Siemens Urban Sustainability Centre

Dec. 1, 2012

In July 2011 AllofUs were approached to design and develop a collection of seven individual exhibits for 'The Crystal'; the world's largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability. 

The project, funded by Siemens, works to create a better future for our cities by educating and inspiring a dialogue between city decision-makers, politicians, urban planners, architects and infrastructure experts as well as the local community, international visitors and educational groups, from school children to post-graduate students.

In 2009, for the first time in human history more than half the world's population lived in urban areas. This figure is expected to climb to almost 70% by 2050 when almost 7 billion people are expected to live in cities. Citiesgenerate approximately 80% of global GDP today. Cities are the engines that drive future growth, offering opportunities for development, employment and prosperity. Yet,the negative effects of progress are also evident in these urban areas: noise, limited space, informal settlements, environmental pollution and congested traffic, to name just a few. Already today, cities account for two thirds of global energy demand and up to 70% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

We created ten pieces of content for seven exhibits in this significant science based visitor attraction, using After Effects to create engaging video sequences, Adobe Air and Unity 3D to help develop touch-screen interactives, and openFrameworks with the Microsoft Kinect SDK to develop a game that uses skeleton tracking as the user's input. For many of the exhibits we were also required to interface with exhibit hardware such as RFID readers to trigger content and track visitors' progress. We even got to fire a Tesla coil!

We're proud to be a part of this exhibition, as it showcases some of the best of the world's technological advances. Hopefully our work will help to inspire young people into jobs within the high-tech industries of tomorrow. Little Black Book* featured our work on the exhibition in October, and you can see a sped up film of the centre's construction at, where you can also find all the details for arranging a visit.