Infraspace: What Happens When Architectures Kiss

A writing that looks at an alternative form of urbanism that is in opposition to Parametricism.

Link to paper here: Infraspace


Responsive Architecture 8 – Parametric Urbanism

The last entry of the Responsive Architecture series is my final paper that is based on much of the research acquired over the semester. My chosen topic of study is Parametric Urbanism: a term coined by Patrik Schumacher that involves using information in the form of parameters as a way to study existing conditions and their dynamic relationships that will better inform an architects design intentions. You can read the paper through the link below:

Parametric Urbanism: The Means to a Beginning By Austin Samson

Responsive Architecture – 7 Network Space

“Modulated Cities: Networked Spaces, Reconstituted Subjects”

By Helen Nissenbaum and Kazys Varnelis

The use of networking ideas, likes, and dislikes will only benefit society if the individual is forced to remain interactive throughout the feedback process.

“We no longer surf the Internet, the Internet surfs us.” The Internet is no longer a tool in our belt because human interaction no longer plays a role in its use. Individual choice has been replaced with automatic feedback systems that invade the privacy of the individual leaving them insignificant in the decisions that guide our society.

Programs like StumbleUpon, Pandora, and Spotify are living and thriving proof of systems that are centered upon critical interaction with the individual. Once the interaction stops, the system stops moving forward in a beneficial manner. Forced interaction must involve choice, however. There must be options and different paths to choose from rather than the current state of assuming what the individual needs. Here, privacy is maintained because it is no longer intruded upon to find an answer.

What would happen if people were forced to provide feedback for more important aspects of life? Rather than companies prying into our personal lives, allow us to reach out pushed by a desire to benefit our daily lives.

Responsive Architecture – 6 Games People Play

“Space Fighter: The Evolutionary City (Game:)”

By Arie Graafland

Programs such as Space Fighter are very small steps in the right direction to discovering new ways of non-linear design that allow architects to have a much more informed [although more complicated] starting point and set of parameters to design from.

Fordism [the linear approach to design] is now becoming obsolete. Architects must find new ways of design approach that involve network collaboration and intelligent design that utilize our ever-expanding technological world.

Space Fighter’s attempt at modeling factors and forces in Dubai is a god example of how this type of study is a small step towards an idea of intelligent design.  It has the ability to pose the always important “what if” question. The parameters are chosen and then pushed to maximum limitations as a way to understand how to solve different scenarios that could happen in the future.

Why is it such a small step? There are still far too many variables that cannot be accounted for when creating parameters. The world is so complex, and there are so many variables that change and shape that world. Will it ever be possible to create a system that can account for them? If not, then how so we chose the most important parameters to study? This is possible where critical thinking comes back into play. Are Zaha Hadid and Patrick Shumacher picking up the ball here with the term Parametric Urbanism?

Responsive Architecture – 5 Sociography

“Sociography: Spatial Operation of Social Forces”

By Professor Robert Cowherd

“Architecture and bodies co-produce space.” The first two photos are long exposure photos of cars on a main street in Berlin, Germany. Humans have the right to move through and occupy space. The existence of human movement within space is essential to understand how to better design the space around which we embody. Is it possible to conceive that the introduction of main highways through cities has restricted or halted such movement? These roads that seem to have a constant flow of traffic create physical barriers of movement. Lets take “The Big Dig” of Boston as an attempt to show a before and after effect. Before, I93 created an apparent wall to the north end, a division that halted much wanted movement from downtown to the water. After the removal of I93, the space was transformed dramatically with the addition of human movement through the new space.

The last photo offers a possible solution to an interaction of traffic and human movement. Do they need to be separated. Can he sense of human movement be heightened if raised above the movement of vehicles?

Responsive Architecture – 4 Responsive Architecture

“Hylozoic Ground: Liminal Responsive Architecture”

By Philip Beesley

Responsive architecture has the potential to understand the complex relationships between the human senses and the environment around them and use those relationships as a way to create a building environment that is able to engulf itself with the human being without sacrificing a comfortable living environment.

During the modern era, architecture has become dependent upon mechanical systems that are used in abondance to provide humanity with comfortable living environments. The problem with these systems is that they contradict themselves in a very costly manner. They create a steril environment that does not allow the human being to engulf themselves within the existing environment through architecture because architecture has become too far removed from from the use of phenomenology as a design basis. “The very phenomena that define the human experience are precisely the ones that the building environment is designed to nullify.”

In order to understand how to design a space that the human being can fully interact with, we need to understand the environment around us. In order to do so we need to stop analyzing it. “Reality is what one does not perceive when one perceives it.” There is a need to partly relinquish control “queasiness”. Once we have an understanding of the environment around us, responsive architecture will allow us to design systems that integrate the human need for a comfortable living condition with the phenomenological interaction that has been lost during the modern era. Responsive architecture has the ability to account for the dynamic and ever-changing world around us resulting in spaces that are constantly morphing to suit the needs of the human.

The union of function and form. This is how to create a space that “swallows the human” but in a way that is comfortable. You enter the building “hoping it is kind” and you find that it is. Now, relinquishing control feels good. The ability to perceive without perceiving is achieved and the human can truly begin to react to the environment it resides in.

Responsive Architecture – 3 Cybernetics

“Societies of Control and Chrono-Topologies”

By M. Christine Boyer

The push for simplicity in perfection through the abandonment of history during the modern age of design has led to a gap between designer and consumer that will prove to be seriously problematic for both the designer and consumer if not soon bridged.

During the modern age, institutions like the Bauhaus pushed for simplicity found in the perfection of consumer products. In order to find this simplicity, it was thought that a complete rejection of history is needed.

The rejection of history, however, led to a misunderstanding of how the consumer interacted with new products. Humanity has reached a level of ever changing and expanding needs, therefore it is more critical than ever to understand the path of change that is constantly being created. This is where the historian must change the tactics in order to become the missing link between the designer and consumer. The historian must use a new, non-linear system of understanding how the product and the consumer interact. Feedback loops are key here. They are the paths that allow information to move back and fourth between the designer and consumer. The historians job is to filter the information that moves along these feedback loops so that it can be best understood by the designer and consumer.