- 27 AprKas Oosterhuis speaker at Building Dynamics Symposium in Calgary
- 22 AprDr. -Ing. Henriette Bier lectures at the Ethiopian institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development
- 05 MarAlireza Mahdizadeh and Dr. Nimish Biloria publish in the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments
- 22 Feb Hyperbody. First Decade of Interactive Architecture in The Best Dutch Book Designs 2012
- 01 FebThesis defence: "Towards a methodology for complex adaptive interactive architecture"
- 21 NovRob|Arch 2012 - Conference Robot Workshop Rotterdam @ Hyperbody’s robotics lab
- 19 NovArticle "Interactive morphologies" by Nimish Biloria published in Frontiers of Architectural Research
- 19 NovJournal article "Simply complex, toward a new kind of building" by Kas Oosterhuis in FOAR
- 16 NovKas Oosterhuis keynote speaker at SCALELESSSEAMLESS - International Symposium on integrated planning processes
- 14 Nov McNeel Hackfest in protoSPACE
interview Kas Oosterhuis by Daphne Bakker for B-Nieuws #07
On the 5th of april, professor kas oosterhuis will give a lecture entitled ‘towards a new kind of architecture’. He welcomed B-Nieuws into his office to discuss the topics he wishes to address and his views on the current course of the education within our faculty. The reference to le corbusier’s ‘towards a new architecture’ was intentional. According to oosterhuis, we are now dealing with a complete new understanding of what generates architecture. This understanding, which he explores within his office and together with students from hyperbody, is based on complexity and swarm behaviour.
Complexity in design, production and assembly
Complexity can be found in all aspects of modern day society. Oosterhuis focuses on complexity within the design, production and assembly process and how it offers a new approach to creating architecture. Designing is no longer limited to one fixed outcome. Aided by parametric models, many aspects can be taken into account during the design process. This ensures that you have a bandwidth of millions of specific possibilities which can inhabit the same design. The notion of complexity is further integrated in the next step of production. New technology has made it possible to free ourselves from Ford’s repetitive assembly line. Now we customize and customization leads to innovative building components, which are all unique but still part of a parametric family. ‘Imagine a world where no window is the same. Or a world with no windows, but the windows are simply a specification of the skin. That is complexity in design.’ Within assembly, complexity is found when dealing with robotics, not only during production, but also management of the daily operations of a building.
From static to dynamic
In short, when complexity is taken into account on all levels, from design to assembly, this will lead to a evolution from a static environment to a dynamic environment. Buildings and its components will no longer be simply consumers of energy. They will produce and process. They will interact with their surroundings, from the people who inhabit the buildings to their modes of transportation. They will be actors. The actors themselves can be rather simple, but together they can form something complex, like birds in a swarm. Swarm behaviour can even be found in traditional architecture. ‘The grid structure in Manhattan consists of simple rules. It is easy to count and to understand and it is not constrained by too many rules, yet it generates complexity within its spatial environment.’
Simplicity is complexity
Simplicity is therefore a means towards creating architecture which is visibly complex and rich. Oosterhuis´ approach stands in stark contrast to Zaha Hadids, whose architecture is often compared to Oosterhuis’. Her starting point is the shape of the building itself, then she looks for ways to build it. ‘Complexity is generated from inside’, continues Oosterhuis. ‘What we do is define rules, design the constraints as true architects and then develop from there.’ This is what he aims to teach the students of Hyperbody.
Data does not dictate
When versed in architectural dogma of yesteryear, such as Regionalism and Modernism, this new approach might prove to be intimidating. This is reflected in the fact that most students within Hyperbody are from outside the Netherlands. The international students are drawn to its innovative approach, whereas Dutch students, who finished their Bachelors degree at the TU, are unaware of the driving ideas behind the studio. This further feeds into the misconception that Hyperbody is solely based on techniques and software. ‘What is important to communicate is that Hyperbody is a design course. Design is the first priority.’ The various techniques are only taught in relation to the design. ‘You are always involved as a designer. The data generated by the techniques are only there to inform. Data does not dictate. You have to learn as a designer how to implement it.’ Oosterhuis adds that students should learn the techniques, such as scripting, in the Bachelors, since the heart of the work in the new practice of architecture now lies in the new approach. Finding employment was not difficult for students who have participated in Hyperbody. Many have gone on to work at various advanced offices, like Hadid and Foster. Quite a feat in the current jobs environment.
However, most students nowadays seem less curious and when left to their own devices will only adhere to what is offered within the curriculum and will not look beyond it. Oosterhuis agrees with this statement. ‘Educational programmes are controlled via a rigid, centralised organisational model. This also positions the students within a grid, leaving little room to motivate them to think differently. Ideally, we should move away from a top-down towards a bottom-up system in which each chair, professor, tutor and student is an actor. This will enable them to find relations with their peers and then further built a new organisational structure that will encourage real innovation.’