Lecture date: 2010-05-07
Rendering Speculations, coordinated by Ricardo de Ostos (AA Inter 3/NaJa-DeOstos) and Tobias Klein (AA First Year/Horhizon), is an AA event in which seven invited guests, from a variety of different fields including architecture, conceptual art, video gaming and interface design, will discuss the topic of speculative visualisation and virtual design. Highlighting a variety of disciplines and approaches, the event seeks to locate architecture as a magnifying lens through which digital visions and speculations are imagined.
Navigating through CG film sets, a digital life painting performance, augmented reality strategies, narrative scenarios, experimental drawings and political projects, the concept of speculation will be discussed as an inventive design methodology. In an age where borders between physical and virtual environments are constantly shifting, the symposium looks to stimulate a debate on how architecture can explore emerging mediums and assist in the creation of new visions that we imagine, aspire and experience in the years to come.
The event will be streamed live on the AA website.
Nigel Coates - Architect and interior and furniture designer and head of the architectural department at the Royal College of Art. His subversive spirit first came to public attention in 1984 with the publication of NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) magazine - a manifesto for a socio-culturally engaged and popular, narrative driven architecture
Marjan Colletti - Architect, an architectural educator, researcher, and co-principal of 'marcosandmarjan design limited he is teaching at the Bartlett UCL the diploma unit 20, who explores digital architecture and representation. He recently guest edited the last AD issue titled ‘Exuberance’
Ziah Fogel - American computer animation technical director who worked for Pixar Animation Studios and is currently working at Double Negative Visual Effects.
Zaha Hadid - Founder or seminal architectural office Zaha Hadid Architects
Andrew Jones - World-famous digital painter and ‘techno-mystic visual pioneer of digital art’
Lebbeus Woods - American architect and educator whose work envisions experimental constructs and the question of the individual in society
4th November 2014
Organised by Nannette Jackowski and Ricardo de Ostos
Projecting Realities, organised by Nannette Jackowski and Ricardo de Ostos (Intermediate Unit 3 tutors), celebrates the life of the radical and visionary architect, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012). A professor of architecture at the Cooper Union, Woods co-founded the Research Institute for Experimental Architecture in 1988, which today continues to respond to changing social, political and technological conditions through the advancement of experimental architecture, design and science. For this event guest speakers Didier Faustino, Liam Young and Theo Spyropoulos will address the influence and legacy of Woods’ work. A round-table discussion will follow.
Scavengers and Other Creatures is an on-going lecture series hosted by Intermediate 3, which explores the realm of fictional buildings, technological natures and cybernetics. An eponymous book of the unit’s student work, interviews and articles will be published in 2015.
Didier Faustino lives and works between Paris and Lisbon. His work reciprocally summons up art from architecture and architecture from art, indistinctly using genres in a way that summarises an ethical and political attitude about the conditions for constructing a place in the socio-cultural fabric of the city. Spaces, buildings and objects show themselves to be platforms for the intersection of the individual body and the collective body in their use.
Theodore Spyropoulos is an architect and educator based in London. He is co-founder and director of Minimaforms, an experimental architecture and design practice. His work has received international attention which have included nominations for the Chernikhov Prize in architecture, named one of the top ten international public art installations by the Telegraph for his work Memory Cloud and most recently Minimaforms was awarded best idea / creative work in the 5th Chinese International Beijing Biennale.This presentation contains video material from SCI-ARC's online archive.
Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. His projects develop fictional speculations as critical instruments to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological futures. He is founder of the think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group who explore the possibilities of fantastic, speculative and imaginary urbanisms and co runs the ‘Unknown Fields Division’, a nomadic studio that travels on expeditions to the ends of the earth to investigate forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and industrial ecologies.
Nannette Jackowski and Ricardo de Ostos are principals of NaJa & deOstos. They are the authors of The Hanging Cemetery of Baghdad and Pamphlet Architecture 29: Ambiguous Spaces. They have been nominated for the 2012 Iakov Chernikhov prize for young architects around the world. Nannette has worked for Wilkinson Eyre and Zaha Hadid. Ricardo has worked for Peter Cook, Future Systems and Foster + Partners. He has taught at Lund University in Sweden and is currently an Associate Professor at École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. He was appointed curator of the Brazilian Pavilion for the London Festival of Architecture in 2008 and 2010.
In a Q&A, Lebbeus Woods states he is “substituting the idea of experience for consumption.” Woods sees life in his Underground Berlin project as a return home, “going into the earth.” He discusses his interest in the “geometry of indeterminacy,” and how his thought experiments are expressed in his drawings. Woods agrees to the description of his work as morbid, and its association with mortality. He states he is an architect, not a storyteller, “even though there is a narrative description to the work.”
After introductions by Bart Millar and Neil Denari, Lebbeus Woods discusses consumerism, architecture, creativity and imagination. He reads from Friedrich Nietzsche's, The Birth of Tragedy. He also cites the scientist and cybernetics investigator, Heinz von Foerster, whose essay, On Constructing a Reality engages ethical and aesthetic imperatives. Woods explains the need for architects to focus on developing a new myth for architecture based on imagination which is creative, experiential and physical. He speaks in detail about his project, Underground Berlin and shows various drawings, maps and gives descriptions. He calls it “an underground city” with “geomechanical forces” which he hopes unite East and West Germany through a historical, pre- Berlin Wall subway tunnel. He states how the center of the earth becomes the new focus instead of the sun which in turn affects electromagnetic power, kinetics, and other factors. Woods explains how drawing enables him to explore architecture.
After being introduced by Thom Mayne, Lebbeus Woods describes his exploration of a basis for architecture more fundamental than historic and traditional concepts and values. He emphasizes the importance of the experience of the world, uncertainty, ambiguity and the relationships between observer and the observed.
Woods discusses the project Underground Berlin created for an exhibition on Berlin and the future in 1988. Underground Berlin was developed while the Berlin Wall was still in place, and it proposes a strategy for connecting the city through the existing underground spaces of Berlin’s U-Bahn. The project consists of a series of inverted structures that are constructed into the ground to accommodate living and working spaces. Projection towers are proposed around the city to allow a connection between the underground hidden spaces and the city above.
Woods discusses two projects developed for Paris and Berlin. In a sequel to his Underground Berlin proposal, parts begin to scatter and fly out to Paris where they reassemble as floating structures.
Woods discusses a 1990 project for Zagreb, Croatia, consisting of a series of mobile structures that would be embedded within existing structures of the city. He concludes by stating that architecture should engage more political and community issues and not only aesthetic and form-making issues.