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© ESARQ, Barcelona, 2015. (Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura) Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) Immaculada, 22, 08017-Barcelona, Spain Tel. +34-932 541 800 www.uic.es/esarq © Alberto T. Estévez © De los textos, obras e imágenes, sus autores Foto de portada / cover photo: Alberto T. Estévez Debe agradecerse la ayuda a la investigación dada en estos últimos años por el Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación al Grupo de Investigación Arquitecturas Genéticas, algunos de cuyos resultados aparecen en esta publicación. Esta publicación debe igualmente su agradecimiento a la colaboración de Aina Garcia, Diego Navarro y Javier Olóndriz. Y de manera especial, la confección del presente libro ha contado además con la colaboración de Javier Olóndriz. ISBN papel: 978-84-686-6375-3 ISBN digital: 978-84-686-6376-0 Dep. leg. B 12788-2015 Impreso en España Editado por Bubok Publishing S.L Distribution Actar D, Inc. New York 355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor 10017 New York, NY, US T +1 2129662207 salesnewyork@actar-d.com Barcelona Roca i Batlle 2 08023 Barcelona, SP T +34 933 282 183 eurosales@actar-d.com

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Alberto T. Estévez

ARQUITECTURA BIODIGITAL Y GENÉTICA escritos BIODIGITAL ARCHITECTURE & GENETICS writings

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ÍNDICE INDEX

6 8

(A modo de Prólogo) Introducción (As a Prologue) Introduction

10 18

Arquitecturas Genéticas Genetic Architectures

24 60

Arquitectura Biomórfica Biomorphic Architecture

86 94

Proyecto Barcelona Genética Genetic Barcelona Project

100 102

De “visiones arquitectónicas” y todo lo demás Architecture is vision

104 114

Arquitectura en las comunidades virtuales 2.0 Architecture in virtual 2.0 communities

122 130

Arquitectura Biodigital Biodigital Architecture

134 138

Alles ist Architektur! Arquitectura es visión (¡Todo es arquitectura!) Tout est architecture! Architecture is vision (All is architecture!)

142 148

Arquitecturas Genéticas: Nuevas técnicas biológicas y digitales Genetic Architectures: New bio & digital techniques

152 156

Grupo de Investigación Arquitecturas Genéticas, ESARQ (UIC) Genetic Architectures Research Group, ESARQ (UIC)

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158

Application of life information in architecture: Biodigital Architecture and Genetics

164 166

“Naturalezas vivas”, paisajes, y otras carnosidades “Still alive”, landscapes and others fleshinesses

168

Universos biológicos y metaversos digitales: Arte & arquitectura biodigital y genética Biological universes and digital metaverses: Biodigital art & architecture and genetics

176 182 184

Conferencia Internacional de Arquitectura Biodigital y Genética International Conference of Biodigital Architecture & Genetics

186 198

Intro Investigación, Docencia y Profesión Biodigital No models, no moulds! (Research, Teaching and Practice)

202 210

Interacciones entre Arte, Arquitectura y Ciencia en la era biotecnológica Interactions between Art, Architecture and Science in the age of biotechnology

216

Concretando sobre la Arquitectura Genética

224 226

2a Conferencia Internacional de Arquitectura Biodigital y Genética 2nd International Conference of Biodigital Architecture & Genetics

228 244

Aprendiendo de la naturaleza: arquitectura y diseño en la primera edad biodigital Learning from nature: architecture and design in the first biodigital age

256 264

La evolución del legado gaudiniano: organicismo biodigital An evolution of Gaudí’s legacy towards biodigital organicism

272 274

“Aprendiendo de la naturaleza”: ciudades mejores, ciudades futuras “Learning from nature”: better cities, future cities

276 276

(A modo de Epílogo) Recapitulación histórica (As a Epilogue) Historical recapitulation

282 283

Anexos/Annexes (15 años de) Escritos Genéticos (15 years of) Genetic Writings (15 años de ) Conferencias Genéticas (15 years of) Genetic Lectures

288

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(A MODO DE PRร“LOGO)

6

Introducciรณn


El ser humano suele considerar el 5, el 10 y sus respectivos múltiplos como “números redondos”, a celebrar de forma especial (aunque los números “no tienen la culpa”). Y 10 son en total los dedos del par de manos de 5 dedos que tenemos. Quizá por ello consideramos algo como más completo, como más acabado, cuando se llega a esas cifras, y por tanto como más digno de ser conmemorado. Así, de la misma manera que el libro Al margen: escritos de arquitectura (Abada, Madrid, 2009) culminaba 25 años de publicaciones de quien esto escribe, recogiendo una selección de los textos que se consideraron más convenientes, ahora se cumplen ya 15 años desde que se inició la investigación y docencia de la genética aplicada a la arquitectura, al fundarse el grupo de investigación y el máster denominados Arquitecturas Genéticas, pasando este último luego a llamarse de Arquitectura Biodigital. Todo ello en la ESARQ (la Escuela de Arquitectura de la UIC, de la Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, en Barcelona) Y más aún, la “alineación planetaria” no podía ser más propicia, pues, al llegarse a estos 15 años (del 2000 al 2014, ambos inclusives), ha coincidido curiosamente también con cumplirse exactamente 50 publicaciones y 100 conferencias sobre el mencionado tema por parte de este autor (listado recogido al final de este libro, en los anexos). En definitiva, no podía buscarse mejor momento de obligada celebración para ser compartida editando este libro de una selección de “escritos genéticos”.

Alberto T. Estévez Barcelona, enero 2015

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(AS A PROLOGUE)

8

Introduction


The human being usually considers to be 5, 10 and its respective multiple ones as “round numbers”, to celebrate them especially (although the numbers “are not guilty”). And 10 are in whole the fingers of the pair of hands of 5 fingers that we have. Perhaps it’s why we consider something as more complete, as more finished, when it goes over to these numbers, and therefore to be more worth being commemorated. This way, likewise the book Al Margen: escritos de arquitectura (Abada, Madrid, 2009) reached 25 years of publications of who this writes now, gathering a selection of the texts that were considered to be more suitable, now already 15 years are fulfilled since it was initiated the research and teaching of the genetics applied to the architecture, when was found the group of research and master’s degree named Genetic Architectures. This last one was renamed as Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree. All at the ESARQ, the School of Architecture of the UIC, of the International University of Catalonia, in Barcelona. And even more, the “planetary alignment” could not be more propitious, then, on having gone over to these 15 years (from 2000 to 2014, both included), it has coincided curiously with the fact that exactly 50 publications and 100 lectures were fulfilled about the mentioned topic by this author (list gathered at the end of this book, in the annexes). Finally, there wouldn’t be better moment of required celebration to be shared editing this book of a “genetic writings” selection.

Alberto T. Estévez Barcelona, January 2015

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2

3b

1

3a [1. Arquitecturas Genéticas: el nuevo proyectar ecológicomedioambiental y el nuevo proyectar cibernético-digital. Imagen de un pabellón digital realizado en la ESARQ con Rhino, José Pedro de Sousa, Barcelona, 2002.] [2. Inclusión de elementos vivos como partes integrantes del mismo hecho arquitectónico, para mejorar el funcionamiento físico de los edificios y el funcionamiento de uso de la ciudad. Proyecto Barcelona Verde, Alberto T. Estévez, Barcelona, 1995-1998 – foto: Pere Vivas.] [3a. De lo que se trata es de entender el mismo software como el material con el que trabajar. Parte de un pabellón digital hecho en la ESARQ con la máquina MJM, Mark Goulthorpe, Barcelona, 2002 – foto: Alberto T. Estévez.]

