LORENZO VILLAGGI 2012 - 2015
DIVERGING NOTATIONS LORENZO VILLAGGI 2012 - 2015 Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation Columbia University
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to all the professors who have encouraged and guided me throughout my years at GSAPP. In no particular order: Karla Rothstein, David Benjamin, Mark Wasiuta, Laura Kurgan, Janette Kim, Charles Eldred, Scott Marble, Kazys Varnelis, Adam Bundler, Ezio Blasetti, Francois Roche, Lydia Kallipoliti, Adam Modesitte, John Cerone, Luc Wilson, Josh Uhl, and Danil Nagy. Special thanks are extended to all my friends and to my family, who have been a constant source of inspiration. I am also grateful to D., for always being there.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 DMB adv. 6 Doha Military Biennale 27 ADHOCRATIC PRODUCTIONS adv. 5 An opensource business model for a bio-tech manufacturing company. 49 ATOMIZED SPACE adv. 4 A big-data-based design workflow 63 ESSAYS AND INDEPENDENT STUDIES 107 EIDOS, OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER core 3 A self-sufficient community based sometime in the near future. 125 BRAIN BACKUP BANK core 2 The repository of our deepest desires and unconscious experiences, 139 ACCELERATOR POOL core 1 A social condenser where water is a spatial device for public congregation. 151 MUSIC BOX tech 5 Technical Drawings for a work-space for sound artists
PREFACE In the attempt of finding a cohesive and positive meaning that can sum up an entire body of work, contradictions and antagonistic positions emerge. A collection of work that has apparently followed an unconscious leitmotif reveals instead ranges of difference and diversions from within and outside the discipline of architecture; it is this same position of silent antagonism that is at the core of the work that this book has collected. If a notation is a system of symbols or characters based on agreement and convention, then Diverging Notations is a methodology, a systematic approach, based upon iterative contradictions and perpetual negotiation between the autonomy of architecture and what surrounds it. The work presented in this book is not meant to be read as a cohesive sequence of projects, but rather as a set of diverging notational systems. It is a collection of intense experiments that test the foundations of the discipline: from representation to structural logics, from narrative to function, from instinctive approaches to the most systematic ones. Ultimately, it is an attempt to implode the autonomy of the discourse by attracting the potentialities of the most outer, unknown territories.
DMB DOHA MILITARY BIENNALE
DOHA MILITARY BIENNALE Spring 2015 Critic: Mark Wasiuta In collaboration with Lily Wong
DMB explores the collection of weapons in Qatar, through which the power of a state is expressed, performed, and actualized, with the goal of revealing the military-industry complex that constitutes a nation today.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
DMB DOHA MILITARY BIENNALE
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 Supported and Hosted by
Nationhood and the spectacle of the military-industrial complex
The construction of nationhood is in tension with the global scale of arms production and defense investment in which national territory cannot be easily defended. A nation’s defense system is only an instantiation of an international network of governmental policies, weapon production, research institutions, and finance.
The questions that underpin the project include: How could the world expo/ biennale model inherited from the 19th Century be updated to articulate the system in which the State and weapon developing corporations can’t be separated?
At the scale of the exhibition itself, what is the appropriate form of display that deals with different statuses of a weapon, as well as the interaction between the spectator and the object? Could the demonstration of weapons re-qualify the role of the biennale within the city?
Offical Media Partners
To further extend Eisenhower’s definition of military-industrial complex, the project reveals what has been called the military-entertainment complex in which the demonstration of a weapon can be seen as a form of spectacle. Site The site for the Doha Military Biennale is the former airport, decommissioned in 2014. It is roughly 2.3 km wide and 7.1 km long, situated south of the Corniche and the museum of Islamic Art, and is in close proximity to other cultural facilities in Doha.
PRIMARY DANGER ZONE
AMMUNITION & EXPLOSIVE LAUNCH
PUBLIC jungle shurb
Data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Germany Ukraine 2149 2098
South NetherlandsSweden Korea 1075 996 525
Romania Finland 216 197
New Australia Singapore Zealand 108 77 75
GU JaveIDED line MIS HE SILE AT
SwitzerlandBelarus South AfricaNorway 436 435 261 223
600.00 China 3541
Military Export (in million US dollars)
Denmark Ireland 32 26
Czech Republic Bulgaria 13 15
SS W N SW
3000.00 2000.00 1653.15
SURFACE DANGER ZONES EXAMPLES SMALL ARMS
38 Calibor spec ball M41 .38 Wadcutter
batwing SDZ or firing small arms direct-fire with exploding projectiles
TANK FIGHTING VEHICLE GUNNERY
firing rocket launcher HE type
Javelin Missile HEAT
TOW missile system PV 18 area
PER DIS AREA
ility bab 0 pro ility bab 00 pro ility bab 1:10,0 pro 000 1:100,
bility le proba t Variab emen 30' 38' of escap 45' 47'
1 AREA AREA ER 2 ON DANG RY AREA CAUTI ON PRIMA CAUTI
m = 3940 ce x distan
= ce y distan: 3340 earth : 3040 water 3290 steel: ete: 3260 concr
w = : 581 earth : 558 water 804 steel: ete: 765 concr
Masterplan A gradient of security and access defines longitudinally the entire masterplan. From North (left): the public access is the main entrance and is open to anyone; below, the pavilion sector is fully public but can be accessed only through the trenches that cut horizontally the landscape; in this same sector, longitudinally to the masterplan, strip of lands define different type of surfaces for the mobile demonstration of the weapons; the last sector is the area for the demonstration of the projectile and trajectories of the ammunition of the
weapons. This is accessible only by the staff and the weapons. The circulation is provided on rails along the East spine of the masterplan: on the runways of the old airport shuttles transport the public and the stuff in all the sectors, accordingly to the levels of access and security.
Terrainscape: weapons in motion In the pavilion zone, the ground level is accessible only by the weapons and the staff. The entire ground level is divided in longitudinal strips that run along the entire area of the pavilions, providing different type of soils and surfaces for the demontration of the weapons in their active state. The public moves perpendicularly to the terrainscape in protected reinforced concrete trenches.
Precedents and weapon analysis The design of the spaces of display in the pavilions and of the spaces of demonstration has been informed by the study of the spatial requirements of each type of weapon based on their 1) static state, 2) active/mobile state, 3) projectile and ammuntion capabilities. Two existing precedents in Doha have been studied: Dimdex and Milipol. Both are biennial military tradeshows open only to high officials. The former is about military weapons, while the latter is about domestic security.
small (hand-held) arms
staff only public
staff with clearance
DEMONSTRATION entrance to pavilion
4.4 Pavilion Envelope Customization
4.4.1 Allowable Pageantry
The following envelope options are provided by the DMB. Each nation may choose only one of these options. Please inform the DMB department of building technology your final choice by noon, May 1. No changes will be granted thereafter. A curtain wall specialist will be assigned to your pavilion for further technical questions.
Only the following two articles can be displayed on the faรงade: 1. National flag (a flag pole will be provided)
See page 45 for indepth discussion
Font: Swiss 721 Bold (Lettering is sponsored by UBS Switzerland)
Figure 4.4-1 Option 1 ETFE
Name of the nation, in English, in the following format:
QA TA R
Figure 4.412 Option 1.2
Figure 4.4.1 Lettering example
Figure 4.4-3 Option 2 Shrink Wrap
Figure 4.4-5 Option 3 Glass Curtain Wall
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Figure 4.4-4 Option 2.1
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The rules of the biennale This page, the â€œExhibitor Design Manualâ€? given to the curator of each national pavilion. Among many logistical rules to follow, the ones displayed here are about the interior organization of the pavilions and the customization of the envelope.
DOHA MILITARY BIENNIAL 2016
Each pavilion is structurally the same: a bridge structure that spans for 150m, 250m or 600m according to the number of weapon manufactureres being hosted by the nation.
Exhibitor Design Manual prepared by the Board of Directors, Doha Military Biennial, Qatar Armed Force, Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, and Qatar Museum Authority
UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF H.H. SHEIKH TAMIM BIN HAMAD AL-THANI EMIR OF THE STATE OF QATAR
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Welcome Remarks Remarks from the Curator
Opposite page, the interior can be freely organized by the curator as long as the gradient of security and access is respected as illustrated in the top diagram. The perimeter must be kept free to avoid obstructing the views over the below demostration terrains. Opposite page below, each curator can pick the envelope of his choice from a limited list of possible customized panelization types.
CHAPTER 1 Adminstration CHAPTER 2 Masterplan 2.1 zones 2.2 location of pavilions 2.3 access points CHAPTER 3 Pavilion Design Guide 3.1 height and area 3.2 structural requirement 3.3 material 3.4 ballistic resistance requirement 3.5 means of egress 3.6 interior environment CHAPTER 4 Demonstration Guide CHAPTER 5 General Safety Guide in Performance CHAPTER 6 Media CHAPTER 7 Maintenance CHAPTER 8 Logistics and On-site Handling
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The US companies that have been accepted by the \ DMB 2014 committee to exhibit their products at the DMB 2015 event are listed below: - Lockheed Martin - Boeing - Northrop Grumman - General Dynamics\ - United Technologies Corp. - L-3 Communications - BAE Systems Inc. (BAE Systems UK) - Huntington Ingalls Industries - Honeywell - Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies USA) - Textron - Booz Allen Hamilton - Leidos - General Electric - Sikorsky (UTC)
- ITT Exelis - CACI International - Science Applications - Oshkosh Truck - Harris - Bechtel - Hewlett-Packard - Computer Sciences Corp. - Rockwell Collins - URS Corporation - General Atomics - ManTech International - Dyncorp - Fluor - Alliant Techsystems - GenCorp - Precision Castparts - Triumph Group - Jacobs Engineering Group
- Austal USA (Austal Australia) - Moog - Cubic Corporation - AAR Corp. - MIT - Alion Science & Technology - Ultra Electronics - The Aerospace Corp.
