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Picture a city (Bradford)

Squint/Opera

In a forest of signs and in the middle of abandoned buildings, a vision might have a birth.


"Picture a city" is a video made by Squint/Opera to illustrate the visionary master plan designed by architect William Alsop for the town centre of Bradford (Yorkshire, UK). This animation is one of the first video works in which the London based group of creative designers direct their playful and provocative approach, as well as their technical skills towards a proposed change for the city.

Imaginative parks and other forms of public architecture replace concrete carbuncles within a fictional version of Bradford. A three-dimensional drawing created by software application, with numbers and statistics related to the city that pop up in order to explain and support Alsop's thesis, simulates the ideal town. Urban space becomes something people may easily modify.

Film is conceived by Squint/Opera as the perfect media device to glimpse a probable future for the city's development, as well as a means to communicate plausible urban scenarios in a comprehensive and seductive way. "Picture a city" becomes an instrument to involve – even to provoke – a wider and diverse audience of citizens in the contemporary urban debate. A visualization of Alsop's master plan brings elements of architectural discourse to all the public. The video was commissioned by the Bradford Centre Regeneration and installed in an exhibit within the town centre in order to generate a public discussion about the architect's design of the city. The five minute video is also part of the "Super City" project conceived by Scott Burnham and Will Alsop to explore the potential of future cities.

Authors icon Credits

Metioned project: Masterplan for Bradford
Location: Bradford, United Kingdom
Sound design: Isambard Khroustaliov

United Kingdom 2004
Duration: 4'08''

Selected for SCRIPT, the 2005 edition of the BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.