London Visions

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Exhibition Entrance (Bansel, K 2018)

A variety of artists, designers and architects have come together to create series of speculative designs through art, illustration, video games and film to depict their thoughts on the future of London as well as the challenges and constraints of today and how we can adapt.  (Aravan, F, 2018)

The exhibition is separated into four themes: Cityscapes, Work, Everyday Life and Nature. Throughout the exhibition, London is shown through a semi-realistic setting by incorporating elements, from current buildings, such as the Shard to a generic suburban neighbourhood. Furthermore, they suggest how people will adapt to the way of living and the conditions that people might face in the future.

Alan Marshall responded to the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia, which describes an exemplary¬ society on an imaginary island. Marshall’s Ecotopia2121 presents his future visions of 100 real cities around the world in 2121. He harnesses More’s spirit to predict their futures, based on his hope that all cities will have become eco-friendly to solve the global environmental crisis.
Future London (Aravan, F. 2018)

I was specifically interested in the how the cityscapes of London will develop for people. Throughout the years London has delayed the creation of skyscrapers due to the large strain of money boroughs need and campaigners forcing against “monolithic skyscrapers transforming the skyline” (Davies, R, 2016). However, a large number of projects are still developing today and “436 towers of 20 floors or more were in the works across London.” (Foreman, L 2017)

London has a visible contrast between other country and continents such as the Middle East, like Dubai and its tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Places like this are rapidly growing in tourism due to its growing skyline.

An example shown in the exhibition was the “Ending Vertical City” designed by SURE Architecture (Ending Vertical City, no date). This is a 300-meter skyscraper that could house a whole city, taking Londons neighbourhood into the sky, with the use of ramps that work around the building. (Freasron A, 2014).

This skyscraper has been designed with population in mind due to the increasing amount of people living in London, “some projections say there will be 13 million people in London by 2050.” (Aravan, F, 2018) This building could house a large number of people as well accommodate communities, businesses, school, shopping centre and parks due to the building shape, structure and its symbol of openness, allowing “two endless ramps circumrotating continually and rising gradually with a low gradient from the ground floor to the sky.” (Ending Vertical City no date). SURE Architecture suggests that London streets can be accessed horizontally and vertically which combines both the street and skyscraper. This will allow for larger buildings to form apartments for the increasing population.

This building will allow exchanges, communications and interactions to happen as well as helps Londons ecosystem which enhances a better experience of living for residents.


Bansel, K (2018) “London Visions” (Accessed: 13 February.)

Aravan, F. (2018) “London Visions: what does your future London look like? Available at:  (Accessed: 15 February)

Ending Vertical City (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 13 February.)

Foreman, L (2017) The skyscrapers about to change London’s skyline. Available at:  (Accessed: 13 February)

Davies, R, (2016) “Londoners back limit on skyscrapers as fears for capital’s skyline grow” Available at: (Accessed: 13 February)

Freasron A, (2014) “Conceptual skyscraper designed for London could house its own metropolis” Available at: (Accessed: 13 February)



Stages of Action

How do we do things?

Don Norman discovered the stages of actions through the 6 Big Ideas. These were the Gulf of Execution and the Gulf of Evaluation. Additionally, it uses several of the 6 ideas to help conduct this.

The Gulf of Execution is about working out how things work. From the 6 ideas, the Gulf of Execution uses signifiers to indicate how something works, constraints to stop doing the wrong thing happening, mappings to look at the arrangements of how things work and conceptual models to create a series of principles.

The Gulf of Evaluation is about working out what has happened. The Gulf of Execution uses feedback to inform you of what is happening and conceptual models which does something that the user wants, allowing it to be used from start to end.

Both Gulf of Execution and Gulf of Evaluation is used within the 7 stages of action which is made up of goal, plan, specify, perform, perceive, interpret and compare. These actions are a set of tasks that are used when performing a task.

