Friday, January 10. 2014
By fabric | ch
After its creation for Close, Closer, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale last summer, we had the opportunity to exhibit Deterritorialized Living for the first time in November 13 during Acces(s) Festival in Pau (curated by Ewenn Chardronnet), at the Maison de l'Architecture.
The project, which consists in an "artificial troposphere" that reverses our causal relationship to the rythms of day and night, air, seasons, time -- based on real time global network activity by both humans and robots and that is delivered in the form of open data feeds, fictional data in some ways -- was displayed accompanied by videos of former projects by fabric | ch.
Specifically, we took the ocasion to complete an electromagnetic sample of Deterritorialized Daylight, based on its feed of data.
The simple spatialization took the appearance of two strong controllable projectors and two light reflectors. These were the only sources of light in the exhibition space, accompanied by five screens that displayed the different data feeds and the interactive version of Deterritorialized Daylight (a controllable intensity of the 13 last hours). Two small but intense "suns", an "eclipse" and a "waning moon" seemed to appear in the space, at the same time.
The variable intensity of the light in the space defined a pattern of illumination within the exhibition room where the display tables took place, in an apparent random manner, yet following this pattern accordingly to their own reflection potential and their exhibition program.
Exhibition after exhibition, we plan to develop physical samples of the data feeds and materialize the "geoengineered" troposphere. We will also look into some architectural explorations of this "geoengineered" climate, architectural environments that will locate themselves within, or just use this deterritorialized atmosphere.
Saturday, November 23. 2013
fabric | ch, Satellite Daylight, 46°28'N @ Haus für elektronische Künste | #architecture #interaction
For our own documentation, published a year ago in the context of the exhibition Sensing Place at the Haus für elektronische Künste in Basel, the video is a short presentation of Satellite Daylight, 46°28'N.
Saturday, September 21. 2013
fabric | ch new project: a geo-engineered troposphere in the form of open data feeds (@Close_Closer)
By fabric | ch
Deterritorialized Living is a new project by fabric | ch that we've just published online last week, in relation with the Call and the Talks we are presenting during Close, Closer, the 3rd Lisbon Architecture Triennale curated by Beatrice Galilee (first talk is today, September, 21 at 5pm, LX Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria, Lisbon, while the second one will be on December, 14).
This project is the result of a residency we did in Beijing last spring, at the Tsinghua University (TASML) and has certainly some unconscious relation with the experience of climate we had in the city!
http://www.deterritorialized.org, the server of Deterritorialized Living, the artificial and livable troposphere.
Deterritorialized Living is an artificial troposphere that reverses our causal relationship to the natural rhythms of day and night, air, seasons, time. It is a “man made” environment where the atmosphere is the effect, continuously shaped from the global activities on the networks produced by humans and robots. The aim of this artificial, almost fictional atmosphere is to give permanent presence (at this stage only in the form of data flows) to what has paradoxically become an ambient, "atmospheric" and contextual experience of deterritorialisation / detemporalisation induced by the massive use of networks, transportation devices, flows of data or communication technologies. Therefore, to literally become able to "breathe" the environment we are generating through our common actions. To some extent, Deterritorialized Living could then also be considered as an information design, delivered in the form of an atmosphere.
As the result of its initial and designed rules, this milieu develops strange behaviors: daylight is always “on” (as there are always activities on the networks) but at variable strengths, nighttime never occurs, air composition regularly reaches “physiological enhancement” levels of high altitude, it is composed of a unique single day that goes back and forth and that ideally last forever, continuous. There are no months, no years.
Deterritorialized Living is delivered in the form of open data feeds which define this “geo-engineered” yet livable environment, computed by the deterritorialized.org server. We expect to develop and use the troposphere in the future in the form of installations, responsive devices and architecture projects.
But the artificial troposphere is also freely available to architects, artists, designers, scientists and makers of all kinds in the form of different “services”: Deterritorialized Air (N2, O2, CO2, Ar), Deterritorialized Daylight (visible light Intensity, IR, UV) and Deterritorialized Time (HH:MM:SS). Additional feeds and refined rules will be added along the time to mature this generated atmosphere.
The live parameters, data and charts that show the evolution of values for Deterritorialized Air (N2, O2, AR, CO2).
Values for Deterritorialized Daylight, including Intensity (lm, visible light), Infrared (w) and ultraviolet (w) as well as Deterritorialized Time (HH:MM:SS), with their related charts. It is interesting to note that the generated time changes along time... but not in a linear manner, it varies between 06:32 and 19:36.
Man page explaining how to access the different data feeds for the ones who would like to develop their own project out of Deterritorialized Living.
These algorithmically designed data feeds can therefore be used independently or combined to drive experimental devices, interfaces, software and speculative livable environments of all kinds (under the responsibility of their authors...).
Let us know if you'll be using it!
Tuesday, September 10. 2013
By fabric | ch
We are glad to announce that we'll be taking part with an Associated Project to the next Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Close, Closer, cur. Beatrice Galilee) that will take place between September 12 and December 15, 2013.
Img: I-Weather as Deep Space Public Lighting, fabric | ch, 2010 01SJ, San Jose.
The work we'll present with fabric | ch, in collaboration with TASML, will be in fact a call for projects (!): Deterritorialized Living (the Beijing sessions) / Inhabiting the Computer Cabinet. It follows the residency and the work we produced in Beijing last Summer at the Tsinghua University. The call is open to the international community as well as specifically to the Tsinghua University (two different dedicated awards).
We will also present two talks. On the 21st of September, I'll present this call, some related projects by fabric | ch and the results of our residency in Beijing at the LX Factory (CoworkLisboa, 103 Rua Rodrigues Faria, PIso 4). On the 14th of December, we'll present along with TASML the results of the call, with a presentation by the winning entry from China.
30.08. - Competition launch. Tsinghua University, Beijing
21.09. 5pm - Talk by fabric | ch: Deterritorialized Living. At the LX Factory, Lisbon
14.10. Competition submissions deadline, Beijing
01.11. Announcement of winning entries
14.12., 5pm - Talk by the winner of the competition, along with fabric | ch & TASML. At the LX Factory, Lisbon
Program in Lisbon: http://beijing.deterritorialized.org/
Close, Closer: http://www.close-closer.com/en/
By fabric | ch
Following our residency in Beijing at the Tsinghua University that ended last July, fabric | ch transformed itself into the organizers of a call (!) that will run between next september and october, in partneship with TASML (Beijing). The call is closely related to the work and workshop we've done in Beijing.
The results of this CALL (1st price) will be presented during the next Lisbon Architecture Triennale, CLOSE, CLOSER (curator Beatrice Galilee), so as another list of EVENTS, as an Associated Program and during a talk together with fabric | ch.
An Award of Distinction is open to international submissions.
You can find below a copy of this open call dedicated to individuals or interdisciplinary groups of students and faculty members of Tsinghua University in the fields of Architecture, Design, Art and Sciences (1st prize), so as to the international community (students and professionals, Award of Distinction).
Download the call in pdf: http://bit.ly/18LozDr
Download the poster: http://bit.ly/1amu7Gk
Events during Close, Closer: http://beijing.deterritorialized.org/
Please spread the message!
Call : radical designs and sustainable strategies for shared, open and livable personal data centers (& clouds)
In collaboration with fabric | ch, Tsinghua Art & Sciences Research Center Media Laboratory (TASML) is pleased to announce an open call to the Tsinghua community for individuals or interdisciplinary groups of students and faculty in the fields of Architecture, Design, Art and Sciences. Conceived by fabric | ch, the competition is inspired by Deterritorialized Living, a workshop, a project and series of online “tools / atmospherics” developed on the Tsinghua campus during a recent residency.
The purpose of the competition is to explore a radicalized experience of deterritorialisation / detemporalization through intensive use of network, transportation and sometimes biochemical devices as well as to investigate alternative strategies in lieu of corporate approaches to data, data centers and cloud computing. The competition aims to develop speculative and innovative artifacts (code, interfaces, programs, objects, devices, spaces, etc.) for this contemporary situation.
Inhabiting the Computer Cabinet competition (Deterritorialized Living, the Beijing sessions) will be an Associated Project during Close, Closer, the much anticipated Lisbon Architecture Triennale that will take place in late summer and fall of 2013, curated by Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young, Mariana Pestana and Jose Esparza Chong Cuy.
