[iDC] Beyond the blob
mshepard at andinc.org
Thu Sep 28 12:52:14 EDT 2006
I wasn't suggesting that anyone (other than myself, maybe) was
pointing to the starchitects. And I did so in order to attempt to
highlight the differences between the discourse in architecture over
the past ten years surrounding the "digital" (which the so-called
"Non Standard" conferences and "Digital Hybrid" book are products
of), and what we are looking to address in the upcoming symposium. As
I see it, there is a big difference between screen-based, "digital"
design and fabrication environments (the computer as tool) and
pervasive/embedded/locative/context-aware technologies (computing as
an environment). The symposium is concerned with the latter.
You ask: "who is to say that evolving mobile and locative
technologies will not (reciprocally) inform us as to how a building
is built or permutates throughout a lifetime."
I'd say they would. And when looking at the city, mobile and locative
technologies are particularly informative. Some threads of the July
discussion on mobile, networked sociality, and the August discussion
on locative media and the city touched on this (I referenced Laura
Kurgan's "You Are Here: Museo" in this context, who, yes, is at
Columbia now and heading up the Spatial Information Design Lab. Her
project "Architecture and Justice" is also currently on display at
the Urban Center). Frank Ancel pointed to the Real Time Rome project
at the Venice Biennale - http://senseable.mit.edu/realtimerome/ -
which builds on an earlier (2002) project by the WAAG society,
Amsterdam Realtime - http://www.waag.org/project/amsterdamrealtime .
These attempts at mapping the hertzian space of cities are indeed
valuable in helping us understand contemporary urban dynamics. But it
sounds like you've been working with these ideas for quite some time.
Maybe you could share with the list some of your work on mapping?
You also note that buildings already are embedded with a plethora of
technologies, most notably surveillance and security systems. I'd add
to that the range of Building Environment Management Systems (BEMS),
which are becoming more "responsive" to fluxuating environmental
conditions. An early example would be Jean Nouvelle's southern facade
for the Institute de Monde d'Arabe in Paris. More recently Wired
reported on research into Smart Buildings - http://www.wirednews.com/
news/technology/0,71680-0.html?tw=wn_index_1 - which is apparently
still engaged in the (ever fundable) optimization/efficiency agenda,
a point Michael Fox raised earlier this month.
> So … is it, once again, simply a question of a re-purposing of
> technologies generated and handed down by the military or corporate
> America. Or, as it seems you are suggesting, is it that architects/
> artist need to advance these developments ahead of the military –
> industrial curve?
I'd say definitely the latter. Though not necessarily "ahead", maybe
"alongside", "against", or "despite".
More information about the iDC