some emergent markets

It’s Iconic by Daphne Lasky
July 21, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

So much of our research has been focused on the nitty-gritty of Parisian markets (scaffolding, electrical outlets, bus stops and Metro signs), that a visitor to this blog could be excused for thinking that the city is entirely bereft of beautiful buildings and monuments. It’s time to correct this impression! Several of Paris’s markets take place in the shadow of the city’s most famous icons.

The Saxe-Bretuil market might be the most famous example of a food-shopping/icon-watching correlation. As you can see, in plan, the market is perfectly in line with the Eiffel Tower.

This doesn’t entirely bear out in person, however, as you can see from the photo below. Treetops block a bit of the view, and the busy market (those trucks, again) makes it difficult to find a spot to stand and admire it all.

The Bastille market is wonderful, but also full of tourists walking around looking for something to, well, storm. The monument in the middle of the traffic circle serves as a focal point at the entrance to the market, though it becomes less important as you walk further into the rows of market stalls.

The big surprise in all of this has been the market at the Square d’Anvers. Located Montmartre, the tiny market is sandwiched between apartment blocks, which in plan don’t seem all that promising. But! Montmartre is hilly, which opens up entirely new, non boulevard-/axis-related viewshed possibilities. Sacre Coeur is just up the hill from the square, and the view of it from the market is just lovely.


almost a covered market by jhuang
July 17, 2010, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Paris, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Most market sites fall into categories such as the sidewalk, the median, or the plaza.  Barbès, however, stands out for its unique location of being underneath the metro tracks.  It is a linear market on a median, much like Belleville’s, and is anchored by the Barbès-Rochechouarte [elevated] Metro stop.  This high energy market is bustling with sounds, foods, wares, clothing and people.


There is one primary path in the center of the market and is understood to be one-way eastward [although this might just be because it was so crowded].  It seems that those of us who wish to turn back would have to find the next opening in the line of stalls to move outward and then track back around [not an easy task when it’s so full].  Shoppers who are done tend to traverse through the entire market before crossing the street to loop back to the Metro.

There are, of course, rogue vendors [typically not food/produce] and are mostly situated on the ends of the market.
They begin to use areas between the wall of trucks and the standardized stalls, thus, filling in any underutilized spaces.  In addition to the trees that line the edges, the umbrellas also act as an extension outward, linking the canopies to the trucks, implying an enclosure almost like that of a covered market.

grasshopper takes on picard + roving markets by jhuang
July 13, 2010, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Paris | Tags: , , , ,

My earlier post mentioned the abundance of Picard Surgelés all over Paris.  The question of relationships between the two large systems was intriguing.  So, here are some screenshots of a start of a GH definition in attempt to address this issue.

I used these high contrast bitmaps to extract data in Grasshopper: Picards [top] and Roving markets [bottom]

Then I brought them into Grasshopper, which gave me interesting patterns of both systems. Picards are in light gray and is in the lower half of the z-axis.

I then introduced meshes from the various height fields as seen above.

The next step will be a challenge.

The initial thought was to create a mega-mesh that stretched from the top half of the z-axis to the bottom half, which combined points of both systems.  I then tried to take the intersection between that mesh and a flat surface at the z-axis zero.  I hoped that the operation would give me curves that showed a larger pattern of interaction.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to get a mesh to intersect with a surface yet.

So, the investigation continues….

a little water? by jhuang
June 18, 2010, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Rome | Tags: , , , ,

As seen in an earlier post on Piazza Farnese, it needs some help.  We would love to see it lively with crowds like the nearby Campo de’ Fiori.  After a couple of weeks of emptiness, we were surprised to see the piazza occupied by an art festival the other day:

It came across as a fully occupied piazza at first glance, but in closer examination, we were disappointed to find only [sub-par] art with a light sprinkling of visitors.  We think it is because of the heat.  The piazza has so much potential, one of which could be water.  Water seems to attract people both for basic life necessities…

…and for live cobblestone renditions of “Blacktop”:

Could we bring relief by drawing water from the fountains?  Could we also take advantage of the ground modulation and begin rerouting various quantities of water to potential “wild” vegetated patches?

we love shade by jhuang
June 16, 2010, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Rome | Tags: , , , ,

The shade created by the vendor umbrellas is a huge magnet during market hours and it begins to control movement in the piazza [see photos from a previous post].  Here is the beginning of a new layer of information to the previous “density fluctuations” definition.  The lighter shade of pink is the umbrella layer and the green square outlines are the shaded areas [responds to and is controlled by a sun definition].  The paths shift towards the shaded areas, which should create more clusters [metaballs] under the umbrellas.  Ideally, there would be one master slider for the various parameters [time of day, umbrella coverage, movement of people, etc.], but let’s hope that won’t be too much of a challenge.

Market Activity by Daphne Lasky
June 16, 2010, 5:49 pm
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At first glance, it seems all too obvious that everyone comes to the Campo de Fiori for the market. With its fruits and vegetables aplenty, tourists and locals alike must flock to the campo in search of whatever’s fresh and seasonal.

In reality, however, the market accounts for only 8 hours of campo activity a day. Why, then, is the piazza full of people ’round the clock?

I think the answer is that, as a painting teacher of mine used to say, people like to look at people.

When the market vendors arrive in piazza in the morning, the place is deserted. As they begin to set up and display their wares, a few brave souls venture out to make some early purchases. Over the course of the morning, the crowds grow, and the neighboring cafes open up. Pedestrians ogle the market goods, while seated espresso-sippers ogle passers-by.

By the time the market vendors begin packing up around 1:00, a lunchtime crowd packs the cafes. Once the piazza is empty, it is the cafe patrons themselves who are the performance for pedestrians to enjoy. This mutual people-watching continues through the aperitivo hour, and far into the night.

In all of this, the market plays the role of a catalyst, creating enough human activity that, by the time the sun grows hot, it has done its job, and can go home for a nice, cool rest.

[Poor definition-management skills means that the gh component to this post is a bit out-of-hand at the moment. Keep a look-out for a separate post with the definition download and some thinking about strategies for nesting actions…]

Coming Soon… by Daphne Lasky
June 15, 2010, 10:03 pm
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…I promise…