*the order follows the record of the arms sale from 2013 by SIPRI
US pavilion The US pavilion together with the UK, Russia and others is the biggest one in size (600m long) and in number of hosted weapon manufacturers. The interior display of the weapons in their static status is structured by size. From left to right, small arms, missiles, ground
vehicles and aircrafts. The bridge like structure is supported by inhabitable reinforeced concrete pillars that function as entrance and exit for public and weapons. The entire envelope is made of glass panels, allowing the public full view of the below demonstration landscapes.
storage with limited acess
Viewing devices The elevated pavilions allow for continuous circulation of the weapons on the below demonstration terrains. In addition, the entire perimeter becomes a continuous observatory station, providing the public with an infrastructure to view the spectacle of the weapons in motion. This page: interior surveillance camera view
3D scans of surrounding terrain
A TA R
exhibition of global data collection
display of how the biennial ground is controled and surveillanced
3D scanner projection
display of personal recognition devices
ns of surrounding terrain
Since Qatar doesnâ€™t produce arms, its pavilion houses logistical, investment, and surveillance companies, as well as research institutions and consultant firms. The goal is to reveal Qatarâ€™s participation in global arms investment and distribution.
display of personal recognition devices
entrance hall where personal data is captured and shown
staff access only
structure for 3D scanners and radar system
conference and meeting rooms for Qatari logistical /tech companies military officers and invited guests only digital master plan display of DMB
surveillance and data collection exhibition
mission 987 DMB 2015
x x x x x xx xxx x xxx x x x xx xx xx xxx xxxxx x x x x x x
xx x xxx xx x x
25.2867° N, 51.5333° E
This page: drone view survellling the American sector and people’s movements through RFID tags. Opposite page, cross section of the Qatar Pavilion.
25.2867° N, 51.5333° E
Display mechanisms: ground vehicles and missiles
Pavilions as observatory stations and small arms display mechanism
ADHOCRATIC PRODUCTIONS Fall 2014 Critic: David Benjamin
A new business and opensource model for biomaterial manufacturing facilities, based on community driven and analog material computation.
Autonomous manufacturing Located in the Brazilian informal settlements, the project is a GIY/DIY infrastructure that interweaves a manufacturing facility and incubator space over time, revealing different degrees of permanency. The mix of mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus) and agricultural waste is simultaneously the end-product and the architecture of this design, In fact, when subject to loads, similarly to the behaviour of bone mineralization and topological optimization, the zones of the mycelium that have higher stresses become denser and stiffer, and, in this case, delaying its natural decay. Material computation By performing an â€œanalog topological optimization on the mycelium structureâ€? the community becomes an active agent of the process: while the stronger parts of the he mycelium become structure and enclosure, the non-structural ones become available material that the community manually extracts and repurposes for its own need. The facility is located above the existing urban circulation and starts with the collection of organic waste and mycelium. As the formwork is gradually filled, floors and loads are added until the content is ready to self support itself and the added loads, at which point the harvested and non structural part of the mycelium can be extracted. Multi-dimensional trade-offs The overall strategy is based on two multi-objective optimization workflows - one at the urban scale and one at the architectural scale. At the urban scale the workflow finds the optimal locations according to the accessibility of the facility along the existing circulation. This is achieved by minimizing the commute score between the houses and the factory, while maximizing the number of houses served within that commute time and maximizing the proximity to rural farms. The multi objective optimization at the architectural scale aims at defining topologically complex load paths and different levels of porosity according to the program requirements of the incubator space. The optimization took into account topological porosity, programmatic distribution and structural stiffness as design objectives. The varying parameters of the optimization are the location of the loads and supports as well as the programmatic requirements for each use.
A Formwork construction and material filling B Factory: myeclium excess remotion C Formwork remotion and mycelium full growth D Incubator space E Incubator space / Garden Lab E
F Garden / Lab
Material and program life-cycle This and opposite page: timelaps of the construction, programmatic and material evolution of one unit. From framework construction to material remotion and finally to vegetation growth, the project is sustained by analog material computations.
Variable Load Locations Diffused Load Reclaimed Wooden Panel Bounding Box
Topological Optimization Structural Stress Heatmap
Full Mycelium Mass
Analog topology optimization Opposite page: steps of analog topology optimization on mycelium samples: 1. single or multiple point load application 2. mycelium maturation 3. remotion of the soft part
Variable Support Location
Full Mycelium mass overlayed on stiffer mass over time
Analogically-Topological Optimized Mass after the remotion of soft mass
Gradual degradation of the biological material
4. seperation of the hard (or â€œstructuralâ€?) part from the soft one which is then re-grown or used by the user for any fabrication purpose. 4b. mycelium sample tested under the effect of rainwater. The last row shows the simulation of rainwater in the shower. The sample has been left under constant simulated rainwater for 8 hours. This page: digital simulation of the analog process. A digital model was constructed in order to computationally simulate the structural behaviour of a mycelium structure before and after the application of the analog topology optimization.
Public timeline Cross-section of the typical aggregation of the units. Each of them has been added at different moments in time revealing different state of material deterioration/remotion and vegetation growth.
This page: one unit along an alley in Rio das Pedras. Opposite page: aggregated units forming an accessible elevated public garden and labs in the same informal settlement.
Well served settlements
Bad served setttlements
Urban location optimization Opposite page and below: selection of the best results from the urban location optimization. This page: diagrams of the computational workflows at the urban scale.
Programmatic and structural optimization Opposite page: selection of the best results from the structural and programmatic optimization. Opposite page, below: diagrams of the computational workflows
GIY DIY UBAN GARDEN/ LAB
This page: program and material life cycle of the interior space of one unit. Opposite page: aggregated units in urban context.
This page: 3d printed models of different iterations of the units at different stages of material remotion. Opposite page: storage and garden lab.
ATOMIZED SPACE Spring 2014 - Directed Research Summer 2014 Critics: Scott Marble, Laura Kurgan In collaboration with Carlo Bailey
Founded on opensource processes, Atomized space redefines the agency of the architect in a technology and data driven design environment
LIGHT RESPONSIVE WALL ELEMENT
This element is used in the design process to test filtering of light coming from the lightwell through the walls. By proximity to the light source, the Trigonometric Wall adapts its transparency/opacity ratio in order to allow more natural illumination.
HOLE MAKER/RATIONALIZER ELEMENT
LIGHTWELL ELEMENT lightwell floor void
lightwell influence radius
WALL DEPTH MODULATION ELEMENT Trigonometric Equation:
WallPts = (cos PAx 2 + PAy 2 ) ⋅ d + dMax WallPts: Wall point coordinates PA: Program area Influence factor d: Depth intensity dMax: Maximum Depth intensity
rt60 = 1.0s
.D rt60 = 0.7s .A
rt60 = 1.1s
.B rt60 = 1.2s
Reverberation Calculation: RT 60 =
V AFloor ⋅ cFloor + AWall ⋅ cWall + AFloor ⋅ cCeiling
A: Area c: Absorption coefficient V: Volume
Site and approach Located in Gowanus, Brooklyn NY, the project is revisiting and repurposing the Spatial Syntax techniques including not only quantitative aspects of space but also its qualitative attributes. Along with the proposal of a new design methodology, our project deals with the design of a new office typology, that goes beyond the “burolandschaft” of the 50s embracing the new types of work modalities and contamination between disciplines. The typology is an exploration of a space for tech-startups and incubator spaces, and we have been testing this design methodology considering specific programs like: - hacker spaces - design spaces - breakout spaces - fabrication labs Dynamic dashboard for design feedback The process begins not from form nor specific crafted spaces, rather from the following design objectives or qualitative spatial values: - serendipity - heterogeneity - crossprogramming - social interaction - environmental productivity The objectives are then broken down to secondary sets of qualitative metrics. For example, serendipity is constituted by the metrics “spatial configuration”, “user density” and “spatial size ratio” among others. A third set of variables define each of the second tier metrics. These are direct quantitative sets of data derived from the computational analysis of each design decision. As an example, the metric “spatial size ratio” is a combination of the surface area of small work zones and the surface area of large work zones. Design elements Each metric of the dynamic dashboard is fed by design elements, that are flexible building parts, design tools or analysis tools. These are controlled and generated through Catia and Grasshopper. We mainly focused on the relationship between the several design elements that we generated and the visualization and feedback of the data created by the interactio of the several design elements.
How good is your design? Opposite page: each metric of the dashboard is driven by output data from all the design elements. From quantitative to qualitative outputs, the design goals are broken down into their constitutive elements, which define the branch-like organization of the dashboard.
Data visualization is integrated in the design process At the center the overall performance of the design is visualized through a spider diagram. This enables a direct and immediate feedback loop to the designer. Any single design decision has a profound effect in the global
Quality simulation and analysis Opposite page: plan tool analysis iterations and dashboard. Given any array of walls in space, the plan tool analyzes how the space could be used and, according to the size of the spaces, their location within the plan and types of neighbouring spaces, allocates programs and adjacencies. This page: the view analysis tool performs scans at the urban scale, collecting important data about solar radiation, views and illumination that will feed into the design of the envelope.
Scan View Rays
Identified program boundary Walls
Space scan The plan tool is built of a 2D scanning system which scan rays become the object of measurement. Opposite pageรง the visualization of the quality of each space corresponds to each vertical bar. A zoomed in diagram of how it works is illustrated showing the measurement and calculations that are applied.
Looping through design, visualization and evaluation The aim of the workflow is to provide the designer with a realtime dashboard that visualizes the effect of any design decision, thus favouring a feedback loop between design, visualization and evaluation. This page and opposite page: example design iterations with corresponding dashboard showing the qualitative results.
Experiencing Things Together Independent Study Critic: Laura Kurgan In Collaboration with Carlo Bailey
Exploration of virtual immersive environments as a form of visualization that collapses the work done through satellite imagery analysis with ground survey documentation.
Perspective is not interesting because it provides realistic pictures;
Abstract This paper describes the exploration of new forms of representation of sites currently under conflict which physical space and/or documentation is either limited or inaccessible. More specifically, we are proposing virtual immersive environments as a form of visualization that collapses the work done through satellite imagery analysis with ground survey documentation. The intention is to formulate a methodology that seeks to remotely produce metric documentation and a qualitative (re)production of the space over time, challenging the current status quo of architectural representation. The work virtually reproduces the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, damaged in 2012 during the ongoing civil war in Syria. The virtual model is published as an online app, and is navigable as an immersive environment through VR headsets. Moreover, the paper describes the technical workflow of the work and new possible lines of inquiry derived from the adoption of this methodology as a novel form of architectural representation.
