Here a book I’ve really been meaning to post about for a long time. Published by PA Press, Michael Fox and Miles Kemp have put together as they call it “a processes-oriented guide to creating dynamic spaces and objects capable of performing a range of pragmatic and humanistic functions. These complex physical interactions are made possible by the creative fusion of embedded computation (intelligence) with a physical, tangible counterpart (kinetics). A uniquely twenty-first century toolbox and skill set-virtual and physical modeling, sensor technology, CNC fabrication, prototyping, and robotics-necessitates collaboration across many diverse scientific and art-based communities. “
It contains a huge number of artists, architects and designers all working in and around this field that I have found so fascinating over the past couple of years. Its more than just a coffee table book, I think they’ve done an excellent job finding themes that run through the discipline and taken on some of the key challenges including asking “Interaction” can be understood to be in a spatial context. Its definitely worth picking up and will appeal to architects, artists and designers alike.
Rachel Armstrong teaches at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where she is advocating a new approach to architecture – one that sees buildings becoming living things. One of the best things about working at the Bartlett are some of the extraordinary people that you spend time with day to day and while I often get lost in the science when Rachel explains her goals for a Living Architecture, I adore the passion and vision of a truly interactive architecture capable of continual conversation with it built and natural environment.
Key to Armstrong’s work are protocells – little cells of fat that can be sprayed on a building, creating a sort of frosting. These are designed to trap carbon dioxide and solidify it, turning it into solid pearls of calcium carbonate or biolime or mock rock. This coating will protect the building and even mend cracks. These protocells could even be used to stop Venice sinking, says Armstrong. Her plan is that the cells would be programmed to solidify when they get to the bottom of the lagoon, shoring up the foundations of the buildings above and thereby supporting the sinking structures. Find out more at TED and Rachel’s own website.