NETWORK_LA transit from tam thien tran on Vimeo.

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NETWORK_LA was an entry in the A New Infrastructure Competition held by SCI-Arc, The Architect’s Newspaper, and LA Metro. The entry was designated an organizer’s selection for its proposal of a digital infrastructure rather than a physical one, an infrastructure that would leverage cell phone technology, route optimization, and user choice. The entry suggested that familiarity reigns supreme when it comes to transportation selection, and a process of duration prediction could seduce users into adopting other choices.

The proposal included the development of a smartphone app in tandem with a robust server network, that would work together to “bend” LA’s infrastructure to suit the user’s needs. While the app would provide comparative solutions for transportation methods, at the heart of the proposal is the proposition that digital infrastructure could have an effect on physical ones. The proposal identifies that bus route maps and time tables are abstract methods for understanding which vehicle would take you where- with a networked digital solution to transit, the entire system could potentially warp respond to ridership, all riders would need is to tell the system their destination. As the system receives input it could also have the capacity to effectively learn patterns and behaviors. If the Clippers are playing, buses would gravitate to the Staples Center towards the end of the game. If it’s a particularly sunny and warm day, buses could be positioned to shuttle beach-goers to and from Venice and Santa Monica. The system would have the capacity to not only be more intuitive and user-friendly, but could also optimize to be more effective and efficient.

Team : Alex Webb, Li Wen, Shawn Gehle, Richard Hammond, Hae Sun, Tham Thien Tran & Rob Jernigan