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The Attractive City Generator

The 'Attractive City Generator' is an an interactive installation by Sofia Georgakopoulou, Edyta Augustynowicz and Setafnie Sixt. It was created as part of the The Master of Advanced Studies in CAAD at ETH in Zurich. The students task was to explore urban design methodologies with the use of parametric programs based on object oriented programing, with their particular area of interest focosed on interactivity in urban planning. The video below is extremely impressive, indeed it raises the bar for student projects:

We featured some other work from the course earlier in the week, detailing a 3D City based on Conway's Game of Life, with this quality of output compared to other courses we have seen ETH is up there with some of the best.


  1. Thanks for the link of course. I want to join a professional course in 3d animation. Can I join the one you have posted the link of?? What is the eligible crieteria??

  2. This reminds me of some of the work that my studio did with Kent Larson and his House_N group at the MIT Media Lab. You should check them out if you were interested in this project. Great work, very exciting. John

  3. Anonymous4:40 PM

    we need feedback! "which story would YOU like to tell? "

    we want to make this tool more intelligent. this was just a 6 weeks project. no one in our team has scripted before. so the output is quite impressive for us. but the connection to a "real dynamic city development" is still missing.
    investigating for dynamic urban rules in a future social network, patterns and meanings- social mirrors. how can we enrich public spaces? how can we emancipate and encourage citizens to take part in decisions?

    by steffiX

  4. I find this tool fundamentally problematic.

    The most amazing thing about a city is not that which can be described in visual terms but all that is ineffable.

    A city is much more than a collection of objects attracting and repelling each other.

    I appreciate that the project was of a short duration, however, no amount of scripting or programming will ever truly mimic the infinite range of parameters affecting a cities development, nor should it ever hope to achieve such.

    Many claim that the city of Dublin could be rebuilt from the James Joyce's Ulysses and yet the book contains little or no reference to the physical city. The text in fact dwells on the ephemeral, the fleeting, the atmosphere of the city. That which can not be modelled.

  5. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Fantastic video and development in a matter of 6 weeks! Imagining "the masses" actively inputting desires that probably could render many "collages", this project seeks well admired interactivity!

    Although a parallel study - the Sahra:denCity project at the DRL AA in London based their urban planning around case studies and simulations around 3 parameters(also), neither project addresses cultural proximities and relations (i.e. theatre,cafe,nightlife to business,nature,demographics) and more openly some "noise" in the system! The grid can be morphological (as shown by AA) but also relational to splines from rivers, lanscapes, and geological formations that could force you to think more in section beyond any grid or fancy parametric pattern representing itself as "buildings"! Its about experiencial value within the city. Thus perhaps the idea of "weaving" the grid of the city into a formidable esoteric new face could give "better" reasons than regenerating typical building typologies at surface level to form the city. Overall, I'd like to use this interface simply because it gives you interesting feedback in realtime. It does however need the callapse of complex feedback loops informing the user of senario's that have either succeeded or failed from real life - that of which you would not succeed in 6weeks time!

    Peter Dang (Snøhetta)