Monday, December 8, 2008

Parasitic Architectures

A new blog that I stumbled upon is Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, which is geared towards 'Exploring the Consequences of Fantastic, Perverse, and Underrated Urbanisms" - which at least gets a nod for original mission statement. After some headaches related to the 3 narrow-column format - I did find a number of interesting posts. One that was worth passing on is City Zoo... (scroll down under the 'Slow Thoughts' column to the right)

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

"Contemporary cities are no longer just accidental homes for animals that have been displaced from their natural habitat. They can now be seen as hotbeds of evolutionary change, shaping the adaptations of their resident fauna and providing an ideal theatre in which to see behaviour evolving at a pace rarely seen in the wild.... As we begin to view our cities as worthwhile ecosystems this project investigates the possibilities of a symbiotic relationship between two different systems of organization- technology and nature."

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

"Resisting the tabula rasa conventions of current urban tower design the project proposes a parasitic second skin to the existing city. Made from a lightweight mix of peat moss and cement the skin is sprayed around the latent 3 dimensional spaces of its host buildings and streets. Aggregating on existing service cores and structural frames, and additional inflatable bladders, the infrastructure of the city becomes an artificial reef. The porous material functions as a water reservoir encouraging plant life and forming a new habitat for songbirds, bats, inscets and other small animals. ... No longer is the natural world something portioned off in national parks and reserves. The inert and polluting city is now an agent in its own rebirth."

Another with some interesting thoughts and visuals as well come via Strange Natures - another post from TTT's Liam Young (scroll down under the 'Medium Thoughts' column to the center):

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

"This is Gurmail Virdee’s student project from a Diploma Thesis studio I ran last year. The project was just submitted as a silver nominee for the RIBA Presidents Medals. you can view the entry online here. An extract from his work follows. ... The project is developed as an experiment in the tangible applications of complex system theory by designing an intelligent, collective corporate organism."

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

"Scripting and animation studies inform the swarming and parasitic behaviour of a designed ecology of schizophrenic robots. By responding to daily, weekly and seasonal cycles the robots aggregate to create volumes and surfaces supporting both the corporate and public life of the surrounding city. The result is a ‘strange nature’ of emergent species, a bio-artificial wilderness of interactive environments and habitable digital landscapes."

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

" Design strategies are tested in the real context of Wall Street, across three ascending scales, from the individual robot specimens and their local interactions to the generic office floor plate and ultimately the adjacent New York streetscape. ...It is an intriguing project that poses questions and probes uncertain possibilities. It is both unfamiliar and novel but also unquestioningly relevant and architectural."

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

And a detail from the last image - fantastic.

:: image via Tomorrow's Thoughts Today

More strong words on TTT:

"TOMORROW'S THOUGHTS TODAY is a London-based think tank exploring the consequences of fantastic, perverse and underrated urbanisms. This site is organized as an open sketchbook of our current themes and design projects an ever-expanding repository of our collective research.

TTT REACTS against a torrent of professional conservatism in the urban and regeneration industries and seeks to revive dormant ideas as new sources of inspiration from para-disciplinary fields. Often this leads to reappraisals of dysfunctional milieu. We want to know why pop, pulp and vulgar are so engaging and persistent.

TTT CONDEMNS the fashionable cult of 'innovation' that hides a lack of depth of thinking within historical narratives. We are no longer bound by the strictures of linear history. Rather, we are free to revalidate late-modern pasts, current archaisms and retro projections of the future.

TTT BELIEVES that our urban environments are best understood as spatial settings for social and political economies and it is within this frame of reference that the most powerful propositions lie."

L+U Sidenote: I've been doing a lot of research on 'unconventional' design practices that allow for built work to occupy the space alongside competitions, speculative work, and more experimental content. It's interesting to see how these are viable, either through academic-coupling, fame, or a combination of the two (saving independent wealth, i imagine). I will post about some I've discovered, but I would like to hear if anyone has others they know of out there in the design world?

1 comment:

  1. well, even if i dont see this happening like this in the near future, the idea of creating artificial rock/cave formations and habitat for wild life in cities is certainly good food for thought.


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