  • The goal (part of the Gulf of Execution) is where the 7 stages of action start and gives an aim of what the designer wants to accomplish.
  • A plan (part of the Gulf of Execution) is a set of options that will allow the goal to be achieved
  • Specify (part of the Gulf of Execution) is where an option is chosen.
  • Perform is when the action is conducted. There are both physical and social constraints to this action as you are reliant on an object or physical capabilities.
  • Perceive (part of the Gulf of Evaluation) is a sensory input, for example, light on eyes.
  • Interpret (part of the Gulf of Evaluation) is understanding what you have seen.
  • Compare (part of the Gulf of Evaluation) is to see if the outcome corresponds to the goal.

We put these actions into place and created our own using the actions.


Eat Instant Noodles (Pot Noodle)

Plan (Aim, not action):

  • Make Noodles
  • Takeaway
  • Go yourself
  • Ask someone else
  • Ordering online

Specify (Choose Option):

  • Pot Noodles – make yourself
  • A takeaway, more money making noodles – time-consuming
  • Ordering online may take a day or two
  • Asking someone else, they may not know what to get, maybe they’re unavailable

Perform (Do Action):

  • Fill kettle
  • Switch it on
  • Open lid of Pot Noodles
  • Take sachets out
  • Pour boiling water
  • Leave for 2 minutes
  • Stir
  • Leave for 2 minutes
  • Cut the sachets
  • Pour Sachets
  • Leave for 2 minutes
  • Lift
  • Eat


  • A blind person can’t touch the kettle (it’s hot)
  • Caution to children
  • Lifting kettle
  • Walking to get items / binning items

Perceive (sensory):

  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch, the temperature
  • Visual
  • A sound of water boiling

Compare (outcome achieved from goal):

  • Goal achieved as we can successfully make Pot Noodles.

Today’s reference: 

Donald A. Norman (2013). The Design of Everyday Things (Revised & Expanded Edition). Cambridge, MA: The Mit Press.

6 Big Ideas

The 6 big ideas are based on the theory by Don Norman. Norman uses the theory of interaction through experience design.

They consist of:

Affordances are the relationship between the person using an item. The object is not a property as there will no relationship/ use without the person. A Bottle is an affordance. The user can grip it to hold and twist the cap. But, age is dependent on this element as a child may not be able to open it. Designers are able to resolve problems through re-designing elements to build more, less, or no affordances with the item.

Signifiers point to an affordance, through indicators that will inform the person of using the item, such as ‘twist here’, ‘do this’ or arrows. Signifier can be used through books. Countries will read a book left to right or vice versa, which informs them of the way the book should be read. Secondly, binding and numbered pages are used to inform on the correct side the book should start.

Mapping is the relationship between a control and its results. Lights are an example of mapping. As various lights are turned off in a room, they will most likely be connected but may be controlled by a location, allowing them to be turned off by a single switch. However, they could also be controlled by an organization, such as a multi-switch pad which could be difficult to control. This could be seen as bad mapping as you would not know what light connects to a specific switch.

Feedback is the information that aids an understanding of an outcome. A click of a pen is an example as it responds back to the user with a sound which gives the user information.  In order for it to work efficiently, feedback should not be complicated as the feedback is dependent on the user understanding what has happened.  This means it should give accurate and simple information.

Constraints are made up of 4 elements, physical, cultural, semantic and logic.

Physical constraints are things that prevent physical actions from happening. This can be due to shape, size and material which can limit the user, for example, height.

Cultural constraints are formed by systems, for example, the law as its agreed upon in culture. This also can include religion, gender and ethnicity.

Logic various things that are impossible because they are not in order.

Semantics is doing something that may/may not make sense if reversed. For example, you would not put a cyclist facing backwards on a bike as it does not make sense.

Conceptual Models is how something works. It must be used and the system cannot contradict that belief. This can be useful to a point but will fail if something is changed. An example of this is a computer desktop. There is not a direct ‘bin’ or ‘folders’ within the system; it’s through the means of visual and audio communication, which lets the user know that the item has left.

Today’s reference:

Donald A. Norman (2013). The Design of Everyday Things (Revised & Expanded Edition). Cambridge, MA: The Mit Press.