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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Michael Wihart – Soft Architectural Machines

  • On January 18, 2008


Michael Wihart explored how ecologies of small machines made of nanotechnological and biotechnological elements might be able to swarm together to create architectural space and developed notions of how these spaces might reconfigure over time. Here’s some images of his work and some thoughts of his on the issues he raises.


“The decadence and redundancy of the integrity of architectural thinking needs to be constantly questioned in order to reveal if architecture can be a source for the sentimental titillation. The embarrassing meanders of architecture into the challenge of the feasibility must be extended into the poetry of spatial mediation. the process of designing can no longer be solely functional and operational. The creation of an architecture which is embedded in the mythical knowledge of the future enables us to extend the sentiment of in-habitation into the realm of co-existence.”


“Certainly this vision can be engaged to fulfil the concupiscence of a few heroic models but the question if this architecture can establish a casing of affirmative cultural emergence which is the source and site for the engagement of individuals with the fate of their co-habitants, is a different one. Architecture therefore stands for the manifestation of the ambivalence of the transience and the after-effect of the notion of co-existence. But when architects by themselves abandon and forget to realise fantasies which have always already been lost in the dawn of the socialisation, where then will we find the sites for the staging of our sentiments?”


  1. Justin

    I love this stuff!!!! You are on the ball this week, 3 posts. Are you watching the playoffs!! Being the football fanatic you are.


  2. triss

    nice pictures, but so much bullshit ! Like most of the digital-architecture stuff.

    Most of this blog, actually, forwards nice pictures (very 99’style) , but you didn’t manage to understand that the _text_, the _meaning_ of it all, is totally _absent_.

    google ‘the sokal affair’.

  3. haha thanks Triss for your comments on Michaels work, and my blog, I think this work is very beautifully crafted and I think you miss the point of his work but you are enttled to your opinion on “digital architecture” whatever you mean by that? I think some understanding of irony and surrealism would help you piece together this provocative piece.

    Architecture is very much an art of drawing and describing something else thats often intangible and this sculptural work is I think one form of this drawing. I think there is nothing wrong with having a very visual blog rather than textual if its helps to stimulate. Obviously your more into your textual stimulation but I find blogs are more successful as small tastes of ideas rather than expansive texts.

  4. Shockey

    I intuitively, albeit bizarrely, referenced some instantaneous meta-thought; directly linking me into the immediate periphery of which holds absolute truth to that which should be known…….the beginning statements by Michael Wihart. This soon to be, in fact understood, carnal knowledge will inevitably lead way to the simplest form of “habitable” space.

    Be it digital (a)rchitecture or the truth to our environment, we instinctively have a sense of feeling, a sense of what is. At this point in time we generate the thereafter. What now holds true is that which should be; a desire to obtain. Forgetting that which is conventionally taught and “remembering” that which is inherently instilled will justly provide an eternity of learned knowledge. A SELF-‘examination’, upon trust and ‘faith-(hope for the immeasurable),’ extends the upmost conditioning to the ever-hungry soul. As the soul becomes enveloped, the domino effect begins. First the mind, driven and balanced by the innumerable understandings; ….then the body, controlled and refined by the electrical impulses of fact and fiction…truth and belief.

    Those that think……(those that strive to dissect and understand the truth…..that which has already been learned…..)….in a ‘timely’ manner should invitingly critique the liberated and yet precisely Architectural fixations of the “digital-being.”

  5. now i have no idea what your talking about 🙂

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