it sounds more refined and simultaneously watch the alteration of the corresponding architectural parameters of the urban design. The MusiCityX platform is divided into four parts. In the first part, users build the road network of the urban scenery. In the second part, they can create buildings and add elements such as windows, balconies, and doors in 3D. In the third part, the users select the urban path to be translated to music. In the fourth part, they listen to the musical piece created. Two Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) were implemented to illustrate the musical theme resulted from the architecture-to-music translation. The user can interact with the DAWs to listen to the music and alter the musical footprint. The alteration of music leads to the real-time alteration of the architectural parameter to which each musical note we change is connected to. This procedure will finally lead to a changed, potentially more harmonious musical piece and an altered more cohesive urban environment. MusiCityX is evaluated by architects enhancing the creative process for urban architectural design. Key patterns not visible to the human eye are revealed providing design adjustments.

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