This year the Design Research Laboratory (DRL) concluded the final year of the four-year design research agenda Proto-Design, which investigated digital and analogue forms of computation in the pursuit of systemic design applications that are scenario- and time-based. Considering controls systems as open acts of design experimentation, the DRL examines production processes as active agents in the development of architecture. Behavioural, parametric and generative methodologies of computational design are coupled with physical computing and analogue experiments to create dynamic and reflexive feedback processes. New forms of spatial organisation are explored not as type- or context-dependent but by examining scenarios that evolve as ecologies and environments that seek adaptive and hyper-specific features.
This performance-driven approach aims to develop novel design proposals concerned with the everyday. The iterative methodology of the design studio focuses on the investigation of spatial, structural and material organisations, engaging with contemporary discourses of architecture and urbanism. Four research studios run in parallel, exploring the possibilities of Proto-Design. Theodore Spyropoulos’ studio, Synthetic Natures: Behavioural Machines, investigates behaviour as the means to explore self-regulating and deployable soft systems. Parametric Semiology 2 – Habitat as System of Signification, led by Patrik Schumacher, focuses on how the societal function of urban and architectural design can act as an innovative ordering and framing of communicative interaction. Robert Stuart-Smith’s studio, Behavioural Matter, explores how non-linear design processes may be instrumentalised to generate a temporal architecture with a designed life-cycle. Reconsidering Elementarism, led by Philippe Morel, addresses the relationships between technology, architecture and mathematics by revisiting research on Elementarism in the 1920s and its cybernetic reinterpretations of the 1960s.
Manuel Jiménez García
Albert Taylor & AKT
David Jason Gerber
Marta Malé- Alemany
Team Name: High
Project Name: Third Layer
Students: Ralph Antoine Gebara (Lebanon), Ashkan Ashki (Iran), Radwa Mostafa Abdelmon Ahmed (Egypt), Jose Manuel Roldan Caballero (Spain)
Tutors: Theodore Spyropoulos assisted by Manuel Jiménez García and Mostafa El Sayed
Description: With increasing population numbers climbing across the planet mega cities have been forces to rely on obtaining their food supply from abroad. Through soaring oil prices, increased transportation costs and traffic congestion, the current model has put the city’s food security at risk. While alternative models have been proposed, they still overlook the idea of mass production, disregard problems of distribution, are not dynamic and cannot meet the changing demands of the city.
In this context, we propose an air-based urban crop production and distribution network that brings food production back into the city. By implementing an urban prototypical farm model, an autonomous, decentralised and dynamic network is essential for dealing with the complexity of a city and its changing demands.