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[3b. Mark Goulthorpe y Dennis Dollens en la ESARQ, Barcelona, 2002 – foto: Alberto T. Estévez.] [4. Elementos arquitectónicos en diferentes materiales realizados con la máquina CNC, Marta Male, Barcelona, 2002 – foto: Alberto T. Estévez.] [5. La tecnología dispuesta en la dirección correcta permite construir “de verdad” mediante procesos íntegramente digitales. Panel de un pabellón digital realizado en la ESARQ con la máquina CNC, Bernard Cache, Barcelona, 2001 – foto: Alberto T. Estévez.] [6. Elemento arquitectónico de una pérgola de madera realizada en la ESARQ con la máquina CNC, José Noel del Toro, Barcelona, 2002 – foto: Alberto T. Estévez.]


4

2

5

6

1. Genetic architectures: New ecologic-environmental architectural design and new cybernetic-digital architectural design. Image of a digital pavilion made at ESARQ with Rhino, José Pedro de Sousa, Barcelona, 2002. 2. Including life elements as integrating parts of the same architectonic fact in order to improve the physical functioning of the buildings and their urban use. Proyecto Barcelona Verde, Alberto T. Estevez, Barcelona, 1995-1998 – photo: P. Vivas. 3a. Understanding software itself as the material to work with. Part of a digital pavilion made at ESARQ with the MJM machine, Mark Goulthorpe, Barcelona, 2002 – photo: A. Estevez.

3b Mark Goulthorpe (left) and Dennis Dollens (right) at the ESARQ, Barcelona, 2002 – photo: A. Estévez. 4. Architectural parts in different materials made at ESARQ with the CNC machine. Marta Malé. Barcelona, 2002 – photo: A. Estévez. 5. Technology headed in the right direction allows for “real” construction, by means of completely digital processes. Panel of a digital pavilion made at ESARQ with the CNC machine, Bernard Cache, Barcelona, 2001 – photo: A.Estévez. 6. Architectonic part of a wooden pergola made at ESARQ with the CNC machine, José Noel del Toro, Barcelona, 2002 – photo; A. Estévez.

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GENETIC ARCHITECTURES

In this writng are collected the ideas of the “Genetic Architectures Manifesto” of January 2000.

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Published in Genetic Architectures / Arquitecturas Genéticas, pp. 4-17, SITES Books / ESARQ (UIC), Santa Fe (USA) / Barcelona, 2003


Genetic Architectures (fig.1) is not just a metaphorical name... New materials, new tools, and new processes must necessarily provide new architectures; however, this new architecture may turn out to be revolutionary, exciting or disgraceful, absolute freedom or its limitation the world to come and the known world’s end struggling hand to hand, in perfect contradiction. This constructively oppositional tendency marks the most outstanding and progressive line of research and education in Genetic Architectures, a line initiated on Thursday, March 30, 2000 when ESARQ (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura) at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya subscribed to the Genetic Architectures program, which is now in its consolidation phase.1 After millennia, reaching up to the present, human beings could still perform only on a superficial level. Today, one can go beyond that threshold and search at the level of molecular action, even transforming the genetic design, the programming chains that will later generate naturally alive elements automatically. In addition, this new threshold leads us to a direct comparison with the cybernetic-digital world: one can also think of programming a chain design that will later develop automatically into artificial computer elements. Now it is time to apply this research to architecture, to start working on it with deep-level possibilities, to develop the first steps taking us into a new reality already permitted by science and technology; that is, a reality where these natural life elements and/or artificial computer elements can be an integral part of the architectonic fact. From advanced-contemporary architecture’s point of view, which is contrary –dramatically so– to painteresque environmentalism and the use of the computer as a mere substitute for drawing by hand, new ecologic-environmental architectural design and new cybernetic-digital architectural design appear in this new reality, substantiated by the many examples of architects and their works. There are images from tales and visions, from popular dreams, delicately drawn as though with a pen, old fashioned and nostalgic, that may suddenly absorb new coloration-living in the throbbing interior of a whale, of a living creature, monstrous or not, inside a tree, on top of it, inside a mountain covered in green. Old utopias may now become new realities. We have to bear in mind, though, that we are not talking only about virtual reality. We are not talking about computer illusions, an issue that has been widely addressed. These new lines of investigation do not refer even to the typical metaphors studied in bionics, mechanical forms, and other forms applied by natural devices through imitation or inspiration. This investigation has nothing to do with those already obsolete approaches, especially since our reference is plain reality. In other words, we are addressing an incipient reality, the novelty of which is rooted in the evidence that the seed has just started to germinate and it is the time to begin to look after its development. At this precise moment, discussion must center on the seed’s future in order to prepare for the harvest season.

1 This line of research is directed by Alberto T. Eslévez with the participation of other researchers such as: José Juan Barba (2000-2003), Mark Burry (2002), Bernard Cache (2000-2001), Pietro Caruso (2002), Karl S. Chu (2002-), Dennis Dollens (2000-), Evan Douglis (2003-), Agustí Fontarnau (2001-), Eleni Gigantes (2002), Mark Goulthorpe (20022003), Duncan Lewis (2000-2001), Marta Malé (2000-2003), Marcos

Novak (2002), Kas Oosterhuis (2003-), Affonso Orciuoli (2000-), Ignasi Pérez-Arnal (2000-), Francois Roche (2003-). Examples of this research may be seen at http://www.terra.es/personal8/933091699/ veb_geneticas/index.html.

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ARQUITECTURA BIOMÓRFICA

Publicado en Genetic Architectures II: digital tools and organic forms / Arquitecturas genéticas II: medios digitales y formas orgánicas, pp.18-80, SITES Books / ESARQ (UIC), Santa Fe

Primera historia de la arquitectura genética o ¿la arquitectura genética es biomórfica?

