Research Method Statement Tim Evans M.Arch Tutor: Nic Clear
Abstract Posthuman Fun Palace This thesis has been developed as a guide to the Posthuman Fun Palace, which like Cedric Price’s ‘Fun Palace’ (1964) offers new forms of social interaction. It will be designed and augmented based on my own interests, in the way we will be able to create our own minds, bodies, spaces, environments and communities. As you enter the Fun Palace either physically or digitally you begin to be augmented and fractured, moving through the landscape you improve your cognitive attachment to the environment as it nurtures you into a form that maximises your visual sensorium towards a paradise of fun. Allowing you to manipulate and control the environment around you. The posthuman Fun Palace in 2066 is a highly dynamic, mixed reality wonderland, based on a number of speculative predictions from science fiction stories and hard science inventions. With the ability for every user to customise their synthetic form and virtual/ physical surroundings to match their own personal preference, the city is likely to become a complex maze of cultural hubs where people with similar interests join together to develop designed communities. These areas will contain a diverse range of different posthuman forms, where you may have to adapt and augment your body to fit in as you travel through different territories, just like we do in London today. Different areas affect what you wear, eat and how you move/walk through areas, depending upon the local cultures and traditions and how integrated we feel to the other people living, working or visiting the space
Introduction Overview This paper is a transformative guide to developing a unique posthuman, as you journey through the Fun Palace. It considers both a physiological and psychological factor towards the amalgamation of your anatomy and cognition into the paradise. With the goal of posthumanism to become an entirely unique experience based around our individual needs and desires, this paper will be an exclusive perspective of my own method and progression through the process. Through the histories, theories, technologies, technicalities, social and political concerns of becoming posthuman along with the rich involvement of science fiction, we can develop a detailed brief on the need of a methodology towards developing our own posthuman palaces. The need for this guide now is of vital importance, given the rapid adoption of media coverage on the topic through both science fiction (Westworld:2016 and Ghost in the shell:2017) and actual scientific achievements like the neural lace, synthetic limb replacement and mixed reality architectures. The spaces themselves cannot be considered on their own, but require the connection between the mind and body, to be explored as a system. They are created either by designing the space around your body or designing your body around the space, creating a highly diverse landscape that require continuous augmentation for complete immersion. The Fun Palace will become a post-artist’s studio where many similar thinking minds collaboratively build up personalised spaces that both harmoniously and singly develop community zones for fun and enjoyment. As a spatially rich area, the interesting architecture becomes the seams between ideas, where slightly different minds create part fractured and intersecting spaces that are also influencing the design of the creators to better interact with the area.
The thesis uses a timeline of science fiction and science fact to create a speculative framework to inform the parameters of the Fun Palace, within a theoretical future. I have approached it in the same way Steven Shaviro writes his book, Discognition, “Perhaps we will be able to imagine what we are unable to know” (2015). Science fiction is a literature tool used to frame this guide and the environmental constraints it will be set within, I use a Paraliterature as Samuel R. Delany refers to it. The use of this genre allows us to ground our fabrication through the use of narratives in character’s cognition. The primary focus of the Fun Palace is to explore the architectural, technological and environmental, designs, uses and visual representations within the constructed timeline. I investigate the idea of ‘fun’ within a highly efficient post-scarcity environment using Dada as the skeleton of the performance. It is an instrument to understand the mesh connections between mind, body and spaces.