Introduction & Background This project examines the urban scope of the Syrian civil war, looking specifically at the ancient City of Aleppo as our point of departure. Combining techniques of remote sensing and immersive multimedia, the project aims to establish a multiscalar and multi-temporal conception of the city in conflict. Our research and analysis considered the city itself as a battleground, exploring the role of the old city quarter (Umayyad Mosque specifically) as a target within the war and its sentimental value within the consciousness of Aleppians.
Refugee survey data visualization
Our research began with a series of refugee surveys conducted by Robert Templar and a team from the Central European University in Budapest. The surveys attempted to understand the mobility, urban affinities and demographic makeup of the refugees- in the hope of utilising this data in the creation of tool-kits and mechanism by which the claims and voices of refugee populations could be heard. In the compilation and visualization of the data that related specifically to the architecture of the city, our research found that the old quarter (especially the Umayyad Mosque) held a particularly strong position within the minds of the refugees. Any question relating to post-conflict reconstruction put the concerns of the mosque and heritage of the ancient city as a central concern. Our project’s aim is to make accessible inaccessible sites. Located in the al-Jalloum district of the Ancient City of Aleppo, the Umayyad mosque is a Unesco World Heritage Site, that was purportedly built in the beginning of the 8th century - with the minaret being built in 1090. With such rich history and claims of “universal” cultural capital, the Great Mosque can be seen as an emblematic site to analyze the blind destruction of the war within Syria, especially given its implications for memory and sense of place. The mosque is currently an impracticable site and too dangerous to access. The arcades are strewn with debris, the walls have long borne fire traces of the conflict, while the minaret has been completely destroyed. The materiality and the spatial qualities of this world heritage have been drastically modified over the past years, yet, we believe that the media, news, photographic reportages and videos are not sufficient to manifest and visualize the current status of the mosque, its relevance as an historically crucial piece of Syrian architecture and its importance
on the other hand, it is interesting because it creates complete
of drawing events/narratives with highly immersive virtual models, could be as pervasive in its implications for representation (in the Latourian sense) as the perspective drawing was in the renaissance era. On what makes perspective drawing interesting, Bruno Latour states: “Perspective is not interesting because it provides realistic pictures; on the other hand, it is interesting because it creates complete hybrids: nature seen as fiction, and fiction seen as nature, with all the elements made so homogeneous in space that it is now possible to reshuffle them like a pack of cards.” 2 In a similar sense with immersive multimedia, it is not the realism of experiencing a place or the plausibility of a virtual environment that makes it interesting: but the ability within the virtual model to hybridize multiple temporal conditions or merge fact and fiction to convey a new message within the medium. Our virtual environment of the Umayyad mosque attempts this multi-temporal feat, by allowing the user to interactively control the state at which they see the mosque - preconflict intact, or post-conflict heavily damaged.
Screenshots of the Unreal Engine model at the pre and during conflict stage of the mosque visualisation
as an urban symbol for the local population. This underwhelming saturation of visual information regarding the building has led to concerns that the audience becomes indifferent to topics involving destruction within the country - especially when said audience is located thousands of miles from the subject. Our proposal and overriding premise therefore, is to use immersive multimedia to visualize and document the destruction of the mosque, with the ambitions to reinstitute the audience’s emotional involvement and spatial awareness of current events surrounding it. Virtual Reality professor Mel Slate and Immersive journalist Nonny de la Pena identify three factors that contribute to greater audience involvement using immersion: “place illusion (PI), being in the place, plausibility (Psi), taking events as real, and most crucially sensorimotor contingencies (SC), the transformation of the self into the virtual via first person participation.”1 This emerging trend
Another key feature of drawing/inscription that Latour highlights is the ability for the “world to be gathered up” and made mobile via visual consistency: “Innovations in graphism are crucial but only insofar as they allow new two-way relations to be established with objects (from nature or from fiction) and only insofar as they allow inscriptions either to become more mobile or to stay immutable through all their displacements.” 3 Here Latour reaffirms one of the main premises of our project - that of making accessible inaccessible spaces through a mobile and immutable model/inscription. This brings into question the exact methods and decisions made to render the environment of the mosque - what laws of physics we chose to obey, what textures and materials we chose to present and how plausible we make the situation.
Project Description Although the model is photorealistically rendered, the level of detail resolution is not the same throughout the entire model and human activities are absent. During the construction of the model we decided to focus on those elements which presence we believe would be crucial in order to give the appearance of physical realism to the observer: floor tiles, connection details, brick orientation and size, roof supports on the courtyard facade and material texture. Most of the interior objects, such as furniture and general
EXPERIENCING THINGS TOGETHER
hybrids: nature seen as fiction, and fiction seen as nature, with all possible to reshuffle them like a pack of cards Bruno Latour, â€œVisualisation and Cognition: Drawing Things Together,â€? Knowledge and Society Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, Jai Press vol. 6, pp. 1-40I
fixtures have not been considered as they were also a reference to human activity. The absence of people and activities is in general meant to avoid the plausibility of a specific situation in time. Instead, our objective has been to represent two perpetual spatial and material conditions: one that survived since the 8th century, thus prior the beginning of the civil war in 2012, and one after the destruction of the minaret in 2013. The virtual reproduction of the mosque and its interactive navigation aim at giving both the observer and the site a new form of agency, claiming a space that did not exist before. The observer, from being a dominant viewer, from a static point of view, turns simultaneously into actor and subject of the environment he or she is immersed in. Moreover, the site of the mosque is virtually reproduced over time. This means that the user, through navigation, has the possibility to switch from the state of the mosque prior the conflict and after the destruction of the minaret. The change of scene, by making the space dynamic over time, offers new insights about the shift of materiality and the spatial qualities. The user is in control of time and space, making the exploration dependent on the observerâ€™s choice.
Process The overall process involves photogrammetric techniques for the development of metric documentation, interactive image based modeling for the accurate reconstruction of 3D environments and models, and finally photorealistic immersive environments in conjunction with immersive visual navigation through a VR headset. The overall goal, is to achieve photorealism and geometric accuracy remotely, in other words, without any in-situ survey data or documentation directly coming from the studied site.
Collection of images from online sources for the construction of the 3d model
accurate, yet old, set of architectural documentation has been provided by Avery Library, with historical plans, sections and elevations. However, it is important to note that it has been necessary to filter out some, if not most, of the architectural drawings, considering only the most recent and updated ones. The collection of images ranges from interiors of the damaged part of the mosque (below the minaret), several images that frame the courtyard and one 360 degree multi-image panorama. The images are sorted and grouped by content, with the goal of covering the same building component from multiple angles. Unfortunately, the resolution of the collected set of images is not high enough to derive material textures for photorealistic purposes. However, the details were sufficiently defined to allow us to model most of the small scale components of the mosque, such as floor patterns, metallic shelves, the shape of engaged columns, capitals, door and window frame shapes.
Image Rectification Image Collection One peculiar aim of the project is to remotely reconstruct the 3d model of the artifact without a directed set of survey photographs. Therefore, the first phase of the process is to create a set of photographic documentation from dispersed and not necessarily related resources. The main pool of images of the Umayyad Mosque comes very simply from the internet: news, photography reportage and google image search. On top of this, a more
Each image is analogically rectified in Adobe Photoshop. The process requires at least one known measurement, generally derived from an object or person captured in the image, which scale is approximately known. The rectification process returns a photogrammetric image that provides measurements and locations of building parts in space. Although this is a quick and easy process, due to the manual rectification in Adobe Photoshop, it creates a set of geometrical errors that will increase by adding onto each other as they are translated into the
the elements made so homogeneous in space that it is now
low resolution of the images we collected. UV Mapping. 3ds Max Once the 3d models are completed, they are imported into the 3d Max environment for the application of correct UV mapping coordinates. UV mapping is a crucial step in this workflow, as it defines the correct scale, orientation and position of the texture on the object. Finally, the UV map coordinates are then passed together with the associated geometry to Unreal Engine, where the final textures will be applied.
Immersive Navigation. Unreal Engine
Analog rectification process in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and rectification analysis
3D environment. The appropriate rectification process would use specific pieces of custom software (such as RDF 4 ) or custom codes to standardize the image manipulation process and reduce the error production across the collection of images. However, even in this case, given the remote nature of the project, thus, the absence of direct in-situ measurements or survey data, the returned photogrammetric documentation will be subject to a certain degree of approximation.
Although developed for first-person shooter games, Unreal Engine is here repurposed as an interface for architectural and immersive explorations. The UV mapped 3ds Max model is finally imported in Unreal. In this platform we created and applied materials from scratch, trying to replicate as close as possible the materiality of the original Mosque. In Unreal we set also the general environment and lighting scene, atmosphere and first person navigation settings.
VR. Oculus Rift The final part of the process is linking the Unreal camera player to the Oculus Rift VR headset. This augments the immersive experience by virtually bringing the observer directly in the 3d environment.
3D Reconstruction. Rhinoceros Once in the 3D environment, in this case Rhinoceros, the rectified images are correctly oriented and placed in space. Thanks also to a historical plan of the mosque, which dates back to 1976 and has been properly sized, the orientation and placement of the images can easily take place. Through interactive image based-modeling, we obtained dimensions and shapes of the architectural geometry which is then used to construct 3D models. Part of this task is to fit the modeled parts within the rectified elevations. As mentioned earlier, unlike how photogrammetric modeling happens, we didnâ€™t use the rectified images for real texture mapping due to the
Historical plan underlay for the placement of images and geometry in space
EXPERIENCING THINGS TOGETHER
Future Improvements The current workflow allows us to construct a full interactive model, yet certain operations are laborious and produce geometrical inaccuracy, increasing error tolerances throughout the entire process. The image rectification process for example, is inefficient and inaccurate. Further improvements will require the use of appropriate custom software, such as RDF 5 or custom rectification algorithms. This will allow us to apply the same rectification operation on all the images collected, reducing the error tolerance. As stated earlier, it is important to note that, given the necessity of at least one known true dimension in the image, and considering that the entire process is done remotely, even in this case the rectification will still generate approximate metric documentation. Moreover, the lack of high resolution images doesn’t allow for proper “interactive image-based modeling” 6 , where the image used is also the map projected onto the 3d modeled object as a material texture. There are two ways to improve this operation: 1) further research for online images that have a sufficient resolution for texture mapping purposes; 2) find on-site assistance for high-res photographs of the studied site. Additionally, in several cases, we have encountered texture mapping issues where the UV coordinates were not properly set, inducing Unreal Engine to cast shadow improperly and apply material textures incorrectly. This is most probably due to the meshing process in Rhinoceros. In fact, Rhinoceros, being a NURBS based modeler is not the most suited platform for the construction of meshes, and produces bad meshes in the moment of exporting the
3ds Max model during the process of UV mapping
rectified image 02 rectified image 03
rectified image 01
The application of materials within the Unreal modelling space
modeled geometries 7. In order to avoid this, we have considered, for the next iteration of this project, to directly model the mosque in 3ds Max which is more appropriate for the construction and editing of meshes.