Context: Since the public emergence of the Internet and the web in the mid ’90s and the ubiquitous presence of wireless communication, peer to peer exchanges, and social networks of all kinds in recent years, we have witnessed a growing tendency towards horizontally mediated decentralization. These conditions have not only deeply influenced the ways in which people and societies interact (social interactions, exchanges, mobilities, artifacts, economies, etc.), but have also affected how clusters of computers and hardware collaborate or exchange information. To some extent, networks have generated some sort of “geo-engineered” milieu that triggers an experience of delocalization: ambient deterritorialization that is always around, always on.
Recently the “network” concept has started to widen its influence: the energy industry is planning to adopt the horizontal model with its “smart grid” plans, in which everybody should be able to produce their own clean energy and store it or share it with the rest of the community. We can witness something similar in alternative, locally produced food: the idea of distributed food that is produced close to the place where it will be eaten, through the approach of highly decentralized and small scale “gardening” or through certain forms of urban “farming”. Rapid prototyping also helps to spur a similar movement in the product design community.
Yet, on the data side, we are witnessing the exact opposite: we have moved from a fundamentally decentralized model towards a highly “mainframed” (centralized) structure of corporately owned data, services and data centers, although these seemingly “immaterial” information architectures appear to be deceptively decentralized, accessible everywhere, anytime.
Should we then consider personal-urban-“data-farming” instead of corporate data centralization too? Or should we rather try urban-“data-gardening” instead? Could we build a highly decentralized, almost atomized open system of small interconnected data centers? Could we possibly inhabit these data centers, taking advantage of the heat they generate, the high-bandwidth network access they provide, the data they collect? Should we also consider their necessary relocation while taking into account their highly mediated nature?
Or should we simply consider the data center figure (and its services) for what it is: the furtive icon of our modernity and of the radically modified relation we maintain to global territory? Should we therefore think about it in even more radical or speculative terms?
Based on the context above, we are calling for proposals under the title of Deterritorialized Living (Beijing sessions) / Inhabiting the Computer Cabinet.
Objective: An abstract space of 9 square meters is proposed for the competition, to be designed into a large computer cabinet that is inhabitable. Its exact shape, height and volume are to be defined by the candidates.
The cabinet can be situated in any natural or artificial place on Earth. It can also be located in an ideal environment (which should be defined in detail). Cooling (natural or artificial) is the only necessary condition: fresh air (and/or other refreshing means) needs to enter the space and to cool down the machines. It is then transformed into hot air charged with positive ions by the processing units that could in turn be used for any other meaningful purposes or symbiotic uses, before eventually being extracted.
The computer cabinet functions as a small data center. A certain number of servers, NAS (networked attached storage), virtual machines, etc. are therefore also installed within this space. The inhabitant(s) have to share the space with the machines in some ways. The status and/or security of the data could also be addressed in some creative ways.
The cabinet is part of a network and can be combined or aggregated with others to form a larger, possibly mobile, mediated and/or networked structure.
Goal: by taking advantage of the physical, informational, computational, chemical, biological, environmental or climatological features of the facility (inside and outside), the project focuses on creating a livable environment within the computer data cabinet (or personal data center). The outcome of the project could be to engage with the overall design or to develop a very specific device, object, software, interface and/or installation within this given framework.
http://www.deterritorialized.org is an artificial atmosphere conceived by fabric | ch that is delivered in the form of algorithmically constructed data feeds. It is composed by a set of web services and libraries that were developed in the context of a residency on the Tsinghua University campus in Beijing, between Spring and Summer of 2013 (at TASML). The open data feeds of this "geo-engineered" climate can be addressed and used by any custom designed program or device (the website will be open from the 6th of September).
These open-source, “ambient deterritorialization” data feeds and environments in the form of Deterritorialized Air (N2, O2, CO2, Ar), Deterritorialized Daylight (Lm, IR, UV) and Deterritorialized Time can be freely used in the context of this competition.
Eligibility / Rules
The call is open to all students and young faculty members of Tsinghua University. The application should include candidate’s name and school or department affiliation.
The Award of Distinction of US$ 1000 is open to international submissions.
Works submitted by individuals or teams are all welcome. However we highly encourage interdisciplinary, transdepartmental team participation. All submissions should be written in English.
Submissions shall not be published or made public in other venues until a final decision by the jury is made public.
