An immersive window into the worlds of three women in three settlements

Year: 2020-2021
Team: G. Bila, M. Iruretagoyena, T. Sanchez, N. Ayoub, L. Alonso, H. Prang, K. Larson
Role : Experience Designer, Creative Technologist
Recognition : Exhibited at the Biennale Architettura 2021
This is a story about connection. The MIT Media Lab City Science group presents an immersive view into the worlds of three women in three settlements: Eva in Guadalajara, Mexico; Gihan in Cairo, Egypt; and MamaG inPort Harcourt, Nigeria. Through visual storytelling and projection mapping on domestic objects, we experience activities from the mundane to the surreal, from the deeply meaningful to the inconsequential. We visit the fringe neighborhoods and community centers of Guadalajara, the vertical slums and bustling streets of Cairo, and the tiny homes and crowded markets of PortHarcourt. In the lives of each individual, we examine the micro and the macro, from the gentle care of fixing one’s hair each morning to the cultural swells of holidays, religious ceremonies, and funerals. In these places, far from our own, we learn and inquire, we gather and we listen, in the hope of better understanding the complexity of the world around us and new possibilities for how we will live together in the future. 

How does rapid urbanization impact informal communities, and how do we define culture, place, ownership, and womanhood? 

Lomas del Centinela is located high on a hilltop. Its homes are under constant construction are filled with multiple generations of the same family.
In Port Harcourt, everything happens at the market. A strip of land above the train tracks and below the highway.
Cairo is an ocean of red brick buildings with millions of housing units built illegally on former agricultural and desert land.
The immersive experience is comprised of visuals, sound, and a series of objects that represent each community. The first iteration of the objects, was a day-to-day object into the physical experience translating the visitors to the places where each woman had their meals. Moreover, each object had engraved Its urban fabric so the scenes displayed with the visuals would be located in the maps. The objects created for each location are the following: a bed for Port Harcourt, a table for Guadalajara, and a carpet for Cairo.

Check the experience here
Due to the physical and time constraint of the project, we decided to create an interface that would not interfere with the visuals but augment them. The model is comprised of a series of transparent 3d printed pieces. The urban fabric fades out with the acrylics that surround them.