Organicismo digital, la vanguardia arquitectónica de los primeros años del siglo XXI [Genética es la nueva arquitectura en los comienzos del tercer milenio]

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(EEUU) / Barcelona, 2005


Cualquiera de estos títulos serviría... De hecho, ellos mismos ya podrían ser las primeras líneas de este escrito... O estas páginas que siguen se podrían componer sólo de títulos como estos... Y debe ponerse atención, pues no son sinónimos, se refieren a cosas diferentes. Una vez asumida la ya posible aplicación literal y directa, no simplemente procesual o metafórica, de la genética a la arquitectura1, merced a los avances científico-técnicos ya existentes (hacer crecer un árbol o un vientre con características de habitabilidad, esta es la clave)... Una vez visto el cambio de medios proyectuales, procesos de producción, estructuras y formas que esto supone... Una vez llegados con ello como a un tercer estadio, genético, de la evolución de la arquitectura (desde el siglo XXI, futuro organicizante, estructuras vivas, vegetales o de carne y hueso, crecimiento natural o producción cibernético-digital de piezas distintas], tras la clasicidad (hasta el siglo XIX, pasado verticalizante, estructuras a compresión, de piedra y ladrillo, construcción manual) y la modernidad (durante el siglo XX, presente horizontalizante, estructuras a tracción, de acero y hormigón, producción mecanizada en serie de piezas iguales)... Debe empezarse poco a poco a preparar el terreno para una primera historia de la arquitectura genética2. DENOMINACIONES

pasado clásico

presente moderno

futuro genético

cronología

... hasta el siglo XIX

siglo XX

desde el siglo XXI...

sistema formal

verticalizante

horizontalizante

organicizante

sistema estructural

estructs. a compresión

estructuras a tracción

estructuras vivas

sistema material

piedra,ladrillo,madera

hormigón,acero,plástico

vegetal,carne y hueso

sistema procesual o de producción

producción manual de cada pieza, una a una, distintas y/o iguales

producción a máquina automatizada en series de piezas todas iguales

producción a máquina automatizada de piezas distintas y crecimiento natural

Por otra parte, y sin tener nada que ver -en principio- con la arquitectura genética, se constata cada vez más el auge inesperado que está teniendo una determinada arquitectura digital, proyectada con el apoyo de los nuevos medios gráficos informáticos. Hasta el punto que hoy ya puede afirmarse que el organicismo digital es la vanguardia arquitectónica de los primeros años del siglo XXI. Allí donde ahora se da una seria e innovadora investigación, también espacial y formal. “Arquitectura de burbujas, de huevos, o de patatas”, como se decía hasta hace bien poco, de manera un poco entre despectiva y escéptica, aludiendo a sus formas abombadas procesadas por ordenador. Desprecio que sigue justificándose por su supuesta falta de realidad, sin aval construido que la refrende. Aunque cada vez con menos razón, pues en estos años desde finales de la década de los noventa los ejemplos materializados empiezan a multiplicarse, en las obras acabadas de Dennis Dollens, Evan Douglis (fig. 1), Marc Goulthorpe, Kas Oosterhuis, Lars Spuybroek (NOX) (fig. 2), etc. Todos los que se están invitando a participar en el programa docente e investigador “Arquitecturas Genéticas” de la ESARQ, junto a otros de la talla de Bernard Cache, Karl S. Chu o Mike Weinstock. Pues bien, en sus cinco primeros años de existencia, un efecto secundario de tal programa sobre la escena internacional es la evidencia observada del uso cada vez mayor que se hace de la palabra “genética” asociada a la arquitectura, aunque a veces se haga sin rigor ni demasiada corrección sino simplemente por entusiasmo. Haber juntado durante años desde una institución los términos 1 Por lo menos de la manera más directa y sencilla, se debe aportar una mínima definición de los términos a tratar, para con ello facilitar una lectura sin confusiones. De ahí que se Incluya al final un anexo de definiciones.

2 Para ver las primeras aproximaciones que ya pueden registrarse historiográficamente sobre la aplicación real de la genética a la arquitectura, se anexan al final según su aparición cronológica.

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5

2

1

4

3

1. Obras realizadas en la línea del organicismo digital: Evan Douglis (+ Associates), Auto Braids / Auto Breeding, 2003. 2. Obras realizadas en la línea del organicismo digital: Lars Spuybroek (y NOX Architects), H20 Expo, Pabellón del Agua, Neeltje Jans, 1994-1997. 3. Obras realizadas en la línea del organicismo digital: Iñaki Ábalos y Juan Herreros, Banco Xurret, 2002-03: el modelo a escala 1/1 fue realizado en el Taller de Arquitectura Digital de la ESARQ por profesores y alumnos de la Escuela, Barcelona, 2002 (foto: A. Estévez). 4. Arquitectura biológica, con elementos vivos reales: Duncan Lewis (y Edouard François & associés), Casas para vacaciones, Jupilles, 1995-1997. 5. Arquitectura biológica, con elementos vivos reales: François Roche (y Stephanie Lavaux: R&Sie), Casa para un horticultor, Compiègne, 1993. 6. Arquitectura biológica, con elementos vivos reales en las cubiertasterrazas (tres plataformas contenedoras de verde en continuidad con

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elbjardín de alrededor): Alberto T. Estévez, Casa Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-1995 (foto: A. Estévez). 7. El primer edificio de la historia diseñado y producido de manera íntegramente digital: Bernard Cache, Pabellón de l’Orme, 2001 (realizado en el Taller de Arquitectura Digital de la ESARQ por Bernard Cache como profesor de la Escuela, con otros profesores y alumnos de la Escuela, Barcelona, 2001). 8. Cabañas de huesos de mamut, Mezhirich (Ucrania), h. 20.000-15.000 a.C. 9. Erecteion de la Acrópolis, Atenas, h. 410 a.C. 10. Federico Zuccari, Palacio Zuccari, Roma, 1590-1592.


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10

4 9

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1. Works in the field of digital organicism: Evan Douglis (+ Associates), Auto Braids / Auto Breeding, 2003. 2. Works In the field of digital organicism: Lars Spuybroek (and NOX Architects), H20 Expo, Water Pavilion, Neeltje Jans, 1994-1997. 3. Works in the field of digital organicism: Iñaki Ábalos and Juan Herreros, Xurret seating, 2002-03: the 1/1 scale model was made in the Digital Architecture Workshop at the ESARQ by the School’s teachers and students, Barcelona, 2002 (photo: A. Estévez). 4. Biological architecture, using real live elements: Duncan Lewis (and Edouard François & associés), Holiday homes, Jupilles, 1995-1997. 5. Biological architecture, with real live elements: François Roche (and Stephanie Lavaux: R&Sie), A horticulturist’s home, Compiègne, 1993.

6. Biological architecture, with real live elements on the roof-terraces (three platforms with grass to match the surrounding garden): Alberto T. Estévez, Casa Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-1995 (photo: A. Estevez). 7. The first entirely digitally-designed and produced building in history: Bernard Cache, L’Orme Pavilion, 2001 (carried out in the Digital Architecture Workshop at the ESARQ by Bernard Cache as a teacher in the School, with other teachers and students from the School, Barcelona, 2001). 8. Mammoth bone dwellings, Mezhirich (Ukraine), circa 20.000-15.000 B.C. 9. Erechtheion Acropolis, Athens, circa 410 B.C. 10. Federico Zuccari, Zuccari Palace, Rome, 1590-1592.

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31. Santiago Calatrava, ojo-planetario, Ciudad de las Ciencias y de las Artes, Valencia, 1991-2001 (foto: A. Estévez). 32. Santiago Calatrava, vientres de monstruos legendarios y míticas ballenas evocados en las galerías subterráneas de la Plaza de España, Alcoy, 1992-1995 (foto: A. Estévez). 33. Santiago Calatrava, árboles-cubierta, Estación de Oriente, Lisboa, 1993-1998 (foto: A. Estévez). 34. Antoni Gaudí, “estallido de una nueva primavera” en forma de fachada viva, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, 1883-1926 (foto: A. Estévez), 35. Gustav Peichl, Centro de Comunicación, Aflenz, 1976-1979.

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36. Emilio Ambasz, Laboratorios de Investigación Schlumberger, Austin, 1983. 37. Alberto T. Estévez, Proyecto Barcelona Verde, Barcelona, 19951998 (foto: Pere Vivas). 38. François Roche (y Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro: R&Sie), Museo de Arte, Évolène, 2003: el modelo fue realizado en el Taller de Arquitectura Digital de la ESARQ por profesores y alumnos de la Escuela, Barcelona, 2003 (foto: A. Estévez). 39. Kas Oosterhuis (y ONL architects), Noord-Holland Pavilion, Floriade Haarlemmermeer, 2000. 40. El Bosco, El Jardín de las delicias, h. 1510.


36

34

38 40

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21. Santiago Calatrava, eye-planetarium, Ciudad de las Ciencias y de las Artes, Valencia, 1991-2001 (photo: A. Estévez). 32. Santiago Calatrava, bellies of legendary monsters and mythical whales invoked in the underground galleries of the Plaza de España, Alcoy, 1992- 1995 (photo: A. Estévez). 33. Santiago Calatrava, tree-roof, Oriente Station, Lisbon, 1993-1998 (photo: A. Estévez). 34. Antoni Gaudí, “outburst of a new spring” in the form of a living facade. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, 1883-1926 (photo: A. Estévez). 35. Gustav Peichl, Communications Centre, Aflenz, 1976-1979.

36. Emilio Ambasz, Schlumberger Research Laboratories, Austin, 1983. 37. Alberto T. Estévez, Green Barcelona Project, Barcelona, 1995-1998 (photo: Pere Vivas). 38. François Roche (and Stephanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro: R&Sie), Art Museum, Évolène, 2003: the model was made in the Digital Architecture Workshop at the ESARQ by the School’s teachers and students, Barcelona, 2003 (photo: A. Estévez). 39. Kas Oosterhuis (and ONL architects), Noord-Holland Pavilion, Floriade Haarlemmermeer, 2000. 40. Bosch, The Carden of Earthly Delights, circa 1510.

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Consequences It is clear that world consumption of electricity must be radically reduced. For example, Barcelona, with a small area and very high density, spends ten million euros annually just on the maintenance of its street lights (repairs, repainting, etc.), this, in addition to the consumption of electricity. Barcelona’s scenario may be multiplied by cities globally pointing out the critical need for alternative energies our research is addressing. I have no doubt bioluminescence will substitute for artificial lighting as part of a solution to these problems. Like much in conventional medical research, genetic research for architecture requires precautions with special emphasis on avoiding accidents and contaminations. We are setting strict procedures for testing in hermetic environments, breeding plants without pollen, while we investigate naturally occurring plant GFP in chloroplast in order to avoid pollination problems. From the beginning this research has been conceived as architectural and urban. Today, our seven GFP lemon trees (and their implications) with living, luminescent leaves (published here for first time) present infinite possibilities. As we look back to the pioneering work of genetic artists such as Eduardo Kac, we may project evolving science, architecture, and design collaborations where genetics becomes integral to architectural research and production.3]

3 See Kac, Eduardo, “Transgenic Art�, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, v. 6, num. 11, 1998.

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Imagen-Manifiesto, “La casa perfecta, o una casa no es una caja”, Alberto T. Estévez, Barcelona, 2006: el primer espacio genesiaco del ser humano, o, después de milenios de enseñanza de la naturaleza, de la que debemos aprender, ¿por qué las casas son cajas, aún?1 Manifesto-image, “The perfect house, or a house is not a box”, Alberto T Estévez. Barcelona, 2006: the first genesical space of human being or, after thousands of nature teaching years from there we need to learn, why still today houses are boxes?1

1 Alberto T. Estévez, “Arquitecturas Genéticas: ‘la casa perfecta’, o una casa no es una caja…”, en A. Estévez, L. Cirlot, A. Casanovas y otros, Arte, Arquitectura y Sociedad Digital, Publicacions i Edlcions Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2007, pp. 1 y 117-122.

1 Alberto T. Estévez, “Arquitecturas Genéticas: ‘la casa perfecta’, o una casa no es una caja...“, in A. Estévez, L. Cirlot, A. Casanovas and others, Arte, Arquitectura y Sociedad Digital, Publicacions i Edicions Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2007, pp. 1 and 117-122.

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DE “VISIONES ARQUITECTÓNICAS” Y TODO LO DEMÁS

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(Fragmento) publicado en INDE Informació i Debat, pp. 46-49, Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya, Barcelona, enero 2006.


Curioso... a “tener visión” y a “tener visiones” se le da un significado bien distinto. Aunque ambas expresiones sólo difieran en un –en apariencia– inocente sufijo de dos letras. Por pasar simplemente de un singular a un plural resulta que uno y otro se sitúan en orillas opuestas. Así, llama la atención que “tener visión” sea algo positivo, apreciado, incluso buscado por los cazatalentos. Pero si se tiene en plural, “tener visiones” sea todo lo contrario, y hasta despierte cierta hilaridad. De ahí que aplicado esto a las personas, ya con una misma y única palabra, la ambigüedad está servida. Pues un “visionario” tanto puede ser una persona que se adelanta a su tiempo o tiene visión de futuro, como una persona que, por su fantasía exaltada, se figura y cree con facilidad cosas quiméricas. Ahora bien, más curioso todavía es ver como muchas veces hasta su significado elogioso se presenta en nuestros pagos más bien como negativo y menospreciable. Ciertamente vivimos tiempos perversos (aunque de hecho no son ninguna novedad, pues los vivimos desde el affaire de la manzana), cuando se busca restarle el precio debido, depreciar, lo que tiene auténtico valor, y viceversa. (…) En definitiva, visiones arquitectónicas en unos, más bien miopías en otros, y en todos, miradas, que son de las visiones sus más atentas parientes próximas… Miradas, por una de las frases más felices oídas en la sala de actos de nuestro Colegio (de Arquitectos de Cataluña) a lo largo del ya agotado año 2005. Una de esas que merecen esculpirse en letras de oro. En este caso pronunciada en el famoso encuentro “Barça-Madrid” auspiciado en primera persona por Carlos Ferrater: el dos de mayo, como quien no quiere la cosa, Carlos Puente (algo así como el Antonio López de nuestra arquitectura), dejaba mágicamente flotar sobre los presentes un “no miréis lo que hacen los arquitectos, mirad lo que miran los arquitectos”. Pues, si eso que miran les hace adelantarse a su tiempo y tener visión de futuro, tanto mejor para la entera humanidad y su progreso. Claro que entonces, lo quieran o no ellos mismos, sus amigos y sus enemigos, merced a la Real Academia Española, por definición se convierten automáticamente en visionarios. (…) “Arquitectura es visión”.

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ARCHITECTURE IN VIRTUAL 2.0 COMMUNITIES

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Published in “Arte y arquitectura, net.art y universos virtuales” , pp. 240-246, AASD, Barcelona, 2008


Summary This text presents some conclusions regarding the kind of architecture that we can find in virtual communities in the Internet’s parallel universe. These conclusions have been reached after much research by a large team of the ESARQ (School of Architecture at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), under the direction of Prof. Alberto T. Estévez. From the onset, we can highlight the enormous naïveté in architectural creation that has yet to fully discover the potential of new technological resources. Infinite mediocrity seems to drag the greyish world of real architecture into virtual architecture. As opposed to the overwhelming optimism that we should feel when contemplating the wondrous, unexplored and boundless panorama that opens up before our eyes. Founded on the perennial human need to dream, this adopts a special exhilaration in such virtual communities, whose architecture should also consider taking a step towards a version, which we also suggest at the end. “Wanted: real architect, specialising in virtual architecture, with real university degree, for real estate venture in a virtual world, with real economic retribution, from a virtual Web community.” Ad posted on the Internet (www.gencity.org) Early in the 21st Century, when it seemed that art and architecture were trapped in the dead end of remakes, “neos” and all their possible mixtures, two new and relevant techniques appeared: biological and digital (or biodigital, as their fusion is the most advanced spearhead), genetic and virtual techniques. Having said this, the possible issues of condemnation have not changed; they remain the same, “ever since Cain killed Abel”: injustice, genocide personal extreme situation that are as ubiquitous as ever, as they were when depicted by Goya, Munch or Kirchner, among so many others that have configured our history of art. On the other hand, now that the world’s population has multiplied and spread with a significant increase in purchasing power in large areas and social groups, when those who are devoted to contemporary art can be counted in the thousands, and can be found in every comer of our globalised planet, when it is impossible to exhaustively follow the development of any issue whatsoever, it is at this point that the “forms of collective art” acquire a new meaning. They become better adapted to the times, and thus, possibly more exciting. Consequently, the (biodigital) resources, the (human) issues and the doers/receivers (collectives) become the three main factors for evaluation and criticism. Indeed, the first actions and creations, the first discoveries, indicate that this exploration is already underway. However, the power of the biological and digital tools is such that we can sense that we are on the threshold of something far greater. Something to which the “2.0” reference in the title relates to. Understanding that, “architecture in virtual communities” does not require that we define or debate the terms “architecture,” “community” or “virtual.” A worthy introduction of what we are not going to address in this text can be found in Gonzalo Vélez Jahn’s article, “Architecture in Virtual Communities” that is available on the Internet1. In this article, we can already find some considerations on what a virtual community is, or is not, as well as a summarised history of virtual

1. VÉLEZ JAHN, Gonzalo, “Arquitectura en las comunidades virtuales: lo que va de ayer a hoy... y sigue para mañana...”, Arquitecturarevista, vol. 3, num. 2, pp. 15-30, UNISINOS - Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, July-December 2007.

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1. Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Barcelona Project: creación genética de plantas bioluminiscentes para uso urbano y doméstico, Barcelona, 20032006 (ilustración: Aleix Bieto y Gabriel Montañés). 2. Alberto T. Estévez (con Marina Serer), Ceci n’est pas un pavillon, reforma genética blanda y comestible del Pabellón alemán de Barcelona de Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona, 2007 (foto: A. Estévez). 3. Bernard Cache, Digital Barcelona Pavilion, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2001 (foto: Bernard Cache). 4. Alberto T. Estévez (con Agustí Fontarnau), investigación genética para obtener elementos vivos, materiales de construcción y espacios vivos que puedan ser útiles a la arquitectura: Laboratorio de Arquitectura Genética, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (foto: Alberto T. Estévez).

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5. Julián Ardila y Andrea Bezerra (con Karl S. Chu, tutor), Biodigital being, Máster de Arquitectura Biodigital, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 6. Dennis Dollens (con Affonso Orciuoli y con los estudiantes del Máster), Tensegrity Barcelona Tower, Máster de Arquitectura Biodigital, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (foto: Alberto T. Estévez). 7-9. Alberto T. Estévez, Consultorio Médico G., Barcelona, 2008: “No models, no moulds” (ya “no modelos, no moldes”), tecnologías CADCAM para producir directamente arquitectura real a escala 1:1 (Fotos: Alberto T. Estévez / Dibujos: Ernesto Bueno, Juan Cardenal, Diego Navarro, Guillem Torres / CNC: Pablo Baquero, Affonso Orciuoli, Daniel Wunsch).


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1. Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Barcelona Project, Barcelona, 2003-2006: genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use (illustration: Aleix Bieto and Gabriel Montañés). 2. Alberto T. Estévez (with Marina Serer), Ceci n’est pas un pavillon, Genetic Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, 2007: soft, edible, genetic remodelling of the Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion in Barcelona. (Photo: Alberto T. Estévez). 3. Bernard Cache, Digital Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, 2001: produced at the ESARQ (UIC) Digital Architecture Laboratory (photo: Bernard Cache). 4. Alberto T. Estévez (with Agustí Fontarnau), genetic research to obtain living elements, building materials and living spaces that can be useful to architecture: Genetic Architectures Laboratory, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (photo: Alberto T. Estévez).

5. Julián Ardila and Andrea Bezerra (with Karl S. Chu, tutor), Biodigital being, Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (drawing: Julián Ardila and Andrea Bezerra). 6. Dennis Dollens (with Affonso Orciuoli and the Master’s degree students), Tensegrity Barcelona Tower, Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree, Digital Architecture Laboratory, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (photo: Alberto T. Estévez). 7-9. Alberto T. Estévez. G. Doctor’s Surgery, Barcelona, 2006: “No models, no moulds!”, CAD-CAM technologies to directly produce real architecture at a natural scale of 1:1 (Photos: Alberto T. Estévez / Drawings: Ernesto Bueno, Juan Cardenal, Diego Navarro, Guillem Torres / CNC: Pablo Baquero, Affonso Orciuoli, Daniel Wunsch).

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BIODIGITAL ARCHITECTURE

Published in The new realm of architectural design, pp. 681-686, eCAADe / Istanbul Technical University - Faculty of Architecture / Yildiz Technical University - Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul, 2009

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Introduction The latest biological and digital technologies offer new possibilities and benefits for the production of new architecture: There is vast potential in the natural world if we work with DNA as though it were “natural software”, and in the digital realm if we work with software as though it were “digital DNA”. Pioneers in these fields converge in the Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree, with the Genetic Architectures Research Group and Ph.D. Programme, at the ESARQ (UIC), in Barcelona. The purpose of this article is to put forward the theoretical basis and some of the research carried out to date. Biodigital Architecture It is perhaps no coincidence that Barcelona -the city of Antoni Gaudí, also where Salvador Dalí prophesied that genetics will change the future of architecture- should have seen, from 2000, the real application of genetics to architecture; with the creation of the world’s first genetic architecture laboratory and the first digital production workshop at a Spanish school of architecture; with the creation of the first research group and the first systematic post-graduate programme on these subjects, the Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree and the Genetic Architectures Research group & Ph.D. Programme, at the ESARQ (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya). Work has begun on using genetics to meet architectural objectives and on research into the use of new digital technologies to produce architecture at the real scale. We can now see the advantages of this genetic, biodigital architecture made of materials that emerge, that “grow” of their own accord, thanks to systems of natural or digital self-organization, when DNA and software are the new materials of a new architecture, and when genetic and cybernetic systems are the new systems of a new architecture. It is fascinating to see the great potential of the natural world if we work with DNA as though it were “natural software”, and the vast possibilities of the digital world if we work with software as though it were “digital DNA” (Estévez, 2003). Our field of interest is biodigital architecture as the fusion of genetics and cybernetics, at a time when new biological and digital technologies have given us the conditions for a new architecture. In this sense, the following diagram is based on the above:

The classical past

The modern present

cronology

...until the 19th century

formal system

vertical

horizontal

compression

traction

living (natural and/or digital)

concrete, steel, plastic

natural ADN (plant, flesh and bone) and/or digital software

automated mass production of identical parts

natural growth and/or robotized production of different parts

structural sistem material sistema production system or process

stone, brick, timber manual production of individual parts, all different

20th century (to current times)

The biodigital future 21st century onwards organic

Alberto T. Estévez, Diagram of the three ages of architecture (Estévez, 2005).

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This gives us two approaches to the application of genetics to architecture, with different research objectives: 1. Genetic research to obtain living elements, building materials and useful living spaces for architecture. For example, we are now in the second phase of the genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use (Estévez, Autumn 2005; Estévez, 2007): illustrated with fig. 1, the Genetic Barcelona Project of the Author, and with photos of the UIC Genetic Architectures Laboratory (fig. 4), in Barcelona: the first time in history that geneticists are working for architects. Research is being carried out into the genetic control of growth to develop living cells that are converted into building materials and habitable space that are “directed” by means of their specific genetic design (fig. 2), thereby producing architecture that is 100% ecological, recyclable and sustainable, with maximum energy-saving throughout the construction process and no need for manual labour, as its growth is natural. 2. Work on digital design and production seen as a genetic process. Knowing that “which can be drawn can be constructed” (Estévez, 2008 C), because that which can be drawn using digital tools has a digital DNA, which allows automated emergence, robotized self-construction and artificial growth. Using digital technologies to produce not more models or moulds as is habitual in today’s production systems [“No models, no moulds!” (Estévez, 2008 C)], but real architecture at the natural scale of 1:1, from viewpoints of genetic architectures (figs. 3 and 6-9 of different projects). This is a move beyond the mass production of uniform elements, since digital design and production can equally produce 100 identical or 100 different parts. Thus the two aspects of research are being carried out simultaneously. On the one hand, biotechnologies, architectural objectives with the application of genetics, such as the author’s Genetic Barcelona Project [(Estévez, Autumn 2005; Estévez, February 2007), fig. 2]. Or such as the Genetic Barcelona Pavilion, for a “soft, edible genetic remodelling of the Mies van der Rohe‘s German Pavilion in Barcelona” (fig. 2): with the sentence Ceci n’est pas un pavillon became the title of a “manifesto-project” or a “manifesto-image”. The work forms part of research into genetic control of cell growth, making living tissue grow as a building material. It was presented in the exhibition “Bios 4: Biotechnological and Environmental Art”, CAAC Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, 03.05.2007-02.09.2007. On the other, digital technologies, CAD-CAM to directly produce real architecture. As in the case of the Digital Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, by Bernard Cache (fig. 3): also known as Pavilion of L’Orme, this was the first building to be completely designed and produced using digital media. It was made in 2001 in the Digital Architecture Laboratory of the ESARQ (UIC), with the collaboration of the School’s lecturers and students. It was also presented in the exhibition “Architectures non standard”, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, 10.12.2003-01.03.2004). Or as in the case of the G. Doctor’s Surgery, also in Barcelona, by the author (fig. 7-9). This can be illustrated by other cases of recent work in the research project and postgraduate course in question. For example, the creation of architecture by researching strategies using digital morphogenetics, or work using genetic algorithms, mainly directed by Karl S. Chu at the Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree. These, thanks to graphic software and robotics become real architecture surfa132


ces, volumes and spaces: by experimenting with emergent forms using substitutive systems that function on the basis of algorithms, creating patterns of data to which given geometric equivalencies are applied, can translate as “proto-architectural” forms (fig. 5). Alternatively, adopting approaches closer to bionics, the Barcelona Tensegrity Tower was designed, modelled in 3D and created digitally at real scale and to a height of 10 metres (fig. 6), directed by Dennis Dollens and produced in the Digital Architecture Laboratory, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2008 (Estévez, 2008 B). This project brings together tensegrity with biology, thanks to the cellular nature of the tower’s design, its irregular struts, all differing according to the branching, enveloping logic of phyllotaxis. Further, the morphological exploration of skins and membranes illustrates at which point tensegrity becomes organic and where variation can be bio-mimetically incorporated into the digital design. The project drew on a range of references, from Ernst Haeckel’s historical drawings of radiolaria to Buckminster Fuller’s structures. Finally, with the example of works presented here (figs. 3 and 6-9), the manifesto “No models, no moulds!” by the author of this article sets out to move beyond the limited use —weighed down by our immediate past— accorded to digital technology and exploit the giant’s step it represents over present-day production systems (see above the Diagram of the Three Ages of Architecture1. Its coherent utilization and its vast potential make it a challenge for the future, with the realization that the principal of these digital technological possibilities is to manufacture real parts, at a scale of 1:1, architecture in themselves, that require “no models, no moulds”. It is an architecture that is taking advantage of their conditions of emergency, self-organisation and automation. In fact, it will become a digital simulation of what a real genetic architecture could be in a natural environment. As advocated from the research line of “Genetic Architectures”, if we apply genetic techniques to the Earth’s real vegetation, transforming it into habitable spaces, we could create a real, living, soft and furry, free for all genetic architecture growing throughout the planet. A continuous city, which could embrace the entire world with seamless vegetation. The fascinating question is that now we can try to do this in a natural or in a digital automated way. For sure, this would be much better than 95% of the current architecture. An era where humans will be capable of effectively using 100% of the potential of what we call nature (Estevez, 2008 A). This is all that we have yet to achieve, committed architects have the gargantuan duty of improving the real world through architecture. We wish them strength and courage... Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Fundació “La Caixa”, Incasol (Generalitat de Catalunya) and all the people that have collaborated honestly, generously and respectfully for making possible this research.

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ALLES IST ARCHITEKTUR! Arquitectura es visión (¡Todo es arquitectura!)

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Texto pedido para su publicación con ocasión de la conferencia del mismo título, USMP, Lima (Perú), 2008


En un país muy muy lejano, un pequeño arquitecto con apenas 22 años se convirtió en el arquitecto más joven del reino. Por aquel tiempo empezó su primera casa, ya con una aproximación a lo medioambiental y a la sostenibilidad, cuando la palabra “ecología” ni siquiera aparecía en la prensa. Con consideraciones sobre energías alternativas, fue este el primer edificio solar-pasivo de su joven generación (Casa Gonzalo, Sigüenza, 1983-85). Eran tiempos en que tuvo frecuentes encuentros y largas conversaciones personales en Viena con algunos arquitectos visionarios de la corte austro-húngara, Hans Hollein (sobre quien desarrolló su primera tesis doctoral), Rob Krier, Gustav Peichl, y otros que naturalmente influenciaron sus primeros pasos.

Alberto T. Estévez, casa Gonzalo, Sigüenza, 198385 (edificio solar-pasivo)

Alberto T. Estévez, escuela de F.P.,Montgat, 1986-87 (con Agustín García)

ARQUITECTURA ES SOSTENIBILIDAD

ARQUITECTURA ES GEOMETRÍA, ABSTRACCIÓN, RITMO

Donald Judd, cajas.

