6CPT 11362 Special Project (Technology)

Dates 18th June – 23rd July.


Subject Co-ordinator: Tarsha Finney

Lead Tutor: Ben Wollen

In partnership with ARUP



This special project has been set up to run in parallel with 11518 M.Arch Winter Design Intensive:  Sydney’s South Central Creative Quarter.

The intention of this special project is to give students a broad range of skills and experiences concerning the collection and deploying of various kinds of site derived data, in addition to producing information to support the design research being undertaken in the winter intensive design studio 11518.

Students will initially participate in a series of workshops and presentations with specialists in data capture and mapping from ARUP Sydney.  Following this, and having participated in the initial two day briefing process that opens M.Arch studio 11518, special project students will work in small teams with design studio students, producing relevant information to support the design work.

This elective presents an excellent opportunity to skill up on specific data collection methodologies working with experienced practitioners; it is an opportunity to really explore the architect/consultant relationship – moving back and forth between being an architect and acting as consultant.  All of this while being involved in spatial research specific to the City of Sydney and the institutions and organisations that form it and make it.


UTS Teaching Staff:

Tarsha Finney (Subject Co-ordinator)

Ben Wollen (Lead Tutor)


ARUP workshop leaders:

Philip Guthrie

Anthony Minasian



Ben Cooper-Woolley

Ben is a Senior Specialist with ARUP working with spatial technology. Ben joined Arup in February 2007 and is responsible for providing the infrastructure to allow flexible GIS based solutions for non experienced users, often through web based interactive maps and mobile applications.
He is a highly experienced user of ESRI ArcGIS and MapInfo and a skilled developer in FME, Python, Quest 3D and various formats of spatial databases. Ben works to leverage particularly Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash/Flex to better enable data visualisation and presentation.
Ben has project managed the successful delivery of a number of projects based on communicating data effectively.  Ben is the leader of the Virtual Design Skill Network for the Australasian Region. This role involves providing insight and direction for a multi-disciplinary network of people working in cutting edge digital design.

In this short workshop, Ben will be further developing and working with a NASA space apps challenge recently carried out at ARUP. It is proposed to apply it to Broadway, George Street and to the UPN as a way of sensing activity: How many people do you work with?  How many people are around you at any one time?  This challenge is to develop a system that senses activity in a relatively small scale location; for example a building or public space. This can use any type of fixed sensor that reveals people’s locations and densities of people, and presents the data back in a realtime visualisation, also offering an historic analysis which shows how densities change over time.  This challenge could use a variety of sensors, depending on what people have available for instance heat, pressure, sound, IP addresses, wifi hotspot activity, Bluetooth or any combination of these.


Dr Sarah Barns

Dr. Sarah Barns has recently commenced as a Senior Consultant within Arup’s informatics team, and has a background spanning digital strategy & production, cultural heritage and urban planning. Most recently she established a digital emergencies strategy for the ABC (Mapping Emergencies), delivering a crowd-sourced platform for journalists, emergency service agencies and social media users to share information on natural disasters across Australia over summer 2011-12. She has previously developed a number of projects and interface solutions which offer experiential design frameworks for accessing cultural and scientific data, audio-visual archives, and cross-platform digital storytelling for site-specific, location-aware platforms. These include Unguarded Moments for Art & About Sydney (2011); About NSW Suburb Labs for the Powerhouse Museum (2011); and ABC Sydney Sidetracks (2008), a cross-platform project exploring the history of Sydney’s urban development using documentary archives from the ABC, the National Film and Sound Archive and beyond. Her PhD The Death & Life of the Real-Time City explored the historical interactions between media technologies and urban planning undertaken through UTS. She has also worked as a strategic adviser for many cultural and media sector organisations including the ABC, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Creative Industries Innovation Centre.  Projects, resources and writing by Sarah can be found on her project blog at SitesandSounds<http://portal.unitbv.ro/proxy/surf.aspx?dec=1&url=uh4QwdELmTxTxOVPur4BwSfKth0LxqVAwOVKtr3Ksro=B6X%21>.

Sarah will run a workshop exploring some different ideas about real-time data spaces and their implications for the UPN. This will taker a broader view of spatial data not only in terms of contemporary spatial connectivities and interactions, but also encompassing the increasing amounts of historical data being made available across multiple formats like sound, photography, film and so forth.  Sarah will run through the different kinds of resources, interaction experiences and platforms that engage across (real) time-spaces. Students will be introduced to the new policies and platforms being used by major collections (including the ABC and Powerhouse Museum) to harvest historical data and other media and generate public engagement in a site.  We will commence a prototype on how the UPN might experienced as an interaction experience engaging both built and recorded environs.





18 June: 4hour workshop ARUP    

20th June: 4 hour workshop ARUP

22nd June: 4 hour workshop ARUP

25th June: 4 hour workshop ARUP



30th June – task allocation, data capture.

Additional direct contact time to be advised.




Data collection Methodology report 20% Due  by 28th June

Delivery of Data to Design groups, report 50% Due  TBA

Final report as part of M.Arch presentations 23rd July  30%




Enrolment in this subject is by e-request and is for Credit average and above students only.

At the time of making e-request, could you also please Notify Tarsha Finney by email Tarsha.finney@uts.edu.au .