The submission deadline is October 14, 2013, 10pm Beijing time.
Any uncompleted submission by the time of the deadline will be excluded from judgment by the Jury.
Competition launch: August 30, 2013
Email submission, in one email with one pdf file attached, to firstname.lastname@example.org, maximum size limit is 20mb, with the title of the message as the title of your project.
File to be attached to your mail:
A - Information
B - Project
Note:Proposal should be written in English. Project title should be listed in the lower right corner of each page on all documents.
Transformative potential, speculation, risk taking, and the originality yet feasibility of the proposal will be key factors for the jury.
Quality of presentation and documentation (including technical, scientific description and visual presentation).
An international jury will select the winning proposal. Jury members will be disclosed along with the announcement of the winning candidates.
Awards / Prizes
Two prizes will be awarded by the jury, along with two honorary mentions.
1st prize: A trip for the winner or one representative of the winning team to Lisbon (including airfare and hotel) to present the results of their proposal during a talk, along with fabric | ch and TASML. Free viewing of the Triennial Close, Closer.
2nd prize: 3000 RMB.
2 honorary mentions
Award of Distinction
Price: 1000 US Dollars
This award is open to international submissions from students and professionals.
About the organizers
fabric | ch is a Swiss based art and architecture studio that combines experimentation, exhibition and production. It formulates new architectural proposals and produces singular livable spaces that mingle territories, algorithms, “geo-engineered” atmospheres and technologies. Through their works, the architects and scientists of fabric | ch have investigated the field of contemporary spaces, from networked related environment to the interfacing of dimensions and locations such as their recent works about “spatial creolization”.
TASML (Tsinghua University Art and Science Research Center Media) is conceived as a research and production unit that aims to synergize the rich resources available among the University’s diverse research institutions and laboratories to create an incubator for crossbred, interdisciplinary experiments among artists, designers, scientists and technologists. TASML also functions as a center and a hub for worldwide exchange and collaboration both with academic and research institutions and the global media art and design community. Through information sharing and knowledge transfer, TASML can also be seen as a catalyst of innovations for other disciplines in the arts and for the creative industry in general.
COWORKLISBOA is a 750 m2 shared office for startups, nano companies and independent or mobile professionals such as designers, architects, illustrators, translators, among others. Getting fat and lazy @ home? Come, it is at LX Factory and Central Station in Lisbon.
Close, Closer, the third Lisbon Architecture Trienale will put forward an alternative reading of contemporary spatial practice from the 12th of September to the 15th of December in Lisbon, Portugal. For three months chief curator Beatrice Galilee and curators Liam Young, Mariana Pestana and José Esparza Chong Cuy will examine the multiple possibilities of architectural output through critical and experimental exhibitions, events, performances and debates across the city.
Wednesday, April 03. 2013
By fabric | ch
At the invitation of Zhang Ga, curator and director of the TASML Lab at the Tsinghua University in Beijing (joint lab between Parsons School of Design and the Tsinghua University, in fact), to start develop a research project and run a short workshop with the students, I'm currently located for a month approximately alternatively on the campus and in town. The residency will last until mid July and other members of fabric | ch will come later.
We are starting here a new line of project that we've titled (so far) Deterritorialized Living and that will group several projects (Deterritorialized Daylight, Deterritorialized Air, Deterritorialized Heat and Deterritorialized House that will use some of these climatic elements to define a strange house).
The main idea of this project is to take on the emergent and yet almost invisible "icon" of the data center. To take it as a background for our project. A kind of re-emergence of the modern "international" ("ubiquitous"?) idea, transformed: a modern "specter", as Clog mentioned it. We try to question and anaylze it (its centrality, its ambiguous status of privately hosted if not owned people's data, its energy consuption, its heat production, its physical location and use of ressources, its seriality --rack structure--, etc.). But in fact, we want to push its own logic to its end: into a fully deterritorialzed way of living, with permanent --in fact almost useless-- access to (zombie) services and data, out of physical location and time zones. We want to study this situation and produce designs to respond to it.
The workshop part in itself that we are running here is a sub-subject of our own research, it is about inhabiting the computer cabinet or rather the servers cabinet, slightly extended therefore, but still minimal living. The workshop is entitled "Inhabiting the Computer Cabinet, with two suns", but I'll do a dedicated post about this later.
All in all, my own situation here in Beijing for a month gives me the occasion to really experience and analyze my own "deterritorialized" way of living, as I fully rely on software and networks architectures to keep working with the rest of the team in Switzerland (vpn to bypass some digital territorialities, clouds services of all sorts, video calls, file exchanges, etc.), as well as to periodically relocate myself with the help of an american gps service or to speak and exchange with people here.
I really look forward for the results of the workshop and of our own work! So more about it in the coming days/weeks...
Tuesday, February 26. 2013
A few events linked to the book launch of Bracket - [goes soft] that we missed to annouce on | rblg. After New-York at the Columbia's Studio-X NYC and Houston last February, the book will be launched in Toronto on the 1st of March.
Among several interesting projects curated by Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba, Geoff Manaugh, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro sits Arctic Opening, a project by fabric | ch that we realized back in 2010 on the Frioul Archipelago (Marseilles), in France.
The co-editors are Lola Sheppard and Neeraj Bhatia. The book is published by Actar and designed by Thumb.
Enjoy the reading!
Tuesday, December 11. 2012
By fabric | ch
Gradientizer is an architectural proposal for the New Planetarium and Natural Science Center buildings and program in Lausanne, Switzerland. It consists in the transformation of an old, almost rural and isolated settlement and the adjunction of two new buildings.
The proposal was completed early this year and was developed in close collaboration with Madrid based architects AMID.cero9 (Cristina Diaz Moreno and Efren Garcia Grinda, both also teachers at the Architectural Association in London).
We didn't win the "trophy" unfortunately, but as we believe nonetheless that the project is of interest, we take the opportunity to document and shortly present it on | rblg.
Gradientizer (excerpts from the competition text)
An architecture that articulates light, that pervades into the existing luminous gradients and albedos of the site, that transforms them on site, in plan and in section and which creates "dark poles", real "attractors" of the program: Planetarium, Solar room, Sky observation deck. A forgotten atmosphere, "almost unknown", but monitored nevertheless, built around the exposure of the program to light, in which visitors and scientists freely wander, layer by layer.
Monitored architecture of light gradients and albedos
The observation of the sky, by daytime and nighttime, is always marked by an intimate relationship with weather and light conditions. To make accessible the cosmos from Earth with the naked eye as through a powerful telescope, special conditions are needed: minimum cloud cover, low atmospheric density, maximum distance to the sources of artificial light at night.
Would we realize today a world map of the suitable observation locations, in continuous time, it would likely reveal a landscape in a vanishing phase, a kind of forgotten preindustrial relic. A sensual landscape that evolve along days and seasons: clear sky, starry dark night, low pollution, near low reflectance (albedo) lands.
It is this landscape, which has become almost unknown nowadays, that makes possible the observation of another one, fascinating and borderless: the cosmos. It is also precisely around this landscape that our project is built: a "gradient" architecture that seeks to analyze and transform the light patterns of the place, to inhabit them, which looks to generate and shape this "unknown landscape" and to comment it.
Expression of the light gradient on site at night (top image, the road axis are artificially lit, the rest of the site is dark --woods and grass land-- with the adjunction of a courtyard in the new project on the left image) and relation bewteen surfaces and albedo of surfaces (bottom image).
However, the site of the New Planterium has a light gradient of its own, with varying intensities: artificial illumination of roads at night, large farm like roofs that generate darkness during the day.
The project seeks to leverage this existing state, to develop it, whether it be in the positioning and association of functions in an almost generative way (rule based) or in the amplification of the roofs of the buidlings: to "gradientize" the overall site through its architecture.
To "gradientize" the site
Articulated around 4 main categories of exposure to light ("fully", "mostly", "partly" and "not at all" exposed), the program is distributed around the matching gradients of light on the site to achieve the initial distribution of functions. In section, this gradient is reinforced in order to create permanent "black areas" and to further distribute the program vertically.
Expression of the light gradient on site and on the buildings (average value between the exposition to natural or artificial luminosity and the albedo of the surfaces).
White zone (fully exposed to light) along the roads axis, in the courtyard and around the ground levels that evolve toward the black zone (not exposed to light) on the east of the site and in the upper levels (roofs), through light grey (mostly exposed) and dark grey (partly exposed). The gradient on site serves us both as a way to locate functions and to choose materials or landscape treatments (according to their reflectance - albedo).
The program (surfaces, volumes and functions) of the New Planetarium and Natural Science Center dispatched according to its potential exposition to light, with the same 4 levels (fully, mostly, partly, not at all) as expressed on site.
Schematic rules in plan and section to increase and deform existing lighting conditions (both natural and artificial): "onion" rings that filter light from the outside toward the inside in plan, suppression of basements that are moved into bigger roofs to progressively create drakness from botton to top levels.
Three main rules allow us to organize in this way the whole program of the New Planetarium and to outline its architecture. At night and in mass plan, the luminosity and reflectance gradient of the site evolves from lit perimeters, near traffic areas and roads, to dark areas towards forests and grassland (on the east part of the site, guaranteed to be kept in the future due to the reallocation of the whole area into a protected green park). The repartition of activities and functions on the site results mainly from this first rule (the program analysis based on its exposition to light). Thus, no artificial light is directed towards the east and south of the site at night. In plan, again but inside the buildings this time and mainly during day time, a concentric organization of volumes allow to filter and lower the light from the outside toward the inside. In section finally, during day time especially, large and deep roofs of agricultural characteristics also ensure the creation of shadows and darkness. No artificial lighting is installed in the dark grey or black areas.
The resulting axonometry of the project and principles of spatial organisation/uses according to the chosen set of rules.
This approach makes it possible to define principles of spatial organization, by day and night. This is the intention of the project: an architecture that fits into a monitored gradient of light proper to the site, which exploits but transforms its vocabulary of forms and materials, which deforms, amplifies and strengthens them, both in plan and section. These principles engender our architecture of spatial shifts, its main code. The result is the GRADIENTIZER.
Planetarium, solar room, museum, hotel and eco-shop: ground floor plan and planetarium section, where the principles of organization in plan and section are applied.
Probes, sensors, monitoring, feedback loops and algorithms
A set of light and atmospheric probes equip the site and the interiors of the buildings. They are positioned so to reveal in first sight the average gradient on the site and to locate specific areas for the public (white, light grey, drak grey and black masts at different heights equiped with sensors that are positioned along the main lines of each gradient). Some also serve as furniture or lighting (white areas). These sensors continuously analyze the state of illumination of the Gradientizer and reveal it through freely accessible interfaces (both on site information displays, distributed over the Internet or through mobile apps) and feedbacks.
This constant analysis transcribes in "real time", along time and seasons, the variable state of a large architectural device based on simple rules (the exposition of the program to --monitored-- light). Custom and architectural algorithms indicate appropriate times to achieve a particular observation, shift of functions or activities in a conducive area.
The position, orientation and design of the probes, made out of 4 different heights and that are coated in white, light grey, dark grey and black, reveal a first vision of the site's light gradient and surfaces albedo to the naked eye. They also serve to locate different activities (observation in the potential dark areas, public program in the white ones).
Darker than black (meta-material)
The upper levels of the new roofs (around the observation decks) are treated like “darker than black” meta-materials (see below), instead they are scaled about 10 billion times: a spiked surface within which incident lighting is getting reflected many times, loses its strength before eventually getting out. It can be considered as a similar process as what is happening in an anechoic chamber, but in this case for light instead of sound.
“Darker than black” metamaterials are nanoscale materials (that could also be used as coating) that trap the reflexion of light through very dark spiked surfaces. Therefore, the incident light is reflected a lot of time (at a tiny scale) before eventually getting out again. The light is "sucked" by the material and much less of it is reflected (only 1%).
Architecture as shifting landscape
The whole Planetarium and Natural Science Center can be seen and experienced as a light based architecture - landscape in constant evolution. It offers therefore oscillations, unpredictable spatial and uses variations. It suggests some sort of nomadic and evolving uses over time to adapt to the varying conditions.
A landscape that should be understood here in the sense of an environment with blurred limits, within which one can evolve with a certain freedom according to ones desires or needs. A landscape that "feels" its own variations and makes them visible, livable.
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Team, fabric | ch: Patrick Keller, Christophe Guignard, Sinan Mansuroglu, Nicolas Besson
Team, AMID.cero9: Cristina Diaz Moreno, Efren Garcia Grinda, José Quintanar, Vicente Soler, Laura Migueláñez, Pei-Yao Wu
Partner: Computed·By (coding creative projects)
Friday, October 05. 2012
By fabric | ch
Heterochrony is a temporary architectural installation and new project designed by fabric | ch, office for architecture, interaction & research. It has been recently completed, exhibited and lived last Summer during the Festival de la Cité 2012, in Lausanne.
Heterochrony consists of a 40m long passageway architecture, or rather an "archaeological" observation deck: an architectural device that overlooks a public park (existing), that paradoxically connects its entrance directly to the exit -- so to have the opportunity to become an "observer " of what is happening in the park and walk through the square without really entering it, like in archaelogical gangways -- ... , that opens to contrasted atmospheres and try to reorganize the different spaces/common uses on the ground with a minimal physical touch and a maximal visual transparency.
The peculiarity of the project consists in the fact that it also tries to generate a dual perception and a temporal disruption, which leads to the title of the work, Heterochrony: if the present time of the park and its users is in fact the "archeology" to be observed and monitored from the deck, as well as recorded on the project's servers, and therefore a potential "past", then the present time of the passageway would become a possible "future", viewed from the ground ... It's an attempt to materialize such a mysterious temporal zone, induced by the combination of two different referentials in the same space.
The architectural device itself (the deck architecture) is equipped in five selected areas (observation points) with many multisensory monitoring devices. The sensors record as much data as possible over time, these being generated by the ever changing conditions, presence and uses in the park (its climate, atmosphere, molecular and gas composition, sounds, users, usages). The data are then stored on Heterochrony's servers and endlessly replayed in loops, on the computers, in the form of bits of information, as part of the overall architecture. It is a "recorded moment", in some ways "frozen" on data servers, and that potentially replays itself forever, or that is waiting for somebody to reacivate it.
The data are kept publicly accessible on the servers, with the utopian aim that they could allow to regenerate the "present" in another time (if a present, indeed, can still be identified within this project), thus reinforcing the feeling of time disruption about the place. A "control room" on the deck, with its set of interfaces and visualizations screens, let the visitors-observers follow the process of recording.
The work could be considered as an architecture proposal that is built upon the idea of a massive production of data that will very soon come out (be monitored) from our environment, be stored, mined (for whatever -- good or bad -- immediate, near and far future uses). Every second, our world and lives are producing/will produce massive amount of data, stored "forever" in some distant data centers, like millenia old bubbles of gas trapped in the ices of the polar caps... The project can undoubtedly be seen as a reference to the novel of A. Bioy Cassares, The Invention of Morel that resonates with the idea of monitoring/recording the real (and also to some extent to the recent "The City and the City", by China Miéville, for its dual and densified space).
As so, the project tries to introduce a doubt about its true nature: would it be in fact possible that what is observed from the platform is already a recorded present from the past? A ghost situation? A present regenerated from the recorded data by an unknown scientist, or maybe by the machine itself (the architectural recording device) and that would in fact also endlessly run in loops, for years?
An "observer" at two different "observation points", overlooking the surrounding environment and while doing so, triggering unwittingly the illumination of a strong projector on the park and its users, as well as the the recording of dedicated data.
" Two distinct times, two "presents" were observing each other, close to one another: the present of a public park with its "scene", its "garden", its "bar", its "festival-goers" and the present of a second place, the footbridge or "almost archeological" path that overlooked the whole, allowing to openly structure, observe, sense and record it.
Seen from this observation platform, a possible scientific device equipped with a multitude of presence detectors, of atmospheric and gas sensors, the present time of the park and its users seemed to be situated in an indefinite past, or maybe in a parallel present, at a different time. Or was it rather that all these recorded events were replaying in loops, for a long time?
The traces left by comings and goings, the ones of the molecules of the "party" and the present moment had indeed been monitored and recorded, stored and kept indefinitely on a data server, somewhere, for a utopian future, or past, replenishement. (...)"
"Deux présents distincts se frôlaient et s’observaient : le présent d’un parc public avec sa « scène », son « jardin », son « bar », ses « festivaliers », et le présent d’un second lieu, la passerelle ou le cheminement « presque archéologique » qui surplombait l’ensemble, l’articulait et permettait de l’observer, de l’enregistrer. (…)
Perçu depuis cette plateforme d’observation, probable dispositif scientifique équipé d’une multitude de sondes de présence, de capteurs atmosphériques et gazeux, le présent du parc et des ses usagers semblait se situer dans un passé indéfini, ou peut-être dans un deuxième présent, à un autre moment. Ou simplement les événements s’y rejouaient-ils en boucle, depuis longtemps ?
Les traces de va-et-vient, celles des molécules de la « fête » et de l’instant présent y avaient en effet été enregistrées, analysées, stockées pour une durée indéterminée sur un serveur de données, en vue d’une utopique reconstitution future, ou passée. (…)"
The passageway architecture over the park, with observation points, probes, strong spot lights to illuminate the observed areas. The deck organizes semi-fluid areas in the square with dedicated pop-up uses over time (a bar, a scene, a park, a street). Each of this areas/functions is topped by an observation point on the deck.
Inside the observation deck, a long central pathway connecting the entrance of the square to its exit, with radiating paths to observation points or to the "control room".
The overall lighting of all led bars is driven by data analysis: the lights on the platform behave like a data graph in the sense that the more data collected in an area (observation point), the stronger the lighting. But the overall lighting remains stable, meaning that the data mitigate the intensity of lighting of the different areas. At some time (every three hundred inputs), a "glitch" happens in the lighting to resynchronyse and reset everything.
Observation points on the deck, with their spot lights (oriented toward the surrounding environment) activated by the presence of observers which also triggers the recording of the data on the servers. The probes that equip each observation point are equipped with presence, molecular and gas composition, temperature, humidity, pressure, light and noise sensors, as well as titling pannels about what is seen, observed and replayed in loops (?) ("(...), around the beginning of the 21st century").
"Control room" with interfaces, live data variations and visualizations.
The website of the project remains accessible and the recorded data downloadable (www.heterochronie.cc). It runs now in loops, endlessly replaying the weeks duration that lasted the experience.
Pictures: Nicolas Besson, David Colombini, Patrick Keller.
Project: fabric | ch
Project team: Patrick Keller, Christian Babski, Christophe Guignard, Stéphane Carion, Nicolas Besson, Sinan Mansuroglu, David Colombini, Maxime Castelli.
Structure: PCM Échafaudages SA
Curatorship: Michael Kinzer, Annedominique Chevalley
With the support of Loterie Romande, Pro Helvetia, Ville de Lausanne, PCM Échafaudages, HGC Commerciale & Computed·By
Tuesday, July 24. 2012
By fabric | ch
We remained relatively quiet on | rblg recently, as you may have noticed... This is mainly due to the fact that we were working hard on two new exhibitions for which we were setting up two different architectural installations.
One of these installations was an old work, Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine (re-exhibited in the context of the Transat Festival 2012, the work was presented in one of the oldest churches of the city) and the other was a new one, Hétérochronie, quite large for an installation (~40m long), that we were presenting in a very crowded festival (Festival de la Cité 2012), in the park of the old academy (16th century building, old school of theology). It was in this later case a real "crash test" for this type of work as the public was 1° not used at all to this type of architecture and 2° very "undisciplined", with lots of kids running everywhere... (that enjoyed it a lot by the way, but were so disappointed that the screens were not "touchable"...)
For once, both exhibitions happened in our home town and base camp: Lausanne and that was the first occasion for us to show our work to our... parents! Worse public, frightening! ;) As the Transat Festival is at first a music festival, as there was a fantastic organ in the church, we took the chance to set up a special sound performance with ensemBle baBel around John Cage's work during the exhibition of Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine: Tropical - Cage.
I'll make a detailed post later this summer about the new work, Hétérochronie (Heterochrony), once we'll be back from the "Summer break". We'll also start to post again on a more regular basis on | rblg back in September. But before that, we'll go unplugged for a few weeks!
Till then, here are a few shots from both exhibitions:
Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine, Église Saint-François, Lausanne, June 2012.
Heterochrony, Cour de l'Académie, Lausanne, July 2012.
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fabric | rblg
fabric | rblg is the survey website of fabric | ch -- studio for architecture, interaction and research. We curate and re-blog articles, researches, exhibitions and projects that we notice during our everyday practice.