Moving Image

John Szot and Brooklyn Digital Foundry envision a more humanistic role for computer-generated media.

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Brooklyn Digital Foundry recently collaborated with OMA, creating both still images and a video for the firm’s winning proposal for a mixed-use development in downtown Santa Monica.

Image courtesy of O.M.A.

Among the many slick renderings that inundated the blogs this year were the sunlit images of OMA’s winning proposal for the Plaza at Santa Monica—a skewed stack of glass boxes at an important intersection downtown that won the enthusiastic approval of the city staff who organized the competition. But in August, the city council rejected the proposal, sending the city back to the drawing board. Such, for better or worse, is the fate of many meticulously crafted digital dreams today.

John Szot, the cofounder of Brooklyn Digital Foundry, the young media studio that created those images for OMA, thinks this removal from reality is, in fact, the strength of the medium. Working on both real proposals for high-profile firms and more speculative self-initiated work, Szot hopes to prod the profession in a more exciting—and culturally relevant—direction. “We see a different future for media in architecture,“ he says, “one that’s heavily steeped in the human experience, as opposed to a formal exercise.”

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