New Agency z y
Interactive “image-based modeling” with rectified images
In the introduction and background we explained the importance of the mobility and immutability of representation. The image or virtual in our project aims at creating a greater awareness/involvement of the audience with the subject matter of the situation
rules the more we feel telepresent in a transmitted scene.” 10 The level of engagement or communication between the user and the constructed scene, depends on the codes and rules used in the construction or reproduction of reality. Here we are using a gaming engine and game play logic to establish this interrelationship between user and machine. Our model allows limited conventional navigation of euclidean space, but through specific rules of the game, allow a multi-temporal escape into new modes of experiencing the destruction of the Syrian civil war.
The visual programming interface within Unreal Engine to set the relationship between the VR headset and first-person navigation
On games and their ability to subvert, simulate, create and conceal realities curator Claudia Giannetti states: “In play, constant dialogue is created with the reality of the person playing and the virtual character of his or her action in the context of the game. Acting in the terrain of the virtual brings about a split with the “real” environment and allows for the creation of one’s own reality, open as it is to manipulation. The total body of rules created in relation to each game determines this symbolic (pseudo) reality, that is, the virtual context of the game.” 11 This brings into question the agency of the subject within the constructed virtual world. Is the person playing subject or object or both? It also highlights the vast opportunities through the construction of rules, the game/VR designer has to answer or challenge this question.
Testing the VR Headset interoperability with Unreal Engine
presented. The history of architectural representation utilises this immutability, visual consistency and mobility to produce action (action in the sense of building form or legal contracts obtained through drawing). If virtual reality models were to become models for actions Vilem Flusser states that “they have to be made accessible, intersubjective and stabilized, stored. They have to be published.” 8 We are creating this intersubjectivity and accessibility through the creation of an interface in the form of a virtual reality gaming model. Interface in this sense signifies “an occurrence where two or more information sources come face-to-face. A human user connects with the system, and the computer becomes interactive.” 9 Regarding the interface, William Gibson refers to a consensual hallucination, where the more we feel ourselves moving through the interface into a relatively independant world with its own dimensions and
The work described in this paper has two simultaneous objectives. The proposal of a remote methodology for the construction of immersive environments of sites under conflict, and the proposition of a novel and alternative mode of architectural representation. Virtual immersive environments have the potential to overturn the relationship between the observer and the observed, turning the general spectator into a virtual “handcrafted witness” 12 of inaccessible sites. In addition, such environments have the possibility of being not only spatial representations of a site, but also interactive-temporal visualizations, adding to traditional animation techniques novel dimensions of subjectivity and time. If it is true, as Yve-Alain Bois states, that perspective “marks the rise of a new “subject of consciousness” in modern European philosophy, equivalent to the “cogito ergo sum” of Descartes” and that “ it assigns to the spectator of the universal theater the place of the sovereign from which assess the sphere of
EXPERIENCING THINGS TOGETHER
his dominion, the dimensions of his knowledge, and the extent of his power” 13 then, could the stereoscopic projection of immersive environments, constantly shifting by the observer’s dynamic location in space, challenge such statement? Could both the spectator and the projected space in three dimension acquire new roles? It wouldn’t be improbable to state that, both parties acquire a new agency that before didn’t exist. A new agency that is in constant negotiation within a mutable interface, produced by the contact of the two systems at play: the human user and the computer. Could navigable immersive environments mark, quoting again Bois, the rise of a “new subject of consciousness”? And if it is true that “we do not stand at a distance from these technologies, but are addressed by and embedded within them” 14 , as Kurgan claims, could new architectures rise if this form of representation becomes integrated in the design processes? These are all questions that we believe are the crux of the adoption of immersive technologies within the field of architecture, and hope to foster from this new lines of inquiry.
1. Nonny de la Pena, Mel Slater, “Immersive Journalism: Immersive Virtual Reality for the First-Person Experience of News”, Presence, Vol. 19, No. 4, August 2010 2. Bruno Latour, “Visualisation and Cognition: Drawing Things Together,” Knowledge and Society Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, Jai Press vol. 6, pp. 1-40I 3. ibid 4. http://www.iuav.it/SISTEMA-DE/Laboratori2/cosa-offri/ software/index.htm RDF is an opensource and free custom software developed by the IUAV, School of Architecture, Department of Photogrammetry “Circe” in Venice, Italy. 5. ibid 6. Modeling technique that relies on rectified images as guideline 7. Unreal Engine reads only mesh geometry 8. Vilem Flusser, Into the universe of technical images, Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 May 2015. 9. Michael Heim, The metaphysics of virtual reality, New York,: Oxford University Press, 1993, pg 77 10. ibid 11. Claudia Giannetti, Harun Farocki: Spiel und Spielregeln = Playing the game, Oldenburg: Edith-Russ-Haus, 2013 pg 8 12. Laura Kurgan, Close Up at a Distance, NY, Zone Books, 2013, 11 13. Yve-Alain Bois, Metamorphosis of Axonometry, Daidalos, 1981 14. Laura Kurgan, Close Up at a Distance, NY, Zone Books, 2013, 14
EXPERIENCING THINGS TOGETHER
Radioactive film stills from Vladimir Schevchenkoâ€™s Chronicle of Difficult Weeks, documenting the decontamination efforts following Cernobylâ€™s nuclear reactor meltdown. 1986, S4 mins. Source: Russian Press Service. What initially Schevchenko tought were small incandescent markings due to defective films, was actually the recording of the sound and image of radioactivity.
FORENSIC SIMULACRA Fall 2014 Professor: Kazys Varnelis In collaboration with Carlo Bailey
A study of Eyal Weizman’s work from ‘Forensic Architecture’ through the lenses of ‘Baudrillard’s Simulation and Simulacra’
We have, in a sense, a history which is no longer in the making, but
Introduction The notion of simulation has been studied for centuries by philosophers and thinkers, Plato1, Nietzsche2 and Deleuze3 among others. A common explanation of the term simulation is the “process of pretending, feigning”4, however Baudrillard extends and challenges this definition introducing what he defines as hyperreality or the “era of simulacra and simulation”. To him, simulation blurs the boundary between the “real” and the “imaginary”5, the signifier and its meaning, attenuating the relationship between the copy and the model, at the point where the sign (the copy), is not the mere imitation of its referent, rather it becomes the truth itself. Therefore, simulacra precede reality. This research is meant to read the work of Forensic Architecture and the predictive methodologies advanced by the RAND Corporation through the lenses of Simulation and Simulacra, arguing that simulation is simultaneously the byproduct and foundation of the forensic work of Eyal Weizman. Forensics derives from forensis, which is the Latin for “pertaining to the forum”, the space where debates would take place and the truth would be reconstructed. Through the use of virtual architectural tools, video and image analysis, human and material witnesses, the research group under the name of Forensic Architecture gathers and presents truths or evidence in legal and political forums. Their productions of truth are given authority through claims of processes following objective scientific rigour.
The Confinement of the Scientific Object
Artistic rendering of the lawyers and judges in Jerusalem’s High Court of Justice debating over a topographic model the path that the West Bank Wall should take. During the Beit Surik vs. the Ministry of Defence court case of 2003–4.
In the Precession of Simulacra Baudrillard refers to the “confinement of the scientific object”6 to describe that the copy acquires meaning only once the model has been confined, removed or even destroyed. It is in this case, in fact, that the image has “no relation to any reality whatsoever, it is its own pure simulacrum”7. In support of this, Baudrillard cites the example of the return of the Tasaday people into the forest in order to preserve the idea of the uncontaminated “virginity”. In this event, where the scientific object (the Tasaday people) distances itself from science (ethnology in this case), the simulation becomes the copy of itself, therefore allowing the model to be the “model of simulation of all the possible Indians from before ethnology”8. Similarly to this notion, Eyal Weizman, in an interview with the architectural historian Andrew Herscher, argues about a Palestinian camp,in Jenin, being accepted as home by the refugees only once it got destroyed by the Israeli military in the Spring of 20021. Thus, also in this case, the remotion of the model allowed the simulation to replace its referent, becoming itself reality, truth. Weizman and his group operate within and through vacuous terrains of meaning, things and events. It is this emptiness which gives their products use.
Matter as Witness The absence of the eyewitness in the investigations undertaken by Forensic Architecture posits extreme weight on the testimony of objects and things. Processes utilising advanced imaging technology are their leitmotif deployed to decode the traces of information inscribed in matter to reconstruct a particular event. These capabilities are well known in the realm of archeologists, pathologists and anthropologist employed to interpret data or document a subject. But, in the domain of forensic (forensic architecture, forensic anthropology etc) imaging technologies are used to navigate between object and subject in the production of truths. Eyal Weizman relates this process to that of photography:
While chemical treatment in a darkroom was the process by which the photographic image first became visible across a surface of silver salts, today forensic operations involving chemistry, physics, biology, and geology allow us to make visible—and thus contestable—material surfaces imprinted by an ever shifting, entangled human/ natural process.9
remains at the virtual acting-out stage, and retains a special air of
It is their desire to make things “contestable” which bring into question relationships between representation and equivalence, object and subject, image and materiality. Here there is a shift away from representation as stating the equivalence between sign and the real, to simulation as enveloping the whole edifice of representation itself as a simulacrum. A “transition from signs that dissimulate something to signs that dissimulate that there is nothing.”10 Thus processes that turn matter into a legible image (which was the exclusive domain of photography) must now be expanded to include facial-recognition software, MRI, three-dimensional scans, thermal mapping software and CAD programs. The very fact that an organisation such as Forensic Architecture requires the use of simulation and imaging software to supplant the testimonials of “real witnesses,” stems from a convergence of legal exception,
territorial isolation and media black-outs by the government agencies they seek to condemn. One specific example is drone warfare conducted by the US government in “frontier regions.”
