The concept of nature lies in its structure of processes, organisms keep an homeostatic balance in response to the continuous changes in the environment, a non-linear network where everyone interacts with everyone else, all at the same time. The basis of these processes is the control over the information flow, exchange and interplay among the organisms and between them and their environment. Adaption and self-regulation happen perpetually during the life cycle, while environmental pressure cause a selection in populations that produce an evolution in future generations.
In order to approach an architectural design that goes beyond the static definition of sustainability and engages a more natural relation with the environment in order to create a synthetic ecology (synthetic is used to indicate what is built and differentiate it from what naturally grows; the concept of “artificial” as opposed to “natural” is a mind abstraction, synthetic is not synonymous of artificial), the starting point is to build a pervasive information model of the environment. Environment is here intended not only under its physical intensive data (temperature, wind, solar radiation absorption, …) but as the set of conditions and pressures (physical, cultural, social, ediphic) that influence the habitat and architectural performative behaviors at different scales (macro and micro).
From punctual survey or simulation via specific software, the collected information is then extrapolated to continuous data fields throughout the considered area and its related surroundings.
Architecture then will be studied as the open result of the modulated response to these environmental conditions at different scales. Open design strategies will be applied in a process of selection over a population of options in order to pursue a wide range of student’s chosen specific efficient design. Final results, depending on the chosen strategy for the project, will be closer or farther to the actual architectural, building and production system, thus hopefully depicting a gradient of opportunities.
Aim of the course therefore is not scrutinize a specific and strict range of conditions but to introduce students to a design process through population and selection, where, just like in nature, forms find their possible functions. More to that extent, project will engage and negotiate their relation with the territory in order to produce architectural outcomes as much as possible compromised with reality.

_ Alessio


: : 02. strategies

Practice without theory is Blind. Theory without practice is Sterile.

[quoted from Cristiano Ceccato paper at Id&cT, Milan, May 6th, 2009]

Starting from the study of a biologic organism in the field of botany, the student should identify one or more morphogenetic processes that would relate form generation and differentiation (with the implication of space formation and distribution, structural and material performance) in response to the variation of an external stimulus. Those processes must then be translated into architectural conditions (a less potential version of a body plan mentioned by Deleuze) in order to explore differentiation, articulation and modulation and its potential performative outcomes.
Subsequentially the proliferation (integrated with ground and edge negotiation rules) of the system on the territory will function both as a first masterplan strategy for program integration and a test model for emergent system properties due to part-to-whole and whole-to-part relationship.
Following here is a gallery containing an excerpt of pictures from the LaB work in progress of the students in march-april 2009.

:: The WIP gallery slideshow:

The project shown are from the following students:

Michele Semeghini, Alessandro Mazzette, Andrea Romano, Chiara Salvadori, Davide Sartini, Eufemia Papacharissis, Francesca Papi, Corrado Giacobazzi, Valentina Laghi, Luca Nazzari, Leandro Robutti, Matteo Tosi, Stefano Coccia, Simone Righi.

Here's a few samples (see larger images from the gallery linked above):

Michele Semeghini

Matteo Tosi

Luca Nazzari

Chiara Salvadori

Davide Sartini

Corrado Giacobazzi

No comments: