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noMad a

behavioural

assembly

system


noMad a

behavioural

fabrication

system

a design proposal by: dmytro oleksandrovych aranchii | paul clemens bart | iris yuqiu jiang | flavia ghirotto santos developed at the architectural association school of architecture aadrl design research lab 2014/2015 in theodore spyropoulos’ studio. tutored by mostafa el sayed


noMad | introduction

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 6


‘noMad’, a design proposal on behavioural based assembly, was developed at the Architectural Association School of Architecture’s Design Research Laboratory,a 16-month post-professional design programme. AADRL Design Research Lab | Organised as an open-source design studio dedicated to a systematic exploration of new design tools, systems and discourses, targeting design innovations in architecture and urbanism, the AADRL actively investigates and develops design skills with which to capture, control and shape a continuous flow of information across the distributed electronic networks of today’s rapidly-evolving digital design disciplines. Pursued by self-organised design teams, the studio is collectively addressing an overall design research agenda - ‘Behavioural Complexity’ through shared information- based diagrams, data, models and scripts.

Behavioural Complexity V.1 | Behavioural Complexity will investigate architecture as an instrument engaging both material and social forms of interaction. Social scenarios will be coupled with material life-cycles as a way of speculating on how we live and the role architecture can play. 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 that are neither type- nor site-dependent, but instead evolve as ecologies and environments seeking adaptive and hyper-specific features. This performance-driven approach seeks to develop novel design proposals concerned with the everyday. The iterative methodologies focus on investigations of spatial, structural and material organisation, engaging in contemporary discourses of architecture and urbanism.

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noMad | content

1.1

design thesis • thesis statement • design features • design application

1.2

brief research • systems of | self structuring geometry | self-assembly | self-awareness & artificial intelligence • mobility in architecture • pancommunication in design • the notion of urban data unit •initial formfinding •geometrical properties •fabrication & actuation •unit to unit interface

2.1

2.2

mobile bodies •communicational framework •choreography of movement •ecology of machines | behavioural simulations | mechanical simulations

2.3

deployment •assembly sequence •collective behaviour •spatial configurations •rules of deployment •urban lifecycle

3.0

appendix •bibliography •behind the scenes •credits

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 8


11

051

135

251

339

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DESIGN THESIS


design thesis | thesis statement


noMad | design thesis

agenda | development of a self-assembling fabrication system utilizing machinic behaviour and real-time decision making to enable architecture with a sensory system. noMad proposes a behavioural fabrication system that marks a shift of our build environment as a finite lifecycle construct, but is instead looking for autonomous, non-finite and real-time solutions to adapt dynamically to the demands of its environment - constantly restructuring itself. In a self-assembling fabrication approach of ‚negotiated space‘, noMad aims to enable architecture with a sensory system, localising decision making by self-aware unit to unit communication instead of a deterministic, superimposed building plan. Anchored in the world of self-structuring polyhedra, noMad is based on principles of synergetics, the study of geometry in transformation and the impact of a local change on its global systems behaviour: a single unit can autonomously change state, shifting its state by a simple rotational translation from one polyhedra to the other. Hereby, noMad is operating on different scales of (collective) intelligence and behaviour, each autonomously self-assembling to the next higher order of organisation - from a highly mobile, nomadic states to high population spatial configurations. noMad proposes a system, that can self-regulate and adapt, react to outside influences and demands and encourages both interaction and communication.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 14


thesis statement

we propose....

?

!

! y/n

y/n

8

!

?

noMad a behavioural assembly system

that can

, and not

page 15


self structuring

noMad | design thesis

01_ non-finite non finite

mobility

we propose....

self-assembling

• no notion of building as a finite, static construct that remains unchanged until its demolishment

• after usage, systen can disintegrate or migrate to other self-awareness building sites nearby

03_ space-negogiation

!

temporary scaffolding local decision making // stochastic

?

?

!

! y/n

stochastic

self structuring

• localized, goal oriented decision making by unit to unit communication • bottom up strategies

y/n

deterministic • no imposed, fixed and finite masterplan • top down strategies

noM

a behavioural asse

mobility

non finite

05_self-awareness

that can

self-awareness

self-assembling

local decision making // stochastic

? • intelligent unit, aware of itself and it’s sorroundings ! and capable of taking decision and group behaviour

• no regular and unaware units, dependent on external power and/or sources with a finite purpose

y/n temporary scaffolding

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 16 self structuring

,


local decision making // stochastic

key design features

? !

02_mobility y/n mobility self structuring

self-awareness non finite

• nomadic systen that can autonomously transport to site by means of locomotion

• no liveless, static building material that depends on being externally placed

local decision making // stochastic

!

mobility

y/n

8

!

? 04_self-assembly self-assembling

self structuring self-awareness

Mad

embly system

temporary scaffolding

• space building capabilities inherent in the units body

• no external man or machine force needed for construction cycle

local decision making // stochastic

non finite

? !

and not

y/n 06_self-structuring

self structuring

self-assembling

non finite

• self-supporting qualties of polyhedral structure

temporary scaffolding

self-assembling

• no external systems of trusses, scaffolding and support material needed

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noMad | design thesis

, not ...

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 18


building lifecycle status quo

The new temples are already cracked Nothing but future ruins material for the next layer. - Blixa Bargeld ‘Collapsing New Buildings�

The current state of the production of our build environment is defined by its building lifecycle and finite use of labour and material in its production. In both energy and time intensive process, fabrication and construction is exclusevely coming into force for one sole, pre-defined purpose - and consequently its product demolished if either no longer in need or if its purpose merely adjusted or in need to adapt to changing dynamics or requirements. In stark contrast to the name-giving lifecycle of a living creature - unpredictable and highly adaptive - our notion of a building lifecycles is restrained as a static construct of limitations and predeterminations.

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design thesis | design principles


!

y/n design thesis | 01_non finite

1 noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 22


?

y/n

01_ non finite

The current state of the production of our build environment is defined by its building lifecycle and finite use of labour and material in its production. In both energy and time intensive process, fabrication and construction is exclusevely coming into force for one sole, pre-defined purpose - and consequently its product demolished if either no longer in need. In stark contrast to the name-giving lifecycle of a living creature - unpredictable and highly adaptive - our notion of a building lifecycles is restrained as a static construct of limitations and predeterminations. noMad - as a system more consonant to its biological role model - is non-finite in application, way of usage and site alocation, replacing the notion of building as a static construct that remans unchanged until its fundamental demolishment. Able to disintegrate when no longer needed, a non-finite system is can break down again to its simplest component or migrate to other building sites where, without material consumption, adjusting and adapting to changing dynamics or requirements in its environment.

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design thesis | 02_mobile

2 ? !

y/n noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 24


?

y/n

02_ mobile

To react intelligently to the demands of urban development and the transport network on all scales in the course of growing interconnectivity, noMad’s research focused on mobility through locomotion, material reduction, flexible configurability and an extensive integration of the interface of mobility and the build environment as the convergent evolution of the static concept of architecture. Conventional usage of liveless, static building materia depends on being externally placed to its destined location - to remain there, brick on brick, until it is manually removed again. As low performance infrastructure is becoming a major limiting factor of rapidly growing megacities, noMad is bringing together the resource saving benefits of independent locomotion infrastructure with the amenities of non-finite building. Designed as a mobile, nomadic system, noMad can autonomously transport itself to building site by means of locomotion.

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design thesis | 03_self assembling

3 noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 26


?

y/n

03_self assembling

Originating in the study of complex systems, the concept of self-assembly is an emergent process where pre-existing components of a disordered system find order and structure. Trough local interactions between its parts, a system can build an ordered structure that can be either static or dynamic. The idea of self-assembly - applied in architecture - can be a logical approach for a more responsive architecture, implying more comprehension on material behaviour, reconfigurability of spaces and a more intelligent system deployment. A self-assembling fabrication system is overcoming the dependency on man or machine force needed for its construction cycle. Machinic and robotic assembly instruments are not used as external devices, but are integral part of the building components themselves. Therefore, noMad’s space building capabilities are inherent in its units body design, allowing it to relocate, assemble and (de-)construct to reach a higher order of organization and complexity.

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design thesis | 04_self structuring

? !

y/n

4

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 28


?

y/n

04_ self structuring

noMad’s self-structuring qualities are inherent its geometrical properties. Due do its polyhedral structure, there is no necessity for external system of trusse, scaffolding or support material. Aiming to use the smallest self-structuring determinator, most explorations in self-structuring systems are anchored in the world of polyhedra. When talking about framing of space, the cube defends its undeserved fundamental significance as our main geometrical point of reference. Never having been subjected to experimental verification, the cubic plane of references still define our spatial understanding of up to today. It has been only in the last 50 years that polyhedra have been acknowledged as structural objects. A cubic frame would always be unstable due to its six degrees of freedom and collapse, stabiliziation requires e.g. the joining of the vertices by six additional struts. The tetrahedra described by these diagonals alone could arguably be seen as the more direct initial for a minimum rigid three-dimensional frame

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design thesis | 05_self awareness

? !

5

y/n

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 30


?

y/n

05_ self aware

The idea of “self” in systemic thinking specifies any type of system that has capability of finding order of a higher hierarchy through local interactions between parts. It should be one that reacts to inputs, translating it into outputs based in the internal logics of the system. It’s through the observation of specific parts that one can understand the larger system. To enable architecture with a sensory system, each building block requires a certain degree of self-awareness. With each component being aware of the state its in, the state of its surrounding and able to communicate this with neighboring units , independent solution finding is made possible for the system. This self-awareness is reached through simple computational means of “states” on a voxel based grid, i.e. clearly defined neighborhood relationships (i.e. location on grid, kind of allowed neighborhood density etc) and clearly defined range of states (i.e. degree of transformation, open or closed components, available as potential input etc.). If a building block is not given a sense of “identity”, it is incapable of independent decision making or intelligence.

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design thesis | 06_space negotiating

? !

y/n

6

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 32


?

y/n

06_ space negotiating

Corresponding to its self-dependent rules of awareness, assembly and structuring, noMad follows a fabrication approach of negotiated space. In a neither solely bottom up nor top down strategy, the system (re-)acts goal oriented. As a self-organizing system, it is not following a deterministic, superimposed masterplan. Localized interaction and decision making is enabled through unit to unit communication, negotiationg each individuals aims of mobility and space-making in a resulting higher order of swarm behaviour. Formations can therefore reach an ordered state of temporal equilibrium, performing differently than its isolated components, but always shift back to dynamic decentralization of local interactions, re-configures a system triggered by random fluctuations

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design thesis | application


design thesis | scales of behavioural complexity

S_

sin eu gl

n it

scales of operation |

single unit |

Through the use of active and passive geometry shifting components the system can reconfiguring its global behaviour. Based on self-structuring qualities of polyhedra, the research is engaging the issues of mobility, self-structuring and space-making.

Beginning from its smallest operational scale, the single unit, the system is still capable of simplest decisions and actions, such as changing the state of the unit, limited locomotion, connecting and disconnecting from an global system. The unit is the main building block, based on a simple rotational movement of the faces of an octahedron around the vertices of its neighbor. Within this transformation, the unit starts from octahedral state, expands to an icosahedron, cuboctahedron, back to icosahedron an and octahedron again. Central design features focus on the activation of the single unit through internal controls and mechanics, possibilities of the single unit to self-connect and disconnect to system, mobility through locomotion, soft faces and control over its internal equilibrium.

When applied, noMad’s system of assembly operates on three distinct scales of intelligence and autonomy. Each scale is autonomously self-organizing and self-assembling to reach its next higher order of organization.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 36


L_s

M_ m

ial

ob

pa t

ctive

body

le col

ile nomadic body |

high population collective |

The formation of nomadic bodyplans - both through detrministic and stochastic means - is where the intelligence of the system starts. A logic of potential shape grammar combinations is defines the body like a genetic sequence: The ecology of machines shows creature-like characteristics and highly specific behaviour both due to their individual bodyplans, i.e. the physical body, and its sequence of activation, i.e. choreography of movement. The choreographies enable features and abilites such as lifting matter, walking or snake-like locomotion, rotational or translating arms and cranes etc. Only a few of used components having active capacities while the rest of the structure reacts passively.

In the scenario of high population settlements, parts of the system lock in, losing their highly mobile features in favor of spatial and structural configurations. Transformation is now used for optimization & adaptation through reconfiguration, i.e. temporary scaffolds during its own build-up process, lifting up of extensions and outer parts of the structur, or temporarilty repositioning to allow another body to get in place. Testing different deployment strategies and time based form finding through motion, fabrication driver of higher organisations is the catalogued behaviour of nomadic bodies - meaning every larger superstructure accumulation is defined by its multiple bodies coming together.

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design application | urban lifecycle

urban lifecycle |

stage 03

stage 02

stage 01

The system goes through distinct phases of operational modi from varying degrees of mobility and urban interventions with architectural deployment. In everyday passive mode aggregations work as a distribution hub for other functions of urban scanning and intervention. Within their vicinity a hub sends out mobile nomadic bodies to explore with the agenda of data mining, scanning and evaluating the city using open source data infrastructure and an internal sensory system. When a site for deployment is identified according to potential for building or urgency for intervention they report back to their hub to send of units on demand to migrate on site where the assembly and construction part as urban intervention takes place. After usage, the system disintegrates and migrates back to its distribution hub or other interventions.

vertical deployment

pillar population

canopy reconfigurations

total units in system 135 874

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 38


In a full building lifecycle one can observe the various building strategies and capabilites of the system and how it is capable to adapt and react on each scale, from horizontal organization on the ground to build up a base for vertical build up and multiple deployments, the material itself actively climbing and deposited horizontally and vertically through existing structure. Units negotiating with already build structures and deploying new scaffolds along them or adapt reconfiguration without the need of new units entering the system, but a re-positioning of existing structures allowing new configurations. In an urban scenario, the system is adapting to changing needs and scenarios of deployment during the pass of the day, entering and leaving building sitse on demand and migrating on an urban scale.’. noMad creates a living cycle of endless evolving scenario. We imagine noMad to be a part of the city integrated into its daily life, as an infrastructure responding to us on many scales.

total assembly time 32:34 h

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design application | rules of deployment

real time deployment | By using open source platforms to harvest the digital layer of the city - the internet of things - the parts of the city and urban infrastructure that already openly talk to us,such as the tower bridge twittering its status of open and closeness, inform the and get into the conversation with our system to communicate the state of the city. A parametric map of London is used to live trace areas of interest for the system to deploy according to specific urban constraints - for example open spaces - and dynamic constraints - high convergence of people - to capture urban temporality. Collected data from the city (weather stations, participatory sensing of people and internet feeds) are made available in open source platforms like open street maps and xively and can be directly linked to urban analysis and direct input to both behavioural simulations and prototypes

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 40


To improve the nomadics bodies ability to explore the city and learn from their environment, different models of global organization were tested that are environmental awarene and capable of real-time communication. Different mobile body-plans and their unique movement patterns are linked to the usage of real-life input, i.e. real time environment and real time data by giving the nomadic body a sensory system, both through environmental awareness and mining of urban data as well as the ability to communicate this data with another.

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architecture, that demands,,,

. Nomadic S ett l

y!

obilit m ..

nts Beduin Tent (date unknown)

Ron Heron - Walking City (1964)

Inhabitabl

eI

nf e uctur str ra

sm

e em

Mobile Urb an i

N55 - Walking House (2009)

architecture that demands mobility | Architecture is exposed to change. Change may occur in site conditions (triggered by change in atmosphere and/or nature) or in programmatic demands (developing social dynamics). Change demands flexibility, flexibility demands mobility. In the city of of London, one in five of its population, meaning over 800 000 people, are commuting daily, raising by 10% in 10 years. Millions of people rely on the capability of transportation systems each day. Especially with todays complex growth of megacities, new city regions sprawl far beyond usual boundaries of one single city - the effectiveness of infrastructure lagging behind populations needs. Mobilty low performance infrastructure is becoming the limiting factor of rapidly growing megacities. This concept of urban temporality and its higher then ever reliance on mobility is solely ‘abgewälzt’ on the individual’s mobility, ‘urban nomad’ is long synonymous for today’s city population. The city surrounding the human remains as a static construct with little ability to adapt to chaging needs. Our current approach to architecture and urban development results in delayed reactions with no possibilty to respond in real-time, demanding long procedures of manual planning and concessions. Todays society’s demands not only ‘urban nomads’ but ‘nomadic urbanism’.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 42


Extrem eE

n

Post-

Extr em e

Dis as

Sce narios Shigeru Ban - Paper Shelter Haiti (2010)

nments viro En

r te

s ment on vir Richard Horden - Ski-House (1991)

o no m t u a

y!

...

application scenarios

NASA - Space Station (2010)

architecture that demands autonomy | The need for autonomy, i.e. non-human reliance, in architecture is primarily given by site-specific constraints - especially in the beginning and end of a bulding lifecycle, i.e. the process of fabrication and dismantlement. Aggravated conditions of construction in scenarios of extreme environments - that are either hazardous or difficult to reach for human labour - require either means of pre-fabrication and specific transportation to site or strategies of non-human on-site assembly. “Extreme� hereby can imply physical obstacles - of permanent (like extreme heat or cold, extreme heights or depths) or temporary (post-disaster scenarios, like earthquakes or flooding) nature. Besides site-speficic constraints, programmatic conditions like non-human inhabitable spaces, research or space stations Architecture enabling either autonomous fabrication or maintenance is being beneficially applied in fields of high density and utilization, i.e. in todays megacities, where machinic and automated decision making and ability of self-repair has become potentially more efficient then manual labour.

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noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 44


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design thesis | fields of research Ma ch in ic

vio ha Be r

Fields of

how?

Machinic Behaviour | noMad’s research is concerned with the system’s machinic behaviour, including aspects of fabrication and simulation of material and physical behaviour of our system. Due to its space-packing, self-structuring and kinetic requirements, the system is grounded in the world of polyhedra and synergetics, the study of systems in transformation. The research deals with geometrical explorations, especially transformational geometry, their spatial configuration, reconfiguration and locomotion and the common aim of making. The central focus of making aims to develop demonstratable prototypes within a streamlined process of fabrication. The physical design-proposal of a unit is tested with various approaches of embedded mechanics and constructions in order to activate and realiably control the systems movement. Digital simulations of global system behaviour resp. impact of local transformation on physical and mechanical behaviour are developed to catalogue emergent phenoma, both under space-making and structural - ‘static’ criteria as well as ‘dynamic’ properties, i.e. reconfigurability, flexibility and mobility.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 46


Research

Co mm

types of behaviour

un

tio ica

n Behaviour

why?

Communication based Behaviour | In order to define the system’s internal motivation or performative criteria, particular problem-solving, goal oriented simulations are developed, emulating behavioural and communicational aspects of the system. A computational abstraction model of physical geometry is utilized to emulate the behavioural and communicational aspects of the system. In these automated, goal oriented movement sequences, the communication between multiple bodies is driver for decision making. These simulations are driven by individual scenarios and situational responses. Bevavioural based simulations are conducted within a minimal framework of constraints like its reference to the groundplane. In course of the experiments, the system creates a self-imposed context to react to (such as maximum number of possibly arrayed passives without active unit or self-interlocking) to achieve a specific goal (finding another, reaching or avoiding an area of poential settlement, building up etc), As we are proposing to create a system that can self-regulate and adapt, but is not closed in itself but can also react to outside influences and demands, the research seeks to define both internal and external stimuli, encouraging both interaction and communication.

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design thesis | fields of research

how? G e o me t r i c

al E

lo xp on rati Spatial Con fig

on ati ur on

Reconfigu rat i

& LocoMotion

Fabricatio

Geometrical Exploration & Transformation | Grounded in the world of polyhedra and transformational geometry, the research engages with their specific space-packing, self-structuring and kinetic properties. Based on the theory of synergetics, the study of systems in transformation, the system seeks to explore the relation between platonic solids and fosters their highly specific geometrical attributes.

Spatial Configuration | Through the development of different computational models, the system’s space making abilities were tested and evaluated by means of different growth and branching logic of spatial collectives. The tests follow specific, simple goals - i.e. a bridge, a vault, a pillar, - or properties i.e. porosity, stability, efficiency - to perform compression based aggregations due to the component based nature of the system.

Reconfiguration & Locomotion | When studied in a collective scenario, the system’stransformational and geometrical specifics show emergent behaviour, enabling the system to create flexible, adaptive spaces and re-position itself by means of locomotion. Both a taxonomoy of creature-like bodyplans with specific mechanical behaviour as well as the assembly process of larger settlements is developed.

n&

t tua Ac ion noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 48

Fabrication & Actuation | Different mechanisms of activation are developed to automatize the unit to enable its control over its faces and transformational mechanism. Main aims are the ability to autonomously (dis-)connect and communicate to the system and a simple movement activation embedded within a streamlined fabrication process.


overview

why? Be hav iour

Autonomous Behaviour | Automated, goal oriented movement sequences and communication between multiple bodies is simulated within a computational abstraction model of physical geometry. Emulating the behavioural and communicational aspects of the system, bodies autonomously continue or re-calculate their individual movement pattern.

Autom ate d

Adap tiv e

viour ha Be

Adaptation & Localized Decision Making | Adaptive aspects of the system are enabled through localized decision making, through simple embedded intelligence and simple goals. A body autonomously adjusts and optimizes its own movement sequence according to new goals or environmental change. Colle

hav Be

ior

Collective Simulation | Simulation of larger populations is focused on the communication between units and therefore the development of rules of communication and interaction. These rulesets aim to control the crowd behaviour in goal-oriented self-organization - resulting in ‘negotiated space’, a hybrid of both bottom up and top down systems.. Colle

cti ve hav Be

ior

Sensory System | In order to fabricate demonstratable prototypes, the mechanicly actuated models are provided with a sensory system,. The use of micro-controlling and sensoric like proximity- and light sensoric enables the set of rules to execute physical commands and decisions.

cti ve

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B R I E F R E S E A R CH


brief research | artificial intelligence


brief research | artificial intelligence

artificial intelligence | self-awareness intro | self-learning Self learning started to be one of the most desirable achievements since cybernetics and robotics were founded. At the same time rapid development of self-assembly field (in particular modular robotics, which is self-reconfigurable, self-replicating or even self-repairing) provides us with both conceptual and technical opportunity to create intelligent and atomic/modular system adaptive to the human and responsive to changing environment: complex cohesive systems consist of same simple units with short range of trivial rulesets. Gordon Pask SAKI (Self-Adaptive Keyboard instructor) machine was an instance of machine-to- human and back interaction and double-beneficial process of learning, on one hand person was able to learn from machine preprogrammed response, and on the other hand machine could learn with a certain degree of precision from the human behavior reaching as follows the loop of self- learning. Thus self-learning seems to be the crucial part of self-assembly as bilateral process of interaction between people and the system. We are more interested in machine learning, nevertheless we can assume not only robotic learning from users and surrounding context, but also people’s ability to change their scenario and build new neural connections according to system behavior. For instance person is trying to avoid boring permanent view from the window (and he or she doesn’t know exact states of the system and doesn’t have yet such kind of spacial interior) and input this command into systems (modular habitation in this case). Then machine makes decisions related to input and develops a strategy based on self-learning algorithm improving result from time to time. On the other hand person/user gets new information about possible desirable positions (if not occupied by neighbours) and also learns to define new more sophisticated input next time.

early implementations | learning algorithms Self learning started to be one of the most desirable achievements since cybernetics and robotics were founded. At the same time rapid development of self-assembly field (in particular modular robotics, which is self-reconfigurable, self-replicating or even self-repairing) provides us with both conceptual and technical opportunity to create intelligent and atomic/modular system adaptive to the human and responsive to changing environment: complex cohesive systems consist of same simple units with short range of trivial rulesets. William Grey Walter’s Tortoises (first two named Elsie and Elmer) was probably the first instance of self-aware machines (as a logical result of his brain studies) being able to correspond to the environment switching between several task performance: wandering pattern, locking into a light, oscillating after encountering the obstacle and mirror dance (self-recognition including mating dance of two robots at the same time). The Interpretation of tortoise as a nonorganic living includes motor parts - wheels, forks, engines and battery; perception organs - photocell sensor and contact switcher; and finally the brain that consists of 2 neurons - wires between motor and sense units.! Unlike Wiener’s military oriented cybernetics Walter’s experiments were more amateur and science directed. Goal seeking and scanning together became to main concept of creation Nevertheless William Grey Walter was fully aware of tortoise’s possible military applications by using two photocells and transforming robot into self-directed missile. John Johnson also assumes the usage of tortoise’s photocell as a guiding fro the gun or robot itself as a carriage of the explosive being detonated contacting the obstacle. Anyway Walter always had an attitude to his invention and exhibited it as a model brain. Apparently we find it quite useful in terms of present paper’s topics as a first robotic intelligence that inspired scientist of next decades.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 54


self-awareness

Since that time humanity advanced much further towards artificial intelligence in terms of neural networks creation, complex adaptive systems with weighted connections. Contemporary scientific concepts use the apprehen sion of brain structure and actioning divides generally into supervised (providing of sample of answers or ‚teaching’ the system), unsupervised (clustering of information into unknown pattern) and reinforced (making decision based on previous outcome and adjusting the weights of network) branches of learning principle. Early Grey Walter’s experiments (inability just to sum neurons to achieve brain) and modern neural network algorithms opened a way for us to integrate intelligence in self-assembly systems. Given approach allows self-reconfigurable systems to define adaptive strategies along the process of adaptation and interaction with outer and inner world.

self-learning | contemporary robotics Nevertheless, what if we don’t want to define predetermined rules of movement? Zykov, Bongar and Lipson developed computational and physical models of robotic introspection (so called self- modeling) which involved 16 basic self-directed interactions with the environment. Researchers simulated situation of interconnection between curiosity and cognition in animals and humans for creating new kind of behaviour through the robotic introspection. Locomotion is achieved without any internal model at all only due to the learning process. Utilizing described approaches we have freedom to create total learning from the process of local behaviour to the global strategy. Without any movement algorithm machine starts to acquire skills of locomotion through the series of trials and failures which can be integrated into our strategy of self-assembly by architects and engineers by enduring modular structures with the ability of introspective learning or mixing it with more predefined motion algorithms (it doesn’t mean that deployment tactics should be predetermined as well, by the reason that they are two different learnings - motion ability and path/place finding optimization). Jason Yosinski and team created 4-legged robot that reminds unusual qudruped spider. As they suggested that translation from digital simulation to physical environment wouldn’t be so accurate and smooth, they started immediately from second one. Robot was able to improve basic hand-coded walking ability. Implementation was totally based on gait-learning algorithms of two major classes: locally searching models (based on parameterized motion) and evolving artificial neural networks (using platform of HyperNEAT generative encoding).! To be more precise, scientists explored 6 various parametric learning methods: uniform and Gaussian random hill climbing, policy gradient reinforcement learning (gradient descent), Nelder- Mead simplex, a random baseline, and a new method that builds a model of the fitness landscape with linear regression to guide further exploration. It was obvious from tests that all the variants were more successful than manually-designed walking strategy, however solely the linear regression and Nelder-Mead simplex algorithms outperformed a random base-line. Moreover, HyperNEAT provided the best result, 9 times faster physical motion than hand-coded behavior giving complex coherent motion patterns with multiple but coordinated leg movement frequencies. Although Paskian Universal constructor manifested self-replicating automata that was reconfigurating avoiding obstacle. It seems to be reasonable to continue with modern results in modular robotics. According to Hod Lipson, self-replication is observed in natural self-adaptive ‘machines’ such as crystals, waves and automata, the same principle became the basis of Molecubes. Approach of units reconfigurations of a cells of a building or modules as a building in the city that can be considered as megastructures. Structure combines computational simplification of the lattice/grid system and spacial ability of chain one. If we assume that the habitation is inside the giant molecube (test sample was only 10 cm edge) we should invent the technique to stabilize the horizontal ‘floor’ plane inside the transformable unit (interior of half of the cube). Moreover, even if we will decide to apply the Machine Metabolism principle of Cornell Creative Machine Lab’s team on self reconfiguration within cubic grid, we still need to deal with r!esulting rotation and horizontality problem in inner body of each particular moving building block.

