Friday, March 22, 2013

Motorizing Architectural Paradigms

student testing out UFO's urban design app

500 liters of waterbased environmentally-friendly paint on asphalt spread by 2000 cars.
25/04/2010 · Rosenthaler Platz, Berlin
By IEPE & the anonymous crew © 2010

The idea is that new digital tools can extend the (5) physical senses of our bodies and if architects are "smart" enough, we can harness these new forms of augmented capability to design cities in new more "super-sensitive" ways. They just started, but should get interesting. Last week their professor, Yasmine Abbas, connected students with Alain Renk, an architect and urban planner pushing these kind of boundaries across a number of intriguing projects and organizations: Urban Fab Organization - UFO; Unlimited Cities; Collaborative Urbanism; Evolving Cities.

Google translation of the course description (French):
"Digital culture has transformed the architectural and urban processes. This seminar explores the representation and use of sensitive parameters to the digital age. Students prospecteront and translate the potential of ordinary tools and innovative strategies to create spaces.
This exploration is first prepared by a sensitive reflection on the card - what a sensitive map?Then, in front of the collection of parameters, the discovery of various methods of investigation, artistic (Sophie Calle, 1999), urban (Kevin Lynch, 1960), or inspired by literature (Georges Perec, 1975), Science Humanities and Social (Richard Ocejo, 2013), the industrial design process (Patricia Moore, 1985). To consider the representation tool and "engine of reality" (Spuybroek, 1999), students will experiment with digital tools then eg consultation platforms developed urban UFO . They have five cards to develop sensitive / tools / MAP - Motorizing Architectural Paradigms, each engaging one of our five senses, the same song chosen the city of Paris.

The pedagogical intention is: 1 - to experiment with creative ways of architectural and urban research, 2 - Develop mapping sensitive / visible based on sensory data and are tools for creating architectural paradigms."

Also at l'ESA, Edouard Cabay of Appareil runs an atelier RE— that is exploring similar methods for exploiting cartographic techniques to identify emergent patterns for design (course description). The maps below depict migration of chairs, interaction of people and rubbish bins, and intersecting trajectories of ducks and toy boats in the Jardins du Luxembourg park in Paris.

As more Africans acquire smart phones, how can designers leverage this emerging mobile network to aggregate data digitally in order to expand our sense(s) of how we can motorize architecture and re-engineer the city?


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