Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Scroll to top


One Comment

Preliminary Work in Progress Report on Project E-COllaborative generator

Preliminary Work in Progress Report on Project E-COllaborative generator

In the work of artist Ann Hamilton, The Event of a Thread, the artist used a huge white silk curtain, dozens of swings, the wind brought by the dance of the curtain, the voice of the performer reading aloud, the radio transmitting the sound,  writers who write letters about wind and sound in the space, and  the pigeons flying through the space, connect every isolated individuals in the large and empty space, bringing in solitude and coexistence together in the art piece.

The Event of a Thread–Ann Hamilton
The Event of a Thread
–Ann Hamilton

By creating events in space and making space as the event itself, this artwork has created a space without boundary and let the audience create narratives on the atmosphere and its action per se spontaneously without communication.

Traditionally, we regard the spatial envelope in a building as the boundary separating the external and internal environments or enclosed spaces, and assume that the physical and spatial boundaries are the same. Taking theatre venue as an example, the fixed venue and the stage-auditorium relations to some extent, constrained the possibilities of providing experience that meet the ongoing flow of the society.

Thinking from the perspective of energy exchange, flow and dynamics in architecture, and consequently in terms of gradients, requires a spatial boundary that can negotiate changes and transitions while not simply being isolated from each other.

“Our architecture has no physical ground plan, but a psychic one.
Walls no longer exist.
Our spaces are pulsating balloons.
Our heartbeat becomes space;
our face is the façade.”

Coop Himmelb(l)au. Villa Rosa. 1968.

According to an experiment Coop Himmelb(L)au imagined in 1968, when a room that has no clear boundaries, and in which technology allows us to change our environment, the architectural object becomes a way of communicating directly from body to body. 

Inspired by soft architecture and narrative space, our project mobilizes the sense of touch, and connects it with the pneumatics technology, aiming to connect isolated individuals as a whole, creating an experience that is real-engaging corporeally and thus socially, constructing a theatre-like scenario which invites physical engagement and social mobilization.

Mechanism study with cycling and pneumatic structure

With soft machine’s immediacy and scalable properties, we established a pneumatic system to conceive huge transformable space where the narrative is situated between the human and the machine. Starting from the basic affordances such as cycling, human’s contribution of their force is transformed through the pumps toward its output component. This is to say, by transferring the output of one function to the input of another function,  we may let the shared individual human energy contribute to a collaborative eco-performance. In this open-loop system, with its changeable and scalable deformation, we intended to explore its capabilities of creating different narratives to the extent beyond being predicted by human’s perception.

Concept Diagram

Parlac, Vera. "Architecture and its (non) permeable boundaries." ARCC Conference Repository. 2019.

Pfeifer, Rolf, and Josh Bongard. How the body shapes the way we think: a new view of intelligence. MIT press, 2006.

Rufford, Juliet. Theatre and Architecture. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2015.

Lutterbie, John H. "Phenomenology and the Dramaturgy of Space and Place." Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (2001): 123-132.


  1. George

    This project really inspires me. Even though im not in the area of art and design,can I still find many possibilities and inpiration through this project. They have so organically combined art with software, which made the equipment very creative. Brilliant!

Submit a Comment