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Microsite Development Mashup, Richard Brearley and Uli Kraeling, Sidell Gibson Architects, London

[The Resourceful Architect] A microsite connecting social and personal needs with derelict buildings and pockets of land in London

A ‘mashup’ is a web page or app that combines data, presentation or functionality from two or more sources to create new services. Mashups use combination, visualisation and aggregation to make existing data more useful.

Anyone can identify a microsite using their smartphone and a microsite scouting application based on Twitter. People tweet with the hashtag #microsite and provide geolocation GPS coordinates with a photograph of the site. This information is automatically uploaded and displayed in real time as a layer over a Google map on the mashup website www.microdev.org

All submissions are accepted. If sites are discovered to be notoriously difficult, unsuitable or unavailable, the system will rely on users to moderate content, as with Wikipedia. Furthermore, anyone can log a need for space or shelter on the website, or fund a development.

For the first time architects have an accessible, free, growing resource of potential sites and clients – not controlled by an individual or top-down organisation. Commercial developers might be interested in upscaling the mashup concept from small, residual sites to larger ones.

Mashup is an opportunity for new networks and connections to be formed worldwide. The web makes it possible for Mashup to be applied on a global scale; funders, architects and communities could be on different continents.

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