Visible City

Visible City, by Chris Nelson, is a large table which receives an image from a projector, located some 3 metres from the ground. The tabletop is sensitive to alterations in its angle, so participants have to tilt the surface of the table, to influence the virtual world and make the projected sphere move.


As it moves through an initially empty landscape, the sphere will eventually collide with one of the many invisible elements placed in the landscape, making it visible and imbued with random visual data.

Through this process of collision and interaction participants are reminded of their own environment: just as perceptually our surroundings can appear invisible to us, the users of Visible City are forced through interaction to become aware of their surroundings. As the interaction continues the cityscape is slowly built up, each collision of the sphere randomly creating a new part of the slowly emerging city.

Although it is possible to interact with the device singly, the table has been designed so that its components are particularly heavy and participants are encouraged to seek assistance to make the process easier and to facilitate communication with each other in the real world in order to more successfully produce an outcome in the virtual one.