Technology _47

Entry: Responsive Systems
Focus: LowTech Propositions

Artists and architects who want to experiment with interactive spaces and responsive systems, particularly on large, urban-scale projects, are often prevented from doing so because of the complexity, logistics or costs involved with such systems. Prototype research seems prohibitively expensive and the most interesting concepts and approaches remain on the drafting board until a suitable client/investor/sponsor is found. Alternative channels for financing and development needs to be found; a solution is found in the combination of reusability and "low-tech".


Entry: Digital Design
Focus: MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation

The MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation replaces the MSc Virtual Environments as the Bartlett's taught MSc in the field of digital design. It draws on the unique multidisciplinary milieu at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies to bring together designers and programmers in the pursuit of enhanced architectural product and process. Above all, how computation can improve the design and use of architecture, rather than simply be a mechanical tool for its representation. With this goal in mind, we do not teach the fundamentals of computer aided design, but rather give students the hands on opportunity to create their own computational sketches. Throughout the course, studio time is dedicated to learning scripting and programming skills within a series of workshops conceived especially for designers.


Entry: Architecture and Culture
Focus: Atlas of Novel Tectonics

Architects Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto have been generating some of the most provocative thinking in the field for nearly twenty years. With "Atlas of Novel Tectonics", Reiser and Umemoto hone in on the many facets of architecture and illuminate their theories with great thought and simplicity. The Atlas is organized as an accumulation of short chapters that address the workings of matter and force material science, the lessons of art and architectural history, and the influence of architecture on culture (and vice versa). Reiser and Umemoto see architectural design as a series of problem situations, and each chapter is an argument devoted to a specific condition or case. Influenced by a wide range of fields and phenomena - Brillat Saverin's classic Physiology of Taste is one of their primary models - the authors provide a cross-section of thinking and inspiration. The result is both an elucidation of the concepts that guide Reiser and Umemoto through their own design process and a series of meditations on topics that have formed their own sense as architects. "Atlas of Novel Tectonics" offers an entirely fresh perspective on subjects that are generally taken for granted, and does so with a welcome punch and energy.