Threshold of Deniability Drone strikes conducted within the framework of the Global War Against Terror typically take place in what are known as frontier regions or regions of exception. North Waziristan, Gaza, and remote parts of Yemen and Somalia are deemed exceptional by their assailants due to the lack of control the central governments have over activities on the ground. Traditional strategies of capturing criminals and bringing them to justice in a court of law for crimes they previously committed are obsolete in these terrains. Sophisticated pattern recognition and risk analysis similar to those seen in the stock market (more on this later) are used to identify potential criminals who are then taken out with targeted assassinations. However, due to the lack of sovereign control, the restrictions on electronic paraphernalia allowed in and out of the regions and strategic policy manipulation, the damage caused by drone strikes goes mostly undocumented.
The diameter of a hellfire missile—one of the most common types fired by drones—is about 18 cm; other missile sizes do not vary by much. The size of the hole a missile leaves in a roof depends of course on several other factors, such as its material and structure, but most are smaller than the 50 cm square that is the size of a single pixel in the resolution to which publically available satellite images are degraded. 11
The lack of resolution in satellite imagery is not due to technological constraints, but rather “degraded following legal regulations and directives.”12 The resolution of 50 cm2/pixel has been chosen as the threshold of visibility because it is aligned with the dimension of the human body.
Traces of bullets in old school wall in Beirut
Further, US satellite image providers make an exception to the 50cm2/pixel resolution in Israel and Palestinian occupied territories. “An amendment to the US Land Remote Sensing Policy Act, which sets the permitted resolution of the US optical satellites (which currently dominate the market), dictates that these areas — and thus the violations undertaken
deja-vu. It is no longer even an event, but the symbol of an impoJean Baudrillard, The End of the Millenium or the Countdown, Economy and Society, November 1997
in them — are shown only in a resolution of one square meter per pixel.”13 This fact inverts the typical relationship of forensics, “namely that the crime’s investigator should be able to see more, using better optics or in better resolution, than the perpetrators of the crime.”14 This differential in the resolution of publicly available imagery and the resolution of the actual attacks, is what Weizman calls “the threshold of detectability.” The task of Forensic Architecture then in proving such strikes take place, is one of simulating an equivalence with no external referent. Without the ability to travel to the sites of attack and the reliance on degraded satellite imagery, Forensic Architecture in one case turned to the ruptured memory of a single drone strike survivor, using spatial simulation to enhance testimony. The witness was a German national who was in her home in North Waziristan when a drone strike killed five people. After the attack the woman travelled back to Germany to give her portrayal of events to the media and human rights organizations. However her account of events were severely interrupted by the trauma of witnessing such extreme violence. So Forensic Architecture then digitally reconstructed her house - down to minute details - in order to help enhance the victim’s memory:
When the digital model was complete, we rendered it in such a way that we could undertake a virtual walk through the reconstruction twentyfour hours before and after the strike. Walking within the virtual model, the witness could “return” to the space and time of the strike, recollecting and recounting some of the realities of life and death under drones from the previously rarely available perspective of its victims.15
Diagram showing drone impact size in comparison to pixel size of satellite imagery
Here matter is used not to decypher activities of an event imprinted on the material, but utilised to reconstruct the material from subjective memory to help organize thoughts and enhance a recollection. The reproduction of the house in the virtual using binary code renders the digital model, the memory and the original house, indistinguishable from each other. McLuhan’s notion of the medium the message is taken to an extreme, “as the medium of the code controls the entire process of meaning. It becomes impossible to distinguish between the object and the sign, between objective reality and the result of technical intervention.”16 Perhaps intentionally but perhaps not, the reproducibility of the house only served to highlight the absence of the real.
Predictive Forensics and the RAND Corporation Predictive Forensics, “the futurology of contemporary warfare,”17 is the methodology deployed for risk and security assessment in the fields of environmental sciences - climate change, and of the military campaign used to be known as GWOT - Global War on Terrorism. It is the military operational stance that caused the aforementioned destruction of the witnesses house in Waziristan. Currently, this methodology is following the prediction of risk in the “preemptive disruption of its operational networks” and “one of the prevalent modes of this security management involves preemptive targeted assassinations” - the killing of individuals whose existence is believed to increase the overall levels of risk”18. The production of future evidence is one of the most eloquent examples of hyperreality where the simulacrum is so detached from the factual event at the point that the event hasn’t taken place at all - yet,
Google Earth images comparing resolution of “frontier territories” to Manhattan and Boston
tence specific to history.
the belief of the truth that such simulation embodies triggers military and international operations whose aim is the termination of targeted human lives. The research named Ungoverned Territories, Understanding and Reducing Terrorism Risks, conducted by the RAND Corporation and concluded in December 2005, is a clear example of one of the many simulation methodologies involved in the regards of Predictive Forensics. The research’s aim is to propose an evaluation criteria for the analysis and recognition of a) the ungovernability of a territory and b) the conduciveness to terrorist presence in the same territory19. The ungovernability metric is a necessary but not sufficient condition, hence, it is the first objective being analysed and assessed. The latter one - the conduciveness to terrorist presence metric, becomes therefore the sufficient and necessary condition whose positivity determines the location and existence of terrorist cells. Both metrics are structured upon four variables that the RAND Corporation has specified. However, we will list only the variables of the latter metric, as they have been considered to be more pertinent to the focus of this research. The variables or indicators (and their sub-variables or sub-indicators) that seem to have the most impact on the extent to which territories are conducive to the presence of terrorist groups are: •
the existence of supportive social norms among the population
a preexisting state of violence or ethnoreligious cleavages that could be engineered to fit with extremist agendas
the presence of favorably disposed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or social assistance programs that are open to exploitation
criminal syndicates available for hire
and invisibility (the ability of terrorists (and insurgents in government-controlled territory) to blend into the population and escape detection by the authorities).20
These indicators are then combined together with the ones for the ungovernability metric to construct a score value for each region from 1,2 or 3 (low, medium or high respectively). The final score value per region can be considered as the simulacrum of
the adequacy of infrastructure and operational access (existence of infrastructure that allows to the terrorist group to perform basic functions); ··
an official or unofficial banking system that allows for the transfer of funds
a transportation network that provides access to urban centers and potential external targets
the availability of sources of income (World Bank studies have documented a linkage between areas producing high-value commodities and the growth of rebel movements);
favorable demographic and social characteristics (They are home to complex societies, some of which lend themselves to terrorist penetration while others do not); ··
presence of extremists groups or communities vulnerable to co-option or intimidation
Taxonomy of indexical memory elements from the house
Events which are more or less ephemeral because they no longer we speak of the resolution of an image); they have no political Marshal Mcluhan, Understanding Media, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1994, 7
the future evidence, which has gone through several iterations and forms of translations assuming the believability of an actuating truth. An example of the application of this predictive methodology, is the analysis of the Pakistani - Afghan Border. The results of the study of the ungovernability of this territory are listed in fig.5. The analysis demonstrated this border being the least regulated region of Pakistan, marked by the existence of various centers of power21, therefore opening possibilities for the presence of terrorist groups. As for the conduciveness metric, the results are shown in fig.5. From these values it is possible to note high and medium scoring in all metrics, revealing the area as highly conducive to the presence of extremist communities.
Conclusions A-temporality Marshal Mcluhan states that â€œthe social consequences of any medium result from the new scale that is
Indicator metrics used by the Rand Corporation analysts to construct treat scores for each region that is being studied
introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.â€?22 In this light technologies restructure our work and associations. The critical aspect of the simulation tools - imaging software, risk analysis/projections, CAD software etc - employed by both Forensic Architecture and the US government/RAND corporation, was not in their ability to produce contestable evidence or identify potential targets, but was their ability to expand the time frame at which events could be analysed, studied and created. Both parties are external to the time space realities of the subjects they are studying, the only thing linking them is either a belief in the scientific processes utilised or the reproducibility of the objects themselves. The medium plays a powerful role in eliminating time and space factors in the production of content. The a-temporal aspect of the work of Forensic Architecture and the US government, in a Baudrillardian sense, mark the end of history. There is almost an implosion of time, when considering the fact that what the US government is acting upon is projected simulations and Forensic Architectureâ€™s is investigating
Final treat scores for the evaluation of the subject villages
have any resolution except in the media (in the sense in which resolution.
events of the past. It could be stated that nothing really happens in either scenario. Both parties are fabricating events based off of information inscribed in matter, outside the resolution of the “real.” This brings to mind Baudrillard’s thoughts on ephemeral events: Events which are more or less ephemeral because they no longer have any resolution except in the media (in the sense in which we speak of the resolution of an image); they have no political resolution. We have, in a sense, a history which is no longer in the making, but remains at the virtual acting-out stage, and retains a special air of dejavu. It is no longer even an event, but the symbol of an impotence specific to history.23
In this light, information provides the sanction that enables Forensic Architecture and the US government to operate outside the bounds of actual reality. Questions of responsibility and consequence seem to be forfeited as nothing has ever taken place.
Forum as Network The methodology undertaken by Forensic Architecture has shown to be greatly indebted to and founded on the production of simulacra. The evidence, or the reconstructed model of an obsolete truth assumes a primary relevance as it becomes the new object of study within a public domain. When describing the trials in the Israeli courts that dealt with the wall in the West Bank, Weizman stresses the importance and the agency that the architectural model assumed, by becoming an operational simulacra attracting to itself all the stakeholders present in the room24 [fig.6]. Furthermore, Weizman introduces the notion of political plastic, which, defined as “how elastic spaces [...] register in their layout and form the forcefield around them”25, is the result of the combination of a distributed network of all the actors involved26. The notion of the network is also considered as a potential and diffused modus operandi of an expanded forum. Hence, this is not fixed and limited to the space of the trial, rather it is extended to a wider audience by the media27. As a consequence of this, forensics is not only interested in the composition of simulacra, but rather in the construction of the forum itself28, that is the space where simulacra - the evidences are in display and shown to the diffused and wider audience.
