MA Narrative Environments

City in Motion

A collaboration between Central Saint Martins’ MA Narrative Environments and Arup Foresight + Research + Innovation.

Declining physical activity is a global phenomenon, affecting both developed and increasingly developing nations. Many parts of our daily life have been mechanised and urban dwellers appear to create paths of ‘least resistance’ or effort and, as a result, physical activity is designed out. On the other hand, public institutions are investing to create more liveable cities, which encourage public participation, physical and mental wellbeing, and cohesion across local communities, in order to build social resilience.

This situation raises the question: In what way does the built environment hinder physical activity? How can design increase the ‘physical usability’ of space?

We are moving in the direction of a more technologically connected and automated world, a place where driverless cars might take us everywhere in the city, your morning coffee is delivered by a drone or you no longer work in an office and simply stay at home. These technological advancements conflict with the human need for physical activity and good health. How do we develop a future which incorporates ‘active design principles’?

In this project the students will explore opportunities to encourage physical activity in future cities. They will do this from the point of view of four different personas, each identifying a specific group of actors in future cities. Using foresight techniques they will investigate four possible future worlds based around two axes:





The students are divided into four multidisciplinary teams. The teams work through three phases to produce fresh insights leading to compelling narratives and outcomes.

The future stories takes place in four neighbourhoods in the city of London. Click the images below to see the groups’ outcomes.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 15.04.14.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 15.03.08.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 15.08.31.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 15.11.53.png