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brief research | artificial intelligence

Obviously we have few possibilities to implement this transformation desire. One of them is to have equivalent spacial organization on each face (we are more interested in internal ones while external can be produced as a monoshell structure) of geometrical unit. Thus we will be able to use ceiling as a floor etc. (more suitable for public architecture, spaces with small amount of internal elements). The opposite example of habitation requires to introduce either internal shell rotating in the contrary direction to main movement or local compensatory mechanisms that translate and orient details of the interior according to the changing spacial orientation. And finally, method, in which all the internal filling (furniture, equipment, etc.) should be just fixed strongly enough and final state of every unit’s translation remains the same as initial with regard to horizontality and gravity. In first and second case we are able to assume the tools allowing person be inside during the whole project of self-reconfiguring locomotion process of the megastructure. However even the last option gives this ability if we implement small spherical compensating capsule for individual(s) or non gravity condition (decision should be made according to less resource consuming value) inside each module.

how predetermined it should be ? | softness Deterministic and stochastic reconfigurations are two ways to quickly aggregate large population of units. Latter means probabilistic and brownian-motion-like deployment of the system. Former, deterministic, is a strategy when modules are directly placed at the certain location (molecube example). Stochastic method is processed through ambient environmental energy for the transportation. Stochastic fluid environment could be simulated within the principle of fluid dynamics not requiring local force or locomotion skill as a passive self-organization ability. Technique is related to random arrival of new building blocks to the structure and provides ability to transform/morph into one of states of so called programmable matter where each living cell is programmed to serve certain mission within organism as in fluid environment. S!tochastic self-assembly was even proposed to serve rapid prototyping tasks at home. Hod Lipson and his colleagues compare self-reconfiguring robotics with metabolism process in living organism as a process of breaking down nutritions and creating new ones. It is also proposed by the Creative Machines Lab to reuse and recycle the modular elements as self-reparation of the structure (i.e. space stations, cell phone towers, skyscrapers) or exchange between different aggregations. Obviously we can easily expand this list to other typologies such including residential, commercial building and adaptive parts of museums or arenas. The usage could be extremely wide: from space expeditions (where we cannot afford to transport large variety of completely different units) to recovery not only from wear and tear, but from natural disasters like earthquakes changing only damaged modules and leaving the rest of survived construction. The system’s developing throughout a living cycle may be defined by implementing the genetic algorithm (planning path based on design constrains) as an alternative strategy to neural networks.! By doing mentioned steps we create kinematic structures allowing the 4th dimension to come to t!he architecture. Another possible direction of modular robotics and self-assembly notion is to introduce a soft module, a primary building block as in Cornell’s soft modular robot research which speculates on cubics’s modules flexibility attained by twist actuating cables between vertices of the cube; or authors’s AA research of term2 based on Fuller invention with transformable octahedron (into icosahedron, cuboctahedron and back to the initial state). In both examples we are dealing with 2 base states of geometrical unit - solid sustained (cube and octahedron respectively) and soft compliant (all the intermediate states of transformation). Despite of the fact that this technique brings additional flexibility and spacial organization with itself, it provides higher order of complexity formation). Despite of the fact that this technique brings additional flexibility and spacial organization with itself, it provides higher order of complexity that lies outside the main frame of the paper challenging more complex algorithms and c!omputation of behavioural logics.

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self-awareness

peaceful competition | game theory Game of theory is a crucial inherent part of self-learning processes in machines’ environment. It helps to achieve best possible results in certain branching situations using computer-based modeling. Forcasting provides us to have assumptions and expectations and adapt artificial intelligence behavior to constantly changing context. One of the most significant founders of game theory are Von Neumann and Morgenstern. The discipline sourced from probability theory and mathematical statistics. The most advanced concepts of predictions in games theory are related to conditions with predetermined state space (example - chess). The notions of root, tree of moves and leafs - the outcome from ending states. This tree structure allows us to develop a strategy designing functions even in multiplayer games, where several systems are aiming to “win” (read achieve best possible solution or outcome) simultaneously. However we and our program implementations should be quite selective in trees using effective reduction introducing clusters of similar states. Emergence in contemporary game theory made possible opponents to adapt to each other showing learning behavior during the process of “playing”. Humanity has ability to use existing approaches of game theory smartly making short forecasts based on recent data taking into consideration the level of detail that can avoid butterfly effect’s inaccuracies. Synchronizing urban pattern with self-assembly we are able to assure duplex mutation based on artificial intelligence and Earth’s resettlement network, totally emergent in its essence. Machines for living and work can serve the idea of global adaptation and follow the people migrations (for instance escaping from the ‘dead’ city of Detroit after collapse of car industry) reusing the same buildings and travailing with owners avoiding problems of new property searching and its equipment. Acting this way we propose individual mobility in terms of houses (at least for middle distances within certain country if legislation restrictions will be not flexible enough). This strategy can can also provide a behaviour of machines that shifts human decision interfering into it and helping human to optimize trip and settlement solution by combining robotic self-learning and human brain into productive interaction. Game of theory gives great opportunity to play adults game within a big scale of suburban megastructures and within them between each particular unit. Systems are able to compete in terms of demand on resources or more solar energy efficient location. Nonetheless if the first one achieved the optimal configuration and position, second or others (in multiplayer game) exclude its state from the search path and continue new peaceful competition.

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brief research | cybernetics

The Cybernetics in Robotic System | “For Walter, the complex behavior of his mobile electromechanical tortoises followed from a central design decision to make simple elements and networks of connections serve multiple purposes.” 1 Grey Walker’s tortoises were the first free-ranging, autonomous robots capable of exploring their limited worlds. The essence of an intelligent machine is that it has within its brain a capacity to conceive desired future states, and it has the degrees of freedom needed to create and adapt its actions in pursuit of those goals in the unpredictable circumstances of the immediate and remote environments. These flexible brain functions that enable systems to function in infinitely complex environments are not achieved by rule-driven symbol manipulation, which is at the heart of cognitive science and conventional artificial intelligence. Moreover, Walter emphasized analogue electronics to simulate neurodynamics at a time when most of his colleagues such as John von Neumann were developing digital computers to implement symbolic logic and deep arithmetic algorithms. His devices were the forerunners of currently emerging machines that are governed by nonlinear dynamics, and that rely on controlled instability, noise, and chaos to achieve continually updated adaptation to ever-changing and unpredictable worlds. He can well be said to have been the Godfather of truly intelligent machines.”2 2Personally speaking, the tortoise is the most appropriate example for us, to grasp the performative and adaptive ontology of cybernetics, also the origin of British cybernetics. So I start my description about cybernetics with this prototype and connect the concept with other science area to understand how cybernetics have been guided us to make a better design. However, the tortoise or other similar robotic creatures has no choice but on or off to give feedback to its environment. This is a kind of drawback of the system. We would like the robotic system now can have a life, a brain, and an ability to make a decision by itself according to the surroundings without human’s interventions. In this sense, we can only come to the point that the machinic creatures have life, and abilities to think and design. “The concept of a machine that would define a goal and seek it by scanning resonated with this interest in brains as biological systems that evolved through learning from the consequences of their own goal-oriented actions. He undertook to incorporate these two cognitive operations, goal-seeking and scanning, into an electronic ‘toy’ that would simulate these most basic characteristics of animal (and human) behavior.

1 John, Johnston. The Allure of Machinic Life: Cybernetics, Artificial Life, and the New AI. United States of America, The MIT Press, 2008. Page 2

2 “M. speculatrix – Scanning: It makes all the difference” Reuben Hoggett Moday, June 6th, 2011 <http://cyberneticzoo.com/ category/cyberneticanimals/grey-walter-cyberneticanimals/>

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_____________ Figure above: “W. Grey Walter’s Tortoises – Self-recongnition and Narcissism, Reuben Hoggett, Friday, February 17th, 2012. Accessed 25th March, 2014. JPG file. <http://cyberneticzoo.com/category/cyberneticanimals/grey-walter-cyberneticanimals/> Figure below: “M. speculatrix – Scanning: It makes all the difference” Reuben Hoggett Moday, June 6th, 2011. Accessed 25th March, 2014. JPG file. <http://cyberneticzoo.com/category/cyberneticanimals/grey-walter-cyberneticanimals/>

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brief research | mobility


brief research | mobility

mobility in architecture | “The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city. And so every year the day comes when the workmen remove the marble pediments, lower the stone walls, the cement pylons, take down the Ministry, the monument, the docks, the petroleum refinery, the hospital, load them on trailers, to follow from stand to stand their annual itinerary. Here remains the half-Sophronia of the shooting-galleries and the carousels, the shout suspended from the cart of the headlong roller coaster, and it begins to count the months, the days it must wait before the caravan returns and a complete life can begin again. 
” [ITALO CALVINO, The Invisible Cities (16)] In his book, “The Invisible Cities”, Italo Calvino presents several cities built under different aspects, describing them as unique landscapes and built spaces due to their inhabitants, as if they were singular dimensions that could also fit into the description of any city nowadays. When one begins to read the description of Sophronia, one of the cities of Calvino, instinctively think that the interim city is the amusement park. However, he twists this concept, suggesting that transient city is actually the one we know as permanent, the city of everyday, of the routine, the experiences, the flows and the trades. Sophronia only exists while there is interaction between the various groups that compose it. The immutability of architecture that constitutes society as we know it is exposed, leading to questions about how the city and its flows is perceived and experienced. The archetypes, as he describes them, exist, but the man is in constant motion, both physical as ideological, influenced by the - ever increasing - flow of information, and the architecture barely follow these changes. It’s their inter relations that give life to the city, and demolition, as highlighted, is the process that allows the finiteness of it all, leading to a consequent transformation and transience of architecture. The man is in constant motion, but always backed by references able to identify him and specify him a source, an origin, like a “fixed address”. An individual is nothing without identity within society. The state, as the name implies, is static, unable to live a real mobility. This whole concept conditions the man and his creations. The architecture, because of that, produces static buildings – heavy and non-mobile structures. Thus, faced with this sociocultural configuration, it is understandable that our reality must be static, or society as a whole falls apart. Humans needs easily recognizable icons and symbols to establish connections and relationships with the space in which it lives in. This comes from the necessity of finding themselves inside a changing landscape in order to develop a unique personality. He therefore is characterized in a static being, despite being in constant movement. The psychological structure of the society life is based in the relation and recognition of the space, as well as in the cultural assimilation. In this sense, the ‘fixed address’ acts as a form of socio-economic inclusion and integration.

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mobile architecture

In the new technological and information era, however, the individual may be recognized in other socio-spatial situations such as the internet, which allows a certain level of mobility followed by the presence of them in non-physical ambient, but virtual, where the existence could be understood as a spatial mobility of the individual. Thus, the idea of thinking about architecture as a system, dominating all the process, is essential for the mobility thinking in architecture. It’s not about creating a different physical structure, but creating a new reality, a new method of living, a new relationship between man and space, which, in turn, culminates in the process through it is developed, in this case a flexible and mobile structure. However, a mobile structure, by itself, is incapable of promoting the mobility concept. For such, it needs to be able to establish deeper connections with the individual in addition to its physical structure, altering the method of interaction and user perception with the surrounding space. The period where these issues emerged was very propitious. If in the past there wasn’t much freedom of creation and need for change, in the post-war era that reality changed, with new architectural proposals promoting the interference and interaction with the user. The post-war created a complex urban situation, unlike anything ever seen before. Until then, the architecture was being designed to serve man’s needs, but completely connected with the monumentality of the spaces in which it was inserted. The period was marked by a profound economic, social and political crisis, which led the architects born in the midst of that to new questions about the structural principles of urban development, establishing more complex patterns related to the need of man’s identity standards. The first architects to think about mobility in architecture as a desirable need, worked with precepts of space modularization and scientification of architecture, through projects that required high technology to be designed, giving birth to the critical thinking about the sedentary bias of urban space. Those ideas arises in the context of the post-war, from the modernism and industrial era, as a still fairly utopian movement that found in technique the best way to structure and situate these intentions. They introduced discussions about the urban space and mobile and adaptable architecture, as well as questions concerning the design methods that produced the static structures of the period. Buckminster Fuller, Nicholas Habraken, Frei Otto and Yona Friedman were the architects who went more deeply in to these discussions on their proposals, with light, modular, disassembled and flexible designs. They introduced questions that, along with the counter culture movements of the 60s, eventually encourage a new generation of architects to think mobility as a new way of seeing architecture, both as a means of communication or as art, and especially as a way to establish a dialogue with the population. The influence of the Situationist movement led to deeper questions about the impact of this supposed mobility on society, dealing with the mobile architecture as an “artistic-cultural manifesto”, thinking of the city as a leisure space, a living experience transformed into adventure. They also considered the use of high technology as a precondition for mobile projects, as well as a means to promote their ideals. Everything that was new, mass-produced, was incorporated in the designs, which mostly had a great visual, aesthetic and provocative appeal, influenced by the Pop Art and electronic media. This way of thinking is linked to the communicative and questioning works of Archigram, Cedric Price and also artists like Constant Nieuwenhuys, with his “Unitary Urbanism”. Currently, questions about the mobility of man and structures, as well as the mobility altering people’s lives still persist, but away from specific conditions, without consideration of the space in which it operates, but with the ability to settle anywhere, as an architecture able to adapt. The urban space starts to gain more relevance, being important the relationship of the body with the built environment, exhibiting this relationship that is established through unusual, ephemeral and mobile proposals. Artists such as Lucy Orta, Krzysztof Wodiscko and Joep Van Lieshout illustrate this marginal and provocative art, where man is the center of the relationship with the city.

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brief research | mobility

The architecture is now seen as a tool of man to achieve wellness. It conditions and defines their way of life and their interactions. Should thus be capable of shaping up to the needs and desires of society, through an adaptable, changeable, free and then, therefore, mobile architecture.

yona friedman | spatial city

Collage of the Spatial City extending over the Place de la Concorde in Paris

Yona Friedman (1923) was the responsible for coining the term. ‘mobile architecture’, with his manifesto for the X International Congress of Modern Architecture in Dubrovnik, in 1956, “Manifeste de l’architecture mobile”, where he expressed the needs for a more adaptable architecture, capable of understand the constant mobility of life. For him, the crescent automation of the production would increase the amounth of free time, changing radically the society. For him, the inhabitants should be owner of a “mass”, that would change accordingly to the demands of life. One of his proposals, the “Spatial City”, was imagined to allow the reorganization of the publica and private space. The Project consists of a structural framework that could be occupied by volums. This framework would give the user freedom to occupy or leave the spaces as needed, by rearranging the volumes through the structural voids. These structures should be capable of being dismantled, moved and be alterable at any moment, and should also touch the ground in a minimal area. The framework would overlay the existing urban fabric and and could make use of it’s existing infra structure, acting in the space where the actual city couldn’t reach.

Collage of the Spatial City | Frac Centre Collection

nicholas habraken | ‘support’and ‘infill’ Nicholas habraken (1928) was one of the first architects to formalize the design process and create a more ‘responsive’ architecture, that fits its user requirements, by allowing them to interveine in the design. He found in the modularization of the space a method of allowing a certain degree of freedom and variability in the process of projecting architectural buildings, creating a series of recombinatorial pieces of the constructive system. He proposed the idea of separating the ‘support’ structures of the buildings, that would coordinate all the infra-structure, from the ‘infill’, that would be everything else, from interior to exterior of a house system, and could have a great range of variability, allowing the participation of the inhabitants in the process of designing.

Scheepstimmermanstraat (1996-1997), Amsterdam. Urban plan and coordination from West 8 and projects from several different architectural offices with the participation of the users.

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mobile architecture | examples archigram | visions of th future city

The Walking City | Ron Herron, 1964

The Archigram group based his productions in the incorporation of technology and mass culture as a way of expressing themselves and the premises of the modern architecture, illustrating the future of the consumer society. They had a high tech approach, with lighweight structures, exploring the world of inflatables, capsule houses, nomadic, and computational architecture, exploiting a vision of interminable resources. For them, the most importante wasn’t the technology per se, but the new relations that were established in society by the interaction with these technologies, and the incorporation of them in the daily life. Their proposals were utopic in a sense, but extremely connected with the economical and social situation through which the new technologies, transport systems, communication and information were affecting the world. The Walking City was a mobile robotic structure, that could autonomously navigate and connect to other ‘cities’ when needed, to form a massive metropolis and disperse when no longer the connections were necessary. The Instant City, a mobile technological event, would offer a series of information and cultural events that would be carried from city to city distant to the main metropolis, working as complement to the city structure, supplying and attracting new activities to the small city and connecting it to the main one.

Instant City, 1969-70 | Peter Cook, Ron Herron e David Greene

lucy orta | garment housing Lucy Orta is an artist who makes an approach to a body architecture through the creation of a garment-housing, able to allow human survival in an inhospitable environment, the urban environment. Thus, Orta develops a sartorial lexicon that leads to formation of a collective creation of garments. Discusses the issue of housing not as a fixed space, but something that you carry with you, a mobile urbanity, which is independent of the place, just the man. Lucy Orta

krysztof wodiczko | homeless vehicles Wodiczko combines art and technology in order to call attention for marginalized social communities, using its design as a critical approach. He’s famous for using projections in buildings facades. In his Homeless Vehicle Project, he legitimated the problems of the marginal community without legitimating the problems of homelessness, by building these vehicles for the homeless people as a tool for surviving in the city. Those vehicles called the attention of people and also gave an importance to the homeless, as they become part of something that generally they are not, earning space in society. Krzysztof Wodiczko, 1988 – 1989 | Homeless Vehicles

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brief research | self-structuring geometry


design thesis | self-structuring geometry

polyhedral space | Aiming to use the smallest self-structuring determinator, most explorations in self-structuring systems are anchored in the world of polyhedra. Few polyhedra can be found in the natural world, most of them have been creations of the mind. Nevertheless, they have formed what is an ongoing puzzle for humans - trying to understand them long before Pythagoras modern mathematics. Ancient artifacts as e.g. East African foot rings or the semiregular polyhedral pyramids of Egypt are considered attempts to understand and replicate logics of polyhedral geometries.1 Ancient Greeks first started to theorize about relationships between polyhedra, defined their five regular platonics (tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, cube, dodecahedron) and from there on accepted them as symbols for all and everything.2 Euclid’s Elements first described their basic geometric principles, but it was not until Leonardo da Vinci’s illustrations for Pacioli’s De Devina Proportione almost two thousands years later that the first polyhedra were properly shown as a lattice structure and - at the same time - Albrecht Dürers ‘Underweysung der Messung’ in 1525 unreveiling their explicit relationships by unfolding.3 When talking about framing of space, the cube defends its undeserved fundamental significance as our main geometrical point of reference. Never having been subjected to experimental verification, the cube arguably owes its special position to being the simplest geometrical shape to draw on a piece of paper in ancient times - without today’s understanding of mathematics and geometry. Up to today, the edges of the cube define our understanding of forward-backward / up-down / left-right, any imaginable spatial reference or orientation. When dance artist and theorist Rudolph von Laban preferred the icosahedron as a frame of reference for his ‘Space Harmony’ choregraphies - to pattern repeatable movement sequences of moving through a predefined Platonic Solid - he mostly struggled with the realization that most of his dancers were just too culturally pre-conditioned to the cubic edges as ultimate definition of space.4 It has been only in the last 50 years that polyhedra have been acknowledged as structural objects. A cubic frame would always be unstable due to its six degrees of freedom and collapse, stabiliziation requires e.g. the joining of the vertices by six additional struts. The tetrahedra described by these diagonals alone could arguably be seen as the more direct initial for a minimum rigid three-dimensional frame.5 fig03: Albrecht Dürer, Underweysung der Messung (1525)

1 Tomlow, Jos. Polyhedra. in Gabriel, Francois J (ed). Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Page 2. 2 ibid. Page 5. 3 ibid. Page 7. 4 Laban, Rudolf. The Mastery of Movement. New York: Dance Books Ltd, 2011. Page 10. 5 Gabriel, Francois J. Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Page VIII.

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polyhedral space

the five platonic solids |

type: tetrahedron vertices: 4 faces (by sides): 4 dihedral angle: 70.52°

type: cube vertices: 8 faces: 6 dihedral angle: 90.00°

type: isocahedron vertices: 12 faces: 20 dihedral angle: 138.19°

type: dodecehadron faces: 20 vertices: 12 dihedral angle: 116.56°

type: octahedron vertices: 6 faces (by sides): 8 (3) dihedral angle: 109.47°

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design thesis | self-structuring geometry

polyhedral packing and decomposition logics | definition optimization problems in mathematics that involve attempting to pack objects together into containers. optimum rectangle packing logics:

1,00 efficiency

+

9 squares

+

0,93 efficiency 10 squares

optimum circle packing logics:

15 circles in square

6 circles in a right isosceles triangle

10 circles in a circle

5 circles in an equilateral triangle

truncated octahedron decomposition

base units

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base module

space tiling | packing


polyhedral packing and decomposition logics

optimum tetrahedra packing logics:

packing logic

85.0% world record 2010 | 78.2% previous years process | by compressing tetrahedra and letting them self-assemble observation | quasicystals emerging, i.e. regularity but non-repeating pattern proof for entropy autonomously creating order

we-aire phelan packing two units of identical volume fills the space without gaps

dodecahedron

tetrakaidecahedron

translation unit

national acquatics centre â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;watercubeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, beijing | chris bosse - arup

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design thesis | self-structuring geometry

mobile space frames | The first experiments on space-frames and triangulated spaces as self-structuring polyhedral systems were produced in 1902 by the same person who invented modern communication and the telephone: Alexander Graham Bell. Understanding himself as an universal creative, he was an active participant in the rapid development of industrial fabrication around the turn of the century, seeing the huge potential of ongoing technical improvements of the production process. The approach to his inventions was not looking for problem-specific solutions, but in reverse the development of technical or mathematical principles and then looking on how to apply them in retrospect. In this manner, he became both the inventor of the tetrahedral truss and the concept of the space frame. His interest in self-structuring systems was not grounded in an architectural application but in nautical and aeronautical engineering:1 The early prototypes of his tetrahedral space-frames were applied to enormous kites. Base unit of his system is a latticed tetrahedron of 20cm edge length, with a minimum number of members to create a rigid frame and therefore optimal weight and lightness for flying objects. He prefabricated an array of these basis elements as prototypes to create clusters and agglomerations with emergent qualities.2 The resulting compositions of tetrahedral were tested in the wild, extensively catalogued, reconfigured and optimized and tested again for their structural and technical properties. As a result, Bell created an empirical study of flying behaviour, all based on the same basic component but with performances far from what could have been expected from an isolated tetrahedron. Bell developed several principles and rules of optimization by introducing a hierarchy of faces, partly covered with fabric, and by minimizing the weight of the overall structure by dismissing central, fully surrounded tetrahedra.3 The experience gained from his tetrahedral kite experiments has been later implemented into complete architectural building structures of larger scale - the first being a 28m high watch tower in Canada in 1907. Here, Bell did not follow up the implications of kinetics and mobility, the main evaluation in his earlier flying experiments. But a number of new principles - a hierarchy in edges, the three continuous border rods of each tower leg being thicker where expecting higher forces4 - strongly link his self-structuring explorations to his other iconic research: the telephone as a network of communication. Bell did not see his prefabricated tetrahedral units as an isolated component of six rods and four nodes but as part of a bigger network: the single unit indistinguishable from the total system, behaving as a flow of energy with paths of thicker diameter transporting higher amount of force between nodes.

1 2 3 4

Wachsmann, Konrad. Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. Page 19. Bell, Alexander Graham. Tetrahedral principle in kite structures. in: National Geographic Magazine 14 (6), 1914. Page 219ff. Tomlow, Jos. Polyhedra. in Gabriel, Francois J (ed). Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Page 28. ibid. Page 30.

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mobile space frames

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design thesis | synergetic formfinding principles of synergectis | Rejecting the cube for reasons of instability, Buckminster Fuller made advantage of a coordinate system based on tetrahedral-octahedral space filling.1 Using the tetrahedral base unit for his system as initial setup, its vertices being defined by four closest-packed spheres, he started a catalogue of relational proportional polyhedra and their respective higly specific systems of interconnections, transformations and dynamic properties. In his main manifesto, the study of ‘Synergetics’ in 1975, Fuller gives a comprehensive area of reference for transforming systems and their emergent behaviour, unpredictable by its single parts - including the human in his role as observer and participant - defined by himself as: A system of mensuration employing 60-degree vectorial coordination comprehensive to both physics and chemistry ... explaining much that has not been previously illuminated ... following the cosmic logic of the structural mathematics strategies of nature, which employ the paired sets of the six angular degrees of freedom, frequencies... Synergetics discloses the excruciating awkwardness characterizing present-day mathematical treatment of the interrelationships of the independent scientific disciplines as originally occasioned by their mutual and separate lacks of awareness of the existence of a comprehensive, rational, coordinating system inherent in nature.2 Central ideas Fuller lies out are the rejection of the commonly used 90 degree coordinate system in favour of omnidirectional 60 degree coordinates. In favour of the standard XYZ coordinate system, he introduces the Isotropic-Vector-Matrix (IVM), based on the unit-vectorlength edges of the tetrahedron.3 Alongside this space describing system lies a revision of our notion of ‘dimension’: height, width and depth are described as three distinct dimensions, each behaving independly. As a means to describe the relative size of a unit and to quantify the relation of time and shape, Fuller introduces the measuring unit ‘frequency’: “Size and time are synonymous. Frequency and size are the same phenomenon.”4 This notion of four-dimensionality adds the dimension of physicality (time, mass) to spatial properties. Geometers and “schooled” people speak of length, breadth, and height as constituting a hierarchy of three independent dimensional states -- “one-dimensional,” “two-dimensional,” and “three-dimensional” -- which can be conjoined like building blocks. But length, breadth, and height simply do not exist independently of one another nor independently of all the inherent characteristics of all systems and of all systems’ inherent complex of interrelationships with Scenario Universe.... All conceptual consideration is inherently four-dimensional. Thus the primitive is a priori four-dimensional, always based on the four planes of reference of the tetrahedron. There can never be less than four primitive dimensions. Any one of the stars or point-to-able “points” is a system-ultratunable, tunable, or infratunable but inherently four-dimensional.5 All platonic polyhedral solids defined within that system are inherently informed by and contained within each other and therefore able to switch states. The tetrahedron initial unfolds to octahedral shape, expanding to an icosahedron, cuboctahedron and finally flips inside-out and collapses in mirrored order. 1 2 3 4 5

Loeb, Arthur. Preface. in Buckminster Fuller. Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking. New York: Macmillan Pub Co, 1975. Page 5 Fuller, Buckminster. Synergetics Vol1: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking. New York: Macmillan Pub Co, 1975. Chapter 200.01 ibid. Chapter 986.203 ibid. Chapter 528.03 ibid. Chapter 527.702

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fig07: Buckminster Fuller, Geodesic Dome Patent (1951)

Special significance Fuller puts hereby in the doubling of edges while the grid collapses and expands between its geometrical states - comparable to a hierarchy of capacities in a network. These theses by Fuller are never seen as a replacement of traditional mathematics but an alternative point of view, an attempt to integrate geometry and philosophy into a shared framework defining both the physical and metaphysical world.6 Fuller had a rather holistic understanding of his concept, including a wide field of disciplines of the philosophical and scientific world, such as geometry, chemistry, psychology, biochemistry and economics. Despite inspiring ongoing followers in their research on related topics, most of his ideas never reached mainstream recognition in the academic world. Especially the blurred differentiation or explicit relational understanding of apparent seperates - such as the physical and the ideal world, the human, micro and universal scale, the observer and the observed - challenged more conventional ways of thinking both at the time of Fuller’s publications as well as today. In similiar fashion in that he saw the future of houses as apparatus for receiving and broadcasting, he referred to his structural systems as ‘nets’, primarily not systems of physical interconnection but as networks of energy and flow. As conventional planning of permanent settlements and neighbourhoods would be rendered obsolete in a hyper-mobile age, nomadic systems of endlessly circulating bodies instead of physical infrastructure would lead the way. Within a system like that, the ability to disconnect is considered of equal importance as to connect.7

6 7

ibid. Chapter 251.50 Wigley, Mark. Network Fever. in Grey Room 39. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Page 113.

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design thesis | synergetic formfinding

principles of synergectis | To enable the system to adapt, Buckminster Fullers theory of synergetics, the study of systems in transformation, is utilized. It implies that most platonic solids are inherently embedded within each other and can therefore transform geometry by a rearrangement of face to face and vertic connections. synergy • interaction of multiple elements in a producing an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects • exploring the formation and self-organization of patterns in systems synergetics  • study of systems in transformation • total system behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components including humanity’s role as both participant and observer. • scientific and philosophical studies, i.a. geometry packing logics 

ernst haeckel | phaeodarea (1876)

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principles of synergetics

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initial research | self-structuring systems The dis- and consent of joints | The central point of connections, like nodes of a network, joints serve as both synthesis and concentration in a structural system - it is the point where information gets processed, where forces get (re-)directed, where multiple come together. It is evident by looking at aforementioned self-structuring systems, all ‘web-designers’ put a certain importance on the function of the joint that goes beyond the mere mechanical fixing of members. And they all critized what we know as fixed member-nodes connections today. What is a node in a network has to perform more than being a means to an end for holding its neighbors into place. French-American engineer and philosopher Robert Le Ricolais coined the driven principle for his self-structuring systems as: “The art of structure is how and where to put the holes”.1 Or, deriving from that: where to put the intersection, where to put the full stop, where to put the joint. Fuller’s principle of tensegrity replaced mechanic joints with a dynamic equilibrium of clearly seperated forces: isolated bars or struts in compression are literally floating, never intersecting, in a continuous network of prestressed tension.2 Almost invisible, the structures make an appearance of bending the laws of physics, blurring out to their surrounding. Due to their self-erecting nature and minimal mobility while maintaining mechanical stability, tensegrity structures have been envisioned for possible applications as deployable, retractable systems through actuation of the network.3 In Fuller’s dome for the World Expo of 1967 the approach to a network of neurons and nodes has been taken quite literal: In what has become known as one of the first first fully computer controlled structures, the joints unifying the individual modules of its structure are realized as a manifestation of information-recipient and despatcher. All wiring for internal controls are directly embedded into its metal links, allowing not only a structural rigidness but also constant control over colour, opacity and porousness of the buildings facade.

1 McLeary, Peter. Robert le Ricolais: Visions and Paradox. Madrid : Fundacion Cultural COAM, 1997. Page 41. 2 Fuller, Buckminster. Tensegrity. in McHale, John (ed). Portfolio and Art News Annual, No.4, 1961. 3 see as reference: NASA. Tensegrity Robotics. 2012. 23.03.2014. <http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/tech/asr/intelligent-robotics/tensegrity/superballbot/>

fig09: Konrad Wachsmann, Experimental Structural Web (1953)

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If joints can be considered the punctuation in the syntax of structural systems, it can only be seen symptomatic that Konrad Wachsmann - over the time of his life - has looked for a system lacking any conventional joints in favour of a constant flow of interlocking and co-dependences - comparable more to the associative ‘stream of consciousnes’ language of Joyce ‘Ullyses’ than conventional combination of structural modules by clearly seperated mechanics and hinges. While widely being remembered for his contribution as an early innovator in the topics of prefabrication and work on large-span, enormous military airline hangers, Wachsmann’s work was driven by the his hunt for an ‘universal joint’, defined both by a reduction of parts and a most universal possible application. As Wachsmann was able to carry out his research by realizing large scale projects for the US Air Force since the 1950s, he gathered an extensive collection of built systems and projects over his life-time. His later, technically most advanced research has never been realized. Even though it has been pre-planned up to a stage of potential industrial production, most of it fell into oblivion. Having moved beyond the distinction of joints and members, of strands and intersections and of the horizontal and the vertical, Wachsmann produced his most radical proposals. His research accumulated in his study of a dynamic structure he developed with his students in Chicago in 1953, an experimental structural web, not using any mechanics in remembrance of a joint at all but solely relying on structural threads, twisted together in an endless fabric.1 This ‘thread’ - a wishbone like structure with three legs as single element - embedded both horizontal and vertical definition of space and could ideally be used for any imaginable building purpose. In what emerged as a new principle of distributing forces, all structural relationships were dislocated and any member of the structure is not externally fixed but allowed a self-organization of the material - only held in space by its specific relationships to its neighbour.2 The 1960s and the conceptualization of structure | The notion of nonlinear, soft systems emerged fully at the same time in the 60s, influencing contemporary speculations. By definition, a system is considered soft when it is flexible, adaptable and evolving, hold together by a dense network of information and feedback. The distinction between linear and nonlinear system is what Sanford Kwinter considers as the most crucial development in recent sciences.3 Where linear systems are purely based on a principle of superosition, meaning a simple addition of isolated components without emergent qualities, a nonlinear system cannot be understood by simple examination of its parts - its primary quality being interactions between. The notion of space frames might not follow every characteristic Kwinter seeks in a soft system, it is conspicuous how many soft qualities a system based so clearly on “hard geometry” embodies. Flow of energy and information is central in all mentioned case studies, as their triangulated spaces understood themselves as a physical representation, a poetic image, of these forces. Activation at a specific point at any time via communication is envisioned both in Wachsmann and Fullers systems.4 And if the idea of adaptability and dynamic systems does not necessarily indicate the physical translation of structure, there is more happening than the flow of energy and mobility in the space defined by structural lines: In all discussed projects, the underlying structural grid enables the extended web, infrastructure and structure become synonymous. It was this conzeptualization of structure that made Fuller’s and Wachsmann’s systems of self-structuring a major influence for the architectural avant-garde around the metabolist movement, Kenzo Tange, Yona Friedman, Team X and Archigram in the 1960s. What can be seen as an obsession with any polyedral-framed space, is linked with a renowned notion of invisible infrastructure of interconnected communications that has emerged over the first half of the 20th century. The fascination with nonphysical technologies of communication - as the aftermath of the digital revolution - brought along a new fascination with the imagery of endless, hovering, inhabitable networks almost disappearing out of the physical world created by early space-frame experiments.5 Kenzo Tange set that agenda as ‘creating an architecture and a city [that] may be called a process of making the communication network visible in space.’6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Wigley, Mark. Network Fever. in Grey Room 39. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Page 110. Wachsmann, Konrad. Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. Page 194 Kwinter, Sanford. Soft Systems. in Brian Boigon (ed.). Culture Lab. Princeton Architecture Press. 1993. Page 211. Wigley, Mark. Network Fever. in Grey Room 39. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Page 110. ibid. Page 111. Tange, Kenzo. Function, Structure and Symbol. in Udo Kultermann (ed.). Kenzo Tange. Zurich: Praeger Publishers, 1970. Page 240

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initial research | self-structuring systems

Following up was a wide array of projects attempting to create a physical representation depicting the hidden space of electronics, a building in direct dialogue between the visible and invisible world. Ideally, no difference between building and its extended infrastructure is visible. And while many of the urban visions created at that time did have a certain focus on practicality and structural pragmatics that they shared with their intellectual precursors, their prime focus was on creating ‘polemical images’: ‘A set of images that remain polemical today, a commentary on the networks we already inhabit rather than a dream of a future world.’1

fig11: Y. Friedman & E.S. Fielitz, Raumstadt (1953)

Beyond the image | Peter Cook and David Greene themselves understood their proposals - their mix of physical structural systems and the implications of their potential applications - as what they called ‘a tool for the interim phase until we have a really working all-way information network.”2 Today, we have long passed this interim phase. Our information network is working all-way, all-time. But have we moved beyond the tool, or: Have we even reached the tool yet?

Due to their cheap and repetitive nature, the application and therefore public notion of ‘space frames’ has declined to generic made-to-order solutions, architecture straight out of the catalogue. Symptomatic, the city of Denver commissioned an enormous space-frame exhibition and convention hall as their central landmark in 1970, only to dismiss it as brutalist and to decide to demolish it ten years later. It seems absurd that a system that is fundamentally based on a bottom-up process of clustering has been castrated in a decades-long application of structuring topdown boxes - against their very nature. The automobile and aircraft industry has long incorporated the idea of space frames, the first true spaceframe chassis being produced by Fuller himself in his Dymaxion Car prototype in 1930s. While formally more expressive

1 2

Wigley, Mark. Network Fever. in Grey Room 39. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Page 111. Cook, Peter and David Greene. Metamorphosis. in Ekistics 28. London, 1969. Page 104-6.

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fig10: Peter Cook, Plug-in City (1964)

than their architectural counterparts, the idea of an open system has been discarded from the very beginning - unlike Bell who saw the space frame’s potential of mobility precisely in its open nature and emergent qualities. Most true to its generative process but also to its limitations can be considered the National Aquatics Center, built for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing by PTW. Project Architect Chris Bosse’s design, colloquially referred to as Watercube, is generated from two repeating polyhedra - the Weaire-Phelan structure, a geometric abstraction of bubble foam cluster1 - as internal space frame, hollowed out according to the room schedule. Ultimately, the cut-off, squared exterior is a honest way of sucessfully handling of what is based on an open system: no longer meant to be extended or modified, possible faces to agglomerate are literally cut off, a finite piece out of a generative process. Where some practices such as Oyler Wu Collaborative and Tomas Saraceno have experimented on structural webs and networks and were wideley recognized for creating delicate artefacts of high complexity or a sophisticated equlibrium of forces, they only seem to adress a certain formal aspect of the open-ended systems of their spiritual predecessors. Of what was envisioned to be a system of way bigger literal flexibility and adaptability, an extension of the invisible forces surrounding us (and vice versa), only a hull or - for lack of better words - frame seems to have made its way.

fig12: Chris Bosse, Beijing National Aquatics Center ‘Watercube’ (2008)

fig13: T. Saraceno, Cloud Cities (2011)

1 Beijing National Aquatics Center. Arup. 2008. 24.03.2014 <http://www.arup.com/eastasia/project. cfm?pageid=1250>

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brief research | self-assembly systems


initial research | self-assembly systems

self assembly systems | Self-assembly is a process where pre-existing components of a disordered system finds order and structure through local dynamic interactions between its parts. It’s an emergent behaviour that can be found in complex systems. Self-assembly and self- organizing systems can be a response for a more automated and more responsive architecture. In nature these concepts are the very base of the building system of things, and analysing how naturally it happens in nature can give clues on how to improve the architectural systems that we rely on. Self-assembly systems can be a logical approach for a more responsive architecture, with more comprehension on material behaviour, reconfigurability of spaces, and more intelligent system deployment. These systems are plentiful in nature, and include the formation of everything from snowflakes, to biological structures, to galaxies. Trough local interactions, disordered parts can build an ordered structure that can be either static or dynamic. In static self-assembly formations, when the system reaches it’s ordered state it founds equilibrium, reducing its amount of usable energy. It must have a higher order that performs differently than its isolated components. Dynamic self-assembly process can also be described as self-organized systems, where the ordered state arisen from local interactions configures a system triggered by random fluctuations that allows a variety of states, a nonequilibrium system. The system is composed by agents that may or may not define the laws through which the systems responds to, and its organization is either decentralized or distributed all over the components of the system. Another concept linked with the idea of self-assembly is self-replication, a type of behaviour in dynamic systems that allows the construction of a copy of the agent. It is present in biology, in cell division that replicates the DNA, as well as for biological virus and computer virus for example. Cellular Automata, for example, is a type of system that recreates the replicating logics of nature, demonstrating that the essential qualities of self-assembly/self-reproducing systems were possible in material and mechanical systems . It’s possible to observe these qualities being reproduced in contemporary robotics researches, like the “self-replicator” robot from Cornell University. The idea of “self” in systemic thinking specifies any type of system that has capability of through local interactions between parts find order of a higher hierarchy. It should be one that reacts to inputs, translating it into outputs based in the internal logics of the system. It’s through the observation of specific parts that one can understand the larger system.

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GEOMETRY

MECHANICS

- re-configuration by use of mechanical princicples (hinges, gears etc)

MATERIALITY

- configuration defined by geometrical properties - logics of packing

ROBOTICS

- embedded in materiality or fabrication process - self assembly plan - predetermined

- self-organization - shape and function shifting -looking for higher order

NATURAL SYSTEMS

- modular systems - self-reconfiguring - loco-motion

definition

SELF-ASSEMBLY MANIFESTATIONS definition: disordered system of pre-existing components forms an organized structure or pattern as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the components themselves, without external direction. 01_spontaneity interactions only on local level

02_order

03_interaction

04_building blocks

assembled structure has higher order weak, slack interactions any possible combination of than its isolated components as important role in material synthesis homogenous or heterogenous building blocks

SELF ASSEMBLY

encodes the global order of the whole spontaneous process leading to equilibirium no minium number of units

SELF ORGANIZATION

no initial encoding necessary nonequilibirum process minimum number for interactions

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initial research | self-assembly systems

morphogenesis is the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape. It is one of three fundamental aspects of developmental biology along with the control of cell growth and cellular differentiation. The process controls the organized spatial distribution of cells during the embryonic development of an organism. morphogenesis can take place also in a mature organism, in cell culture or inside tumor cell masses. morphogenesis also describes the development of unicellular life forms that do not have an embryonic stage in their life cycle, or describes the evolution of a body structure within a taxonomic group Robots inpired by natural process can be classified in two types, as morphogenetic robots and epigenetic robots. The self-assembly robots of the core of our research can be classified as morphogenetic robots.

MORPHOGENETIC ROBOTICS

EPIGENETIC ROBOTICS

• self-organization, self-reconfiguration, self-assembly & self-adaptive genetic and cellular mechanisms (from biological early morphogenesis) • body and controller developed simultaneously • activity-independent development

• developmental mechanisms, architectures and constraints of lifelong and open-ended learning of new skills and knowledge • cognitive capabilities (language, emotion) through experience • activity-dependent development

! ?

! !

?

!

!

?

!

? !

DETERMINISTIC RECONFIGURATION

STOCHASTIC RECONFIGURATION

• units being directly manipulated into their target location • exact location is known at all times • reconfiguration times can be guaranteed • macro-scale systems usually deterministic.

• relies on statistical processes (like Brownian motion). • location only known when connected to the main structure • no precice reconfiguration time • more favorable at micro scales.

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modular robotics taxonomy

chain architecture

smores • hybrid architecture • self-reconfigurable • both locomotion & autonomous movement

m-tran III

hybrid

• hybrid architecture • chain joint & lattice interface • self-reconfigurable & locomotion

self-replicate

lattice architecture

• hybrid architecture • rotation (chain) & lattice interface • self-reconfiguring, no locomotion

cubelets • lattice architecture • different units • not reconfigurable

m-blocks • lattice architecture • no locomotion • autonomous movement

complexity of single module

TAXONOMY OF MODULAR ROBOTICS

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initial research | self-assembly systems

distributed flight array | raffaello d’andrea

• modular flying unit on hexagonal grid • limited flying capability for single unit • sophisticated multi-rotor system capable of coordinated flight when joined

self-replication | cornell university w/ hod lipson

servo-motor

grid interface (lattice)

rotating axis (chain)

• hybrid self-reconfiguring system • built to physically demonstrate artificial kinematic self-reproduction • module: 0.65 kg cube with 100 mm long edges and one rotational degree of freedom • infinite number of self-reproducing chain meta-structures can be built from Molecubes.

m-blocks | MIT grid interface (lattice system)

gyroscope spinning flywheel

• autonoumous movement by spinning flywheel and gyroscope • system of magnets attaches units (lattice system) - no locomotion

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modular hybrid robots (roombots) | ecole polytechnique federale de lausanne

• same axis-orientation as molecubes • real-life application of building blocks for furniture that self-assembles, self-reconfigure and self-repairs.

m-tran III |

kurokawa et al., [AIST]

lattice connection

• • • •

hybrid type self-reconfigurable system module: two cube size (65 mm side) 2 rotational DOF and 6 flat surfaces for connection. chain system: locomotion by CPG (Central Pattern Generator) controller lattice system: change of configuration, e.g., 4 legged walker to caterpillar

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initial research | self-assembly systems

hydro fold |

christophe gauberan

• hacked inkjet desktop printer • mixture of water and ink causes paper to fold automatically along wet lines and humid areas

kinematics | nervous system surface expansion through embedded hinges

‘kinematics’ was developed in collaboration with Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group • large objects compressed down for 3D printing through simulation • assemblage of rigid, hinged, triangular parts that behave as a continuous fabric in aggregate

robogami | ecole polytechnique de lausanne

fiberglass sheet

shape memory strips

laminated plastic mesh

• self-folding origami by use of smart sheets • fiberglass sheets with embedded shape-memory strips + copper lamiated plastic mesh as wires

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case study catalogue

ico tens | cornell creative machine lab

â&#x20AC;˘ shape changing, amorphous tensegrity â&#x20AC;˘ distributed actuation, tolerating the loss of multiple actuators while maintaining locomotion

self assembly line | MIT self assembly lab

a discrete set of modules are activated by stochastic rotation from a larger container the unit geometry and attraction mechanisms (magnetics) ensure contact with one another overtime as more units come into contact, break away, and reconnect, larger, furniture scale elements, emerge.

bio molecular self assembly | MIT self assembly lab

study on how the basic ingredients for molecular assembly could translate to self-assembly shaken randomly the independent parts find each other and self-assemble various molecular structures. flasks contain a custom tag that identifies the type of molecular structure and the ingredients

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initial research | self-assembly systems Self-assembly and self- organizing systems can be a response for a more automated and more responsive architecture. In nature these concepts are the very base of the building system of things, and analysing how naturally it happens in nature can give clues on how to improve the architectural systems that we rely on. This paper is investigate the work of Frei Otto towards material computation in order to find form and more contemporary researches in the field of robotics.

// Self-assembly towards an automated architecture “Good architecture is more important than beautiful architecture. Beautiful architecture is not necessarily good. The ideal is ethically good architecture that is also aesthetic. Buildings that achieve this ideal are rare. Only they are worth keeping.” Frei Otto Finding Form: Towards and Architectural of the Minimum In the nomadic society, architecture was mainly an instrument of necessity, reduced to the essential needs. However, the role that architecture play in the society has evolved, and today architecture become simply an instrument of power. The architectural system through we rely on is static and non-responsive, and the logic of the building system doesn’t compute the amount of changes in the society. Buildings are constructed to last for many years, but they become useless fast, even though we still need new buildings. The process through which buildings are imagined relies on the concept of stability that permeates our society, even though one can think about the contemporary men as an urban nomad. In this sense, buildings should have the ability to respond quickly to demands of change, be lightweight, energy saving and adaptable. They need to perform. Self-assembly systems can be a logical approach for a more responsive architecture, with more comprehension on material behaviour, reconfigurability of spaces, and more intelligent system deployment. These systems are plentiful in nature, and include the formation of everything from snowflakes, to biological structures, to galaxies. Trough local interactions, disordered parts can build an ordered structure that can be static or dynamic. A deeper look can provide us with an immense array of examples, as for slime-moulds in the search for food, swarms that organizes itself in a dynamic order or stable tensegrity structures found in DNA. Designing as a series of flows of information. energy and matter is the key for creating synthetic systems that responds like natural ones.

// Towards an automated and responsive architecture The idea behind the concept of a more responsive architecture is to focus on the problems of the construction industry and the architectural projects in a more reliable scale, in order to allow a certain level of mobility towards a more flexible architecture. Buildings should be made of intelligent matter, a material that computes. Enabling a certain level of intelligence to the building material could aid the architects and builders, as well as the users, in the process of creating built environments that respond to stimulus or adapt to changes. It could generate building systems that are more responsible in the sense of not allowing errors, relying in discrete information and local intelligence 1 . It could be a system capable of rearranging itself in order to perform against natural catastrophes, as well as reconfigurable spaces, reconfigurable furniture or even though a simple shell that relying on its structural qualities, performs like a living organism.

1 TIBBITS, SKYLAR. “From Digital Materials to Self-Assembly.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012. Web. 15

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Those are concepts that sculpt the idea of self-assembly systems as a correct path to the future of design. Self-assembly is a process where pre-existing components of a disordered system finds order and structure through local dynamic interactions between its parts. It’s an emergent behaviour that can be found in complex systems. However, the concept of self-assembly can be divided into two types, being either dynamic or static 2. In static self-assembly formations, when the system reaches it’s ordered state it founds equilibrium, reducing its amount of usable energy. It must have a higher order that performs differently than its isolated components. Dynamic self-assembly process can also be described as self-organized systems, where the ordered state arisen from local interactions configures a system triggered by random fluctuations that allows a variety of states, a nonequilibrium system. The condition for these interactions to happen is that the system must dissipate energy. The system is composed by agents that may or may not define the laws through which the systems responds to, and its organization is either decentralized or distributed all over the components of the system. As examples, organization of animals in swarms (I-01) and neural networks (I-02) capable of recognize complex patterns. Self-replication, however, is a type of behaviour in dynamic systems that allows the construction of a copy of the agent. It is present in biology, in cell division that replicates the DNA, as well as for biological virus and computer virus for example. Cellular Automata, for example, is a type of system that recreates the replicating logics of nature, demonstrating that the essential qualities of self-assembly/self-reproducing systems were possible in material and mechanical systems 3. In robotics, one can see these type of behaviour in Hod Lipson robots. In this sense, the idea of “self” specifies any type of system that has capability of through local interactions between parts find order of a higher hierarchy. It should be one that reacts to inputs, translating it into outputs based in the internal logics of the system. It’s through the observation of specific parts that one can understand the larger system. The general system of deployment through we operates today is based on a top-down methodology, an overview formulation of the system, that later on is broken down into many subsystems that are refined and detailed, branching it until the necessary to build up the whole picture. A striated type of science that understands the world as laws, fixity and representations. This type of hierarchical structure leads to expected results, as the boundaries are already defined in the beginning and all that rests to be done is fulfil the empty spaces. This type of top-down approach is well accepted by society, as it is a secure path, but leads to static configurations of built systems. However, in the process to create a more responsive system for the actual paradigm of construction, architects should seek for different techniques, a type of smooth science that understands the world in terms of flows, forces and process. Bottom up systems relies on the idea that combining many different sub-systems can give rise to more complex one, being these small systems the compound parts of the emergent system. Those systems are based in the idea of loop and feedback, as they depend on information collected from the environment generating a response. Different from the process through architectural projects are deployed nowadays, bottom-up approaches dissect the subsystems as being of main importance with a greater level of detail/information. It’s the connections established between these ones that generates greater levels of information systems, which means that the “knowledge” of the whole is based in the local interactions of the single cells - that has information embedded in it - that together build up the whole picture. These concepts touches the model through which nature develops and self-assemble, where single cells carrying some sort of information, like the DNA for example, are combined without regard, building up more complex systems, like the human body.

2 WHITESIDES, George M., and Bartosz Grzybowski. “Self-assembly at all scales. (Viewpoint). (organic chemistry research)”. Science 29 Mar. 2002: 2418-2421. Print. 3 TIBBITS, Skylar. “From Digital Materials to Self-Assembly.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

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initial research | self-assembly systems // Nature as example Form emerges in nature not merely as an aesthetic, but as a result of a process that relies on internal information of the system and environmental influences. It’s the physical and mechanical process that generates life. Slime moulds (I-03) are a type of single cell organism with a life cycle that has different forms and stages. These cells have the ability to aggregate, generating multicellular organisms. Its body is similar to a jelly, as for its name, “slime”, and can be found in different habitats, from forests to urban environments, as its main food is microorganisms like bacteria. They have the ability to learn and predict unfavourable conditions. When food runs out, these organisms separates and starts to seek for food as individual bodies that alone have the ability to detect food sources. These single cells releases signal to the other molecules to find each other and create swarms to look for food. They organize themselves into sporangia, and each molecule starts to behave differently, as some of them turn into spores that later on are carried by the wind, behaving like a plant seed, and becoming again a small amoebae, restarting again the cycle 45.

I-03 Slime-mold Slime-molds attached to a piece of wood

One interesting experiment run with slime-moulds was made by Atsushi Tero 6, of the Hokkaido University. Looking for ways of improving the transport networks of Tokyo, he used slime-moulds of the type Physarum polycephalum - that branches from a central point in the search for food – to simulate an optimized branching network. He distributed “food” in specific coordinates, simulating the surrounding cities of Tokyo and placed the amoebae in the centre of it. Quickly, the cells started to stretch itself in order to get the food, even though they remained like a single cell organism. He used some light sources (as the slime-moulds avoid light) to simulate real obstacles like mountains or rivers and controlled the trails through which the bodies were growing. The resulting network seemed a lot like the already existing rail system (I-06) with some few differences, suggesting options to boost the efficiency of the existing system 7. This experiment is an example of how self-assembly and self-organizing abilities of natural systems can be applied to improve our existing methods of constructing and designing built environments.

// Minimal surfaces

I-06 Atsushi Tero project Resulting network

Frei Otto answered the question of “self” in a very specific way. His projects looked into nature as an example of how architecture could be automated in the process of creating. For him, the manners through which nature builds up form were the very roots of an intelligent system, as it is responsive in the level of building matter that has all the qualities needed in response to the environment to which is addressed. His idea of “self” could be seen as a type of utopic organization of the built environment, where unnatural buildings would become “natural” if performed in the proper way.

4 ” Introduction to the “Slime Molds” University of California, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/protista/slimemolds.html>. 5 “MicrobeWorld.” Slime Molds. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.microbeworld.org/types-ofmicrobes/protista/slime-molds>. 6 TERO et al. 2010. Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science 10.1126/science.1177894 7 YONG, Ed. “Slime Mould Attacks Simulates Tokyo Rail Network.” Science Blogs. N.p., 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2010/01/21/slime-mould-attacks-simulates-tokyo-rail-network/>.

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In his perspective, an architectural building must be conceived as a system with purposes. The very act of designing is not only drawing beautiful forms, but actually projecting a building that answers the architectural problems in a “natural” way. Natural here would be a construction that has a structural and form qualities conceived as a result of material organization, emerged by the very process of exploration.

I-07 Frei Otto – soap film experiments Mock up for the Tanzbrunnen, Cologne

Self in his work could be understood as constructions that is created by a process that is self-built by laws of nature, or in other words, an autonomous process of finding form, where a set of conditions allows form to emerge. His ideas towards an architectural of the minimum were an attempt on making social self-regulation process a possible achievement, being the architecture a result of self-forming and self-optimization processes. The concept of finding form is a type of optimization of structures, where maximum efficiency should be achieved with the minimum amount of material, or in his words, “the essential”. The minimum building would be a surface that has all the qualities that could be found in the natural system embedded in it, performing in terms of structure, applying in its conception the minimum amount of energy and matter needed for the expected result, just like in ecosystems, where forms exist with the essential for it’s needs. The most explicit process that Frei Otto explored those ideas were the finding form of tent structures through the experiments with soap films.

I-09 Frei Otto – soap film experiments Spiral area

Tents are constructions made of membranes surfaces that should be prestressed equally and constantly in all directions to allow flexibility to the whole structure. The construction relies on the shape of the membrane being the most important part, as it determines the flow of the forces. In addition, its supports and the curvature that should be one capable of supporting external loads are of extreme importance. Also, edge cables absorb the forces of the membrane, translating it to the structure 8.

Membrane tents performs like soap films. Soap films (I- 07) represent an equilibrium form for a state of pre-stress. The experiments carried by Otto were made with dishwashing liquid mixture, that when in contact with a continuous frame (like a wire loop) creates a thin membrane that responds to an input being the thread shape, either it being flat or curved (I-09). This generated membrane has equal forces distributed along its surface in all directions, respecting physical and geometrical rules, and the curvature has opposite ways 9. Later on these experiments were recorded and measured by an specific machine that translated it into numeric values, which allowed the generation of minimal surfaces in computers. Membranes can also be substitute by cable nets made of steel that can perform the same way as the membranes. The project of the Olympic Building in Munich (I-12) exemplifies these assumptions, as it is build up with pre-stressed steel cables that redirects the forces to the structures, followed by a glass roof. Even though minimal surfaces have complexity in it, all of it responds to natural properties (physical and geometrical) that can be applied to construction systems.

8 OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards  an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. 9 Ibid.

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initial research | self-assembly systems // Programmable matter In a more tangible scale, the idea of “self” could be related to a more direct relation, where the user would have the ability to intervene and reconfigure the spaces by its own desires. The idea of programmable matter exists in the collective memory for a while, being widespread in science fiction movies for example. However, the concept of it exists in nature, like in the behaviour of slime-moulds for example. Recent researches are being taken into the field of Programmable Matter. The idea behind its concepts is to build a system of programmable blocks, that intelligently have the capability to reconfigure and assemble into any shape desired, opening up the possibilities for the future of constructions, as a substance like this could be directly linked with way we build things and the interaction with the user. Objects could be quickly repaired or exchanged, deconstructed to be recycled or morphed into different shapes 10.

I-12a Olympic Building in Munich Aerial view

The project from Hod Lipson, together with Cornell University in Stochastic Modular Assembly (I-15) clearly addresses these objectives. The projects consists of small electronics modular blocks that rests in a fluidic environment,  I-13 Olympic Building in Munich Steel cables detail where through the manipulation of these fluids can reconfigure itself. The idea of manipulating the blocks inside a fluid environment allows the process to work in a stochastic manner, as the new modules to be added to these environment arrives randomly to be attracted by the main assembled structure.

The modules have an internal system of valves that redirects the fluid inside, allowing its mobility. However, in order to block the flow of fluids inside when needed, they used a specific type of fluid that when heated turns into a gel that blocks the flows. Each cube also has a mechanical and electric bond (I-18) that is switched on when in contact to other modules, as a way to provide some adherence between one to other module. Self-replication is another desired characteristic for future adaptable and sustainable systems. As mentioned before, self-replication is a common property in natural and artificial systems. The ability to grow a system in an adaptable way requires that modules have autonomy, that can be translated in self-awareness and a certain level of intelligence, capable of evolving its behaviours. As Hod Lipson states, a self-replication is not a binary property that a system has or has not, but actually it depends on the amount of information that is being replicated, as well as the complexity of each building block. The Self Replication project of Cornell/Hod Lipson (I- 19) behaves like an autonomous system. Each module sizing 10x10cm forming a cube, can “break” apart into two modules, with joints that allows its modules to rotate around it axis when looking for possible neighbours. The faces have electromagnets that work like bonds, allowing connections to be established or detached. Faces also allow the data to be transfer from one module to another. The arrangements of the cubes are arbitrary, but since it starts to build up, the arrangements are ruled by time and contact events 11.

10 TOLLEY, Micheal, Jonas Neubert, Mekala Krishnan, Micheal Kalontarov, Stephane Constantin, Abe Cantwell, and  Jeremy Blum. “Stochastic Modular Assembly.”Cornell Creative Machines Lab. Cornell University, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/stochastic-modular-assembly>. 11 ZYKOV V., Mytilinaios E., Adams B., Lipson H. (2005) “Self-reproducing machines”, Nature Vol. 435 No. 7038, pp. 163- 164 1

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Also, new modules were supplied in order to allow the system to self-reproduce, as it is not capable of creating new modules by itself, which suggests that this system might have a more direct relation with the user. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also clear how simple rules and arrangements can end up into a higher complex organization.

// Conclusion I-15 Stochastic Modular Assembly Concept image of reconfigurable structure made of building blocks

These approaches must be seen as a tool to broad/increase the capabilities of the designer, as they allow a whole new approach to the construction system as never before, opening space for new speculations in terms of flexibility, adaptability, sustainability, automation, velocity of construction, etc. The relations that we established with spaces are evolving, and the capability of these spaces to react to these new inputs of technology must be one of a high level of interaction. The idea of what is a space also evolved. A house is not only a simple shelf anymore, but actually a hub that concentrates all the most important aspects of a person life.

I-18 Stochastic Modular Assembly Individual module

While researches in the field of technologies evolved, the construction systems were kept behind, while the demands for a more adaptable, deployable and efficient buildings increased. Even though there is still a huge gap to be covered, the researches in the field point to a future where urban spaces would look far more like scientific fiction than what it is now, forcing architects to rethink how to create and deploy built environments.

I-19 Self Replicator Schematic of replication

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brief research | pancommunication in design


initial research | communication in design

ABSTRACT

pancommunication in design | Today, not only human but everything manufactured by him engages in an either active and open or subliminal conversation with us. Design has become a way of communicating. The theoretical foundation of what we call interface and interaction design has been speculated in cybernetics since the 1960s, coming from concepts of Man-Machine relationships and Conversation Theory. After a period of functionalist reductionism following the industrial revolution we entered what cognitive-scientist Donald Norman proclaimed as the era of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Emotional Designâ&#x20AC;?: Buildings, machines, cities began to breathe, walk, plug in and talk. This self-evidence can be seen in any child born post the digital revolution, instinctively looking for buttons, interactions and ways of communication with designed objects. What impact does this shift in machinic behaviour have on us - not only in human-machine and machine-machine but human-human communication?

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Aaron A Chevalier. Hello World Bacterial Photograph. Scientific American. 2005. 23,03,2014

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initial research | communication in design

Communication as design driver | “One cannot not communicate.”1 This postulate has been claimed the main axiom of human communication by Austrian-American communication theorist and philosopher Paul Watzlawick. Today, not only human but everything manufactured by him - from a pair of scissors to a building - engages in an either active and open or subliminal conversation with us. Design has become a way of communicating. Buildings, machines, cities began to breathe, walk, plug in and talk.2 This self-evidence can be seen in any child born post the digital revolution, instinctively looking for buttons, interactions and ways of communication with designed objects. It is symptomatic that the ‘linguistic turn’ - the focus of humanities on linguistic philisophy, leading to new concepts of semiotics and semantics since the early 20th century - goes hand in hand with the digital revolution, together with the foundation for what we call interface and interaction design.3 Both of them enabling communication between people and objects as a logically compelling consequence. In his 2013 movie “Her”, director Spike Jonze anticipates a future where we - quite literally - love our everyday machines. It paints a picture of alienation in modern urban life. And technology - subtle, almost unassuming - fills an already existing gap.4 While the film industry has been shaping the public’s expectations of the future technological developments since the early days of cinema - from Fritz Lang’s urban vision of “Metropolis” to “Minority Report” which up to this day, more than a decade later, is referenced to in abundance in any ‘future study’ of interface design and urban mobility - none of these seem to be quite the future that we are really facing.

1 Watzlawick, Paul. Some Tentative Axioms of Communication. in Pragmatics of Human Communication A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes. New York: W. W. Norton, 1967. 2 Antonelli, Paola. Talk to Me: Design and Communication between People and Objects. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. 2011. Page 6. 3 ibid. 4 Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report. WIRED. Kyle Vanhemert. 2014. 24.03.2014. <http://www.wired.com/design/2014/01/will-influential-ui-design-minority-report/>

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fig02: Emily Flake, The New Yorker Cartoon (2013)

Production designer KK Barret, working together with Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofido of DS+R, envisions a future in “Her” that is visually not so distant from the present, where objects are technologically so advanced they don’t feel the need to look and behave like technology at all anymore but are people-centric. We let them visually back down, while their voice - literally - is being more prominent than ever. Technology is synonymous with communication - not with mechanics, flat screens or input devices. Instead of being an end in itself, technology is shown an enabler, both of virtual and real life interactions.1 And - in an equal manner - instead of showing us the shortcomings of technology, the issues Jonze is depicting are fundamentally grounded in the human condition. Already in the present, objects have developed the same complexity and requirements as humans, progressing to individual identities and characters. The emotions - from joy to anger - we therefore project onto them result in expectations that go way beyond the fulfillment of a simple, mechanical function.2 How does this shift in the relation to our objects impact us - not only in human-machine and machine-machine communication but in human-human communication as well? And - as Barret asks - ‘Would it really be so weird if the machines themselves got in on the conversation? They’ve been listening in all along.’3

1 Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report. WIRED. Kyle Vanhemert. 2014. 24.03.2014. <http://www.wired.com/design/2014/01/will-influential-ui-design-minority-report/> 2 Antonelli, Paola. Talk to Me: Design and Communication between People and Objects. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. 2011. 3 Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report. WIRED. Kyle Vanhemert. 2014. 24.03.2014. <http://www.wired.com/design/2014/01/will-influential-ui-design-minority-report/> page 103


initial research | communication in design

How objects learned to talk | As every behaviour can be read as an act of communication and as there is no non-behaviour, people that are aware of each other are by definition in communication. This ever-present notion of communication is defined by British anthropologist Gregory Bateson in the 1950s: “The concept of communication includes all of those processes by which people influence one another... This definition is based on the premise that all actions and events have communicative aspects, as soon as they are perceived by a human being; it implies, futhermore, that such perception changes the information which an individual processes and therefor influences him.”1 Communication being an exchange of use values or information with internal feeedback loops, the content is always to be seen in response to the context. i.e. personal experience and the relationship between the communicators. Bateson splits the possible allocation of roles engaged in communication into symmetrical (i.e. identical parties) or, more common, complementary relationships: Complementary communications either follow a dynamic of dominance and submission (e.g. a parent-child relationship) or of exhibitionism and spectatorship (e.g. performer-audience). The parts in a complementary related communication are codependent - presence of the one is by definition necessary for the existence of the other.2 Analog to these distinct roles, the content expressed in any communication is based on subjective positions: “We can never be quite clear whether we are referring to the world as it is or the the world as we see it.”3 Or, as the fictional character of Humpty Dumpty puts it, in an attempt to decipher the nonsensical poem of the “Jabberwocky” in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”: “When I use a word (...) it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.”4 Due to the subjective nature of language, its simple components can only be comprehensively understood through their interplay, logics of composition and context. To understand the emerging nature of language and communication, Mexican-American philosopher Manuel de Landa applies principles of computational simulation. In his 2011 writings of “Synthetic Reason”, he links multi-agent systems with language, trying to describe language through what he calls grammatification: “[A process] that can break down a set of monolithic sentences into recursively, recombinable components.”5 The expression of a single sentence could be extracted into context-free, logical mathematical functions. An example he names is the abstraction of a sentence as “The full moon causes low tide” into an universal component as “Cause(x, y); x = FullMoon; y = LowTide”. De Landa uses these ideas to simulate the emergence of a ‘primitive language’, developing customary patterns and constraints on word-choice behaviour.6 Broken up in ‘speech acts’ rather than words, human communication can be categorized in abstracted elementary units all following specific motivations of communication. And provided all communications shares an universal aim of mutual understanding, a certain communicative competence is necessary to achieve understanding.7 The idea of communicative rationality, mainly developed by German sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas in his 1981 “Theory of Communicative Action”, sees all notions of rationality constructed by our language, passed on by communication, rather than in a preceding universal truth.8

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Bateson, Gregory. Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1951. Page 6. Lipset, David. Gregory Bateson the Legacy of a Scientist. Boston: Beacon Press, 1982. Bateson, Gregory. Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1951. Page 238. Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There. North Carolina: Hayes Barton Press, 1871. Page 72. DeLanda, Manuel. Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence Of Synthetic Reason. London: Continuum Press, 2011. Page 154. ibid. Page 162. Habermas, Jürgen. The Theory of Communicative Action. Boston: Beacon Press, 1981. Page 140. ibid.

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initial research | communication in design

fig05: Gordon Pask with Musicolour, Colloquy of Mobiles, ICA (1968), ‘Architecture of Conversation’ Sketch

the theory of conversation | The construction of knowledge through interaction and communication has been envisioned in like-minded way by cybernetician Gordon Pask - applied both on human and machinic behavior. The foundation of his research, his Conversation Theory was essentially based on Pask’s notion of language: Pask sees the necessity of interpretation and context in language, not locating meaning itself in language. According to contemporary linguist Noam Chomsky, language is underlined by structures and rules that are newly transformed or generated with every sentence - like a computer. This way we always understand and talk new sentences we have never heard before.1 Pask applies this understanding to all forms of communication, not differentiating between person to person, person to machine and machine to machine interactions, all sharing a common framework. Humans and devices co-exist in mutually constructive relationship, so called conversational-machines, whose responses depend on interpretation of another persons behaviour. The framework, the Paskian environment, is defined by interaction loops of cybernetic systems: Actions lead to impacts on environment lead to sensing lead to modification of the system. In Pask’s notion of new cybernetics, the observer gets pulled in this feedback loop, meaning all observers are participants and communicate.2 For the 1968 exhibition ‘Cybernetic Serendipity, Pask created a reactive, self-learning choregraphed system of five mobiles. Hanging from the ceiling and rotating around their own axis, the mobiles were capable of communicating with each other via light and sound, independently from external influences. “Male” units, sending out a beam of light, would rotate until a “female” unit, equipped with a mirror, would hit their field of vision, locking in both positions, the female unit trying to reflect the light back to the male sensors. As the mobiles would slowly learn a rhythm and choreography of ‘satisfaction’, human observers were invited to participate by directly communicating with the mobiles with a flashlight or interfering in machinic communication with a mirror.3 1 Chomsky, Noam. Syntatic Structures. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1957. Page 49. 2 Interview with Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead. in Stewart Brand (ed.). CoEvolution Quarterly. June 1973. Page 32pp. 3 Hasman, Uque. The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask. in Castle, Helen

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Man

Machine

Common Frameworkwork

Man to Machine

Machine to Machine

Human to Human

Communication

fig04: Gordon Pask, Conversation Theory (1968)

It becomes clear, that when Pasks talks about ‘Interactivity’, his notion differs from the then (and still today) usual causal deterministic definition (when user does x, machine does y). By using underspecified goals - in contrast to the machine as known by the Industrial Revolution - the input criteria is determined dynamically and the output not a direct translation, but stimulating improvisation and conversation.1 Pask is aware the rules of engagement to keep the participants interested apply of equal importance with a machine as with a human: ‘Man is [always] prone to seek novelty in his environment.’2 Many of Pasks speculative ideas from the 60s wouldn’t become reality until 30 years later. Whereas early cybernetic experiments soon reached the technical limitations of their times, the potential of human-machine communications exploded in the following decades. What came to be known as the ‘Digital Revolution’ - in tradition with the ‘Agricultural Revolution’ and ‘Industrial Revolution’ as major paradigm shifts in human society before - started with the introduction of digital technology to replace their analog and electronic counterparts in the 1950s, ongoing until the late 70s. Along with the spread of digital computers emerged the notion of communication technology. Duplication and repetition of information without cost or loss of quality as well as the ability to move, access and distribute information between media initiated the ‘Information Age’. The popularity of home computers, video games and arcade consoles in the 1970s can be seen as first prevailing communication with machines only for communications sake - the purpose of operating these machines was not to perform a task in return but ‘le communication pour le communication’. In the 1980s, digital technology and media became omnipresent in all fields of society - industrial robots, cgi in film, electronic music and digital photography - followed by their merging in one comprehensive network of the ‘world wide web’ in the 1990s and their mobilization with cell phones in the 2000s, respectively mobile internet devices in the 2010s.3 1 Bateson, Mary Catherine. Our Own Metaphor: A Personal Account of a Conference on the Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1972. 2 Pask, Gordon. A comment, a case history and a plan. in Reichhard, J (ed.). Cybernetics, Art and Ideas. London: Studio Vista,1968. Page 76. 3 Heffernan, Virginia. The Pleasures of the Internet. in The New York Times Magazine,

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fig08: Minimaforms, Becoming Animal (2007)

As the Industrial Revolution extended the human body physically, it is - according to Kenzo Tange1 - our nervous system that is prosthetically extended by the Information Revolution. The children of this revolution are therefore less concerned with issues of physicality but with the relations of communication, emotion and behaviour. This paradigm shift allowed to move on from the lasting maxime “design is problem solving”, coined by Louis Sullivan, which led the way for the precedent decades of functionalism and reductionism. A fabrication related trend to standardization - an aftermath of the Industrial Revolution - overshadowed the expressiveness capabilities of designed objects.2 Now, cognitive scientist Donald Norman could declare the era of “emotional design”, a shift from centrality of function to that of meaning. Norman sees emotions as a main driver for humans to comprehend their environment and therefore to learn.3 In his book “The Design of Everyday Things”, Norman names the main responsibility of design to enable communication between an object and its user. The language of objects is what they subliminally communicate about their purpose, their way of interaction or what they represent to the human.4 The participatory installation ‘Becoming Animal’ of 2007 by UK based experimental architecture studio Minimaforms directs an allegoric stage of communication and performance between the participant and the ‘object’ - a digital representation of the mythical three headed beast Kerberos. The user actively engages in a dialogue by putting on a mask as instrument of interaction - his literally ‘prosthetical extension’ - triggering different behavioural responses and exchanges. The idea of role-play and costuming illustrates not only the new distribution of roles between a single human and a machine, but allows collective participation of multiple users - a total of 250 dog masks with embedded LED lights were handed out, assimilating the participant and the simulation.5 The performance brought forth uninhibited human-human communication in a machinic technological environment “Give a man a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”6 - enabled through design. 1 2 3 4 5 6

Tange, Kenzo. Kenzo Tange. in Ekistics 10/66. 1966. Page 275. Antonelli, Paola. Talk to Me: Design and Communication between People and Objects. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. 2011. Page 6. ibid. Norman, Donald. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basics Book, 1988. Page 6. Spyropoulos, Stephan and Theodore. Enabling: The Work of Minimaforms. London: AA Publications, 2010. Page 130 Wilde, Oscar. The Critic as Artist, 1891. London: Mondial, 2007. Page 89.

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fig10: Rob Walker, Significant Objects (2011)

Technology is inseperably intertwined with the object, forming a concrete unit. French philosopher Jean Baudrillard sees our modern objects as “rooted in their technology, ... the technological qualities of [an] object essential.”1 In his writings on ‘The System of Objects’, he defines the dominating role of objects in today’s consumer culture more as a vehicle for communication than a material piece. What an object represents as a ‘sign’, its invisible implications, has become more important than the actual technical function.2 The signs simulate an artificial world instead of just representing reality, the difference between the two becoming more and more indistinguishable.3 New York Times journalist Rob Walker conducted what he called a literary and anthropological experiment labelled ‘Significant Objects’, inviting over 200 writers to contribute short-stories describing thrift-store found objects for a public auction in 2011. In an attempt to objectively quantify the sign value of any given object by adding a (openly made up) narrative without making any alterations to the objects itself, Walker sold virtually worthless pieces - their actual values increasing by a total of 4000%.4 A nameless baseball shaped teacup was not a nameless baseball shaped teacup anymore when it was put into context. Just like the content of human communication, what is communicated by an object remains subjective. The roles of humans and objects, being mutually dependent, become ambiguous in what Baudrillard calls ‘personalization’, or: the objectification of the subject and the subjectification of the object.5 Like Norman, he does not see the form of an object following its function, but more its role as a sign or symbol: “The sign is the function. It evokes an imaginary ideal function, beyond the limited real one. This is allegorical form, which does no more than to signify the idea of function.”6

1 2 3 4 5 6

Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects, 1968. London: Verso, 2006. Page 5. ibid. Page 59. ibid. Page 64. Walker, Rob. Signifcant Objects. 2011. 24.03.2014 <http://significantobjects.com/press-clippings/> Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects, 1968. London: Verso, 2006. Page 112. ibid. Page 59.

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initial research | communication in design

Our notion of things as beings | In her 2009 project ‘Tweenbots’, interaction designer Kacie Kinzer solely relies on this sign value and human-object co-dependence. In what implies to be advanced intelligent machinic behaviour, a cardboard robot is set out to navigate through the streets of New York City - with the pathfinding task to get to a specific destination, marked by a flag on his head. In all filmed tests of letting the robot out in the wild it would always find its goal - never getting lost or damaged. The underlying mechanics of the robots are strongly limited: a motor, rotating at constant speed in a straight line is all the machine is equipped with. The rest of its travels rely on human interaction by engaging by-passers in communication, picking up the robot, rescuing it from dangerous situations or dead ends and settings its path back on the right track. One man was observed re-directing the robot to turn back in the direction it came from, warning it “You can’t go that way, it’s towards the road!”.1 Already Baudrillard compared our relation to objects with our relation to pets2: “Any object immediately becomes the foundation of a network of habits, the focus of a set of behavioural routines.”3 What objects represent has become much more encompassing than the function they have been created to serve, with our social behaviours and expectations having evolved around them. The dynamic of dominance and submission has shifted, the lines complementary relationships blurred. And as always, when humanity encounters an - apparently external - paradigm shift, first thing to face are usual traces of the own human condition. Analogous to Karl Marx, who saw the relationship between the object and the consumer after the Industrial Revolution as mutually influential - Production produces not only goods but also the people and corresponding needs to consume them4- our everyday post-digital objects and our ubiquity of technology and media produce people that seek for communication. In their 2011 exhibition on the ubiquitous communication between people and objects, the MOMA opens with the proposition of this existential need: “I communicate, therefore I am.”5 - as paradigm for objects as well as people. Our willingness to accept things as beings has long preceded their ability to do so.

1 2 3 4 5

Kinzer, Kacy. Tweenbot. 2009. 24.03.2014 <http://www.tweenbots.com> Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects, 1968. London: Verso, 2006. Page 98. ibid. Page 100. Marx, Karl. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1859. Appendix Page 6. Talk to Me. MOMA. 2011. 23.04.2014. <http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/talktome/>

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page 111


brief research | urban data


initial research | urban data

the notion of urban data |

We see our world in data. Real-time data recording, microcontrollers and sensors commonly found in our urban environment and new techniques in data processing and visual depiction techniques lead to new conceptional relationships in mapping, understanding and visualising urban scenarios. Diagramming and visualisation of information has been a fundamental tool for communicating architecture and urbanism. Advanced data visualisations and simulations hereby allow a new degree in accuray, complexity and suppossedly objectivity of data potentially diminishing the role of abstraction and the prototypical. Can infinite, algorithmic controlled processes away from finite, abstracted results shift the intellectual responsibility of the author through the filtering process of information?

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initial research | urban data

THE DEPICTION OF URBAN DATA

A new notion of data in the city | In the 1930s, a group of British scientists and artists from diverse fields such as anthropologists and photographers started a social research experiment under the codename ‘Mass Observation’ - what came to be the one of the first known extensive attempt to quantify urban life in numbers and data. Through a tedious process of selecting 500 to 1000 London citizens that were to do specific observations of everyday-life, the task was manual data collecting and adhering these in personal diaries to “systematically (...) record human activity in this industrial town.”1 One participant would for example solely count the percentage of citizens he was to see wearing a hat or not in different scenarios. Other enumerations hinted at a more meaningful, pragmatic understanding of urban dynamics, such as the efficiency of traffic or people’s reaction at public events.2 Though laborious in execution and often criticized for its observational methods, these highly personal evaluations hinted at the notion of the city as a network of data and information that can be collected, analyzed and interacted with. Today, the world’s information is doubling every two years. In 2012, the world created hardly apperceptive 1.8 zettabytes of data.3 Advanced data processing and visual depiction - allowing a new degree in accuray, complexity and suppossedly objectivity of data - lead to new conceptional relationships in mapping, understanding and visualising fig01: first published Mass-Observation Survey 1937 urban scenarios and networks. The collection of these flows of data has become almost self-regulatory. Novel techniques in creating, capturing, taming, filtering and processing urban dynamics through “Mass Digitization” have made the information that was once so selectively handpicked within the idea of “Mass Observation” widely accessible. No citizen involved actively lifting his hand. We trust in data. And we increasingly see our world in data. Understanding of Big Data, and how it is approached aesthetically and ideologically, has made a massive impact on our social and cultural live. Numbers imply ultimate objective truth, the most reliable, indisputable information compared to subjective perception or abstraction, always exposed to human error. Our ability to handle and visualize seemingly endless amounts of data has diminished the need of abstracting information before processing it. Data has obtained a platform in society to speak for itself, unfiltered by models and the prototypical. But can data independently express itself? Is quantitative evidence all we need to explain the underlying mecha nisms of our environment? Are the connections we discover and the visualizations we produce only dependent on the quantity of the data that create them - or on how we process and understand it?

1 2 3

Harrisson, Tom and Charles Madge. First Year’s Work. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1938. Page 7. Sheridan, Dorothy. The Mass-Observation Diaries An Introduction. Sussex: University of Sussex Library and the Centre for Continuing Education, 1991. Page 1. “Extracting Value from Chaos”. Digital Universe Study. John Gantz and David Reinsel. 2011. IDC. 16.12.2013 <http://germany.emc.com/collateral/analyst-reports/idc-extracting-value-from-chaos-ar. pdf>

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Urban Data and its relation to the physical environment | Two key technocultural phenomena of our time - networks and visualization - can be directly linked with the notion of Big Data.1 A central problem of handling information besides collecting and analizing has been finding ways to visualize and communicate more and more both abstract and complex sets of data, while early 20th century theories have been problematizing mainly the relation between physical reality and its representation, not touching the conflict of contemporary information visualization: the representation of non-physical structures and connections formerly hidden from human perceptions. The problematic relation between an object and its image and the way how we uncritically transfer attributes from the object to the mere representation has been debunked by the surrealist painter Rene Magritte in his painting “The Treachery of Images” (La trahison des images, 1929) “challenging the correspondence or natural theory of the image, [i.e.] the idea that an image stands unambiguously for (or in relation to) the object which it represents.”2 This conflict has been put in a more spatial context by coeval Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski, stating: “The map is not the territory.” Under the awareness, that any map, or for that any diagrammatic depiction, will always be an abstraction, he refig02: R. Magritte, The Treachery of Images (1929) jected the universal believe in a map - as there are multiple ways of depiction for any system, a single map will always only be capable of framing one specific perspective. As the omnipresence of digital information and electronic media is blurring the former strict line of map and territory, of tangible and intangible sets of data, poststructuralist thinker Jean Baudrillard proclaimed: “Today abstraction is no longer that of the map (...). Simulation is no longer that of a territory (...). It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: A hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory - precession of simulacra - that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map..”3

fig03: Early thematic map of cholera deaths in London, 1854

1 2 3

Manovich, Lea and Manuel Lima, ed. Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. Page 12. Blakesley, David and Collin Brooke. Introduction: Notes on Visual Rhetoric. 2001. Enculturation, Vol.3, No.2. 13.12.2013 <http://www.enculturation.gmu.edu/> Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1994, Page 1.

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initial research | urban data Data-based mapping of the city | Despite network diagramming and information visualization being observed today in almost all fields of human or non-human interaction, its intellectual origin lies in the tradition of cartography and the mapping of the city, dealing with the scale-related necessity of abstraction. The city has always been a medium to condense and materialise information, long before the rise of digitalization and big data. Media is defining how we perceive, according to German media theorist Friedrich Kittler. All periphery and infrastructure of a city define networks - either of information or energy. Architecture hereby works as controlling organ, as node directing flows of information. Already antique market places defined both what they are by information and how this information is distributed just as (post-)modern shopping malls today are actively processing data.1 Having only depicted alleged physical reality at first, with a new consciousness of collecting and recording data the idea of statistical or “thematic” maps arose in the mid-nineteenth century, using the information of the existing geological or geographical maps only as cornerstones for internal stories and interrelations.2 Highly specific, more dynamic relations within urban scenarios, exposed to constant change, have become more and more of a focus of urban research in the last 50 years. A new understanding of the city and the hierarchy of urban parameters suggests a paradigm shift in which specific set of data is the defining input in the map of a city.

fig04: Louis Kahn, Traffic Study (1955)

Away from a sole focus on location and distance, factors like connectivity, movement, usage and time become driving factors for information and time based mapping. Descriptive processing of Urban Data | In 1959, in a study to record the traffic movement in Philadelphia, Louis Kahn created a series of networks of arrows, hatches and crosses - representing all traffic operators, i.e. cars, trams, motorcycles, and their varying characteristics, routes and tempos. Kahn turns the hierarchy of streets and participants, trying to find a new functional order for the flow of vehicles. Hereby, more interesting than the actual traffic proposal is the fact that Kahn actually blends out the physical map of the built environment completely - letting a network of inner forces - overlapping in parts - define a new, less static urban grid.3

1 Kittler, Friedrich. The City Is a Medium. New Literary History, Vol 27, No. 4. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1996. Page 719. 2 Bartz Petchenik, Barbara. “From Place to Space: The Psychological Achievement of Thematic Mapping”. Cartography and Geographic Information Science Vol 6, No 1. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. 1979. Page 7. 3 Matilda McQuaid, ed. Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002. Page 112.

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Technical advances in information visualization since Kahn’s attempts - mostly based on subjective assumptions have led to purely data driven evaluation, from observation based to parameter based mapping, and enabled the wide field of today’s network visualization to move to the forefront of our social and cultural live.1 In an attempt to collect and categorize contemporary information visualization, Manuel Lima - leading voice in the field of data visualization - publishes a wide array of network representations and systems in his ongoing project participatory sensing:

fig05:Jeremy Wood, Mowing the Lawn

fig06: Tom Camden, Biomapping

fig07: OpenStreetMap.org

VisualComplexity. He highlights the ability of network individualization as a discovery tool, “[extending] beyond the mere geometric construct [of graph drawing], employing elementary design principles aimed at an efficient and comprehensible representation of the targeted system.”2 The availability of electronic devices, GPS sensors and other technical innovations that can be found in urban scenarios has allowed emerging trends of social data collecting, participatory sensing, dynamic online mapping. “Social cartography” has been depicting a lattice of individual networks and personal trajectories, from big scaled projects as OpenStreetMap - an open source platform of voluntary gps tracking - to academic research - such as linking stress level and location in public spaces in an attempt of biomapping - and privately executed experiments of personal network tracking. 3 Some of the examples strike us as aesthetically binding with their complex patterns and networks, but lack any conclusions or applications. Letting only the data talk for itself, it easily dwindles to noise, revealing little more than an end in itself. Seeing this data as empowering knowledge on its own, Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, has generated a set of live interactive data maps of the city of Singapore using real-time data, seeking to “close the feedback loop between people moving in the city and the digital data generated by their actions.”4 In the exhibition LIVE! Singapore, together with the Singapore Art Museum Ratti aims to gain new insights in the urban dynamics of Singapore not by observing or by traditional statistical means but by live tracking the people in Singapore and their actions, revealing their relationships and internal networks. Presented in the projections of what Ratti calls “multidimensional maps”, the spectator can observe live changes and directly interact by reconfiguring the map according to the sets of data made available. 1 Manovich, Lea and Manuel Lima, ed. Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. Page 12. 2 Manuel Lima. The Cartography of Networks. Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Prince ton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. Page 79. Ibid, Page 79. 3 4 Live! Singapore. 2011. MIT Senseable City Lab. 13.12.2013 <http://senseable.mit.edu/livesingapore/ex hibition.html>

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initial research | urban data

fig08: MIT Senseable City Lab, LIVE! Singapore (2011)

Most maps superimpose multiple invisible and visible parameters to reveal their connection, such as the energy consumption, taxi routes or cellphone usage, aiming to “[raise] the intriguing prospect of a map drawn on the basis of dynamic elements of which the map itself is an active part, [giving] Singaporeans a new awareness of how their city behaves and pulsates in response to their actions.”1 These dynamic properties, these bottom-up phenomena within the static top-down grid of modern cities are creating field-like conditions, where the relations between the inner parts and forces are moving beyond the boundaries of the urban grid they are operating within. Most striking though is an isochronic map, deforming the geographic map of the city with distances shrinking and expanding, morphing live according to the amount of time, not space that seperates the points on the map. Here, Ratti transcends mere uncovering of information and enters a generative realm, completely neglecting the physical map of Singapore as unalterable reality, lifting the importance of information based factors above. Generative processing of Urban Data | More radical and conceptual approaches have proposed to use information not for descriptive means but translate this knowledge of non-visible forces and utilize them to create new forms of organizations. The notion of the architect as “information architect”, mainly processing the parameters he is been given, has been first introduced by the Neo-Avantgarde around the New York Five in the 1960’s - an attitude that puts the importance of diagramming away from a mere representational function to be the “final tool” in architecture, to generate and define form by using information as initial input - not to post-rationalize.2 Thus, Jacques Bertin, French cartographer and theorist, proclaimed the generative power of information visualization in his book “Semiology of Graphics”: The graphic is no longer only the ‘representation’ of a final simplification, it is a point of departure for the discovery of these simplifications and the means for their justification. The graphic has become, by its manageability, an instrument for information processing.3 1 2 3

Ibid. Somol, R.E. “Dummy Text, or The Diagrammatic Basis of Contemporary Architecture”. Diagram Diaries. London: Thames & Hudson, 1999. Page 7-25. Bertin, Jean. Sémiologie Graphique. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1967.

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In a graphical attempt to subversively overule the order of the city in favor of a personal logic of internal relations, the urban studies of the Situationists mark a drastic transformation of the static urban grid. “The Naked City” by Guy Debord uses techniques of cut-outs and collages with flexible interconnections and vector-relations, proposing a highly personal order of Paris’ arrondissements reconfigured according to individual paths and experiential, temporal values. 1 Under the notion of “psychogeographic” maps, the Situationists strived for narrative, subjective values, utilizing the map as a tool for several innovative schemes of urban order by abstracting urban spaces from their grid, networking them according to typolofig09: Guy Debord, The Naked City (1957) gies. The intentional use of non-universal but subjective depiction of information has been unlikely in mapping or cartography. Art critic Catherine Walworth acknowledges this potential in an essay accompying 2004 exhibition of ‘City Maps’ rendered by contemporary artists: “[Maps] wouldn’t make sense in a language of pure subjectivity - or would they? We invest boundless excitement in maps (...) qualifying maps as conceptual rather than purely representational, opening a door for subjective interpretations of place.”2 Berlin architect Jürgen Mayer H. translates this notion of subjective perception and organization of space in a digital realm. In his winning proposal A.Way for the Urban Future Initiative, Mayer sees the city not from a single individual point of view as described by Debord, but as individualized clouds of data that can exist simultaneously and be differently perceived by each citizen.

fig10: Jürgen Mayer H, A.Way (2010)

1 Sadler, Simon. The Naked City. The Situationist City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1998. Page 20-60. 2 Walworth, Catherine and Rebecca S. Cohen, ed. ‘City Maps’ Art Lies No 42. Houston: self published, 2004.

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initial research | urban data Mayer predicts the most significant impact on urban infrastructure and mobility to be not physical, but digitally augmented urban space. Traffic of vehicles and data would become one and be in constant exchange between user, car and architecture. Focused on the sensioral experience of each citizen, the digital landscape would “selectively allow or reject individual aspects of the city”, the car moving from being a “driving machine” to “viewing machine” enabling the user to experience his surrounding data.1 While all these scenarios let information act as as additional layer of information, either superimposed on the old city or by the means of relocating or reconfiguring existing paths, in the 1998 video installation METACITY/DATATOWN, MVRDV partner Winy Maas envisions a scenario that is based only upon data, without given topography, representation or context. A purely numerical approach, METACITY is to be a city that wants to be described by information. Not in dialogue with any existing site, here Data really speaks for itself and nothing but itself - as an ideal scenario if the built environment would not obstruct its development. DATATOWN serves as a case study within this concept, texting “extrmizing scenarios” to define frontiers, edges and inventions. The information used is based on an extrapolation of openly available dutch statistics, the boundaries of the city are defined by one hour of travelling, all within functioning autarkic and self supporting without considering any outside boundary conditions. Within the boundaries, all gathered data is sorted in a barcode sequence of sectors and zones, existing on various assumption-based ‘what if’ scenarios and variations.2

fig11: MVRDV, METACITY/DATATOWN (1998)

1 A.Ways. 2010.Mayer H, Juergen. 16.12.2013 <http://www.jmayerh.de/85-0-A-Way.html> 2 Maas, Winy, ed. MetaCity/Datatown. Rotterdam: 010 Uitgeverij, 1999. Page 88

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3 // Implications of data-driven objectivity Human fascination for data is driven by the search for objectivity. Though information is used to enable individualized, personal experiences - like in Debord’s and Mayer’s work - generally if there is a correlation between quantitative and qualitative data, it seems to be the conception that high quantity of data actually leads to universal objectivity. Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, postulates in a 2008 article: “Big Data means the end of all theory.”1 Traditional analysis of semantics or causal relationships are ruled unnecessary as Big Data allows them to be replaced by tools of applied mathematics and stochastic. Scientists have been relying on testing hypothesis and abstracting mechanisms underlying our world to explain it, not changing the core approach of the scientific model for hundreds of years. The more we learn (...), the further we find ourselves from a model that can explain it. There is now a better way. Petabytes allow us to say: ‘Correlation is enough.’ We can stop looking for models. We can analyze the data without hypotheses about what it might show. 2 If “all models are wrong” - are they still useful or can we succeed without them?3 Anderson replaces the question for “Why?” with “What?”. But algorithmic processed data is to replace traditional techniques to filter information, not to take over the intellectual responsibility of the author. There is no constraining conflict of data and model, of correlation and causation. In order to make sense of the data we create, a high level of control of these rulesets seems more crucial than the issue of collecting and processing. And while it is deemed easy to hide behind the indefeasibility of numbers, obscuring lack of causal insight, any data can only be communicated with an understanding of the coherences that lie beneath. Data might not lie, though neither is it omniscient. The initiative ‘Engaging Data’, started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in November 2013, hosted a panel discussion about today’s reliance but lack of critical engagement with Big Data - turning it into Bad Data. Critizing the way we converse with data, American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky concluded the keynote: “You can get all the data - but you have to understand what it is about”.4 In each case-studies mentioned above, the “What”, the data, has always been applied with a strong intellectual understanding of the “Why”, not making the question obsolete but adressing it differently. To put meaning in data, it has to be read. Like learning any foreign language, its symbols and grammars need to be deciphered and understood. And with its semiology still being in a phase of exploration and formfinding, only little universal rules have been established. Already the surveyors of the Mass Observation diaries, collected a hundred years ago, were forced to a similiar realization: most of them where left with endless pages of notes - failing to make meaningful connections without knowledge of the underlying logics.

1 Anderson, Chris. “The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete”. Wired Magazine Vo 17 2007. 13.12.2013. <http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory> 2 Ibid. 3 “All Models are wrong - but some are useful.” Britisth statistician George Box (Box, George E. P.; Norman R. Draper, ed. Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces. Wiley, 1987. Page 424.) “All models are wrong, and increasingly we can succeed without them.” Google research director, Peter Norvig (O’Reillyy Emerging Technology Conference 2009. 13.12.2013 <http://en.oreilly.com/et2008/public/content/news-coverage>) 4 Engaging Data. 2013. Chomsky, Noam. Massachusetts Institute for Technology. 13.12. 2013. <http://senseable.mit.edu/engagingdata2013/videos.html>

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brief research | immersive environments


initial research | immersive environments The world as we perceive is limited o our senses. In nature, many animals have increased senses, and therefore they can perceive things that are invisible to us, humans. However, only because we can’t see, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. The virtual space is an abstraction of the space. With the new technologies we can expand our perceptions and conquer unknown territories. From this perspective, the reality is relative, and the way we build our memories is related to it. The collective memory is what unites a nation and builds a sensation of belonging. Belong to a group means to share similar ideas. This work is an investigation towards virtual spaces and immersive experiences and how it can influences and alters the collective memory of a group.

// Immersive environments shaping collective memory

I-01 The Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna

I-02 The Allegory of the Cave Illustrative image

In his Allegory of the Cave (I-01), Plato describes some prisoners that live in a dark cave, chained in the walls. The only thing they can see is some moving shadows in the opposing wall, projected by an external light source (I-02). Those shadows are the only reality the prisoners know. At some point, one of the prisoners scape the cave, just to realize that the shadows had no substance, was only a reflection of what was happening outside the cave, and are capable of understanding the true world. When he goes back to the cave, however, any of the prisoners believes in what he told, fearing him as a corrupted man. What he suggests, however, is that the world as we perceive could be simply a shadow of something else, and that the responsibility of the philosopher is to go outside the cave to understand how things really are, being able to retrieve the information and produce knowledge with it. On the other hand, his return to the cave is an unhappy moment, remembering that people must see the reality by its own means, and that for the philosopher, he would never be able to accept the darkness again. These ideas resembles the postmodern concept of hyperreality, a result of ‘technological mediation of experience, where what passes for reality is a network of images and signs without an external referent, such that what is represented is representation itself’ 1. By that, we can understand that maybe we are building our certainties and memories based in an inexistent or limited reality.

Architecture has always been a tool to protect collective memory. However, today the concept of space is blurred by the idea of virtual spaces becoming intrinsic parts of our lives. Never in history the concept of connection and interaction have been so present, while at the same time we’re engaging even less with the physical space creating a sedentary loop, while the distinction between the real and the representation disappears, remaining only the simulacra. Architectural spaces can now be understood as flux of information, and it should be imagined as real tools to engage the user. As for the understanding of simulacra, the reality is irrelevant for the comprehension of our lives. By connecting data and experiences that develop through the relationship with the virtual space, the built spaces becomes an interactive, adaptive and animate entity, where immersive environments can be understood more than just spaces of wonder, reshaping the collective memory.

1 Aylesworth, Gary, “Postmodernism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/postmodernism/>

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// The collective memory “It is in society that people normally acquire their memories. It is also in society that they recall, recognize, and localize their memories” Maurice Halbwachs (1992, p. 38) Information, before being storage in memory pass trough tree stages of mental processing: the sensory memory, the short-term memory and the long-term memory 2. Whereas memory passes to the next generations by many ways, being one of them the monuments that we build in our cities. The collective memory however, is shaped by a constant exchange between personal memories and the memory of the group. Personal memory is shaped by our experiences and sensations related to how we perceive the world and the judgments that we do based in our personal experience. In this sense, collective memory is an assemblage of personal perceptions. As memory to be formed relies in the comprehension of each individual of what reality is, it can considerably vary between each person, so what we can extract of being considered the “most rough and real” is the sensations it caused, and not the records of the facts. The ability of extracting sensations of people is the most important aspect of architecture, when it comes to memory and the shaping of identity. Maurice Halbwachs claims that the impressions that we have rush by, and therefore is by our physical surroundings that we can understand and recapture the past. In these means, the space and the built environment have a huge importance in the construction of the memory 3. For him, the “space” is strictly connected to the frameworks of society, and not only to the “physical and sensory qualities of things”, as it is delivered to us also as an understanding of someone else 4. So, its the connections we establish with the physical environment and with the society we are inserted in, one of the pieces that shapes our personality, even though it is still related to the personal sensation of each individual. A group, in posses of a collective memory can build a space of recalled memories. In this sense, media also influences our personality, as it is an artefact capable of shaping our behaviours and mind-sets. Media, in all it manners, is an edition of reality. Even though it can look real what we see in television for example, it has actually been edited to fit in these mediums, and therefore is just a collage of what reality is. ‘The medium is the message’ 5. Our experiences become simply a collage of signs and symbols that represent things, without actually being anything, or having any meaning embedded in it. The whole experience of living is mediated by enterprises, media, and people that controls what we see and what we think, and even indirectly control our experiences, instigating us to experience specific sensations. On the other hand, when it comes to information, there’s a shift in this idea. Information can exist in a system as a causal input. However, if information is perceived and interpreted by a conscious mind it is transformed in to “knowledge” 6. In this perspective, information is the message, and if a message becomes the medium, it means that we’re not receiving any information at all, and therefore no knowledge is being produced. 2 McLeod, S. A. (2007). Stages of Memory - Encoding Storage and Retrieval. Retrieved from <http://www.simplypsychology.org/memory.html> 3 Halbwachs, Maurice. “SPACE AND THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY.” The Collective Memory. New York: Harper &  Row, 1980. N. pag. Print. 4 Ibid.

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initial research | immersive environments It is exactly this quality, the ability of “informing” something that qualifies immersive environments as a medium. Much of what is said to be “immersive” is mainly the manifestation of the medium by itself, a fabric of simulacra, but we should look for this medium as something capable on enlightening our comprehension of the world, imprinting memories for the future. A good relation with the idea of virtual should be one that augments our experiences, but not one that substitute it at all. We can see these ideas taking form in Gordon Pask approaches, as he was more interested in creating information 7, rather than summarizing it, creating an architecture that wasn’t based in causal relationships. For Baudrillard, the contemporary society detached itself from reality, replacing reality and meaning with symbols and signs that represents the reality, but actually doesn’t have any real connection with the reality itself, they are situated in a different dimension, one where reality is irrelevant to the understanding of our lives. In this sense, our lives are not based in reality, but in simulations of reality, mediated by the mass media. He divides this comprehension in four stages (faithful, perversion, pretense and pure). The first is based in faithful copies, which are valid for our comprehension of it, like portraits for example. The second is also a copy, but not a faithful one, starting to transform this reality into a mere sign, like icons. The next stage is characterized by the simulacrum, where the copy pretends to be a truth copy, but doesn’t have an original, is just a pastiche of signs and symbols, like Disneyland, as it is an artificial environment, a copy, but without original. The last stage is the simulation, where the simulacrum loses any connection with reality, a hyperreal dimension, where immersive, interactive environments can be situated in. The hyperreal is the abstraction of the intermediation of mass media, with no defined boundaries, with no specific medium, and therefore is more then the medium itself, as the medium is already the hyperreal. Today no longer requires that the symbols have a verifiable contact with the world that supposedly represent, liquidating all the referential. In this sense, one can argue that collective memory shouldn’t be imposed, but rather be built by each person’s perspective. On dealing with immersive environments, the body and the ability to sense the space must be in focus, but also the mind, as something that triggers an extra perception. With new technologies, the nature of the sensations is augmented, expanding the ability of understanding the world in different levels of complexity.

// A machine with underspecified goals The process through which immersive environments are built relies on the idea of individual memory building a collective one, as the personal experience being the main point to differentiate and shape the result, allowing emergent behaviours. Immersive environments can be designed in a collective perspective, by generating the initial conditions, but it’s the result of the personal experience that increases the relevance of the interactions, shaping the final output. The main goal of virtual reality is generally to create an immersive and interactive experience that makes us forget that it’s a simulated artificial space 8. As Baudrillard claims, these simulacrums can drain us out of reality, constructing a believe that the artificial environment is the reality by itself, blurring the boundaries of reality and simulation. 5 McLuhan, Marshall, and Quentin Fiore. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print. 6 Dusenbery, David B. (1992). Sensory Ecology. W.H. Freeman., New York. ISBN 0-7167-2333-6 7 Haque, Usman. “The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask.” Architectural Design Magazine 2007: 54-61. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf>. Haque, Usman. “The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask.” Architectural Design Magazine 2007: 54-61. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/ architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf>. 8 Soules, Marshall. (21/03/2014). Virtual Reality / Hyper-Reality. Media Studies at Vancouver Island University. Retrieved from <http://www.media-studies.ca/articles/vr.htm>

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However, the ideas on interactive environments posed by Gordon Pask (I-03) points to the opposite direction of the fears of Baudrillard. For him, as a cyberneticist, the complex technologies behind the systems shouldn’t be hidden from people, as we must have at least a bit of control from the constructed environment that we are thrown in, being able to select what is important or not, or what makes sense or not, instead of relying completely in the hands of the designer. As Usman Hasque explain about Pask, the relation between human and machine is of extreme importance, and the level of negotiation is what can really create a higher level of understanding. The times are those where we have the ability to understand the technologies that are around us, and yet, much of what is being done in computer technologies are going in a direction where everything is hidden from the user, creating new types of simulacra 9.

I-03 Gordon Pask

“A Paskian approach to architecture does not necessarily require complexity of interaction – it relies on the creativity of the person and the machine negotiating across an interface, technological or otherwise”. Usman Haque The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask

Pask introduced concepts of an evolutionary model for his systems. For him, as a cyberneticist, it was important that machines that could evolve and adapt. He called this “a machine with underspecified goals”. This notion was completely different from the notion in the industrial revolution, where machines had a final objective. The evolution of technologies should look into the creation of intelligent systems, and not simply “machines”, but actually cybernetic systems capable of trough actions, create impacts in the environment, modificating its actions with feedback loops 10. He defined how the interaction should be in order to enable collaboration, creating different ‘profiles of interaction’ that would keep people interested. His projects was mainly analogues, which indicates that what is in the core of “interaction” is not simply the technology that enables the interactivity, but actually the “logics” through which the system is built and what governs the relations between human-to- human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine. In his project Colloquy of Mobiles (1968) (I-04), these interactions between people and machine and machine-to- machine is clear, as the actions can randomly influence the output of the machine. The project was a collection of artefacts that was suspended in the ceiling, able to move and rotate. Some of them emitted light and had a light sensor, while the others had mirrors in it in order to reflect this light (I-05). The objects started to move randomly, and when a beam of light was reflected back to its origins, the whole system stopped to move for a while, until it starts to move again, looking for new equilibrium. The most interesting reactions however were the ones between men and machine. Some people walked around the objects with a flashlight, directing the light beams to the objects and affecting the equilibrium of the system, as the machines wasn’t able to distinguish it between human and machine, but even tough the system found coherence.

I-04 Gordon Pask, Colloquy of Mobiles, ICA, London, 1968 The system was part of the ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’ exhibition

I-05 Gordon Pask, Colloquy of Mobiles, ICA, London, 1968

9 Haque, Usman. “The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask.” Architectural Design Magazine 2007: 54-61. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf>. 10 Ibid.

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initial research | immersive environments // Contemporary examples – the hyperreal “Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal...” Jean Baudrillard Simulacra and Simulation (1981)

I-06a The unnamed soundsculpture Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer

I-07 The unnamed soundsculpture Cameras recording the dancer

As we can see from Gordon Pask, the most important thing to achieve a real interaction is the ability of the system to work unpredictably, based on inputs and feedbacks. However, it was with the addition of the interface that the whole idea of interactivity gains a new perspective, expanding the possibilities of the system by allowing real immersions into a built environment, but also creating the space of simulacra that Baudrillard points out. The interface, in this sense, adds physicality to the information flux. Also, the addition of storytelling, of an objective to the system, transforms it into more than a simple reactive system, it becomes a platform for something else. The Unnamed Soundsculpture, a project from Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer, creates a new dimensionality for reality. It’s an example of how an interface can augment and increase the way we perceive and relate with things. The project premises was to create a moving sculpture that would choreograph according to the music. For that, they used three Kinect cameras to record a dancer (I-07) that moved her body accordingly to the music, creating images that were loaded inside the program (processing) and assigned to a 3d point cloud. The exactly point from where the seed started to grow was random, which allowed different compositions to be made out of one single record. These collected data was later exported as a Krakatoa particle file to 3D Max (I-08, I-09), in order to be rendered and build up the scene, with a camera that was reactive to the sound as well.

The result is an incredibly beautiful piece of art, that take us to another dimension of perception, as the points move around according to the movements performed, leaving a trail in slow motion that encapsulate the movement, building a non- existent, invisible space, transforming the movement of the dancer into something tangible and visual, augmenting our possibilities of perception. It increases the materiality of the dance and the body by itself, building a virtual space. The way system triggers sensory and perception allow us to build a different knowledge and understanding of reality, creating a new type of memory. The insertion of fantasy is another way of building individual and collective memory in time and space, giving to the user freedom to perform and play. It’s a simulated space, where the user is aware of it, but the possibility of treating it as a fantasy world turns the full immersion into a far play, translating him to a new dimension, an hyper-real one. The project of Minimaforms, Becoming Animal, (I-10) is an interesting example of a system, that trough a built interface is capable of triggering real interaction between the user and the machine, not only by simulating behaviours in the system, but actually engaging the user to interact and communicate, incorporating the character and playing with the machine and between themselves. The project explores the myth of Kerberus, a three- headed beast that secures the underworld. These beasts are projected in the walls, and exhibit complex behaviours. The presence of the people ‘stimulates the heads, triggering behaviour-based interactions and exchanges. Interactions are expressed trough sounds, facial expressions and general activity of the Kerberus. The continued dialogue between users and the system demonstrates emotive exchanges that exhibit love, anger and boredom’ 11. Each participant is stimulated to wear a dog mask with LED lights, which obscured their faces, stimulating them to really engage in the “play” and increasing the feeling of immersion.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 130


Participants were tracked by light sensors, allowing the system to recognize the amount of people and their proximity by the analysis of the intensity of the light values and dynamically map them, sending feedbacks to the systems that would respond through the dogs behaviour.

I-09 The unnamed soundsculpture File exported to 3DMAX

I-10 Minimaforms/Becoming Animal

Becoming Animal is an example of a simulated environment capable of stimulating and increasing communication and understanding between people trough the use of storytelling and theatre techniques, using the immersion concept not as a substitute of the reality, but actually increasing this reality, bringing together people in a mutual collaboration (I-13), stimulating the creativity and broadening the perception and sensations. It plays with the information, creating knowledge and therefore building memory. A visual example of a real simulation in Baudrillard’s conception is the game The Sims. (I-14) It imitates reality, based in signs and codifications that are translated into the game. One “god” controls everything, the person behind the player that appears in the game as an avatar, a pastiche of personal desires. The game is a simulation of a neighbourhood, where you build your own house, work, make friends (I-16), eat, etc. The game doesn’t have a clear objective, or a specific goal to reach, it is about the pure simulation by itself.

The success of the game makes clear that fantasy plays an important role in people’s life, and this “safe” manipulation of reality can be made trough an interface, that establish some kind of distance from the real life, suggesting a desire of controlling the reality. Human interaction is becoming less important, as machines dominates the methods of communication, interpolating the human contact. In addition, human behaviours are starting to be shaped by the virtual environment. Similarly with The Sims, but with a corrupted intention, social networks are also an immersive experience where people sell themselves like avatar’s of what they want to look like, building an edited reality, a virtual territory, hiding behind the technology. However, this virtual territory is not a conquer anymore, but actually an extension of people’s life.

I-13 Minimaforms/Becoming Animal The project incentives the user to interact

This obscure desire for exchanging personalities and playing different roles in different situations can be observed in the BeAnotherLab, a research group from IAAC Barcelona in the project The Machine To Be Another (I-17). However, the goals of the research group are to investigate the possibilities of communication, empathy, tolerance and self-understanding 12. The beauty of the project shows up when the system allows a disabled ballerina to experience herself dancing perfectly through the images of a Senegalese dancer. Is a type of simulation that trespass the perverse idea behind faking a reality in order to broadening self-understanding.

I-14 The Sims Game City perspective

11 Spyropoulos, Theodore. Minimaforms – Becoming Animal. Retrieved from <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma> 12 Souppouris, Aaron. Virtual reality made me believe I was someone else. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theverge. com/2014/3/24/5526694/virtual-reality-made-me-believe-i-was-someone-else>.

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initial research | immersive environments

I-17 The Machine to be Another User’s perspective | Interaction with objects generates the perception of being inside another body

The project is an interactive installation, where two people interact through an interface that allows the ‘user’ to see himself in the body of the ‘performer’. By wearing an immersive glass (I-19), the user sees a video by the perspective of the performer, and listens to a narrative of his personal story, helping to create the sensation of a voice talking inside its head. The performer, at the same time observes the movements made by the user and repeat them, creating a coherence with the movements of the user, making the simulation seems more real as it is recorded in real time and reflected in the video being exhibited in the user’s glass. In this sense, the movement that the user does kind of “controls” the performer. Also, the user interact with objects and other people through contact, increasing the sensation of the immersion. The system ‘merges technology with other variables such as the performance, an interactive narrative, the experiments assistants as well as sensorial, motor and physical stimuli disposed in the space, with which the user can interact’ 13.

// Conclusion The visual culture plays an important role in the contemporary society, being architecture one of the most important medium, capable of influencing the personal perception of reality, exactly the one that structure the basis of the collective memory. It becomes a luxury, a collective desire, a substitute of reality, capable of shaping the culture and identity of the society as a component of the mass media system. The new technologies are changing the established relation with the space, engaging the user, allowing each individual to take responsibility on the space it’s inhabit. Technology is not supplementary anymore, but necessary, intrinsic part of our life’s. The Allegory of the Cave is an important analogy to help us understand the shift of technology that we are experiencing now, as we can see the immersive experience as a door to a new way of perceiving the world, or better, augmenting our senses, but at the same time is a route with no turning back. As a counterpoint, we’re building a world of simulacra, where experiences aren’t real, being mediated by technology and blurring our references. Space, presence and interaction become abstract concepts. No one would deny that a person talking through Skype is not real, but it’s a mediated reality. Immersive experiences however resort to real senses like touch, sound and smell to make the experiences feel more “real”, pointing that for the mind, to build memories out of that experiences, the real presence is not really necessary. The augmentation of reality can be very useful in many ways, but it becomes a problem when people start to substitute real experiences by the virtual ones. Truth is that the experience is what is being left behind, stimulating a sedentary life, even if we live in times where the concept of mobility and interaction was never been so intensely experienced.

I-19 The Machine to be Another Immersive glasses

13 Be Another Lab. The Machine To Be Another. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. Retrieved from <http://www.themachinetobeanother. org/?page_id=764>

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 132


page 133


UNIT


initial research | synergetic formfinding


initial research | synergetic formfinding

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 138


phase shifting geometry prototyping

initial prototyping | Exploring ways of how a single module can be enabled to show behavior and autonomy and due to the space-packing, self-structuring and kinetic requirements of our design proposal, we started our research in the world of polyhedra and transformational geometry. The initial research and formfinding was grounded in specific polyhedra, their packing and decomposition logics and kinetic qualities - exploring how a geometry can transform and what are the implications on its connected surrounding

page 139


initial research | synergetic formfinding

internal connections |

The star-shaped edges of the units geometry fold and overlap internally, its outside-pointing vertix describing differing polyhedral hull. Its initial constellation correspond to the vertices of a cube, in its collapsed shape it mimics the vertices of an octahedron. functional principle

sta

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 140

oonn

rraannsf s oofftt sfoorrmmaat atetes ti i t s


phase shifting geometry prototyping

page 141


initial research | synergetic formfinding

invert packing |

A single cube, able to duplicate to two equal-volumed cubes by inside-out reconfiguration. When unfolded, each cube transforms to a stellated polyhedra - starshaped - packed inverted into each others negative shape.

functional principle

on

ran s of t sforma ate ti t s

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 142


phase shifting geometry prototyping

page 143


initial research | synergetic formfinding

rotating edges |

Six irregular tetrahedra, folded out of one continuous piece to a closed, hexagonal shape. The connection between its parts -each only fixed through one, alternating edge to its neighbor - allows and endless, twisting rotational movement. functional principle

on

ran s of t sforma ate ti t s

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 144


phase shifting geometry prototyping

page 145


initial research | synergetic formfinding

rotating edges |

As the platonic solids of the regular octahedron, isocahedron and cuboctahedron are inheritently embedded within each other, they can flip stages from one to the other by a simple rotational movement between neighboring faces on its connecting vertix. the resulting geometry expands in volume and re-configures its faceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neigh- bourship relations, in a 5 staged loop.

on

ran s of t sforma ate ti t s

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 146


phase shifting geometry prototyping

page 147


initial research | synergetic formfinding

octa-tetra pyramid |

based on previous experiment, if four of the baseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight faces are extruded with a regular tetrahedra, the resulting geometry now operates on a regular (octa-tetra) grid. It can therefore fill the space without gaps, its possible face connections increase to sixteen.

on

ran s of t sforma ate ti t s

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 148


phase shifting geometry prototyping

top view

page 149


initial research | synergetic formfinding

negative space stellation |

a stellated variation of previous prototype, each of the baseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight faces are stellated both in- and outwards to fill the inside space completely. The resulting geometry - a stellated octehedra in collapsed form describes a perfect cube in expanded state. Amount of faces increases to 24.

on

ran s of t sforma ate ti t s

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 150


phase shifting geometry prototyping

top view

page 151


base unit design | unit introduction


base unit design | unit introduction

the unit |

The unit, the system’s main building block, is based on a simple rotational movement of the faces of an octahedron around the vertices of its neighbor. Within this transformation, the unit starts from octahedral state, expands to an icosahedron, cuboctahedron, back to icosahedron an and octahedron again - expanding up to 1.5x in size, and changing both orientation and location of all its faces. An analysis of the movment shows a series of different relational changes within one unit, from mere linear translating of opposing faces to relocation and rotation of diagonal faces. Changes that affect the units potential search space to aggregate, allowing new connections, resp. a local transformation reconfiguring other connected structures. In order to actuatie the unit and enable it to act autonomous, different approaches from introduction of flexible unit to unit interfaces to internal mechanics and controls were explored. The main unit has several design features embedded that enable it to act autonomously and perform in a plug’n’play manner, The external shell follows two main function of Unit-to-Unit Interface: Construction & Communication between units, Construction is concerned with Connecting & Disconnecting and Interlocking between a Unit’s faces, Communication with Body-Plan Awareness and sequencing. A single unit can be fabricated with simple diy components all parts except the electronics can be printed within 12 and assembled within 2 hours with any desktop 3d printer..

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 154


unit | scale 1:1 page 155


base unit design | geometrical properties

• state 01 float state

• state 02 float state

01

type: regular polyhedron vertices: 6 faces (by sides): 8 (3) dihedral angle: 109.47°

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 156

02

osahedron _ic

ctahedron _o

geometricalconfigurations

• state 03

type: regular polyhedron vertices: 12 faces (by sides): 20 (3) dihedral angle: 138.19°


states of transformation

03

04

type: regular polyhedron vertices: 12 faces (by sides): 20 (3) dihedral angle: 138.19째

ctahedron _o

uboctahed

osahedron _ic

_c

n ro

type: quasiregular polyhedron vertices: 8(3) + 6(4) faces (by sides): 12 dihedral angle: 125.26째

05

type: regular polyhedron vertices: 6 faces (by sides): 8 (3) dihedral angle: 109.47째

page 157


base unit design | unit anatomy tech specs weight | 750g energy | (0.2-1.5 Ampere) x 2 Servos speed | 0.7 second / 60 째 (no load) max lift load | 3kg output torque | 6kg-cm max cantilever | 4 Units (80cm / 3kg)

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 158






shell |









structural bumper • interlocking topography • 















front view [expanded] | scale 1:3

top view [contract] |



unit connector |

  



unit to unit communication • magnetic interface •

 



 

 





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 











front view [expanded] | scale 1:3

top view [contract] |











suspended servo | double servo (reverse mounted) • unit’s center of gravity •

 







rotational mechanism |

 

 

double rotational axis • planar rotational hinged •





  





 



 





  







 

 

 

















mechanism | scale 1:3

 



structural joints | face-load-bearing function • telescope arms embedded in mechanism •



 

 

 





top view [contract] |









single joints | scale 1:3







 

  







 











 









 







 



 





page 159



 

 

 

front view [expanded] | scale 1:3 

 

 





 





 

 

 





  

 




















base unit design | geometrical properties

face relations differentation | the 8 octahedral faces differ in their degree of mobility and their complexity of movement during the transformation. observed from a fixed plane, opposing faces merely shift on a linear axis where diagonal and neighboring faces translate in a rotational movement around the center and itself. the search space for potential aggregations therefore differs drastically between each face.

• possibilities of interaction:

0° / 120°

30° / 90°

• path of movement: 60° | cuboctahedra 30° | icosahedra

60° 90° | icosahedra 0° | octahedra 120° | octahedra

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 160


potential search space

diagonal faces

neighbouring faces

opposing faces

fixed reference plane

page 161


base unit design | geometrical properties

movement path

initial input

base structure positions

no active units

1

1

2

2

25

no passive units

2

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 162


movement path tracking

page 163


base unit design | unit fabrication


base unit design | actuation & fabrication evolution of prototypes | v0 .3

ert inv p ac k i n g v1 .0

ert inv p ac k i n g v0 .2

v1 .2

ste d faces

que unit

llate v1 .1

v1 .2

B

B

ern int

volumetric faces

rapid prototyping

etra faces ta-t

ed joints bedd em

oc

al connection s

initial formfinding

noco mo

A

ed ional ges tat ro v0 .1

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 166

A

v1 .1


activation

-patterne d

na l a

ned faces

ctivation

tter pa

o ag di

A

m

u lt

a iple

ctivation

unit autonomy

a rl

uble do

table faces nfla Bi .0

e in

B

face actuation

ct rnal a ivation v2 .2 _l v2 v1 .3

v2 .1 v2 .0 v1 .3

xte _e

attern

uated faces act

xa p he

-A

C

soft faces

evolutionary taxonomy

v2 .3 _ v1 .3

v3 .0 _

page 167


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

monocoque unit | the monocoque unit is 3d printed in sls out of one coherent geometry. to mimize movable components, possibility of breakage and ease the fabrication process, all connection details and joints are embedded within one precisely interlocking piece, impossible to assemble by individual manifactured items. due to the expanding qualities of the module, it can be printed in volume and material saving contracted state and expand once out of the machine.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 168


monocoque unit

top view 3.5

cm

-

+ -

+

-

+

3.5

cm

front view

right view 5cm

5cm

+

-

5cm

-

5cm

+

+ -

-

+

-

+

page 169


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 170


page 171


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

embedded joints | for minimised seperate parts, all mechanism to enable locomotion as well as interface for magnetic face to face connections are embedded within the geometryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vertices, i.e. the corner joints. During and after the unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assembly, the face components remain exchangeable, allowing the quick testing of different face designs (male/female interfaces etc) and a scaleless application.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 172


embedded joints

125.26°

-

+

• front view

-

+

joint component

• minimised seperate parts • integrated connection-points

• top view

unit assembly

• exchangeable face components • scaleless application

page 173


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 174


page 175


unit actuation | By the means of Arduino/based micro-controlling, different mechanisms of activation were tested to automatize the unit, both to enable its control over its faces (to make small relocation and movements within the grid) and transformational mechanism. Main aims are the ability to autonomously (dis-)connect and communicate to the system and a simple movement activation embedded within a streamlined fabrication process.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 176


page 177


base unit design | actuation & fabrication actuation prototype v0.0. | external actuation

opposing pushing faces

opposing face actuation | proximity sensors, magnetic faces and a rotational micro-servo are used as an external push-pull mechanism to expand and compress two opposing faces of the unit, allowing its transformational movemnt. • reliable manufacturing process • precise control

sensor - sensor

sensor - human

• only allows half-movement of the movement • all mechanics and sensoric is located external to the units body

• actuator build-up: Fixpoint Wire to Wheel

TURNIGY S8166 Servo Motor Radius // 7cm Fishing Wire connected to Component

Pull Length // 18cm Installation Base

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 178


external actuation

â&#x20AC;˘ movement sequence: 1

2

3

4

page 179


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

diagonal rotational faces

soft face actuation | A central full rotational micro-servo is attached to the unit’s face-centers via flexible hinges. The mechanism allows the individual control of the expansion and contraction of the units patterned soft-faces for simple re-positioning and to connect and disconnect to other units. • independent actuation of the units indivdual faces • all faces activated via one single servo • no transformation of the units geometry • fixing of mechanism requires two faces

perspective:

top view:

front view:

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 180


soft face actuation

page 181


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 182


al

rotation

a x is page 183


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

opposing pushing faces

perspective:

opposing face actuation |

top view:

front view:

the use of linear actuators to expand and compress two opposing faces of the unit allows prototypes with reliable internal mechanisms and control. the mechanics require no rotational or free-axis movement, but are limited in speed and size due to the nature of its actuation. • simple manufacturing process • least breakable parts • precise control • only allows half-movement • requires linear actuator

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 184


opposing face actuation

page 185


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

lin

ea

ra

ct

ua to r

firgelli l12 | miniatur linear actuator stroke: 100mm maximum force: 12-45N no-load speed: 5-23mm/s voltage: 6V

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 186


linear actuator

opposing face actuation

page 187


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

rotational joint points

top view rotational joints actuation | transmission gear

suspended servo

the construction of a transmission gear allows the simultaneous rotation of two opposing joints in opposite directions for a smooth and full unit transformation. the micro-servo is suspended from the soft faces in the unit’s center of gravity. • full rotational move • center of gravity • free faces | suspended servo

rotational joints

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 188

• complex to manufacture • easily breakable, delicate parts


rotational joints actuation

page 189


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 190


rotational joints actuation rotational joints

transmission gear

rotation al

a xi s

suspended servo

page 191


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 192


rotational joints actuation

page 193


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

diagonal rotational faces

perspective:

top view:

front view:

diagonal face actuation | internal actuation of the unit can be achieved by rotational movement via micro-servos of a diagonal face in reference to the fixed plane. due to the expanding nature of the transformation, the mechanism must allow a telescope movement along the rotational axis. â&#x20AC;˘ allows full rotational movement from one single servo actuation â&#x20AC;˘ mechanism requires high amount of indivual parts â&#x20AC;˘ easily breakable due to delicate nature of parts used

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 194


diagonal face actuation

page 195


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

opposing actuated faces

perspective:

top view:

front view:

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 196


multiple walker actuation

multiple walker actuation | acclomeration of multiple passive and active units results in more complex choreographies and demand reliable internal mechanisms and control. prototype uses linear actuators to expand and compress two opposing faces of each active unit. • least breakable parts • precise control • simple manufacturing pro• requires linear actuator • only allows first half of transformation

page 197


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 198


multiple walker actuation

page 199


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 200


page 201


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 202


page 203


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

double rotation mechanism | The smooth and full transofrmation of the units mechanism is based on two staggered rotational axis triggered by two opposing servos and two rotational hinges on each of the axis connected to four of the unit’s corner-joints. Since virtually every face or reference plan changes both orientation, relative distance and location, there is no fixed plane for the internal servos, but they are suspended from the unit’s joints, putting the center of gravity in the unit’s center.

• internal mechanism

axis 1

2

s2

axi

• top view rotational joints

rotation al

a xi s suspended servo

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 204


page 205


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 206


page 207


base unit design | structural joints

structural joints | The fixing of a unit’s mechanism is directly build in one piece with the joints. Hereby, these take a self-structuring function, to support the bearing of a unit’s faces through expanded surface area and to prevent deformation of the unit when external force (additional units) are applied. The tapered design of the joints allows the unit to close the gap-less as extra support in the unit’s corners in its closed state.

• front view

• top view

• joint evolution

tural

struc ints

n jo otatio uble r

do s

l joint

initia

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 208

joints


page 209


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 210


page 211


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 212


page 213


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 214


page 215


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 216


page 217


base unit design | face topography


base unit design | face actuation

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 220


01_breaking the grid

supergrid

supergrid

relocation of neighboring passive units through activation, a local change can reconfigure the global system behaviour

supergrid supergrid

02_sof faces

soft faces soft faces

soft faces enable the units movement and communication abilities soft faces soft faces

03_system attachment

and disconnect connectconnect and disconnect

disconnect

connect and disconnect connect and disconnect

connect

connect and disconnect

byconnect extracting and disconnect and repulsing of its faces, a unit can autonomously connect and disconnect to a larger system and vice versa.

fixed connection

04_units interlocking

connect and disconnect connect and disconnect

flexible connection

flexible connections between each faceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s center allow a rotational degree of freedom between units or interlock to rigid face-to-face corner connections. page 221


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

â&#x20AC;˘ surface patterning catalogue

patterns 01_ recursions: 00 rigidity: medium transformation: medium

02_ recursions: 00 rigidity: weak transformation: strong

03_ recursions: 00 rigidity: strong transformation: little

04_ recursions: 01 rigidity: strong transformation: little

05_ recursions: 01 rigidity: medium transformation: medium

â&#x20AC;˘soft interlocking faces | faces

Given the ability to autonomously connect and disconnect to the system, the usage of soft faces allows simple movement by extending its faces and the ability for a unit to connect and communicate to close by neighbors. By retracting its faces, a system can disconnect already assembled units or dont allow a connection to begin with, i.e. in case of overload etc. This flexible center of the face allows two varying degree of freedom of connected units: a flexible, central connection that allows a rotational degree of movement or rigid face to face connections for structuring purposes. soft faces are tested through the use of soft materials and membranes, inflatables and through patterning.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 222

03_ recursions: 01 rigidity: weak transformation: strong


soft face patterning

page 223


base unit design | actuation & fabrication 01 _c

soft patterning v1.1. |

03 _c

uboctahed

n ro

osahedron _ic noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 224

n ro

02

uboctahed

• double sided patterning • inflatable cussioning • internal connections of opposing faces


01 _c

soft patterning v1.2. |

n ro 03 _c

uboctahed

osahedron _ic

n ro

02

uboctahed

â&#x20AC;˘ one sided patterning â&#x20AC;˘ internal connections of opposing faces

page 225


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

soft faces | Given the ability to autonomously connect and disconnect to the system, the usage of soft faces allows simple movement by extending its faces and the ability for a unit to connect and communicate to close by neighbors. By retracting its faces, a system can disconnect already assembled units or dont allow a connection to begin with, i.e. in case of overload etc. This flexible center of the face allows two varying degree of freedom of connected units: a flexible, central connection that allows a rotational degree of movement or rigid face to face connections for structuring purposes. soft faces are tested through the use of soft materials and membranes, inflatables and through patterning.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 226


soft face inflation

page 227


base unit design | actuation & fabrication

soft patterning v2.0. |

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 228

osahedron _ic

â&#x20AC;˘ one sided patterning â&#x20AC;˘ internal connections of opposing faces

02


01

ctahedron _o 03

_c

uboctahed

page 229

n ro


base unit design | actuation & fabrication 03 _c

uboctahed

n ro 03

_c

uboctahed

n ro noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 230


03

_c

uboctahed

ctahedron _o

uboctahed

ctahedron _o

_c

01

03

n ro

01

page 231

n ro


collective behaviour | study of emergence

intelligent faces | a differentation in male and female interfaces embeddes possible body plans in single units. by adding a oncave and convex subdivision to the polygon-surfaces aggregations that would block potential movement are less ikeley.

â&#x20AC;˘ ref: dna

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 232


intelligent faces

page 233


base unit design | interlocking topography

unit to unit interface | Looking for a plug’n’play mechanism to connect multiple units, the units faces serve as interface with structural function. All flat-faced experiments with magnets proved strong in direct horizontal contact but break under shearing force, esp. while lifting and cantilevering. Positive-negative shapes applied to all faces work interlocking geometry, hindering shearing movement by strongly interweave two units and their connecting forces. The principle of interlocking is not only used from unit to unit but also from face to face within a uni for a more stable structure in closed state.

• interlocking topography

- + +

-

+

• map of polarity / curvature:

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 234


page 235


base unit design | interlocking topography

catalogue of face iterations | design of the face topography was driven by three main performance criteria: the reduction of the total volume of the faces to reduce size and weight of the unit and time for fabrication; while remaining high depth of interlocking and steep angles for efficiency of the mechanism. The edges of the unit were treated in different manners: while a truncation of the units corners proofed necessary to allow a full rotation without interlocking with the structural joints on the way, the face-to-face edges were truncated or faceted not only to reduce volume but to allow a stable stand of units on their edge.

1

â&#x20AC;˘ total volume [edge = a] â&#x20AC;˘ depth of interlocking â&#x20AC;˘ treatment of edges

2

90a3 a/5 truncated edge

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 236

95a3 a/8 faceted edge


unit aggregation | orientation on truncated edge

3

80a3 a/5 truncated corner

4

75a3 a/6 filleted edge

5

80a3 a/4 truncated corner

page 237


base unit design | interlocking topography

face to face | unit to unit interlocking

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 238


edge to edge | face interlocking

page 239


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 242


page 243


base unit design | technical drawings full unit | scale 1:3 top view |



























 internal mechanism | scale 1:3













 

 









 

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 244

expanded unit |



contract unit |






 

 

front view |

contract unit |



 





 

 



expanded unit |

page 245




external shell | scale 1:3 top view |



base unit design | technical drawings  



















contract unit |











unit to unit connection | scale 1:3



 



















noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 246

 




 









front view |

 expanded unit |







page 247


base unit design | technical drawings mechanism | scale 1:3

 

 

  





 

  

top view |













 





 

front view |

single joints | scale 1:3











 

top view |







 



 

front view |





 





  









 noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 248


front view |

unit | scale 1:1

page 249


MOBILITY


mobile bodies | emergent behaviour


collective behaviour | study of emergence

study of emergent behaviour | a synergetic - i.e. actively transforming - unit has the capability to change not only its own state but when operating in a field re-configure its surrounding. in a butterfly effect of onpassing reactions, the local change of the active unit has a global impact on all passive units within the same system. in a series of physical and digital tests, overall system behaviour was tested to predict and control local and global changes of organization.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 254


emergent behaviour

page 255


collective behaviour | study of emergence

initial aggregation studies | magnetic faces were introduced in order to facilitate the physical prototypes and quickly testing and analyzing collective behaviour. Having one transformable unit aggregating to generate more complex behaviours opened up a the problem of aggregating and (dis)connecting. By enabling faces to turn on and off as additional degree of freedom to the system an active unit could choose between itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighbours and collect them according to itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s objectives. In order to achieve a desired bodyplan configuration, perform certain tasks or simply to work locally as an interchange unit, the idea of realocating neighbours was a key point, creating clusters of local intelligence in the system. The capablity of realocating a passive units attached to an active body increases efficiency and energy consumption of the system, as any passive unit attached directly or in a chain to an active unit can be transported without having to be activated.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 256


of neig

hb o

cation of neig

h

urroundin ws gf ne

ld

ing

rs bo

ie

lo re

04 _

k up pic

03 _

tic activ eu 02 _

g ne

ur

ma

ts ni

01 _

initial aggregation studies

passives

two active units | endpoints: locomotion through active endpoints 2

1

4

3

two active units | center: rotational movement around central axis 3

2

1

4

two active units | endpoints: locomotion through active endpoints 4

3

2

1

fixed base plane | passive members build up tension until ‘flipping’ moment of re-configuration 2 3 1

4

one axis of movement |passive members build up tension until ‘flipping’ moment of re-configuration 1

2

3

4

page 257


base unit design | geometrical properties

diagonal connections | â&#x20AC;˘ rotational movement â&#x20AC;˘ translated output geometry

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 258


face to face relations

opposing connections | â&#x20AC;˘ linear movement â&#x20AC;˘ start and endstate identical

page 259


collective behaviour | study of emergence interlocking geometry | â&#x20AC;˘ specific face to face connections and combinations can both enable but also hinder movement by interlocking 1

2

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 260

3

4


stochastic assembly | â&#x20AC;˘ active face layout enables embedded body-plan by limited possible connections 1

2 random organization

3 re-configure 4 self-assembled units

page 261


mobile bodies | behavioural choreography


communication | unit self-awareness

the “conversation theory” | In order to understand and emulate the behavior and communication of the units and stablishing a parallel to Gordon Pask’s Conversation Theory - where interactions leads to construction of knowledge - it was developed simulations of autonomous behavior in a digital environment, creating a framework for the simulations and prototypes to work together, from physical to digital syncing their behaviour both to achieve control and as well to visualize its self-awareness. Units would search for and specific goal, with the ability of adapting and making local decisions to achieve that. The ability to communicate with the external world, but also to stablhish a relation between machines is of main of main importance for the development of an intelligent system, that could learn and adapt. The main goal was to develop strategies for collective behaviour, starting with state indication and recognition, By face to face communication units are capable to re-construct their bodyplan like “chinese whispers” each identifying the states of position of their neighbour.

“NOW WE’VE GOT

THE NOTION OF A MACHINE W GOAL, THE SYSTEM THAT EVOLVES. ” Gordon Pask noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 264


emergent behaviour

WITH AN UNDERSPECIFIED

page 265


communication | unit self-awareness

Linking the mobile behavior to the usage of real-life input, through open source platforms to harvest the digital layer of the city - the internet of things - enables the nomadic bodies with a full sensory system. A parametric map of London was used to live trace areas of interest for the system to deploy according to specific urban constraints - for example open spaces - and dynamic constraints - high convergence of people - to capture urban temporality. Collected data from the city (weather stations, participatory sensing of people and internet feeds) are made available in open source platforms and can be directly linked to urban analysis and direct input to both behavioural simulations and prototypes To improve the nomadics bodies ability to explore the city and learn from their environment, different models of global organization were tested that are environmental awarene and capable of real-time communication. Each unit has pressure and light sensor’s located in each face, that communicate’s with the system, allowing it to recognize which face is sending outputs. The interface built to allow this communication can reproduce the body plan that’s is being built in real time in the computer, so each unit has it’s position and face connections stored in an array. By that, a feedback system is stablished between units and the computer, as the opposite is also true, and an aggregation can be altered in the computational model and send signals to the units, that can evaluate the new bodyplan and respond to the new inputs. The prototype models were connect via an arduino to a computer and synced to a grasshopper definition stablishing a real-time feedback system between both interfaces.

?

In order to have full control of the bodyplan, each unit had to have awareness of it’s own state and also be capable of communicating this to it’s neighbouring units. This ability was of main importance to stablish a complete feedback loop between unit to unit, otherwise the units wouldn’t be capable of taking decisions by it’s own or reajust it’s bodyplan accroding to the needs. for that, each state was indicated by a color coding system that was synced with the position of the internal servos (0° is blue, 90° is green, 180° is red) and expressed with micro led lights that was positioned in each face of the unit. Each face also had a colour sensor facing it’s outside to collect data from it’s neighbour units, that was calibrated to recognize these spectrum of colours and react to it.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 266


environmental awareness| the digital layer of the city parti

h

ne

RSS

e e ds tf

stations

data mining

inter

ci

se tory nsin pa

er

1

weat

unit to “city” communication • unit to unit communication • “city” to unit communication • 01 | urban incident

g

e

a ct u a te

beha v

dp

l simu la

rototypin

ura io

sis

tio

a

g

u rb a n

02 | tower bridge twitter

ly na

implementation

b

maps

infrastructure

3

pachu

s e et tr

2

open

03 | urban navigation simulation

ns

cloud communication and bodyplan awareness| unit to unit communication • bodyplan awareness and recognition • ability to take desicions based on neighbours organization and configuration •

unit self-awareness| unit awareness of it’s own state • unit ability to communicate it’s own state to neighbours by color coding •

state I_ 0 ° (closed)

state II_ 90 ° (open)

state III_ 180 ° (closed)

page 267


m

m

s en

ct conne ions s r o

face se nso r

s

arduin oa

nd

s

unit in ter na l

is an h ec

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 268


EACH UNIT HAS AN EMBEDDED “CONCIOUSNESS”, CREATING A COMMUNICATION CHANNEL BETWEEN MACHINE AND MACHINE AND MACHINE WITH ITS ENVIRONMENT page 269


CHOREOGRAPH

generative communication Once the framework to allow the communication from unit to unit, unit to computer and unit to environment was settled, the behaviour and ability of the units to take decisions could be explored. To introduce the idea of generative communication and decision making it was developed an algorithm based in the C.A. logics, that allows units to respond to neighbours behaviors. The signal is passed from unit to unit, triggering a chain reaction of relational unit movement, by changing the state and consequent behaviour of the next one (i.e. â&#x20AC;&#x153;state +1â&#x20AC;?). The idea of a generative communication system explicitated the need of a greater understanding and subsequent control of the collective behaviour of the units. Specific sequences of activation could generate different patterns of movement, which led to a more specific study of these patterns, that was translated into constrains for the system. In order to achieve movement in different directions, like directional movement, rotation, spiraling, etc., different choreography patterns were studied. These specific coreographys become an important feature of the research, as bodyplans behaviour are directly related to the sequence and method of activating units. noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 270


HY ACTS AS MAIN DRIVER OF THE UNITS COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOUR.

page 271


step 02|

step 01|

communication | unit to unit communication

+1

+1

unit communication | generative responding Similar to C.A. logics, each unit has three different states, that changes the relations through the grid. To trigger a chain reaction, the first unit receives an input signal that gets passed on to neighboring units that reacts differently, depending on it’s current state but also the state of it’s neighbours. The logics of changing states considers that each step should be “state +1”, which triggers an endless loop, where units that reachs state “3” (180°) draws back to state “2” and then to state “1”.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 272

+1


step 04|

step 03|

generative communication logics

+1

+1

A CUSTOMIZED C.A. OF COMMUNICATION DEFINES EACH UNITS REACTION TO ITS NEIGHBOURS BEHAVIOUR page 273


communication | unit to unit communication

s eq ue n

ce 01

carachteristics | sequence 01 diagonal movement â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

unit 01>0 / unit 02>180 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>0 | unit 01>0 | unit 02>180 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>0

02 x

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 274


taxonomy of behavioural communication

s eq ue n

ce 02

carachteristics | sequence 02 straight line â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

unit 01>0 / unit 02>0 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>180 | unit 01>0 | unit 02>0 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>180

02 x

page 275


communication | unit to unit communication

s eq ue n

ce 03

carachteristics | sequence 03 diagonal movement (right) â&#x20AC;˘

unit 01>0 / unit 02>0 / unit 03>0 | unit 01>180 | unit 03>180 | unit 02>90 | unit 01>0 / unit 03>0 | unit 02>180 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>180 | unit 02>90 | unit 01>0 / unit 03>0 | unit 02>0 â&#x20AC;˘

03 x

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 276


taxonomy of behavioural communication

s eq ue n

ce 04

carachteristics | sequence 04 diagonal movement (left) â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

unit 01>0 / unit 02>0 / unit 03>0 | unit 01>180 | unit 02>180 | unit 02>180 | unit 01>0 | unit 02>0 | unit 02>0

03 x

page 277


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 278


page 279


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 280


page 281


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 282


page 283


mobile bodies | ecology of machines


mobile bodies | ecology of machines

ecology of machines | initial mobility studies where concerned with different combinations and aggretations of units behave different, how multiple units can take collective decisions and how their flexibility and range of movements increases in an emergent way with the complexity of the bodyplan. The notion of a bodyplans are pre-structured organizations that can be categorized in an ecology of machines with creature-like characteristics and highly specific behaviour. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Behaviourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hereby is defined by position and amount of active units and their combination with passive neighbors. Within the same physical bodyplan, different sequence of activation define differents sets of behaviours allowing various actions and features for movement and assembly.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 286


page 287


base unit design | geometrical properties

face to face relations | A series of different relational changes within one unit, from mere linear translating of opposing faces to relocation and rotation of diagonal faces,drastically changes the units potential search space to aggregate, allowing new connections. Meaning a local transformation reconfigures the entire existing global system it is connected to in different variations, depending on its connection to neighboring units.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 288


face to face relations

diagonal opposing

diagonal connections | • rotational movement • translated output geometry opposing connections | • linear movement • start and endstate output identical diagonal opposing

page 289


base unit design | geometrical properties

recursive subdivision |

subdivision

subdivision

• states of transformation

• state 01 float state • state 02 float state • state 03

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 290

• recursion | 1 active: 01 passive: 04


scalability of the grid

movement sequence |

15°

30°

45°

60°

75°

90°

105°

120°

• recursion | 2

• recursion | 3

active: 05

active: 21

passive: 16

passive: 64

page 291


ecology of machines | behavioural simulations


ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

behavioural simulations | in order to simulate a more automated, goal oriented movement sequence and communication between multiple bodies, a computational abstraction model was developed to emulate the same rotational movement around two simultaneous axis of the physical geometry. the emulation was the first step into the understanding of the emergent behaviour that could come out of the collective behaviour and interaction of multiple machines. the computational simulations were important to expose the limits and possibilities of the system and the defined families of creatures. through simple embedded intelligence - such as maximum number of possible arrayed passives without active unit, reference and sticking to the ground, no self and ground interlocking, etc. - and simple goals - like find neighbours, reach or avoid and area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a body autonomously adjusts and optimizes its own movement sequence.

n noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 294

ha 02_be vioural si

mu lat i

on

e ch 01_m anical sim ula tio


family | super bodies specie | directional snakes

specie | clusters

specie | body walkers

specie | directional arms

specie | base walkers

specie | directional walkers

specie | multi active snakes

specie | wheels

behaviour characteristics

taxonomy

family | simple bodies

nomadic bodyplans

page 295


ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

â&#x20AC;˘ voxel states

â&#x20AC;˘ surface patterning catalogue

state00 cluster-passive state01 active-potential state02 active-executing genome code a = clockwise b = counterclockwise c = reverse 1,2,3... = no of active

01_ elements: 48 active units: 9 sequence: inwards to outwards direction: clockwise genome: 1a,2a,3a,4a,5a,6a,7a,8a,9a

â&#x20AC;˘ parameters: no self-intersection

max passive units 1 2 3 4 5 6

sequence of rotation 1

2

3

04_ elements: 48 active units: 5 sequence: rotate around central unit direction: alternating inwards to outwards genome: 1a,2a,3a,4a,5a,4b,4b,4b,4b,3a,3a, 3a,3a,2b,2b,2b,2b

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 296


trace path animations

02_ elements: 48 active units: 9 sequence: outwards to inwards direction: counter-clockwise genome: 9b,8b,7b,6b,5b,4b,3b,2b,1b

03_ elements: 48 active units: 7 sequence: inwards to outwards direction: alternating genome: 1a,2b,3a,4b,5a,6b,7a

05_ elements: 48 active units: 6 sequence: rotate around central unit direction: reverse genome: 1c,2c,3c,4c,5c,6c,5c,4c,3c,2c,1c

06_ elements: 48 active units: 8 sequence: random direction: random genome: random

page 297


behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie base walkers configuration 03 x

02 x

performance linear movement in X-Y plane simple unit 01 x

choreography of activation | the specific â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;creatureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; performed a different sequence of activation that translates into a coreography, emulating itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resulting behaviour. different sequences of activation results in different coreographies. The same unit can walk straight, up, down or diagonally. the traces of the movement is shown as green/gray path, evidencing the behaviour of the machine.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 298


taxonomy

top view

2

1

2

1

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

page 299


behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie body walkers configuration 03 x

02 x

performance sequence 01 | linear movement in X-Y plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 300


behaviour characteristics

taxonomy | different bodyplans

specie body walkers configuration 03 x

02 x

performance sequence 02 | diagonal movement in X-Y - Z plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

page 301


behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie body walkers configuration 03 x

02 x

performance sequence 03 | repeated movement in X-Y plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 302


behaviour characteristics

taxonomy | different bodyplans

specie multi active snake configuration 06 x

04x

performance diagonal movement in X-Z plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

page 303


behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie multi active snake configuration 07 x

08 x

performance diagonal movement in X-Z plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 304


behaviour characteristics

taxonomy | different bodyplans

specie multi active snake configuration 17 x

10 x

performance diagonal movement in X-Z plane simple unit 01 x

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

page 305


collective behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie body walkers

super bodies

configuration 09 x

06 x

1

performance linear movement in X-Y plane 2

2

simple unit 03 x

3 2

4

4

coreography | 01 right | 02 right | 01 left | 02 left...

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 306


superbody formation

superbody formation | when multiple bodies connects, their possibilities of action becomes drastically more complex, joining forces to a combined superbody. in this example, the bodies autonomously adjusts and optimizes its own movement sequence in order to combine into a super body, with broadened behaviour for the sake of reaching the goal.

page 307


collective behaviour characteristics

ecology of machines | behavioural simulations

specie body walkers | base walkers 03 x

front view

02 x

performance diagonal movement in X-Y - Z plane simple unit 05 x

05 x

top view

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 308


autonomous decision making

autonomous decision making | multiple bodies in a field must communicate as a type of awareness in order to find its closest and more proeminent neighbour to connect and form a superbody to perform specific tasks, in this case, reach the goal. itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible to observe how different combinations results in different behaviours even when they have a common objective.

page 309


ecology of machines | mechanical simulations


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 312


page 313


ecology of machines | mechanical simulations

mechanical simulations | the analogy with a ‘grammar’, where letters can form words, and words can be combined into varied phrases led to the creation of distinctive bodyplans with mobile behaviour, that were later organized and catalogued in a taxonomy of families due to their individual body plans and sequence of activation. this ‘ecology of machines’ opened possibilities of exploration, as each machine exhibit life-like behaviour, with different objectives and awareness, being capable of taking decisions and make the system interact and adapt, triggering emergent events and augmenting the intelligence of the system, only a few of the used components has active capacities while the rest of the structure reacts passively, saving energy and adding efficiency to the system

legend

the taxonomy can be understood as a genetic sequence: a shape grammar of simple choreographies that can be read as features and abilities such as lifting matter, walking or snake-like locomotion, rotational or translating arms and cranes, etc.

• state 01

00 x

• amount of passive units

float state • state 02 float state

00 x

• state 03

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 314

• amount of active units


family | super bodies specie | directional snakes

specie | clusters

specie | body walkers

specie | directional arms

specie | base walkers

specie | directional walkers

specie | multi active snakes

specie | wheels

behaviour characteristics

taxonomy

family | simple bodies

nomadic bodyplans

page 315


ecology of machines | aggregation studies

aggregation studies |

legend

aggregation studies show emerging behavior of multiple simple units combinations. different face to face relations and methods of arraying (linear | radial | helix | branching) have been tested and compared, leading to different qualities in degree of freedom, movement, relocation/locomotion, cantilever, stability. those studies were important in the awareness of how many and how the units should connect in order to achieve specific spatial movement. This research was the first step in the creation of an ecology of machines - specific bodyplans with different abilities and objectives.

• state 01

00 x

• amount of passive units

float state • state 02 float state

00 x

• state 03

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 316

00 x

• amount of active units

• amount of simple “words” used in aggregation


characteristics

case study | radial aggregation

case study helix aggregation total of components 04 x

01 x

performance â&#x20AC;˘ small rotation on stand â&#x20AC;˘ no cantilever â&#x20AC;˘ no relocation simple unit 08 x

front view

page 317


characteristics

ecology of machines | aggregation studies

case study linear aggregation total of components 06 x

02 x

performance â&#x20AC;˘ strong rotation â&#x20AC;˘ large cantilever â&#x20AC;˘ no relocation simple unit 03 x

03 x

front view

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 318

case study | linear aggregation


characteristics

case study | helix aggregation

case study helix aggregation total of components 06 x

03 x

performance â&#x20AC;˘ twisting movement â&#x20AC;˘ small cantilever â&#x20AC;˘ rolling / forward movement simple unit 03 x

front view

page 319


characteristics

ecology of machines | mechanical simulations

specie wheels configuration: 16 x

03 x

performance diagonal movement / X-Z plane

characteristics

step 01

step 02

step 03

step 04

step 03

step 04

specie directional walker configuration: 09 x

03 x

performance diagonal movement / X-Z plane

step 01

step 02

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 320


characteristics

taxonomy

specie directional walker configuration: 13 x

08 x

performance diagonal movement / X-Z plane

characteristics

step 01

step 02

step 03

step 04

step 03

step 04

specie folding array configuration: 09 x

06 x

performance diagonal movement / X-Z plane

step 01

step 02

page 321


case study branching

total of components 46 x

rotational locomotion neighboring face connections

linear expanding opposing face connections

192 x

linear expanding opposing face connections

characteristics

ecology of machines | aggregation studies

top view

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 322

simple unit | branching 28 x

simple unit | rotational arm 18 x


rotational locomotion neighboring face connections

linear expanding opposing face connections

case study | branching aggregation

front view

page 323


ecology of machines | aggregation studies

supergrid

â&#x20AC;˘ legend

characteristics

active unit

â&#x20AC;˘ supergrid formation

passive unit

single unit

specie assembly soft faces

configuration 13 x

8x

connect and disconnect

characteristics

performance multi-directional lifting / point-symetric reconfiguration

specie locomotion connect and disconnect

configuration 10x

5x

characteristics

performance five legged locomotion / structural dome

specie cluster configuration 13 x

8x

performance dense clustering / volume expansion

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 324

mobile body

supergrid


page 325


choreography of movement | The notion of a bodyplans as pre-structured organizations can be categorized in an ecology of machines. Within the same physical bodyplan, different sequence of activation define differents sets of behaviours allowing various actions and features for movement and assembly, re-location, linear transportation and expansion of the body. As each creature creates its own specific grid, based on its sequence of movement, the structures a creature can deploy are based on the path it operates on. When coming together, multiple bodies combine to a superbody with decreased mobility but higher degree of options.


ecology of machines | mobile walker

characteristics

linear movement |

specie mobile walker configuration 5x

2x

activation linear sidestep movement

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 328


1

2

3

4

5 4

page 329


ecology of machines | mobile walker

characteristics

rotation |

specie mobile walker configuration 5x

2x

activation rotational movement

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 330


3

2

1

4

5

page 331


ecology of machines | mobile walker

characteristics

expansion |

specie mobile walker configuration 5x

2x

activation expansion

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 332


1

2

3

4

page 333


ecology of machines | mobile bodyplans

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 334


superbody formation

page 335


ASSEMBLY


collective behaviour | sequencing assembly


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 342


collective behaviour | sequencing assembly Highly flexible linear 1D Array of units can form two dimensional grids by folding and then interlock in a three dimensional stable space-frame. What starts as a highly flexible, linear arm within a system does not necessarily remain an arm but can restructure itself to a packed volume. In the scenario of high population settlements, parts of the system lock in, losing their highly mobile features in favor of spatial and structural configurations. Transformation is now used for optimization & adaptation through reconfiguration, i.e. temporary scaffolds during its own build-up process, lifting up of extensions and outer parts of the structur, or temporarilty repositioning to allow another body to get in place. Testing different deployment strategies and time based form finding through motion, fabrication driver of higher organisations is the catalogued behaviour of nomadic bodies - meaning every larger superstructure accumulation is defined by its multiple bodies coming together.

page 343


collective behaviour | build up simulation

communication based simulation | In an automated simulation, the mechanical behavior of the unit gets emulated in a voxel based abstraction model. In order to develop the communicational and behavioural rules and restraints, different algorithmic models are applied to simulate aggregation, deployment, locomotion and crowd behaviour of the system throug autonomous decision making.

â&#x20AC;˘ voxel states

state00 invis-dead state01 alive-potential state02 cluster-passive

state03.1-3 cluster-active

â&#x20AC;˘ search space full neighborhood possible neighbors: 26

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 344


voxel simulation

| â&#x20AC;˘ grid activation

2

orientation

1

aggregations aggregations aggregations aggregations

aggregations

startstart start start initial

02

k-j [i;j]k-j k-j k-j

i

start k-i k-i k-i[j;k] k-i initial

k-j

k-jinitial k-j k-j k-j k-i [i;k] k-j k-j k-j k-j

2

aggregation

1

j

3

orientations

aggregations

initial 01

[j;k]

initial 02

[i;k]

â&#x20AC;˘ connection type: face to face possible neighbors: 6

edge to edge possible neighbors: 12

vertix to vertix possible neighbors: 8

page 345


collective behaviour | build up simulation

linear deployment | simulation of linear deployment provides a chain structure and high controlability over sctructural reconfiguration. given experiment exploit an initial simulation of one active unit that rotates all the attached elements, indexed by its changing color. empty frames indicate all the possibilities of further deployment of the system.

1 2 2

1

â&#x20AC;˘ unfolding of relational map

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 346


linear deployment 1

2

3

4

5

6

page 347


collective behaviour | build up simulation

â&#x20AC;˘ voxel states

state00 invis-dead state01 alive-potential

aggregation simulation | aggregation simulation by central rotational active unit, aiming to attach all possible potential passive units in the field that directly touch the extend of current aggregation possible number of neighbours for each unit is 6 which means presense of only face-to-face connections

state02 cluster-passive

state03.1-3 cluster-active

â&#x20AC;˘ search space face to face possible neighbors: 6

potentials: 1200 grid: 20x20x20 density of potentials: 15% ratio: 23%

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 348


aggregation simulation 1

2

3

4

5

page 349


collective behaviour | build up simulation

â&#x20AC;˘ voxel states

state00 invis-dead state01 alive-potential

aggregation simulation | aggregation simulation by central rotational active unit, aiming to attach all possible potential passive units in the field that directly touch the extend of current aggregation. possible number of neighbours for each unit is 26 which means presense of all vertex, edge and face connections.

state02 cluster-passive

state03.1-3 cluster-active

â&#x20AC;˘ search space full neighborhood possible neighbors: 26

potentials: 1200 grid: 20x20x20 density of potentials: 15% ratio: 23%

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 350


voxel simulation 1

2

3

4

5

page 351


collective behaviour | assembly sequence

sequence of assembly | Emerging from its mobile state, the system utilizes different strategies of sequencing assembly. Hereby, either the structure can act passive with active agents expanding, climbing, manipulating its grid - or the structure itselfs functions as activator, transporting and lifting passive material along to enable reinforcements, extensions etc. Initially, mobile bodies assemble on the ground plane, building a solid base for vertical build up, utilizing systems of temporary scaffolds, 2d unfolded spaceframe structures and sequenced choreographies of movement to position its parts.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 352


build up sequence

initial constellation

end configuration page 353


collective behaviour | packing by folding

from 1D linear array

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 354


to 3D structural dome

page 355


initial assembly | structural build-up

planar assembly | unfolded structure sequence unrolling of spatial structure | Able to form a grid starting from the ground, both as initial position for its build up process and as a remaining fundament for cantilevering and vertical aggregations. Single bodies are coming together in a 2d unfolded version of their final structural grid on the ground, then using their transformational abilites to lift and build up to its spatial organization, resp reconfigure during its already half-build up sequence. 01 planar deployment | unrolled structure second branch

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 356

02 lift up sequence | build up structure first branch


03 restructuring | reconfiguration and -orientation of structure

page 357


initial assembly | structural build-up

synchronized assembly | simultaneous macro-movements

Choreography of movement is main driver in the assembly process. movement is not necessarily synchronized, but can be triggered one after the other with currents being transported over the field, sharing one sequenced energy. Due to the limited lifting capabilities of a single unit - based on physical experiments of maximum cantilever - build up sequences are relying on ways of multiple simultaneous choreographed local movements, resulting in global build up

01 planar deployment | triangulation of linear branch

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 358

02 sequenced locomotion | by linear walker array


03 restructuring | lift up sequence of rear rows

page 359


assembly | local reinforcement

mobility within the grid | active climber

climb up matter | active agent climbing freely within existing, passive grid Following the cycle of evaluation and identifying of weak spots, transportation along existing structure is used for local interventions and reconfigurations. Using the existing structure as climbing frame to move freely and reach area of weakness units of reinforcement are being lifted among the levels or shifted linear along the grid, with two expanding units compensating one to shift on axis.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 360


page 361


assembly | local reinforcement

mobility within the grid | active grid

lift up matter | movement of passive material by active agents in the grid Following the cycle of evaluation and identifying of weak spots, transportation along existing structure is used for local interventions and reconfigurations. Using the existing structure as climbing frame to move freely and reach area of weakness units of reinforcement are being lifted among the levels or shifted linear along the grid, with two expanding units compensating one to shift on axis.

noitcejorp / edacaf aidem thgil / ygrene esaeler

• unit indication

• shifting the grid

• mobile body • existing structure •to expanding units compensate one to shift along axis

• active unit

rettam / ygrene erots

noitartlif retaw x noitcelloc retaw niar egarots ygrene x sllec ralos mlif niht

:noitazimixam ecafrus emulov %XX esaercni ecafrus %XX esaercni

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 362


page 363


initial assembly | passive transport

mobility within the grid | active grid

lift up matter | movement of passive material by active agents in the grid Following the cycle of evaluation and identifying of weak spots, transportation along existing structure is used for local interventions and reconfigurations. Using the existing structure as climbing frame to move freely and reach area of weakness units of reinforcement are being lifted among the levels or shifted linear along the grid, with two expanding units compensating one to shift on axis.

01 |

02 |

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 364

03 |

04 |


page 365


DEPLOYMENT


collective behaviour | communication simulation


collective behaviour | communication simulation

communication based simulation | In contrast to the mechanical / spatial approach of growth and granching logics, automated simulations of larger autonomous populations are based on the communicatioal aspects between units. The development of algorithmic rules of interaction and unit relations result in self-organizing crowd behaviour. A field of passive units, as “dead” material, is potentially shifted around in space by a connected active unit. Movement fundamentally starts on the ground plane or - if an active unit autonomously decides on a potential building site for a settlement - start build vertically. These goal oriented simulations create negotiated space, i.e they act according to an dialogue between: • bottom up decision making of every single unit for example: if it is in the center of an overpopulated area, an active unit can decide to act as an repulsor, creatng void spaces or, if an active unit is in an empty area, it can act as an initial seed for a settlement as attractor to other units • top down rules such as: different deployment strategies, dependent on their initial istribution (i.e. multiple seeded building scenarios), migrateing from one site to another

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 372


page 373


collective behaviour | communication simulation

guided c.a. growth

objective deterministic reconfiguration

deterministic reconfiguration

generate expected aggregations with the use of known CA patterns in order to understand CA logics in the 3D world

explore the possibility of controlling chaotic CA population by defining vectors of growth

parameters 2D stacking CA with initial patterns of gliders and blinkers in order to determine the direction of growth

categories of aggregation

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 374

full 3D CA with pre defined routes and probability rules applied to the path, influencing the development of the population


evaluation catalogue

stochastic reconfiguration

stochastic reconfiguration

explore the interaction of different CA populations and the hability of using them as motion paths, conducing the direction of the organization

the infuence of the attractors can be controlled and coordinated according to the design intentions, in order to build greater aggregations based in the motion path generated by the system

full 3D CA with animated â&#x20AC;&#x153;attractorsâ&#x20AC;? floating around in the field. The attractors works with probability rules applied to itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s range of influence, altering the behaviour of the population.

Motion paths as conducer of the aggregation, creating material placement logics based in the agging of cells affecting the final configuration. Interesting results are directly connected to the rule sets

page 375


collective behaviour | communication simulation

rulesets

rules of growing • voxel states state01 alive/active

• search space full neighborhood possible neighbours: 26

state02 cluster/passive (16 generations) state03 attractor

conducted CA | The guided ca-based collective behaviour is aimed to achieve space-making growth that in turn provides the logic compensation of ‘out of control‘ cellular automata results. Two approaches are used to perform controlability: origin of start imput with probabilistic attributes and moving directions/vectors of growth. The nonlinear origin of attractor is also used for creation of fluent interconnected body. After certain iterations construction’s cells have ability to freeze as they become geometrically stable. Attraction vectors increase the probability of birth of the new voxel changing the classic emergence rules of automata and giving

• parameters lower probability of living cells higher probability of living cells

area of influence agged cells direcional vectors

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 376

Probabilistic distribution allows to operate objects in advanced manner - to populate important area seamlessly and continously.


characteristics

motion path / material placement matrix

voxel states state01 alive/active state02 cluster/passive (16 generations) state03 attractor

ruleset D|D|B|B 9 | 10 | 5 | 13 resolution | 32 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix / vary final configuration | --

page 377


characteristics

collective behaviour | communication simulation

voxel states state01 alive/active state02 cluster/passive (16 generations) state03 attractor

ruleset D|D|B|B 9 | 10 | 5 | 13

01_ rules: 9 | 10 | 5 | 13 resolution | 32 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | twisting tower

01_ rules: 9 | 11 | 5 | 13 resolution |64 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | negative voids

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 378


motion path / material placement matrix

01_ rules: 19 | 9 | 6 | 8 resolution | 32 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | twisting tower

01_ rules: 8 | 12 | 9 | 10 resolution | 64 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | negative voids

01_ rules: 8 | 12 | 9 | 10 resolution | 32 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | twisting tower

01_ rules: 16 | 9 | 6 | 8 resolution | 64 size of attractors | vary motion pattern | helix final configuration | negative voids

page 379


collective behaviour | high population simulation

• voxel states

• search space

state00 cluster-passive

face to face possible neighbors: 6

state01 active-potential attractor potential site

• rules of single voxel mobility

vertical stacking

goal seeking

immobile passives

radius of influence

moveable passives around active

X transported by active units

horizontal pushing

r=3

• rules of crowd behaviour global density | growth direction

structural stability | center of mass finding

local density | microdecision making

the system is defining its own area of local density and starts to occupy defined new area for more homogeneousity and compactness

the system is defining its own area of local density and starts to occupy defined new area for more homogeneousity and compactness

each unit has ability to define its local density based on number of neighbours. according to overpopulating or low density the path is being generated

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 380


communication based simulation

page 381


characteristics

collective behaviour | high population simulation

megastrucure1 | central repulsion (global)

configuration: 3375 x

33%

deployment mode | cube growth | multiple centers size | 5.8 x 5.8 x 4.5 m

characteristics

timeline of deployment

megastrucure2 | central repulsion (local) configuration: 3375 x

33%

deployment mode | cube growth | multiple centers size | 5.8 x 5.8 x 4.5 m

characteristics

timeline of deployment

megastrucure3 | multiseeded wall

configuration: 3000 x

25%

deployment mode | plane growth | linear size | 5.0 x 1.7 x 2.2 m timeline of deployment

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 382


megastrucure4 | diagonal scaffolding (one directional)

configuration: 3000 x

35%

characteristics

communication based simulation

megastrucure5 | two sided scaffolding configuration: 3000 x

27%

characteristics

deployment mode | plane growth | diagonal strands size | 5.0 x 1.7 x 5.1 m

megastrucure6 | cemtral cluster

configuration: 3000 x

25%

characteristics

deployment mode | plane growth | diagonal strands size | 6.4 x 1.7 x 3.3 m

deployment mode | cube growth | branching size | 5.0 x 2.5 x 2.5 m

page 383


collective behaviour | spatial configurations

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 384


spatial configurations | Through the development of different computational models, central evaluation criteria of high population collectives are defined by the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s space making abilities. Spatial configurations were tested under specific, simple goals - i.e. a bridge, a vault, a pillar, - to perform compression based aggregations due to the component based nature of the system. The deployed system aggregates with an adaptive degree of detail, allowing a higher density grid where finer resolution is needed, i.e. for fine elements or strong surface curvature.

page 385


compression based evaluation

collective behaviour | spatial configurations

objective: point to point bridging

full area covering

surface curvature analysis:

no of building blocks: 4568 noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 386

5430


compression based aggregation

01_area to cover

02_vault relaxation

03_curvature based subdivision 04_build up

05_compression based aggregation

vertical point to point pillar

wall to wall bridging

1587

3342 page 387


collective behaviour | spatial deployment


!

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 390


spatial configurations | The results of nomadic bodyplan research serve as base for the testing and evaluation of different growth and branching logic of spatial collectives. Results showed a varying degrees of enclosed space, porosity, stability, potential expansion, efficiency, spatial and aesthetic qualities due to different combinatorial rules and restraints. When we talk about higher organisations of collectives this catalogued behaviour is the driver of the fabrication, Meaning every larger superstructure accumulation is defined by what multiple bodies come together and how.

?

page 391


collective behaviour | spatial configurations

maximum branching: 6 total no of units: 360 no of actives: 90 no of passives: 270

maximum branching: 3 total no of units: 360 no of actives: 90 no of passives: 270

no of bodies: 6 total no of units: 360 no of actives: 90 no of passives: 270

no of bodies: 3 total no of units: 360 no of actives: 90 no of passives: 270

supergrid formation | Each nomadic â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;creatureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, according to its specific bodyplan and sequence of movement, creates its own specific grid, In the assembly process of collective settlements, i..e. semi-mobile superbodies, the structures and spaces a creature can fabricate are directly related to the its potential deployment locations, meaning the path it operates on. Therefore each individual bodyplan also results in a specific supergrid with distinct qualities - either coherent or hybrid through the symbiosis of multiple different nomadic bodies or the breaking down resp seperation of a nomadic body in its simplest parts.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 392


supergrid formation

supergrid

soft faces

01_single unit gridless

02_nomadic body regular grid

03_spatial collective supergrid

page 393


collective behaviour | spatial configurations

base body:

wa l

supergrid

human scale

r_ ke

elevations:

right

cluster_1.2

cluster_1.1

01 no of bodies: 12 total no of units: 84 no of actives: 36 no of passives: 48

no of bodies: 6 total no of units: 42 no of actives: 18 no of passives: 24

elevations:

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taxonomy of superbodies

superbody case study 01 |

cluster_1.3

Due to their limited freedom of mobility and little volumetric qualities, a combination of certain bodyplans can only create structures with high porosity and therefore result in strand-like, porous scaffolding systems. The example of a linear simple walker offers only limited active connections to branch at its ends (max 3 branches on one active unit) and can only operate on a limiting turning circle due to its simple sequence of movement. A wall sized structure (Cluster 1.3.) is build from ca 400 units with 1/3 of them acting as actives.

no of bodies: 64 total no of units: 448 no of actives: 192 no of passives: 246

page 395


collective behaviour | spatial configurations

base body:

wa l

supergrid

human scale

r_ ke cluster_2.2

cluster_2.1

02 no of bodies: 27 total no of units: 360 no of actives: 90 no of passives: 270

elevations:

elevations:

right

no of bodies: 27 total no of units: 324 no of actives: 81 no of passives: 243

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taxonomy of superbodies

superbody case study 01 |

cluster_2.3

More complex nomadic bodies spot a high amount of possible vertical and horizontal connection-faces and allow dense branching around its active units (up to 8 possible branches). Versatile branching and growth logics can pack the space with less gaps, creating fully double curved surfaces. The same number of units can be deployed in its most efficiently packed volume (cluser 2.1.) or cover wider spread areas (cluster 2.2.).

no of bodies: 108 total no of units: 1340 no of actives: 324 no of passives: 972

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state01_ recombinatorial configuration

collective behaviour | spatial configurations

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 398

While high population superstructures lose the complete mobile qualities of its nomadic components, they utilize its transformational abilites for recombinatorial structuring, optimization


temporary scaffolding

or for temporary scaffolds during its own build-up process. Extensions and outer parts of the structure can lift another up, or temporarilty reposition to allow another body to get in place.

state02_ temporary scaffolding

temporary scaffolding

page 399 self-assembling


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 400


rules of deployment | When looking at systems of growth and deployment, the research is engaging with systems that are not fully packed to avoid interlocking, following the idea of lattice and scaffolding, Relying on its kinetic qualities, the system is keeping flexibility by leaving gaps. Local and global rules and constraints are introduced according to results from physical and build up simulations. Growth and branching logics are adapted to fit the criteria of the units geometry, considering its natural constraints by adaptive decision making, such as adaptive cantilever of the grid according to maximum number of units in a linear cantilever (based on physical experiments), resulting in different porosity and scale with identical growth logic. In a fully played out deployment lifecycle, the system behaves according to different sets of goals it is given, its natural constraints (amounts of available units and time) and itscontext. The propotion between number of units involved in assembly and time required acts exponential. During its build up, the system reacts to changing goals or conditions by live-adaption, re-calculating its possibilites to build and connect and takes decision of de-construction and re-deployment. These rules and logics of deployment result in a diverse variety of structureswith different spatial qualities and potential urban scenarios.

page 401


deployment | lattice behaviour and growth

length of cantilever | 1

length of cantilever | 3

resolution of deployment | The results of physical prototypes and their lifting capability feeds into the length of cantilever and deployed branches, drastically changing scale and porosity of aggregation swhen comparing the same sequence of growth with different lengths of cantilevering.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 402


resolution of deployment

length of cantilever | 5

length of cantilever | 9

page 403


rules of deployment | regular grids growth sequence |

iteration 2

iteration 4

iteration 6

iteration 7 number of units in branch | 4 iterations | 9 faces connections | 3-5 branches rotation | 0-0 structure is flat wall-like grid has rigid nodes cell consists of 4 edges medium density

iteration 2

iteration 4

iteration 6

iteration 7

number of units in branch | 4 iterations | 9 faces connections | 4-7 branches rotation | 0-0 gridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cell has 4 edges rotated structure is stable structure is dense

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 404


growth sequence |

iteration 2

iteration 4

iteration 6

iteration 7 number of units in branch | 4 iterations | 7 faces connections | 4-6 branches rotation | 1-0 widespread and not explicitly rigid gridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cells low density

growth sequence |

iteration 2

iteration 4

iteration 6

iteration 7

number of units in branch | 5 iterations | 9 faces connections | 3-5 branches rotation | 0-0 absence of common nodes unstable wide grid with engagements of branchesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; loops

page 405


rules of deployment | local and global extension function the last linear elements are being generated to serve functions of attachment nodes for combnation wth other structural clusters and cranes to lift new units on the top and reconfiguration ability of overall shape

maximal canteliver according to physical and computational experiment the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s linear elements [incl. cantelevers] keep stability until their amount is less or equal to 6 units

spatial rigidity: trusses spacial trusses are being constructed at the moment when columnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expansion requires self supporting capacity. thus cantilever gets adaptive rigidity compare to vertical element

live reconfiguration the system is searching for touching points on the ground and anchoring for better stability

stability: anchor points the system is searching for touching points on the ground and anchoring for better stability

stability: bridging 2 seeding points join rapidly into bridge-like connection to achieve initial stability supporting one another

2 origins of deployment generative deployment process originates from 2 seeding points of growth

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 406


page 407


deployment catalogue | vertical deployment legend

anchor points seeding point

bridge deployment

column deployment

vault deployment

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 408

direction of growth

length of cantilever


objective vertical deployment deployment setup

schematic top view

column 02 |

column 01 |

schematic section

se

ed

page 409


deployment catalogue | bridging deployment objective bridging ed

se

se

ed

parabolic bridge 01 |

parabolic bridge 01 |

schematic section

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 410

deployment setup

schematic top view


objective vertical to horizontal

ed

se

se

ed

schematic section

cartenary dome 2 |

cartenary dome 1 |

deployment setup

page 411


deployment lifecycle | column and bridge

sequential growth

equal amount of units is forming similar vertical structures in different seeding locations

simultaneous growth

the system detects span between structural elements and creates one-directional row of columns

vertical deployment separated columns

two separated seeded deployments introduce tendency of connection between elements by slightly cantelevering

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 412


connection trials

from one or multiple seeds the system grows until it reaŃ hes its structural cantelevering limitation

connection detected

once limitations are found and seeding locations adapted, system generates connected bridge-like structures

bridging gates

bridging elements are dense enough to use capacity of geometrical trusses and hollow enough to avoid redundand number of units

page 413


deployment lifecycle | linear canopy

scanning seeding points systems attempts different connections according to changing seeding locations: straight, diagonal etc.

uniform distribution

system calculates uniform distribution which provides optimal rigidity and ratio of active/passive units [here 18%]

2 weaving structural grids

weaving structural grids provide maximal rigidity and porosity aiming to save resourses without structural weakness

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 414


human-scale configuration

assembly of roughly 1200 units (200 actives) aggregating to 15m covered passway

page 415


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 420


system lifecycle | urban deployment The system goes through distinct phases of operational modi from varying degrees of mobility and urban interventions with architectural deployment. In everyday passive mode aggregations work as a distribution hub for other functions of urban scanning and intervention. Within their vicinity a hub sends out mobile nomadic bodies to explore with the agenda of data mining, scanning and evaluating the city using open source data infrastructure and an internal sensory system. When a site for deployment is identified according to potential for building or urgency for intervention they report back to their hub to send of units on demand to migrate on site where the assembly and construction part as urban intervention takes place. After usage, the system disintegrates and migrates back to its distribution hub or other interventions.

page 421


noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 422


page 423


urban lifecycle 01 | build up base

system lifecycle | urban deployment In a full building lifecycle one can observe the various building strategies and capabilites of the system and how it is capable to adapt and react on each scale, from horizontal organization on the ground to build up a base for vertical build up and multiple deployments, the material itself actively climbing and deposited horizontally and vertically through existing structure. Units negotiating with already build structures and deploying new scaffolds along them or adapt reconfiguration without the need of new units entering the system, but a re-positioning of existing structures allowing new configurations. In an urban scenario, the system is adapting to changing needs and scenarios of deployment during the pass of the day, entering and leaving building sitse on demand and migrating on an urban scale.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. noMad creates a living cycle of endless evolving scenario. We imagine noMad to be a part of the city integrated into its daily life, as an infrastructure responding to us on many scales.

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 424


init ial u ild bu

p page 425


urban lifecycle 02 | build up column

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 426


stage 01

vertical deployment

total assembly time | 2556

total no of units in the system | 2556

page 427


urban lifecycle 03 | population columns

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 428


stage 02

pillar population

page 429


urban lifecycle 04 | reconfiguration canopy

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 430


stage 03

canopy reconfiguration

page 431


2

interim configuration

urban lifecycle 05 | site migration

• site migrat • units in sy • reposition

1

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 432


noon configuration

tion ystem: 30 000 ning time: 2 hours

evening configuration

3

• centralized setup • units in system: 13 000 x 4 • assembly time: 12 hours

• decentralized setup • units in system: 7 000 x 3 • assembly time: 6 hours

page 433


bloomsbury square • area: 9 023 sqm

case study 01

case study 02

urban lifecycle 06 | urban migration

• bedford square | wc1b 3es • area: 11 720sqm

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 434


case study 03

soho square â&#x20AC;˘ area: 6110 sqm

page 435


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APENDIX


appendix | bibliography

self-structuring geometry | • Arup. Beijing National Aquatics Center. 2008. 24.03.2014 <http://www.arup.com/eastasia/project.cfm?pageid=1250> • Bell, Alexander Graham. Tetrahedral principle in kite structures. in: National Geographic Magazine 14 (6), 1914. • Cook, Peter and David Greene. Metamorphosis. in Ekistics 28. London, 1969. • Fuller, Buckminster. Synergetics Vol1: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking. New York: Macmillan Pub Co, 1975. • Gabriel, Francois J (ed). Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. • Kwinter, Sanford. Soft Systems. in Brian Boigon (ed.). Culture Lab. Princeton Architecture Press. 1993. • Laban, Rudolf. The Mastery of Movement. New York: Dance Books Ltd, 2011. Page 10. • McHale, John (ed). Portfolio and Art News Annual, No.4, 1961. • McLeary, Peter. Robert le Ricolais: Visions and Paradox. Madrid : Fundacion Cultural COAM, 1997. • Tange, Kenzo. Function, Structure and Symbol. in Udo Kultermann (ed.). Kenzo Tange. Zurich: Praeger Publishers, 1970. • Wachsmann, Konrad. Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. • Wigley, Mark. Network Fever. in Grey Room 39. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.

pancommunication in design | • Antonelli, Paola. Talk to Me: Design and Communication between People and Objects. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. 2011. • Bateson, Gregory. Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1951. • Baudrillard, Jean. The System of Objects, 1968. London: Verso, 2006. • Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There. North Carolina: Hayes Barton Press. 1871. • Chomsky, Noam. Syntatic Structures. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1957. • DeLanda, Manuel. Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence Of Synthetic Reason. London: Continuum Press, 2011. • Habermas, Jürgen. The Theory of Communicative Action. Boston: Beacon Press, 1981. • Hasman, Uque. The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask. in Castle, Helen (ed.). Architectural Design 4DSocial: Interactive Design Environments. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. • Heffernan, Virginia. The Pleasures of the Internet. in The New York Times Magazine, 02/2011. • Kinzer, Kacy. Tweenbot. 2009. 24.03.2014 <http://www.tweenbots.com> • Lipset, David. Gregory Bateson the Legacy of a Scientist. Boston: Beacon Press, 1982. • Marx, Karl. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1859. • MOMA. Talk to Me. 2011. 23.04.2014. <http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/ talktome/> • Norman, Donald. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basics Book, 1988. • Pask, Gordon. A comment, a case history and a plan. in Reichhard, J (ed.). Cybernetics, Art and Ideas. London: Studio Vista,1968.

Spyropoulos, Stephan and Theodore. Enabling: The Work of Minimaforms. London: AA Publications, 2010. noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 456


urban data |

• Anderson, Chris. “The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete”. Wired Magazine Vo 17 2007. 13.12.2013. <http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory> • Harrisson, Tom and Charles Madge. First Year’s Work. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1938. • Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1994. • Bartz Petchenik, Barbara. “From Place to Space: The Psychological Achievement of Thematic Mapping”. Cartography and Geographic Information Science Vol 6, No 1. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. 1979. • Bertin, Jean. Sémiologie Graphique. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1967. • Blakesley, David and Collin Brooke. Introduction: Notes on Visual Rhetoric. 2001. Enculturation, Vol.3, No.2. 13.12.2013 <http://www.enculturation.gmu.edu/> • Box, George E. P.; Norman R. Draper, ed. Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces. Wiley, 1987. • Chomsky, Noam. Engaging Data 2013. Massachusetts Institute for Technology. 13.12. 2013. <http://senseable.mit.edu/engagingdata2013/videos.html> • Gantz, Jon and David Reinsel, ed. “Extracting Value from Chaos”. Digital Universe Study. June 2011. IDC. 16.12.2013 <http://germany.emc.com/collateral/analyst-reports/ idc-extracting-value-from-chaos-ar.pdf> • Kittler, Friedrich. The City Is a Medium. New Literary History, Vol 27, No. 4. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1996. • Maas, Winy, ed. MetaCity/Datatown. Rotterdam: 010 Uitgeverij, 1999. • Manovich, Lea and Manuel Lima, ed. Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. • Manuel Lima, ed. Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. • Matilda McQuaid, ed. Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002. • Ratti, Carlo. Live! Singapore. 2011. MIT Senseable City Lab. 13.12.2013 <http://senseable.mit.edu/livesingapore/exhibition.html> • Sadler, Simon. The Situationist City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1998. Page 60. • Sheridan, Dorothy. The Mass-Observation Diaries An Introduction. Sussex: University of Sussex Library and the Centre for Continuing Education, 1991. • Somol, R.E. “Dummy Text, or The Diagrammatic Basis of Contemporary Architecture”. Diagram Diaries. London: Thames & Hudson, 1999. • Walworth, Catherine and Rebecca S. Cohen, ed. ‘City Maps’ Art Lies No 42. Houston: self published, 2004.

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appendix | bibliography self assembly | DELEUZE, Gilles, and Feliz Guatarri, A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987. Print. KELLY, Kevin. Out of control: the new biology of machines, social systems, and the economic world. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1995. Print. OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. Print. REISER, Jesse. “The New Fineness”, Assemblage, Vol. 41. MIT Press, 2001. Print. TERO et al. 2010. Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science 10.1126/science.1177894 TIBBITS, SKYLAR. “From Digital Materials to Self-Assembly.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. TOLLEY, Micheal, Jonas Neubert, Mekala Krishnan, Micheal Kalontarov, Stephane Constantin, Abe Cantwell, and Jeremy Blum. “Stochastic Modular Assembly.”Cornell Creative Machines Lab. Cornell University, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/stochastic-modular-assembly>. ZYKOV V., Mytilinaios E., Adams B., Lipson H. (2005) “Self-reproducing machines”, Nature Vol. 435 No. 7038, pp. 163-164 1 WEBSITES: WIKIPEDIA. Retrieved from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-assembly>. YONG, Ed. “Slime Mould Attacks Simulates Tokyo Rail Network.” Science Blogs. N.p., 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2010/01/21/slime-mould-attacks-simulates-tokyo-rail-network/>. “Introduction to the “Slime Molds”” Introduction to the “Slime Molds” University of California, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/protista/slimemolds.html>. “MicrobeWorld.” Slime Molds. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.microbeworld.org/types-of-microbes/protista/slime-molds>

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immersive environments | ANTONELLI, Paola. Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 2011. Print. AYLESWORTH, Gary, “Postmodernism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/postmodernism/>. BATESON, Gregory. Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. San Francisco: Chandler Pub., 1972. Print. BAUDRILLARD, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1994. Print. BERTRAND, Philippe, Daniel Gonzalez-Franco, Christian Cherene, and Arthur Pointeau. “’The Machine to Be Another’: Embodiment Performance to Promote Empathy among Individuals.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/THE_MACHINE_TO_BE_ANOTHER_PAPER_2014. pdf>. DUSENBERY, David B. (1992). Sensory Ecology. W.H. Freeman. New York. ISBN 0-7167-2333-6 HALBWACHS, Maurice. “Space And The Collective Memory.” The Collective Memory. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. N. pag. Print. HALBWACHS, Maurice, and Lewis A. Coser. On Collective Memory. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1992. Print. HAQUE, Usman. “The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask.” Architectural Design Magazine 2007: 54-61. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf>. KELLY, Kevin. “Coevolution.” Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1995. N. pag. Print. LEOPOLDSEDER, Hannes, Christine Schopf, and Gerfried Stocker. Total Recall: The Evolution of Memory. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013. Print. MCLEOD, S. A. (2007). Stages of Memory - Encoding Storage and Retrieval. Retrieved from <http://www.simplypsychology.org/memory.html> MCLUHAN, Marshall, and Quentin Fiore. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print. SOMEONE ELSE. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/24/5526694/virtual-reality-made-me-believe-i-was-someone-else>. SOUPPOURIS, Aaron. Virtual Reality Made Me Believe I Was WEBSITES BE ANOTHER LAB. The Machine To Be Another. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. Retrieved from <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/?page_id=764>. FRANKE, Daniel. “Unnamed Soundsculpture.” Daniel Franke. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. Retrieved from < http://daniel-franke.com/?p=6>. SPYROPOULOS, Theodore. Minimaforms – Becoming Animal. Retrieved from <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma>.

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appendix | image bibliography

self - structuring geometry |

fig00: (Title Image) Wachsmann, Konrad. Symbol of the ideal three-dimensional structure. 1956. in Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. fig01: Wachsmann, Konrad. US Airforce Hangar. 1951. in Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. fig02: da Vinci, Leonardo. De Devina Proportione. 1509. in Gabriel, Francois J (ed). Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. fig03: D端rer, Albrecht. Underweysung der Messung. 1525. in Gabriel, Francois J (ed). Beyond The Cube: The Architecture of Space Frames and Polyhedra. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. fig04: The Five Platonic Polyhedra. drawn by the author. 2014. fig05: Bell, Alexander Graham. Tetrahedral Kites. 1902. fig06: Diamond, Mark. Fuller Demonstration of Synergetic Principles. 1977. 23.03.2014. <http://www.geni.org/globalenergy/library/buckminster_fuller/index.shtml> fig07: Fuller, Buckminster. Geodesic Dome Patent. 1951. United States Patent Office no. 2,682,235, in the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981. 12.13.2013. <http://www.dailyicon.net/2012/04/exhibtion-the-utopian-impulse-buckminster-fuller-t the-bay-area/> fig08: Fuller, Buckminster. Tensegrity Patent. 1959. United States Patent Office no. 2,682,235, in the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981. 12.13.2013. <http://www.dailyicon.net/2012/04/exhibtion-the-utopian-impulse-buckminster-fuller the-bay-area/> fig09: Wachsmann, Konrad. Experimental Structural Web. 1953. in Wendepunkte im Bauen. Wiesbaden: Krauskopf Verlag, 1959. fig10: Cook, Peter. Plug In City.1964. 23.03.2014 <http://www.archigram.net/projects_pages/ plug_in_city.html> fig11: Friedman, Yona & Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz. Raumstadt. 1953. 23.03.2014. < http://www.megastructure-reloaded.org/schulze-fielitz/ > fig12: Arup. Beijing National Aquatics Center. 2008. 24.03.2014 <http://www.arup.com/eastasia/project. cfm?pageid=1250> fig13: Saraceno, Tomas. Density Fields. 2008. 24.03.2014 <http://www.tomassaraceno.com/Projects/OntheRoof/> fig14: Oyler Wu Collaborative, Thomas. Cloud Cities. 2011. 24.03.2014 <http://oylerwu.com/Density_Fields.htm/>

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 460


pancommunication in design | fig01: Aaron A Chevalier. Hello World Bacterial Photograph. Scientific American. 2005. 23,03,2014 < http:// blogs.scientificamerican.com/oscillator/2012/05/12/living-photography/> fig02: Flake, Emily. She thinks it is a touchscreen. The New Yorker. 2013. 23.03.2014 <http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/She-thinks-it-s-a-touchscreen-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_ i9368937_.htm> fig03: Jonze, Spike. Her. 2013. 23.03.2014 <http://www.herthemovie.com> fig04: Pask, Gordon. Conversation Theory. 1968. drawn by the author. fig05: Hasman, Uque. The Architectural Relevance of Gordon Pask. in Castle, Helen (ed.). Architectural Design 4DSocial: Interactive Design Environments. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Page 60. fig06: ibid. fig07: ibid. fig08: Spyropoulos, Stephan and Theodore. Enabling: The Work of Minimaforms. London: AA Publications, 2010. Page fig09: Kinzer, Kacy. Tweenbot. 2009. 24.03.2014 <http://www.tweenbots.com>

fig10: Walker, Rob. Signifcant Objects. 2011. 24.03.2014 <http://significantobjects.com/ press-clippings/> urban data | fig01: fig02: fig03: fig04: fig05: fig06: fig07: fig08: fig09: fig10: fig11:

Madge, C. and T.H. Harrisson, 1937 Mass Observation, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1937. Magritte, Rene. La Trahison des Images. 1927. reprinted in: Snow, John. Map of cholera deaths in London - On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, 2nd Ed. London: New Burlington Street, 1855. Louis Kahn and Allisson Smithee, ed. Traffic Studies. Team 10 Primer. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1968. Wood, Jeremy. Mowing the lawn. 2001. 12.13.2013. <http://www.jeremywood.net/lawn.html> Carden, Tom. Biomapping. 2006. 12.13.2013. <http://www.tom-carden.co.uk/2006/01/25/biomapping-sketch.html> OpenStreetMap. 2004. 12.13.2013. <http://www.openstreetmap.org> Ratti, Carlo. Live! Singapore. 2011. MIT Senseable City Lab. 13.12.2013 <http://senseable.mit.edu/livesingapore/exhibition.html> Guy Debord.The Naked City. 1957. reprinted in: Simon Sadler, ed. The Situationist City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1998. Mayer H, Juergen. A.Ways. 2010.16.12.2013 <http://www.jmayerh.de/85-0-A-Way.html> Maas, Winy, ed. MetaCity/Datatown. Rotterdam: 010 Uitgeverij, 1999. Page 88

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appendix | image bibliography

self assembly | • 01 Swarms Acessed in: 25/03/2014 < http-//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Auklet_flock_Shumagins_1986.jpg> • 02 Neural Networks Acessed in: 25/03/2014 < http-//mattscognitivescienceblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/redneuronal-1024x768.jpg> • 03 Slime-mold Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Slime_Mold_On_Deadwood.JPG> • 04 Slime-mold Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.statehighwayone.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2009/07/slimemold.jpg> • 05 Atsushi Tero project Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/wp-content/blogs.dir/474/files/2012/04/i-b8c572e50bf97b3af8c480a855b99447-Slime_mould-Tokyo.jpg> • 06 Atsushi Tero project Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/wp-content/blogs.dir/474/files/2012/04/i-f6d455c8b9a8bc9dc181d489ee6bf099-Mould_Tokyo.jpg> • 07 Frei Otto – soap film experiments Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://lightismore.tumblr.com/image/1599642946> • 08 Frei Otto – soap film experiments OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. Print • 09 Frei Otto – soap film experiments OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. Print • 10 Frei Otto – soap film experiments OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. Print • 11 Frei Otto – soap film experiments OTTO, Frei, and Sabine Schanz. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Mind: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Germany: Menges, 1995. Print • I-12a Olympic Building in Munich Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Olympic_park_12.jpg> • I-12b Olympic Building in Munich Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://hamlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/olympic-park-munich-and-elsewhere.html> • I-13 Olympic Building in Munich Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://hamlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/olympic-park-munich-and-elsewhere.html> • I-14 Olympic Building in Munich Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://hamlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/olympic-park-munich-and-elsewhere.html> • I-15 Stochastic Modular Assembly Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/wrench%20to%20humanoid.png> • I-16 Stochastic Modular Assembly Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/stochastic%20assembly%20of%20minimalistic%20modules.png>

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• I-17 Stochastic Modular Assembly Acessed in: 25/03/2014 http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/tile%20illustration.png> • I-18 Stochastic Modular Assembly Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://jonasneubert.com/zoomifyResearchPoster.html> • I-19 Self Replicator Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/images/molecubes.preview.gif>

immersive environments | 01 Allegory of the Cave Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Platon_Cave_Sanraedam_1604.jpg> 02 Allegory of the Cave Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://thehamletenigma.com/images/cave04.jpg> 03 Gordon Pask Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf> 04 Gordon Pask Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf> 05 Gordon Pask Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.haque.co.uk/papers/architectural_relevance_of_gordon_pask.pdf> 06a unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://wearechopchop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/unnamed_soundsculpture_00009.jpg> 06b unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.onformative.com/uploads/projects/unnamed10_l.jpg> 06c unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://wearechopchop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/unnamed_soundsculpture_00014.jpg> 07 unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://wearechopchop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/unnamed_soundsculpture_docu_00000.jpg> 08 unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.onformative.com/uploads/projects/unnamed3_l.jpg> 09 unnamed soundsculpture Acessed in: 21/03/2014

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appendix | image bibliography

<http://www.onformative.com/uploads/projects/unnamed2_l.jpg> 10 Minimaforms Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma> 11 Minimaforms Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma> 12 Minimaforms Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma> 13 Minimaforms Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://minimaforms.com/#item=becominganimalmoma> 14 The Sims Game Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111130221954/sims/images/e/e0/First-details-on-the-sims-freeplay20111123115133628_640w.jpg> 15 The Sims Game Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Sims-3-Supernatural-Review-Witches-Fairies-Werewolves-Magic-46470.html> 16 The Sims Game Acessed in: 21/03/2014 <http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111130221445/sims/images/a/af/The_sims_freeplay12.jpg> 17 The Machine to be Another Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/?p=924> 18a The Machine to be Another Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/?p=924> 18b The Machine to be Another Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/?p=924> 18c The Machine to be Another Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/?p=924> 19 The Machine to be Another Acessed in: 25/03/2014 <http://www.themachinetobeanother.org/wp-content/gallery/maquinagaleria /riki2.jpg>

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appendix | making of

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noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 468


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noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 470


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credits |

a project by | dmytro aleksandrovych aranchii paul clemens bart flavia ghirotto santos yuqiu iris jiang developed at | architectural association design research lab aadrl 2014/2015 at theodore spyropoulos studio assisted by mustafa el sayed

noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 472


special thanks to | theodore spyropoulos mustafa el sayed patrik schumacher shajay booshan robert stuart smith pierandrea angius apostolis despotidis

aileen pham aleksander bursac georgia tsoli hitesh katiyar ihor kishtar lisa kuhnhausen mariia aranchii marvin bratke raissa carvalho fonseca

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noMad - behavioural fabrication | page 474


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architectural association school of architecture aadrl design research lab 2014/2015

Profile for Flavia Ghirotto Santos

noMad | A Behavioural Assembly System  

MArch at Architectural Association Design Research Lab - AADRL Tutor | Theodore Spyropoulos Assitant Tutor | Mustafa El Sayed

noMad | A Behavioural Assembly System  

MArch at Architectural Association Design Research Lab - AADRL Tutor | Theodore Spyropoulos Assitant Tutor | Mustafa El Sayed

Profile for flagss
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