1. Plato, The Sophist, translated by Benjamin Jowett, http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/sophist.html 2. Nietzsche, Friedrich, Reason in Philosophy, Twilight of the Idols, Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. Retrieved 2 May 2007 3. Deleuze, Gilles, Plato and the Simulacrum, translated by Rosalind Krauss, http://bit.ly/1IwlXgP 4. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simulation 5. Baudrillard, Jean, Simulacra and Simulation, translated by Sheila Faria Glaser, Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1994, 3 Nietzsche, Friedrich, Reason in Philosophy, Twilight of the Idols, Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. Retrieved 2 May 2007 6. ibid. 10 7. ibid. 7 8. ibid. 8 9. Weizman, Eyal and Herscher, Andrew, Architecture, Violence, Evidence, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, 114, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/futuante.8.1.0111 10. Eyal Weizman, “The Image is the Bone,” in The Human Snapshot, ed. Thomas Keenan, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2013 11. Baudrillard, Jean, Simulacra and Simulation, translated by Sheila Faria Glaser, Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1994, 6 12. Forensis: the architecture of public truth, a project by Forensic Architecture, Centre for Research Architecture, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, Berlin : Sternberg Press, c2014, 370 13. ibid 371 14. Ibid 374 15. Ibid 372 16. Forensis: the architecture of public truth, a project by Forensic Architecture, Centre for Research Architecture, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, Berlin : Sternberg Press, c2014, 374 17. Sara Schoonmaker, “Capitalism and the Code: A Critique of Baudrillard’s Third Order Simulacrum” in Baudrillard: A Critical Reader, Cambridge MA, 1995 18. Forensis: the architecture of public truth, a project by Forensic Architecture, Centre for Research Architecture, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, Berlin : Sternberg Press, c2014, 368 19. ibid, 368 20. Rabasa, A., Boraz, S., and others, RAND Corp., Ungoverned Territories, Understanding and Reducing Terrorism Risks,iii, http://www.rand.org/content/dam/ rand/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG561.pdf 21. ibid, 16 22. ibid, 61 23. Marshal Mcluhan, Understanding Media, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1994, 7 24. Jean Baudrillard, The End of the Millenium or the Countdown, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY 26/4. NOVEMBER 1997, 447-455 25. Weizman, Eyal and Di Carlo, Tina, Dying to Speak: Forensic Spatiality, Log No. 20, Curating Architecture (Fall 2010), Anyone Corporation, 128, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41765381 26. Weizman, Eyal and Herscher, Andrew, Architecture, Violence, Evidence, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, 116, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/futuante.8.1.0111 27. dying to speak, 130 28. Weizman, Eyal and Di Carlo, Tina, Dying to Speak: Forensic Spatiality, Log No. 20, Curating Architecture (Fall 2010), Anyone Corporation, 130, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41765381 29. ibid, 126 30. ibid, 126
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
: (COLON) Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015 Independent Publication In collaboration with Cecil Barnes, Wade Cotton, Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt, Ricardo A. Leon, George Louras, James Quick, Lily Wong
: began as a “talking group:” a series of reactions to the lectures, readings, and questions within GSAPP and beyond.
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
: : relies on preceding statements, but places importance on the remarks that follow it. : is a critical process: it begins with a question, it prompts an investigation, it frames a conversation. : is a student-run pedagogical forum that engages with discourses within GSAPP and beyond. : is a record of our conversations, confrontations and confusions. : distills these raw, unmediated exchanges into printed matter. : is not . : does not arrive at conclusions. There are no answers here : began as a “talking group:” a series of reactions to the lectures, readings, and questions within GSAPP and beyond. As its grammatical role implies, : supposes a level of complexity between ideas. We found value in materializing these exchanges as a record to be contemplated, reframed, and built upon. The printed document serves as a biopsy of our accumulated material online: bibliographies, readings, images, and videos. The physical form is intended to disrupt conventional ways of reading. It is a stamped record of a specific moment in the discussion–a thing to be re-presented: read, hung, wrapped, seen, and used. It is the pin-up: the moment when we take a step back, assume a stance, and invite another level of judgment and criticism. This is not an academic journal. There are no answers here. Individual interests are articulated, new questions emerge, threads never resolve, misquotes occur and disagreements persist. Separately they are recorded moments, together they are issues and volumes, in sum they are…well, we’re not quite sure yet. Welcome to :
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
Volume III: The Political We have witnessed a political agenda marked by consensus rather than conflict—a democracy more recognizable in stalemate than in action. Political subjectivity and difference has been stifled and ‘politics,’ a set of practices and power relations that organize social order, has been relegated to the realm of mere management and administration. However, after the seemingly unchallenged triumph of neoliberalism, we find ourselves in the midst of global unrest and disillusionment. From Ferguson to Hong Kong, diffused systems of power and control that underpin the everyday have become glaringly obvious.
A Status of Life Ai Weiwei in conversation with G. Recorded on March 13th, 2015. First Degree Murder by Architecture Eyal Weizman in conversation with LV and C. Recorded February 18th, 2015. Bad Guys to Their Good Guys Paul Segal and Peggy Deamer in conversation with JQ. Recorded November 18th, 2014 Around the Mountain or Through the Mountain Bernard Tschumi in conversation with C and W. Recorded December 2nd, 2014.
We prioritize “the political” over “politics.” For us ‘the political’ (le politique) is inherently conflictual. It is the space where power is challenged and reordered. In this third volume of :, we explore how architecture stands as a series of actions—how architecture itself acts politically. Architectural practice is a medium of dissent with the potential to occupy, resist, reject, topple, subvert, and criticize current hegemonic systems and ideologies. An alternative cannot exist without an existing, opposing term, position, and possibility. As architects, we propose new forms and images, but also think about the tactics to achieve those ends. This volume is concerned with strategies that promote friction and provide space for the political.
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
Volume II: Belief
What is Parametricism?
Volume II: Belief
Belief is the acceptance of a truth despite its lack of evidence. Embedded in the term is a suppressed uncertainty; a willingness to act within a value system whose complete encompassing ‘logic’ requires it to always remain outside ourselves. Consciously or subconsciously, a belief is enacted externally. It is an answer, or rather, it is a substitute for an unanswerable question. “You believe what you treat as true according to your actions.”1
Parametricism is probably one of the most redundant and abused words in architecture schools today. In this issue we ask, “What is Parametricism?” Read through its actions, it is the process by which we organize information, approximate the world and visualize its measurements. The parameter, as a variable of differentiation, defines the limits of a system and the conditions for its operation. It is through parameters that we are able to produce certain logical relationships between parts. Fundamental to this, however, is the assumption that the object or phenomena we are modeling is in fact quantifiable.
What is (Architectural) Phenomenology? To explore this question is to cut across a multi-generational battleground in architecture: a hotbed of conflicting beliefs and ideologies. An investigation of this term has generated contested genealogical and territorial maps of architectural discourse. With more than forty years since the publishing of Christian Norberg-Schulz’s seminal Intentions in Architecture, it is appropriate to revisit this history now in order to track and understand the way in which this idea has continuously been coopted, poeticized, and diluted in architecture.
Advances in computational processing have promoted our capacity, and thus faith in the ability, to systematically classify and itemize the world around us. But this increased level of complexity has been hijacked by formal exhibitionism. The “Parametricist Manifesto” concerns itself solely with appearance.
While the term Phenomenology can be traced back to Immanuel Kant, its current usage is shaped by the late19th century German philosopher Edmund Husserl. Husserl defined it as “a science of phenomenon,”1 with the philosophical goal of providing a transcendental ground for modern scientific inquiry. Martin Heidegger’s philosophical work, such as the essay “Building Dwelling Thinking,” provided theoretical backing for the architect concerned with place, who in turn mined the text for ideas to carry out a critique of modernism. Life-world, lived experience, presence, and essence -- these concepts still retain a certain aura, a charismatic indeterminacy, a magic.
This volume of : explores the role of Phenomenology and Parametricism as two architectural beliefs with deep and contested histories. Both architectural beliefs produce values with which architects evaluate knowledge, space and the world around us. They validate actions. They equally provide systems to balance our decisions against. The first camp bases itself on subjective and poetic experiences. The second on a quantifiable metric. Both are dogmatically applied onto our disciplinary methods and the objects we produce. We find the beliefs vacuous. We find their connotations convoluted. Yet their mere mention triggers heated wrangle among zealots of each camp. We aim with this volume to bring into focus their operations, histories, and critiques, to tease out the roles and influences each has in architecture today. Judgement, not the object, is at stake.
“Negative heuristics: avoid familiar typologies, avoid platonic/ hermetic objects, avoid clear-cut zones/territories, avoid repetition, avoid straight lines, avoid right angles, avoid corners, …, and most importantly: do not add or subtract without elaborate interarticulations. Positive heuristics: interarticulate, hyberdize, morph, deterritorialize, deform, iterate, use splines, nurbs, generative components, script rather than model, …”1
Today studio critics use the word interchangeably with experience and atmosphere, while the history and theory faculty approaches it with extreme caution, at times with ridicule and condemnation.
Instead of Saying I Want a Banana Mark Wigley in conversation with C, LV and VL. Recorded March 7, 2014 Filling Up the Void with Presence Mario Carpo and Peter Eisenman in conversation with G and LV. Recorded March 25th, 2014. A Compulsion to Grasp the World Reinhold Martin in conversation with W, C, G and LW. Recorded April 4th, 2014 You Set Up the Model David Benjamin in conversation with DH, LV and LW. Recorded March 3rd, 2014. Chunks of Data Biayna Bogosian and Maider Llaguno in conversation with JQ and GL Recorded March 1rd, 2014. Not Everything is Captured by the Fitness Function Daniel Davis in conversation with CB and LV. Recorded April 1st, 2014. What is Architectural Intellectuality Jorge Otero-Pailos in conversation with G and LW. Recorded on April 2, 2014. Architecture Needs a Beginning R and G in email exchange with Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia on March 14, 2014. Subsequent conversation recorded April 4th, 2014. Here We Are. We Are Here Mark Wigley in conversation with WC, G and VL. Recorded March 5, 2014 Nothing Comes from Nothing Kenneth Frampton in conversation with S and C. Recorded March 13, 2014. Suddenly it Made No Sense to Me at All Robert Irwin in conversation with W and C. Recorded on March 26th, 2014 To Find that Dark or Opaque Involuntary Michelle Fornabai in conversation with IKL, W, and R. Recorded March 30, 2014.