Alberto T. Estévez, edificio de oficinas, Sabadell, 1991 (rotura de simetrías).

Robert Wiene, El Gabinete del Dr. Caligari, Alberto T. Estévez, mesas polivalentes, 1995.

ARQUITECTURA ES DINÁMICA

ARQUITECTURA ES EXPRESIVIDAD

Pero pronto fue descubriendo la obra que en el mismo momento aún estaban haciendo artistas como Donald Judd o Sol Lewitt. Así, en contraste y al margen del realismo que el establishment local determinaba debía hacerse en arquitectura, su fascinación por introducir la geometría pura, la abstracción neutra y el ritmo homogéneo en la arquitectura le hizo construir también el primer edificio –de la mencionada generación, que por entonces todavía no tenía ni 30 años– de lo que se ha llegado a tildar como “minimal” (Escuela de FP, Montgat, 1986-87).

Mark Rothko, Magenta. negro, verde sobre naranja.

Alberto T. Estévez, casa Nebrera, Sant just Desvern, 2003

ARQUITECTURA ES COLOR

Alberto T. Estévez, casa Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-95

Cubiertas como plataformas verdes vegetales

Alberto T. Estévez, Green Alberto T. Estévez, Facultad Barcelona Project, 1995-98 de Ciencias de la Salud (creación de un gran parque (UIC) Sant Cugat, 1996-2000 urbano con cubiertas verdes (con Rafael Diez y Umberto interconectadas: foto:Pere Glacometti). Vivas). Cubiertas verdes

ARQUITECTURA ES SURREALIDAD

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And when this reductionist tendency in architecture began his general diffusion -always without leave his interest in constructivity and functionality- he needed to introduce some dynamic, expressiveness and colour that was against to the Sachlichkeit, to the objectivity and materiality, to the plain rational-functionalism that dominated his city, specially in the 80’s, because the strength of the immanentist Barcelona’s School. In this line of expressiveness he arrived to build a house that at the same time was also the first building of his mentioned generation that introduced roofs as vegetal green platforms: roofs with alive plants besides other solar passive conditions (House Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-1995). Finally, his works with green roofs took him to create the Green Barcelona Project (1995-1998) that was introduced to the Major of Barcelona.

Kazimir Malevich, Alberto T. Estévez, House Composition nº56: Flying Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-95 aeroplane and blue moon. (marble’s flooring). Alberto T. Estévez, House Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-95 Dynamicing geometry of the space at the ground floor of a house for an aeroplane’s amateur

ARCHITECTURE IS SYMBOLIC

Giorgio de Chirico, Mystery and melancholy of a street.

Alberto T. Estévez, House Gómez, Almerimar, 1993-95 (back courtyard).

ARCHITECTURE IS METAPHYSIC

Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Barcelona Pavilion, 2007 (with Marina Serer). Genetic reform soft and eatable of the German Barcelona Pavilion: genetic control of growth, make growing alive cells for being architectural material ARCHITECTURE WILL BE SOFT AND FURRY

But at the beginning of the 90’s he began to be aware of some surreal, perhaps in a logical consequence of some symbolic that he also included in all his life: discovering that this subjectivity and metaphysic introduced richness in architecture. This was not far of his fascination with Antoni Gaudí’s works -the biggest visionary architect of the whole history- that enabled him to write some books and articles about him. With independence of that in his years at the school of architecture (in Barcelona!, not in Sidney...) he never heard a reference to him. All his life with his window pointed towards the Sagrada Familia, seeing day after day his rising to the sky, towers like an epiphany of architecture, and being inside every Sunday from his birth, and playing like a child in the Park Güell, and seeing in Barcelona streets other works of Antoni Gaudí as House Batlló, House Milà, House Figueras, etc. Also, further, the words that the first defender and hero of organicism Bruno Zevi write him personally was perhaps a strong background for expressiveness, dynamic and symbolic for his work: “We wish and we wish you to exclude symmetry, that was good for Franco. Viva Antoni (Gaudí)!” Also there was some important considerations for this kind of organicism, the understanding that surrealism is a way for the redemption of Santiago Calatrava’s work (about one who he published another book, and he did his second doctoral thesis, this time in History of Art), that he met also personally trough different times and conversations. In this sense, the city where Santiago Calatrava have built his first bridge and his first tower, is the same city of Antoni Gaudí, the city 140


where Salvador Dalí discovered that “the future of architecture will be soft and hairy or won’t be”. And in this same city Alberto T. Estevez founded the ESARQ (UIC) in 1996, which Francisco Javier Barba Corsini qualified encouragingly as an “emotional school”, a new generational school, in reaction to the sachlich rational-functionalism of the so called Barcelona School. Thus it might not be a coincidence that in the same city was started in 2000 the effective implementation of genetics in architecture, with the creation of the first genetic architecture laboratory in the world, with the creation of the first digital fabrication laboratory in a Spanish school, with the creation of the first postgraduate programme about these subjects, the Genetic Architectures and Biodigital Architecture Master and Ph.D.

Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Alberto T. Estévez, Genetic Barcelona Project, 1st phase Barcelona Project, 1st phase Barcelona Project, 1st phase 2003-06 (Ilustration; Aleix 2003-06 (Ilustración; Aleix 2003-06 (photo: A. Estévez Bieto & Gabriel Montañés). Bieto & Gabriel Montañés). with conventional reflex camera). Vision of Barcelona with the magic light of bioluminescent trees.

Genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use: real appplication of genetics in architecture

Comparison between a bioluminescent leaf of one of the seven first lemon trees with GFP for urban and domestic use, and another leaf without GFP of the same type, called lemon tree type “fine”.

Alberto T. Estévez, Alberto T. Estévez, Consulting rooms G., manifesto-image “the perfect Barcelona, 2008 (Ilustration: house, or a house is not a Diego Navarro). box”, Barcelona, 2006. CAD-CAM technologies for producing real 1:1 scale architecture from genetic points of views.

ARCHITECTURE IS VISION

The big fascination comes from understanding the strong potentiality of natural world if you work with DNA like a “natural software”, and the great possibilities of digital world if you work with software like a “digital DNA”. All this took him to research architectural objectives for genetics. For example, his Genetic Barcelona Project (1st phase, 2003-06 / 2nd phase, 2007-10 / 3rd phase, 2011-14), that has begun the genetic creation of bioluminescent plants for urban and domestic use: the first time in history that geneticists work for architects. Or also for example about the genetic control of growth, make growing alive cells for being architectural material, illustrated by the Genetic Barcelona Pavilion (Ceci n’est pas un pavillon: a genetic reform soft and eatable of Mies van der Rohe’s German Barcelona pavilion, Barcelona, 2007). And also he worked from 2000 on in the research of using the new digital CAD-CAM technologies for producing real 1:1 scale architecture. This has special research possibilities collaborating with the architects that participate in the mentioned Master and Ph.D. (Mark Burry, Bernard Cache, Karl S. Chu, Dennis Dollens, Evan Douglis, Mark Goulthorpe, Michael Hensel, Neil Leach, Kas Oosterhuis, François Roche, Lars Spuybroek, Mike Weinstock, etc.). Research reflected also in his own work (for example, Consulting rooms G., Barcelona, 2008; Biodigital Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, 2008-09; Skyscraper at the seafront, Barcelona, 2008-09; Sporopollenin House, Barcelona, 2009; etc.). Everything culminates with the definitions that he has written and published in books and articles, about digital organicism as the first architectural vanguard of the 21st century.

