Theodore Spyropoulos
Design Research Laboratory, Architectural Association


György Kepes once proclaimed, ‘In our new conceptual models of nature, the stable, solid world of substance, which in the past was considered permanent and preordained, is understood as widely dispersed fields of dynamic energies. Matter – the tangible, visible, stable substance in the old image of the physical world – is recast today as an invisible web of nuclear events with orbiting electrons jumping from orbit to orbit.” The fixed and finite tendencies that once served to categorise the natural and the man-made worlds have been rendered obsolete.
Today the intersections of information, life and matter display complexities that suggest the possibility of a much deeper synthesis. Within this context, however, architecture is being forced to radically refactor its response to new social and cultural challenges and an accelerated process of urbanisation. Architecture today must participate and engage with the information-rich environments that are shaping our lives by constructing computational frameworks that will allow for change, embracing a demand for adaptive models for living. Our approach to addressing these challenges explores a systemic form of interaction that engages behavioural features that are polyscalar, allowing biodiverse networks to operate between urban contexts, buildings and materials. An intimate correlation of material and computational interaction allows for the emergence of a generative timebased behavioural model of living, where the interplay of local agency and environmental stimulus constructs collective orders. Unlike most manmade structures, the architectures of these structures are not embedded in a blueprint, but rather are correlated operations governed through emerging collective interaction.

behavior, digital materialism, agent based design, adaptive ecologies, cybernetic



SAJ Vol. 5, 2013, No. 2