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
Balls 2 The Wall
Students: Kele Zhu (China), Alberto Herrera Sales (Colombia), Nishanth Peethala (India), Chien-Shuo Pai (Taiwan)
Tutors: Philippe Morel with Jose Sanchez
Description: The studio refers to the embedding of certain information that may be needed in a future stage of architectural design, as well as the connection between theory and design practice. By associating Elementarism with current computational processes that are available, it requires a reviewing of the processes within existing fabrication and construction systems. Considering these issues, an abstract geometric model that displayed properties of reconfiguration was selected and studied in order to arrive at components bearing lightness and curvature as characteristics. The research involved rationalising these concept and producing an architectural design that had issues of prefabrication and industrialised production within the deployment scenario. The result is a scalable system of standardised components with embedded soft joints that allow aggregations to be flexible and attain a designated global curvature. This system also negotiates the changing requirements of the user. Finally, the project becomes an exercise in trying to think in geometrical terms to produce to an