Atlas of Rome

The rapid development of new media and the era of Web 2.0 are bringing communication and interaction into the real world, suggesting completely new possibilities that are capable of significantly changing the motivation and solutions for the transformation of the contemporary city. Increasingly, the tools of representation and design of the city are inadequate in not keeping up with themes of complexity and the speed characteristic of the global dimension.

The Atlas of Rome, inspired by an idea for an atlas of “visions”, aims to shift the view given by the conceptual perception of the world (with its systemic and modern, cognitive approach), towards an emotional perception where man emerges as an individual who, thanks to his experiences, offers a vision as a guideline to complexity. A liquid mapping system that collects the history of man and his way of living in real-time. The Atlas is presented through a web platform, open to the public, individuals, groups and organizations to express their point of view on the city.

The installation was carried out for the first edition of the Festival of Architecture, in the new exhibition space, “The Pelanda” at the MACRO Testaccio Museum in Rome, 11 and 12 June 2010.

The Installation

The work consisted of a projection screen, 35m x 4m, composed of 8 online servers that, in real time, processed the interactions taking place within the Atlas. Four multi-touch workstations allowed the public to navigate in a playful and engaging manner while four generative, info-aesthetics looped on the white surface of the wall describing a plurality of views on the city of Rome focusing on the theme: “The imagination of architects and the real city”.

In “Linearity” the visualizations appeared as mechanisms that derived their life forms from the interaction between subject and theme. Spheres represented the different views and were, subsequently, constantly fed with inputs from the interaction with themes to which they were related.

NeoMap” navigated the city by its geophysical features or place names but described them through the planning, actions and life that exist in those places. Visualized circles representing the visions, distributed according to geographic location and connected by theme, proposing a new view of the various neighborhoods.

Bridges” followed the rule of interconnections. The visions revolved around the thematic reference points, moving in a cyclical process. The visions and themes were dynamically presented as bridges and links, according to the subjects and the interactions that were accumulated.

Timescape” transformed the flow of time into a landscape. The visions were represented according to their temporal dimension, occupying an area proportional to their duration and succession. The geographical locations and thematic issues are interactively displayed along axes of time and correlation.

The Atlas of Rome, a new way to redesign the traditional idea of the Cartesian map, anchored to the physical size of the territory on the basis of a more contemporary concept of “scape”. A territory made up of emergent and distributed relationships that draws a liquid, emotional, constantly redefined geography by those who participate in it.


Large-scale interactive architectural installation, based on:

- 4 Generative infoaesthetics (Linearity, NeoMap, Bridges, Timescape);

- Multi-touch interaction;

- Web-based semantic content aggregation;

- System integration;

- Geo-localization;

- Inferential tagging system;


Photos and videos from the Festival of Architecture 2010 – Rome “La Pelanda”, 11-12/06/2010

On Flickr:

On YouTube:!v=rjU6hHpYm14&feature=related!v=GA3_qneS5eM&feature=related


A project by: FakePress (

Created by: Art is Open Source (

Interaction design, experience design, information aesthetics, sound design & environment: Salvatore Iaconesi

Information architecture and network politics: Oriana Persico

Curated by: Paolo Valente

In collaboration with: Alessandro Tartaglia

Special Thanks

A special thank you to everyone who made it possible to create the first implementation of the Atlas at the Festival of Architecture, and in particular to:

The technical team at AVSet: Mauro Iezzi, Marco De Angelis, Gianluca Faustini, Muglia, and Maurizio Bruno De Matteis.

Monica Scanu and Alessandro Ferrante for the creation of the networks tied to the network of museums in the City of Rome, the Academies and the International Institutes of Culture in Rome;

The Chamber of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Conservationists of the City and Province of Rome (;

the Festival of Architecture (;

International Culture Rome (;

Archiblog (;

Performing Media / Urban Experience by Carlo Infante ( e;

Museums in Rome 2.0 and Marina Bellini (

The Hub Rome (;

Next Exit and Daniela Ubaldi (;

Contemporary Rome and Rossella Reale (;

Emmanuele Pilia (;

Valentina Giannicci (;

Hortus (;

Critical Landscape (

Atlante di Roma - NeoMap
Atlante di Roma - NeoMap
Atlente di Roma - Postazione touch screen
Atlente di Roma - Postazione touch screen
Atlente di Roma - Sullo sfondo Francesco Garofalo, curatore della Festa dell'Architettura
Atlente di Roma - Sullo sfondo Francesco Garofalo, curatore della Festa dell'Architettura
Atlante di Roma - Corridoio della Pelanda: vista
Atlante di Roma - Corridoio della Pelanda: vista
Atlante di Roma - In primo piano soffitto, tavoli e ganci titpi del mattatoio a "La pelanda"
Atlante di Roma - In primo piano soffitto, tavoli e ganci titpi del mattatoio a "La pelanda"