Hiroshi Jacobs began with a discussion of indeterminate systems, or systems that allow the viewer to participate in the creation of his or her own experience when interacting with the system. An example he gave was the internet, how it can be used for multiple purposes, completely dependent upon the actions of the user. The main idea behind that is while we may attempt to guide the experience of a person within a space, there is always a chance a space will be used in ways the architect could never have expected. Hiroshi gave an example of an interactive art piece he worked on for an event that invited passerby to complete a game as quickly as possible in order to donate money to charity. What he and the other creators did not expect was the social interaction this generated, as people formed teams in order to complete the game more quickly – and thus donate more money – than would have been possible alone.
He also spoke about the unexpected interactions possible with different materials, discussing several art installations he and a colleague completed. The cables used to connect the bungee cords forming the netting of the first installation bent in ways not calculated by the creators and formed shapes their computer simulations did not anticipate. This led them to explore these unexpected curves in further installations and took the project in a completely unexpected but rewarding direction. It is something to keep in mind as we move forward in our own educations and careers and begin exploring the materials we will use for future projects.
Hiroshi also focused upon the different technologies involved in design. As he stated, “technology is very strong in design; it sometimes wants to take over the design process.” His interest in indeterminate systems and the effects of participant’s interactions led him to the creation of Revit, a program in which designers could enjoy a much more interactive interface, specifically in patterning, to generate their designs by creating through mouse movements rather than computer coding. This formed a much more efficient way to design though certain freedoms found in technology-driven designs like Rhino and Grasshopper was lost. That led to the formation of the Chameleon program which allows for the transfer of information across the three design platforms.
Technology-driven design is something I am very interested in, as most of my design tendencies lean toward forms difficult to capture through physical modeling. To know that there is such a fluid interface between multiple technology design methods is a great relief to me and makes me that much more excited to design in the future.
(Author: Gabriela Andrade)
Guest speakers visiting from different places coming together and lecturing about their projects, groups, and firms at the University of Hawaii Manoa: School of Architecture.