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: Urban e-Motion
Project Name: Partly Cloudy
Team: Octavian Mihai Gheorghiu (Romania), Natasha Gill (India), Nhan Vo (USA), Sergey Krupin (Russia)
Tutor: Theodore Spyropoulos assisted by Manuel Jiménez García and Mostafa El Sayed
Description: Our project aims to develop an urban mobility system that will attempt to rethink the current role of transportation to augment the urban condition by actively addressing city issues related to parking, traffic and energy management. Our system proposes a shared model of single user units that autonomously interface the city in three dimensions, going beyond the streets. Facades therefore become more than envelope, as they perform as docking spaces for the units to park, energy-share and create space on-demand. The units become nodes of urban interfacing as a by-product of the system. The project therefore is a data-driven system that distributes and aggregates mobile units through continuous feedback and communication.