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Re-tailing Agency

Overlay Proxy, Mathematical and Digital Model to Interact with Landscape Formation

2014.2-8, Final Thesis, M.ARCH Urban Design, Bartlett, UCL


Tutors: Enriqueta, Eduardo, Zachary

An Emerging Landscape as a process of Oil Sand Extraction and Tailing Discharging

Re-tailing project takes Athabasca Oil Sand Extraction Area as an example. The territory faces severe landscape and social structure formation. In this dynamic process, a mixed residue "tailing" plays a significant role in shaping the post-industrial land form to the emergence of delta novelty.

Delta Landscape Emerge As a Result of Tailing Discharging in Tailing Ponds

Interface to better interact with formation

As the formation of tailing delta is hyper dynamic, designers need new instrument to interact with the process. Re-tailing Agency project emerges in this dynamic design requirement background.

From physical to digita


Proxy model is depolyed to simulate the delta formation. Through this tangible mechanism, the behavior of delta and its tailing agents are immediately presented to the designer. However, the behaviors are ambiguous.


Data visualizationg and digital interpretation thus become indispensable as they can represent the collective behavior principle through simple and unified language and even in more delicate data.

Re-tailing Interface

Real time Digital Interface

Kinect plus Firefly

Real time Interpretation



Proxy, digital and mathematical model are overlapped as a hybrid design interface to interact with landscape formation. Coding and data visualization are indispensable approaches as only through iteration of data, the most quality and complexity of dynamic system can be revealed to designers.

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