Thesis Form Presentation The ideal format of this collection of guides to integrate fully with a posthuman future would be a cloud based interactive knowledge packet that can be accessed wirelessly upon admission to the Fun Palace. The Online interactive timeline is a representation of this, however to ensure the compatibility is maintained until 2066, this thesis is presented in a hard copy form. As the Fun Palace also relies on an element of Dada, the posthumans will be required to augment their bodies into a partially outdated form in order to access the information. As this is a speculative project designed to be used by all users within the Fun Palace it is necessary to separate the contents of this thesis into multiple parts, each with a specific purpose: The Interactive Timeline: This is a preview of how the guide could be presented to a posthuman combining all of the information into a simple user interface. The Investigative Timeline: This compiles a large range of data from science fiction stories, novels, comics and films, along with scientific discoveries, research fields and predictions from the last 50 years, into an extensive timeline to speculate the achievements over the next 50 years. Which will set the scene for the paradise of fun. The Histories and technologies: To provide a technically grounded and fully researched understanding of the framework operating at the Fun Palace, this text explores the development of posthuman theories around the mind, body and spaces for the past 50 years. This allows me to create informed speculations in the Companion Guide. The Companion Guide: Presented as a tour guide, this is written to engage the visitors with the Fun Palace, demonstrating one of the possible ways to experience the Fun Palace.
Structure Posthuman Fun Palace: A Companion Guide 1. Introduction 2. The Body Part A: Defining Your Posthuman Subject Part B: Posthuman Technological Advancements Part C: Posthuman Forms in Science Fiction Part D: Posthuman Forms In The Fun Palace Part E: Posthuman Need For Dada 3. The Mind Part A: Defining Your Posthuman mind Part B: Understanding Your Cognitive Attachment Part C: Posthuman Minds in Science Fiction Part D: Posthuman Forms in The Fun Palace Part E: Distinguishing Between Human/A.I. Minds 4. The Spaces Part A: Cybernetic Architecture Part B: Developing the Environment Part C: Posthuman Environments In Science Fiction Part D: Environments In The Fun Palace 5. Collaboration in the Fun Palace 6. Destruction in the Fun Palace
Bibliography Baofu, P. (2011) The future of post-human architecture: A preface to a new theory of form and function. London, United Kingdom: Cambridge International Science Publishing. Berardi, F.B., Genosko, G., Thoburn, N., Bove, A. and Thoburn, P.N. (2011) After the future. Edinburgh: AK Press. Codrescu, A. (2009) The Posthuman dada guide: Tzara and Lenin play chess. United States: Princeton University Press.
Posthuman Fun Palace: Histories and Technologies 1. Introduction 2. Historic Development of Posthuman Theory Part A: The Posthuman Theory Development to 2016 Part B: Predicting the Posthuman Theory as of 2066 3. The Body Part A: Evolving Theories of Entity Form PART B: Methods of Transformation 4. The Mind Part A: Evolving Theory of Human/Environmental Integration Part B: Thinking like a Human Part C: Thinking like a Posthuman 5. The Spaces Part A: Understanding form in Price’s Fun Palace PART B: Defining the Spaces and Environment
Posthuman Fun Palace: Interactive Timeline Part A: Defining the Posthuman Subject Part B: Cybernetic Architecture Part C: Theories of the Environment Part D: Environmental Interfaces in Science Fiction Part E: Evolving Theories of Human/Environment Integration
Crysler, G., Cairns, S. and Heynen, H. (eds.) (2013) The sage handbook of architectural theory. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications. Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2014) Speculative everything: Design, fiction, and social dreaming. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Fok, W.W. and Picon, A. (2016) Digital property: Open-source architecture. United States: John Wiley & Sons. Garcia, M. (ed.) (2014) Future details of architecture. United States: John Wiley & Sons. Grusin, R. (ed.) (2015) The Nonhuman turn. United States: University of Minnesota Press. Handziy Taras (2014) ‘Consciousness and Its Evolution: from a Human Being to a PostHuman’, Philosophy and Cosmology, 13(1), pp. 214–222. Harrison, A.L. (ed.) (2012) Architectural theories of the environment: Posthuman territory. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Conclusion Speculative The conclusion to this guide does not follow the standard protocol in developing a closing statement because of the nature of this thesis. It does however provide the reader with a breakdown of the history and technicalities of posthuman architecture and design and frames them within a speculative park to demonstrate the possibilities of how this knowledge can be implemented into practice. The goal is to provide a conclusion that like the Fun Palace is unique to the user, created by working through the different guides within this collection. The RMS has only been updated through out the creation of the thesis to separate the guides from each other in order to provide a more efficient way of setting the scene for the Fun Palace.
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