News

Young digital entrepreneurs ride to victory


23 October 2012

The students' winning concept was to build an interactive display in the pedestrian tunnel underneath Railway Square in Sydney.
The students' winning concept was to build an interactive display in the pedestrian tunnel underneath Railway Square in Sydney.

A team of undergraduate innovators and inventors have won the Media Architecture Biennale 24-hour student competition in Aarhus, Denmark.

The team of students from the University of Sydney's Bachelor of Design Computing had just one day to tackle a perennial problem: how to encourage cyclists and mollify motorists.

Challenged to build a 'media façade' - a dynamically changing, interactive wall - third year students Mark C Mitchell, Emila Yang, Hanley Weng and Kendrick Khoo wanted to use digital displays, GPS technology and smartphones to encourage cycling and increase awareness of 'cycle culture' amongst motorists and pedestrians.

Their concept was to install a large interactive display in the pedestrian tunnel between UTS and Central Station, running under Railway Square. Mark Mitchell explained the concept's important message:

"It's a playful experience that livens up a mundane tunnel and reminds Sydneysiders that cycling is a viable means of transport," Mitchell said.

"As pedestrians walk through the tunnel, the façade displays a bicycle that follows them, as if they were cycling. At the same time, digital cyclists whizz past, moving at speeds and in numbers that are drawn from real data on actual cyclists' smartphones."

The team has won a trip to Aarhus, Denmark, where they will present their winning entry at the Media Architecture Biennale, a global gathering of digital technology and architecture experts.

Their winning entry, The Cycle Shift Media Façade, was best in show against a field of 13 other international entrants.

Program coordinator for Design Computing, Dr Martin Tomitsch of the University of Sydney's Design Lab, said the award recognises the students' dedication to innovative solutions.

"The award is a well-deserved recognition of the team's hard work and commitment, paired with an excellent understanding of design approaches," Tomitsch said.

You can read the team's design blog and see images, video and design sketches that went into the winning design.


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Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 02 9351 1584, kath.kenny@sydney.edu.au