Augmented City Design

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Augmented City Design2021-03-25T15:33:27+00:00

Augmented City Design

Design your own city in Augmented Reality (AR).
How does AR come into play in Architecture at SUTD? Here’s a taste. Plan and design your city with just a printout and a smart phone.

PLUS! Participate in the contest and win prizes
Send in your design to with a short caption or writeup of not more than 50 words. Contest closes Wednesday, 17 March 2021.

What You’ll Need

A printer (black/white) and a smart phone is required for this exercise.


  1. Download and print out the following PDF file.
    Download & Print
  2. Cut out the markers (8 squares in total) and lay them on a flat surface.
  3. Using your smart phone, scan the QR code. Then position your phone above the markers.
  4. Each marker has a building block embedded. Play around with the positions of your phone and the blocks (e.g. rotate/move).
  5. Express your creativity with the interlocking volumes and different building geometries!
  6. Get a blank piece of A4 paper and draw roads, forests, rivers, bus stops, train stations etc.
  7. Allocate plots of land for the building blocks.
  8. Designate each building block with a specific use (e.g. offices, residential homes, shopping mall, school).
  9. Create a story from the city that you have just designed.
  10. Take a screen capture of your city, label the usage type of each building block (e.g. residential, retail/shopping, commercial/office, school, transport nodes, mixed used etc)
  11. Simply email to your entry – screenshot of your design with a short caption or writeup of not more than 50 words to describe how your city is planned.

STEP 2 Cut out the markers

STEP 3 Scan the QR code

STEP 4 Each marker is a building block

STEP 6 Use a blank A4 paper and draw roads, bus stops, train stations, etc.

Join the Contest

Merit prizes are given to all shortlisted entries. Top 3 entries will each get the ultimate prize! An iconic, elegant and unique Caran d’Ache and Nespresso pen made from recycled capsules in the colour inspired by Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio purple.

Planning Guidelines

Here are some references that can be used as a guide to help you plan out your city, but it is by no means a constraint. In fact, do deviate away from the traditional norms but do provide your rationale and justification.

Multiple building blocks are sometimes arranged in a manner where the building geometry creates pockets of open spaces in between for communal activities.

In the case of many metropolitan cities, the commercial/office buildings are zoned away from the residential buildings. In the case of Singapore, the objective of congregating the commercial/office buildings within the CBD area was to concentrate economic activity. However, in more recent decades, there was a growing need to plan for commercial/office spaces outside the CBD.

Buildings can be of mixed-use type (e.g. combination of retail/shopping mall with residential units, where the retail activity is typically on the first few levels and the residential tower above).

Transport nodes (bus interchanges/MRT stations) are often areas with high commuter traffic and can be planned strategically to have retail spaces adjacent to such transport nodes.

Roads, despite being necessary for ground transportation and commuting, do have social implications on residents within the vicinity of roads. As motor vehicular traffic can be perceived as a safety hazard, it restricts the type of social activities that could take place (e.g. children are unable to roam freely).

Placing a park or open space within the vicinity of buildings to encourage communal interaction might be a good idea.

Some examples of how you might design your city: