Here’s a great project that came out of the Adapative Architecture and Computation programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture. ‘Adaptive Fa[ca]de’ by Marilena Skavara explores the functional possibilities and performative characteristics of cellular automata (CA). In addition to the unique emergent behaviour of CA, a neural network enables a further computational layer to evolve CA behaviour to the context of its surrounding environment.
Building upon the early work of Conway’s ‘Game of life’ and Stephen Wolfram’s extensive research on the wider implementation of CA, ‘Adaptive Fa[ca]de’ becomes a living adapting skin, constantly training itself from the history of its own errors and achievements. For a more detailed description of the project, read Marilena’s article for Vague Terrain.
Made up of 700 meters of aluminium, 6750 LED’s and 5060 m of cables Lab[au]‘s Framework f5x5x5 is an interactive kinetic light sculpture, extending the bi-dimensional screen space, by transposition of its pixel resolution to the physical space. Conceived as a modular infrastructure, f5x5x5 is a communication and computation system, propagating in form of light and sound the events it inhabits. Presence and motion create and alter the transmitted data, and propagation of this data becomes a space-time parameter.
The term framework refers to informatics’ modular workspace, called a framework. Here, f5x5x5′s ‘frames’ constitute the framework, a space built up by five modules of 2x2m, divided in 5×5 squared elements, establishing a matrix of 5x5x5 = 125 modules. On one side diffusing the light (white), on the other absorbing the light (black), the modules constitute a binary language (0,1) and a space of 125 pixels, allowing to transcribe captured data from the physical environment in a kinetic and luminous play _ in between opening and closing, in between transparency and reflection, in between light and dark.
The Royal College of Art Show opened last week with some excellent work which no doubt wmmna will cover in depth. One project I particularly enjoyed was Tom Foulsham, an ex-Bartlett graduate and now graduate of the RCA’s Design Products programme.
In some ways Tom’s work could be compared to Heath Robinson’s imagined machines and certainly he has that mad inventor spirit, but underneath this is a sensitivity that should not be underestimated. His intricate machines are both playful and though provoking.
They are beautifully balanced and responsive objects that play with the forces of nature as well as the forces of information. His work and very much more great work is on display at the RCA this week.