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
Volume I Issue 2: Why Write? What is (Architectural) In a recent lecture at GSAPP, Jacques Herzog spoke of the inadequacies of writing within architecture: “You cannot say anything about architecture using words, unless it is a poem. A poem is a poem. It, in and of itself, is like a monument. A poem is much better than a theory about architecture because, like architecture, which has its own reality, its own medium, the word is the medium for literature or poetry.”1 Herzog clearly stakes his ground in regards to the so-called schism between the experience of architecture and its written account, yet we find ourselves staring curiously back, agilely transgressing the gaps only the blind choose to see. As we desperately run from words to diagrams, models and drawings, writing, as both a text and an act, continues to infiltrate our discussions and mediate our design process. We have seen the way in which architects have historically used writing to control and mediate the critical reaction to their work, and therefore the image of the work, and therefore its experience, and therefore the architecture. Writing, and by extension the discursive practice of architecture, is inextricably linked to the experience of it. As architects we would be as foolish to swear off writing, as we would be to swear off the computer. Arguably this school’s greatest asset is what lies between the pages beneath our seats, Avery library is what makes architecture Architecture.
There is No Architecture Without Writing Conversation recorded January 24th, 2013 The Silence was Incredibly Noisy Thomas de Monchaux interviewed by LW. Recorded October 25th, 2013. Nothing More Human than Language Yehuda Safran and Daniel Sherer in conversation. Moderated by IKL and LV. Recorded October 7th, 2013 Wander in Possible Wonders Jimenez Lai in response to G. Exhcanged October 15th, 2013 Wordlessly Literary Devices Matteo Pericoli G-Chatting with LV. Exchanged October 10th, 2013 – October 17th, 2013 Formal Consequences in the Built World Paul Goldberger interviewed by LW. Recorded on September 4th, 2013 A History of Personalities Mosette Broderick in conversation with C. Recorded August 28th, 2013. Yoked Together from the Start Mark Morris and Christoph a. Kumpusch in response to W, C and IKL. Exchanged October 12th, 2013
INDEPENDENT GSAPP PUBLICATION
Volume I Issue1: Why Workshop? : began as a “talking group:” a series of reactions to the lectures, readings, and questions within GSAPP and beyond . As its grammatical role implies, : supposes a level of complexity between ideas. We found value in materializing these exchanges as a record to be contemplated, reframed, and built upon. The printed document serves as a biopsy of our accumulated material online: bibliographies, readings, images, and videos. The physical form is intended to disrupt conventional ways of reading. It is a stamped record of a specific moment in the discussion—a thing to be re-presented: read, hung, wrapped, seen, and used. It is the pin-up: the moment when we take a step back, assume a stance, and invite another level of judgment and criticism. This issue is the first installment of a three-part series that aims to explore different engagements within the field of architecture: workshopping, writing and working. These issues should be read as a working document, a way for us to understand what : is and could be. The content consists solely of interviews and conversations in progress, each framed by a question. Hopefully the next three issues will begin to unveil the publication’s own position within architectural discourse, as an experiment to test modes of critical research, to argue for a more discursive relationship between designing and writing, and to create a pedagogical space for architectural doubt.
Oxygen is Being Pumped to the Brains of the People Hayrettin Günç in conversation with C. Recorded on August 5th, 2013 A Little Beloved Creature that Shits Everywhere Ezio Blasetti, Lydia Kallipoliti, Camille Lacadee and François Roche in conver- sation with L, G and C. Recorded on June 6th and 7th, 2013 To Understand the Scape Mabel Wilson and Mario Gooden in converstaion with Megan Murdock, Rashad Palmer and Sabrina Barker. Recorded on July 12th, 2013 Attached to the Idea of Situated Difference Sylvia Lavin in conversation with C. Recorded on August 14th, 2013 A City Under the Knife This set of questions was drafted by Alejandro de Castro Mazarro, who, along with Francisco Diaz, led Capital of Rio de Janeiro’s Built Form workshop. It was sent to all the participants on August 26, 2013, a week after their final review. Selected responses from Leah Guszkowski, Michael Schissel. Alejandro Stein, and Zhewu (Alan) Zhuang.
TERRA INSOLA Summer 2013 Critics: Franรงois Roche, Ezio Blasetti Team: Georgios Louras, Cecil Barnes, Danielle Griffo, Shalini Amin
The mythic figure of Ariadne becomes an archetype of a modern feminist, living between her relationships with Theseus and Dionysus, between the machoman and the alcoholic.
The Fortress The Location of the event is an existing “fortress” in Chania, an abandoned Venetian walled zone of 15 meters high in the middle of the city, inaccessible… Ariadne takes refuge inside this no man’s land, ignored by the people living around… there, she could re-invent, as an utopia the routine of her freedom…but just in the middle of the European Union “Protectorate”. Ariadne and the minotaur She is bound by a daytime routine and her perpetual commitment to a machine, releasing herself from all constraints and achieving selfsufficiency. In desexualizing her innate nature she reaches a degree of serenity and ‘ataraxy’. She lives in an idyllic biotope without context or reference, extracting fluid sap from the eucalyptus tree that sustains her nourishment in an anthroposophic exchange, and mixes her physiological substances (such as urine) with the earth that surrounds her to secrete ceramic for the structure that shelters and interlaces her. The structure itself is a metaphor of an endlessness creation, an architectural process that emerges within an infinite loop. The myriad of spiraling mazes and glazed clay components that wrap her body and her mind are developed by and with a machine tamed and domesticated by Ariadne to extend her desires and construct her needs in a reflexive, affective and contingent agenda. La “Demoiselle”, the nickname she gave to her “productive” pet seems to engage an intertwined, co-dependent relationship that emerges from sympathy to empathy. Ariadne is a woman divided by the pathology of multiple personality disorder, haunted by the echoes of her mythic past and her involuntary landing within the Schengen trap. When she lands, the barrier of Schengen was already since a long time considered as a fortress. Nobody remember exactly when this fence became for European citizen their own jail… inversing the preliminary reason of its constitution, to protect them against the world… but appearing contradictorily as an historical illusion. In this a political and ideological island, Ariadne appeared with two identities, the one who escapes from inside, embracing with her friendly “Demoiselle” a topological inversion, as an infinite fortressless animism, to protest emotionally against the contradiction, the absurdity of the situation, and the other trapped in a postindustrial location, crossing zombified human hostage of alienated Fordism tasks rhythmed by mute, dumb machinism. Chania-Naxos becomes the location of Ariadne’s own schizophrenia simultaneously releasing and congealing herself from her state of limbo.
Deviant mythology The story of this voluntary entrapment is a regenerative myth, extruded from Ariadne’s myth as a resourceful weaving semi-deity. The story is not a fictitious narration but a stretched reality blurred in time. Through the story, we have researched narratives, characters and artifacts used in Ariadne’s mythic daily life to perform daily tasks. Her tools were studied and regenerated, redrawn and reimagined within the extruded reality of our projective myth.
Regenerative engineering Like the labyrinth itself, our regenerative machine, is a giant omphalic stomach. Our robot is a digestive device of the physiological substances in its protracted fluid biotope; all substances, fluids and humeurs are ingested and excreted by the robot in a process of perpetual exchange. The stomach is a recipient of vital significance that processes input –food (clay mixed with urine) - into output –excrement (ceramic clay). It is a feeble region of the abdominal inner side, deprived of muscles or other solid substrata; it is thus particularly malleable, tending to deform due to inward pressures, such as excessive food input, weight augmentation etc. Sometimes, the robot digests, while others it vomits; it is as Deleuze would argue a body without organs, a system of connecting vessels where certain amounts of energy are channeled from one location to the other yielding deformities, swallowed regions and outgrowths. The phenomenally robust machine is no more resilient than an omphalos and the anguish of connection or disconnection to life.
2.32 3.0 G-2A-2
The process of reinventing the space of the labyrinth is a process of resynchronization with contemporary scientific tools, using algorithmic functions of incremental adjustments stitching pieces of found knowledge and forms. Like Roland Barthes spoke of the Argo ship, as a carrying vessel whose pieces needed to be substituted piece by piece as the Argonauts were traveling, algorithmic functions are incremental rules, none of which are individually spectacular or unique. Rather, they overall produce, through a sum of small insignificant details, a spectacular topography of envelopment.
3.59 3.0 T-7-2
2.31 5.33 1.38
This is a complexity produced not by genius, inspiration, determination or evolution, but by a modest action of simple substitutions which cannot be caught up in any mystique of genuine creation.
Opposite page, 3D scan of the tree around which the fortress is erected.
This page, plan drawings whosing the structural rings and connections to the tubular steel members of the spiral.
Below, spiral, which curvature has been rationilized in single curvature tubular steel members. 1.87
EIDOS, OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER Fall 2013 Critic: Charles Eldred In collaboration with Carlo Bailey
A housing complex that collapses communal and individual extremes into a ruthlessly mathematical structure, that manages to be both homogenized and personalized at once.
Individualism and Collectivity
ei‑dos Eidos is an anthropological term, meaning “the distinctive expression of the cognitive or intellectual character of a culture or social group”. Individuals are free to adapt their surroundings, using only the formal language set out by the algorithm. This forces a communal visual identity onto the individual’s spaces, even as the inhabitants’ needs and desires change.
Eidos is a prototypical self-sufficient community based sometime in the near future. The project seeks to manage difference and individualism within spatial collectivity. Additive manufacturing technologies (7-axis 3D printing robots) are employed to facilitate a housing complex that is the physical manifestation of its inhabitants wants, executed within a rigid rule-set of constraints that allow for maximum autonomy and expression. The rule-set consists of a set of algorithms, a “DNA” structure programmed into the robots which feed both environmental and the inhabitant’s desires as inputs to enable the construction of units and the building’s infrastructure. The rules become manifest both at the macroscopic scale apartments, lot size, distance between units, maximum and minimum floor area - and at the the microscopic scale - walkways, fenestration, room sizes etc. Organization and Massing The organization of the complex wants to be as generic and uniform as possible, with the least amount of input from the architect’s hand. The sun’s movement across the site was analyzed to define the optimum placement of light wells and breaks in the grid to minimize shadows and bring light to the ground plane. Cuts in the massing and grid are introduced on the ground to provide connections through to adjacent city blocks and extend the Manhattan grid. The market-place is located on the ground floor with the school lying on the two floors above. The communal areas are strategically located adjacent to the four vertical circulation cores and are intertwined with the housing units throughout the remaining floors of the complex. The Autonomy of the Collective The public program of Eidos consists of educational facilities that train those who want to learn design tools and rapid fabrication skills, a market-place for those who sell locally produced 3D printed goods, and communal areas which provide a generic space where the manufacturing and production of goods can be practiced informally. The inward looking communal areas seek to counter the “private single-balcony” typology and encourage community activities and shared spaces. A degree of economical and cultural autonomy will be achieved by the community thanks to a resilient and autonomous form of production and adaptable spatial conditions over time.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
Opensource Building The housing complex consists of a tubular steel mega-structure (the only explicit trace of the architect’s hand). It has the combined function of being the tracks that the robots run along and the (infra)structure that upholds the housing units. The 8’ x 8’ grid relentlessly exhausts the horizontal plane across the site and is constantly expressed throughout the project - piercing bedrooms, living rooms and at times visible on unit facades. The grid however changes to a 16’ x 16’ spacing in the spaces of production and school areas. Each inhabitant is assigned a given lot area when joining the community (which can be expanded or contracted depending on need and availability of space); the inhabitant is then free to request any architectural style to her house and spatial configuration. The housing units are printed using a concrete + polymer composite with varying chromatic tones. Each detail is reproduced with fidelity and high resolution. ei‑dos The 8’ x 8’ grid relentlessly exhausts the horizontal plane across the site and is constantly expressed throughout the project - piercing bedrooms, living rooms and at times visible on unit facades.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
The hand of the architect Opposite page: composite 90° oblique plan and section drawing of the entire housing complex. The 8’ x 8’ grid relentlessly exhausts the horizontal plane across the site and is constantly expressed throughout the project - piercing bedrooms, living rooms and at times visible on unit facades. This page: mechanism of typology adaptation to the housing rules.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
Infinite choices within finite limits The building structure is equipped with its own means of production, enabling new spaces to be grafted into the old, all at the whim of the inhabitants, but in the restricted formal algorithm of the building.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
skin structure infrastructure space plan stuff
site permanence diagram traditional house
..or when desire becomes action In his 1962 treatise “Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing,” John Habraken suggests that value might arise through the act of making your mark on your place and aligning your place with your person. He states, “Possession is inextricably connected with action. To possess something we have to take possession. We have to make it part of ourselves…
structure infrastructure site skin space plan stuff
permanence diagram design house
Above: three different scenarios of growth and expansion over time and Stuart Brand’s revisted diagram about degrees of permanency. Opposite page: the interior of one apartment, and the market at the ground floor.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
The production of autonomy Opposite page: interior views of the robot facility storage, and of one of the classrooms. The public program is, infact, constituted by educational facilities for those who want to learn design tools and rapid prototyping techniques, thus, enabling autonomous manufacturing activities, indipendent from current industrial chains.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
Conclusions If the megastructure of Eidos is something uniform with the ambitions of invisibilty, then in the existentialist sense Eidos is an entitiy whose existence precedes essence. Meaning its point of departure, is subjectivity and its outcome are unknown. But rather than the subjectivity of a single transcendant entity (the architect), it is the will of many inhabitants that define what Eidos will become. Rather than considering this fact as something which liberates or gives freedom for endless individual microcosms, Eidos intertwines the values and tastes of every inhabitant to such an extent that individual preference is lost. In the aggregation of 200 units desires are bastardized, individual expression sodomized and autonomy flattened.
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
EIDOS OR WHEN DESIRE BECOMES MATTER
BBUB - BRAIN BACKUP BANK Spring 2013 Critic: Karla Rothstein
The bank is a temporal repository of the human subconscious. Here, memories are quantified, objectified, sold, acquired and re-experienced.
Banking, time and the legacies we left behind Our personal information is taken, traded, sold, purchased exposed on daily basis. Servers online behave as repositories of all of our personal information. Data broker companies, as the NewYork Times reports,”collect information about individuals’ purchasing histories, estimated salaries, property ownership, family size, leisure pursuits — and sometimes also their race or ethnicity, age, gender, health concerns, online browsing history and social networks — to help marketers tailor pitches to a person’s demonstrated tastes.” The digital public realm is populated by online surveillance devices, blurring in this way, the distinction between what is private and what is public. It is clear that the value of personal data is increasing exponentially, feeding in an endless loop the consumerist condition we are leaving in, augmenting the effects of the capitalist paradigm and making more surgical its actions on consumers. What if, in a possible future, personal data becomes the actual consumed product? And what if this trend extends itself at the point that the access to personal information goes beyond the traces left online? What if it is deeper and deeper. In our minds. In our brain history. In our own memory?
CtrlC CtrlV. CtrX CtrV BrainBlackOut. BrainBackUp. Legalized perversions and sensorial penetrations. Mental pornography to be hidden, to be shared. Memory investments for perverted incomes. Open source obsessions. Fast-learning. Memory rehab. Quantify. Objectify. Consume.
Live the memories Opposite and this page, cross section of the bank and translations across drawing and material mediums. Intimate spherical spaces enclose multiple or single users in a dark, yet multisensorial pod, where the purchased memory can be re-lived. Engineered synthetic tubes connect to the nervous system, simulating not only the images, but the thouch, smell ,taste and sound of the downloaded memory. The same tubes calibrate the illumination of the interior as well. Darkness is exploited to enhance the senses. The intimacy of the pods is variable: from being suspended in mid-air, to being embedded within the concrete mass of the structure.
Translation is a mode. To comprehend it as mode one must go back to the original, for that contains the law governing the translation: its translatability. Walter Benjamin, The Task ofthe Translator
Translations Opposite page, analytical drawing exploring programmatic hierarchy and tension, as well as circulation and information transmission. This page, analytical drawing translating material logics; final skin detail and exploratory models that investigate the use of tubes both as structure and light and information transmission devices. Tension and compression forces, aggregation, information transmission and circulation have been translated and tested across a calibrated array of material and drawing mediums. Below, one analytical drawing exploring program hierarchy and enclosure; two exploratory models about building massing, and generative atmospheric conditions.
Interior of the memorypedia, the interactive library of the memory archive.
Opposite page, suspended pods. Below, plan diagram showing the floor level of the memorypedia and the suspended pods.
125thâ€™s Accelerator Pool Fall 2012 Critic: Janette Kim
Reclaiming the functions of the decade old and closed Mart 125, the pool becomes a superstructure that triggers public gathering and consolidates brick and mortar businesses
Mart 125 Mart 125, was an indoor market place that housed African street vendors from all over the Diaspora. It was developed by government agencies to remove street vendors in the mid-1980. During the Giuliani era, due to politics, poor management and the redevelopment of Harlem, the Mart was forced to close down in 2002. Currently, the vendors have either been fortunate enough to get their own store fronts in Harlem or are back to vending on the streets, without any secuirty or support. Social condenser The role that Mart 125 had throughout the 80â€™s up until the early 2000 is reborn in 125thâ€™s Accelerator Pool. The project seeks to accelerate and condensate all the current street vendors of Harlem, providing them with not only indoor store fronts, but spaces for public gathering which are fluid and changing over time. Structure and program Constituted by modules arrayed through a 3d Cellular Automata algorithm, the design defines extremely various and different interior scales, from large open areas to intimate enclosed rooms. The variability in scale defines also the programmatic arrangement, with the largest spaces being, alternatively during the day, pool and indoor piazzas.
125thâ€™s ACCELERATOR POOL
Opposite page: axonometric section showing different the interweaving of the commercial programs with water. This page: sections showing the water level changing at different times of the day and how that affects the inhabitation of the space.
small pool large pool
125thâ€™s ACCELERATOR POOL
125th’s ACCELERATOR POOL
Section cuts at all levels and diagram showing the aggregation of slow circulation (stairs) and fast circulation (elevators)
125thâ€™s ACCELERATOR POOL
Prototypical model The project is meant to be applied in all those areas of the city of New York that share similar street conditions to 125th street in Harlem.
125thâ€™s ACCELERATOR POOL
MUSIC BOX Spring 2014 Critic: David Wallance In Collaboration with Wade Cotton, Carlo Bailey and Sukwon Lee
Technical exploration of acoustic insulation and detailing of spaces for sound artists.
The project is an excersice in design detailing and sound insulation. The program is for multimedia + sound artist studios and auditorium. The building was constrained by the site and rigid dimensional requirements. The challenge became how to create acoustically isolated studios within an integrated building that had a central atrium. Semi anechoic chambers were designed using solid wood and concrete (for the main structure). The facade consisted of pertruding boxes of aluminium and glass.
aluminium battons steel C section 1/4” fire-resistant plasterboard sheathing 1/8” parquet, solid oak, oiled with beechbaseboard
steel C section raised floor stiltd vibration isolators (sway braces) Steel balustrade
CIP concrete plinth
fabricated solid steel member
steel tread precast concrete stair support
2mm alu. sheet (flashing)
1” IGU (operable)
1” IGU (operable) steel bracket hot dip galvinized
powder coated aluminium profile
1/8” parquet, solid oak, oiled with beechbaseboard
12” THK concrete slab single glazed unit PPC finished aluminium 1/2” concrete tile, matt finish profile
Firesprinkler Pipe Metal Louver
Continuous Parapet Flashing
Aluminium Skylight Frame
Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall Rigid Insulation
Continuous Curb Flashing
Steel Stud Backing Frame Concrete Tile Rain Screen
Molded Plastic Casing Conduit, Lighting Light Diffusion Skrim 30” x 6.5” Castellated Beam
Rigid insulation, sloping towards core at 1%
12” x 24” Atrium Beam 12” x 24” Column
Graduation Portfolio at GSAPP, Columbia University, 2012-2015 - private link