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2ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BIODIGITAL ARCHITECTURE & GENETICS

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Published in 2ª Conferencia Internacional de Arquitectura Biodigital y Genética / 2nd International Conference of Biodigital Architecture & Genetics, pp. 6-7, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2014


When some years ago we opened the 1st International Conference of Biodigital Architecture and Genetics, we were urged by a dark horizon, about the entire planetary subsistence. In this 2nd International Conference of Biodigital Architecture and Genetics the urgency is no less big. We will have to fight every time more and more for the minimum conditions of dignity in human existence, at the same time that we feel a cultural pressure for a correct adaptation to new times to configure systematically the world that humans needs for today. Truly, the question is not a simple caprice, neither an intellectual necessity, neither only sensibility for losing less favoured people: now, the question is a global necessity, without reservations of classes, races or religions. As we declared some years ago, the whole planet is in front of danger of no-sustainability for all mankind. And by chance, now in this crucial moment, new techniques of an enormous potential are offered: biological and digital techniques. And even a fusion of both, in something that can be named biodigital architecture. It has incorporated the advantages proportioned by the understanding of genetics in both ways, the biological and the digital way, that permit to face with hope some continuity also worthy, but this time for the dignity for everybody. Then, we are in front of the challenge of creating the future tradition of biodigital and genetics. For this it is necessary that people work on three key elements: research, teaching and profession. This is exactly what we have been doing in Barcelona from 2000, with the Genetic Architecture Research Group and Ph.D. Programme, with the Biodigital Architecture Master’s Degree and with the Genetic Architectures Office. There we learn & teach, we make research and we design: knowing that there are sufficient differential parameters to predict a complete age’s change. Today, in the middle of the second decade of our new Century, it is time to explain, to check, to discuss fascinations, inspirations, experiences, that interested people on this topics have done in the developing of this biodigital architecture and genetics, up to now. Barcelona, Spring 2014

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With the healthy pride these words reveal to us, getting to know ourselves, recognising what we really are is the first step of this “learning from nature”, as we are nature. Undoubtedly, we have the duty requested in the aforementioned sentences, as well as the commitment, to move the sensitive hearts of people by means of our work, dedication and intelligence. It is a task that also resounds in this other sentence by Le Corbusier: “Gaudí was a great artist; only those who move the sensitive hearts of gentle people remain.” And, as Le Corbusier also said: “Architecture is the starting point of those who want to lead humanity towards a better future”, and now, more than ever before, architects are needed... Obviously, here in Barcelona, we have an advantage over others, because –as Antoni Gaudí said– “the inhabitants of the countries touched by the Mediterranean feel beauty with more intensity”. Let it be said –smilingly– that there are few places better than this one to study architecture. Nature, an eternal mirror Returning to the subject of trends, tastes and tendencies that come and go, as soon as their respective definitions have been pronounced their obsolescence begins. The moment one of them raises its voice declaring the others obsolete, it is signing its own death sentence. On the other hand, it has been confirmed that nature is an eternal mirror for human aesthetics, as well as for its aspirations. Year after year, generation after generation, nature never becomes obsolete and it never tires. It has always been, is and will be, as perennial as an open book, unique and indivisible. Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, imitation and /or learning. Biodigital architecture and genetics, defined as directly involved in its incardination “with” and “in” nature, is thus assured “durability”. It could even be said that it is a guarantee of “classicity”, and adapts to the times. Even more so when new techniques open up new fields that are still unexplored. We are living a great epic and heroic age. It is an age of opportunities where the brave and daring will launch themselves onto the unexplored and become the pioneers of the biodigital and genetics age. Thus, the closer the processes of architectural creation are to nature, the less obsolete and more “eternal” the result will be. It is necessary to listen to the language of nature and reply to it coherently if, in the end, nature and the entire universe are written in mathematical language, as Galileo Galilei suspected. We are talking about languages that are always valid and reduce the arbitrariness of our decisions when harmonising them. Science itself, “philosophy said, is written in this great book (I call the universe), which is permanently open to our eyes, but cannot be understood if we do not first learn how to understand the language and the characters it is written in. And it is written in mathematical language”. This provides us with control, efficiency and a harmonious accuracy that enables us to exclude arbitrariness as much as possible. In spite of the discouraging news –not without reason– that time and time again has us on tenterhooks, this present time is the best, as –like never before, although this is not the way it seemsrespect towards all creatures and towards our surroundings has increased. The need to understand that we are “protectors” of nature and guardians of the environment has grown, so as to avoid that the signs of destruction and death accompany us on our path in this world of ours. Every time a whole species is destroyed, something totally irreparable, a specific and unique molecular chain that expresses itself in a way we call life, is destroyed. On the contrary, the entire universe appears to us as a gift and –indeed– in it we discover a genuine grammar from which we do not only learn criteria for its use but also for its destiny, especially now that the development of genetics is opening up an incredible new cosmos of possibilities never seen within the known cosmos. In this context, and in the words of the one who does not mind being copied, we cannot only 246


understand ourselves as isolated beings, but it is not enough either to understand ourselves as a group, as a human group. This will still not be sufficient in order to be able to read the book of life completely. Human life is connected to the environment in which it develops and to the other beings present in this environment. Thinking human life is possible independently of the environment and other human beings could end up being an “idolisation” of the human being. The integrity of nature thus turns into an enormous challenge, and its consistent development to ensure our subsistence becomes an even great one, if possible. Precisely because we possess consciousness and intelligence, we have to live our lives with an unavoidable responsibility towards the entire universe. It is a responsibility that does not only consist in defending the earth, water and air as gifts that belong to us all, but also in protecting human beings against self-destruction. The whole planet is crying. We can feel it, hear it almost, and it is waiting for us to protect it: in the same way the human being is waiting. The solution is to be found at its origin, in nature and its teaching.

We can change our reality...

Planet’s forest lose every year the double of Portugal’s surface ENVIRONMENT

Every year disappear 16 millions hectares of trees due to industry

...from a newspaper

Alberto T. Estévez, Green Barcelona Project, 1995-98: creation of a huge urban park with green interconnected roofs.

Biolearning applied to architecture and design Everything can indeed be solved by learning (in depth) from nature. At all its levels, from the most “internal” and intra-molecular one, accessible today thanks to genetics, to the most “external” and superficial one, which has also been imitated by human beings from the moment they came into existence. It is not a coincidence, for instance, that human beings are attracted to the sight of fire, earth (rocks under the action of water and wind, geological crystals under the action of physical and 247


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Biodigital Architecture & Genetics  

This book is about the interdisciplinary of Architecture, Design, Art, Science, Technology, Theory, Practice, Biology, Digital, Genetics… Wi...

Biodigital Architecture & Genetics  

This book is about the interdisciplinary of Architecture, Design, Art, Science, Technology, Theory, Practice, Biology, Digital, Genetics… Wi...

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