Sep '09 - Aug '10
This feels like one of those fork-in-the-road moments that occur every now and again in life. Whether or not they are important each decision seems like it has the power to define the rest of my life in some significant way. The fork giving me the squinty-eyed-stare at the moment is that of choosing which studio to take for the next year. This is the thesis studio and the day after all the tutors presented their briefs I am life with the feeling that I have several quite extreme choices with very little different implications. The menu is as follows:
1) Agent based populations create a whole new worlds through scripted creatures that interact and form architectural fields of beautiful complexity. Direct access to code, processing and maya seem to be the ingredients of choice for this dish. The intelligence of agents based work seems incredibly enticing and new for me.
2) The parametricist agenda defined and evolved though an integration into Zaha’s office. The typology of the tower is the centerpiece of this dish with a side of incredibly precise emphasis on the interconnectedness of reactive systems. Flavored with an extremely heavy dose of maya flavored code, this agenda aims to produce a ‘professional’ prototype that has flat floors and other suggestions of real-building-ness.
3) Nature’s logics extracted and translated into architecture with the complementary sides of maya environments, material computation and critical history. By far, the most well rounded of the options, this studio has it all from digital computation, agents, a touch of scripting, physical prototypes, robotics and biological logic models if you like. I also think that it is the most loosely constrained option will suited to the generalist who wants a taste of everything.
4) Hack the robots, assume control of the universe. This exotic dish is all about creating new modes of architectural production though machenic invention. Building the systems that build the buildings is the idea which appears to rely heavily on electronics, programmed interfaces, collaboration with and study of industry and a touch of digital fabrication. For the rather refined pallet, this dish does not seem to offer the formalism or computational skillset found in maya flavored options and desired for its sexyness all over the world.
This is the menu as described by someone who has only watched others taste a bite of each dish. I have not experienced it myself really. If images lie, so do words and my understanding of the value and potential of all of these options changes by the hour as I talk to new people and see the past work in the light of new ideas. Consider this a partial understanding and description at the moment.
Projection is a difficult game to play but it seems that these options might conceivably lead to very different path. Some look directly architectural while others seem to lead straight out the door of the profession in many ways. I came here talking about the chance to taste a bit of the experimental and now that I have the chance to choose my level of radicality, to pick a direction towards a certain ratio of known(predictable) and unknown(unpredictable), the idea of experimenting seems destroyed by the pressure to choose the ‘right’ option (not to mention team). Luckily, much of the decision is up to others and much of it is up to luck and my conclusion is beginning to become: the more important choice is how you decide to perceive the choices, not which one you eventually choose. Not particularly deep I know, but in such an unfamiliar and fluctuating environment as the DRL, perspective and attitude might be the most defining decisions of all.