• d_e_form by Tomasz Jaskiewicz, Hyperbody 2010
      • RESEARCH
      • Research Strands
    • Research Coordinators
    • Dr. Nimish Biloria, Dr.-Ing.Henriette Bier
  • 1. Complex systems and Interactive architecture

    Interactive architecture is a newly emerging branch of architectural design, made possible due to developments in information technology and availability of new materials that allow extending buildings with information processing, sensing and actuating properties. In opposition to traditional architecture the design essence of interactive architectural objects lies not only in their physicality, but also in their behaviour, both densely interwoven with each other. In order to create successful architectural objects of this kind, their spatial and behavioural expression has to be designed in a way that fully opens up the possibilities of interaction with their environment.

    The field of complex systems, with its investigations into how relationships between simple parts give rise to complex collective behaviours of a system and how these systems interact and form relationships with their environment serves as a perfect correlation for developing interactive architectural systems. A systemic approach taken up by Hyperbody, which filters through the understanding of complex systems has resulted in generating performative aspects of networked architectural bodies owing to bi-directional relations among its constituting components, these components with the environment and with users.

    A resultant outcome: pro-active communication amongst spatial components, users and the environment in a mutually inter-related and meaningful fashion is thus heavily researched upon at Hyperbody. The area of physical interaction where a technologically mediated whole is conceptualised with the central issue of Interaction is thus central to this research stream. The physicality of space itself tends to be perceived as a subject, possessing its own behaviour, which is carefully developed with a user oriented (human computer interaction) perspective.  An appropriate response (programmed in accordance with event based scenarios), specifically acting upon the interpreted logic from a received message/action (sensed data) formulates the basis for a successful Interaction.

    This componential information driven connectivity among architectural constructs is being researched upon extensively via the following research and design initiatives:

    2. Real-time multi-player design environments

    3. Architectural singularity

    4. Digital design and manufacturing techniques

    The ability of digital media to frame questions and interrogate issues pertaining to conceptualization, representation and simulation of architectural design challenges the role of traditional media in architecture: computer programs, for instance, influence design, while their use in different phases of the design process establishes a modus operandi new to architecture. Architects generate digital information that can be used in fabrication and construction to directly drive computer-controlled machines and produce building components, challenging the still persistent traditional modes of production.

    Hyperbody, in its quest for developing innovative performative morpholgies researches heavily into computational tools and techniques such as evolutionary algorithms, swarm modelling techniques, pointclouds as well as parametric modelling and real-time topology modification. The Digital design and manufacturing research agenda thus professes the role of information technology and the benefits one can reap from the ability of computational tools and techniques to conceive, analyze as well as to fabricate complex geometric design compositions. Generative geometry techniques influenced by contextual logistics as well as master planning and urban design initiatives based upon biotic and natural systems thus formulates a vital part of this research agenda. Communication theory as well as the understanding of Systems per se at Hyperbody also result in developing technological analogies for developing open-systems leading to the generation of novel techniques such as real-time updating database structures which can be mined by multiple users at the same time as well as streaming fabrictaion techniques which can be deployed for precision oriented manufacturing of complex design elements.

    Apart from developing such digital design tools and techniques from an engineering architecture perspective, Hyperbody constantly engages it self with Inter-disciplinary tools such as game design based softwares such as Virtools, softwares from the music industry such as Max Msp and Jitter as well as softwares from the structural engineering domain such as Generative components, Gehry technologies and Oasis. A lot of stress upon scripting and coding techniques in a variety of softwares such as Maya, Rhinocerous as well as techniques for connecting sensing devices to attain streaming input of vital contextual parameters is laid under this research stream. Apart from generating emergent spatial morphologies, Hyperbody also lays equal stress upon material research and optimal fabrication techniques such as laser cutting, rapid protyping, computer numercially controlled milling, vacuem forming as well as engages itself with developing customized steel fabrication techniques. The affordances set forth by the digital design tools and techniques as regards generating precise data structures for complex geometries are thus communicated directly to manufacturing machines via our File to Factory manufacturing techniques.  On-going research initiatives under this research strand are as follows:

    5. Morphogenomics

    6. Corporate environments

    7. Quantum architecture

    Interactive Architecture, as the new focus of Avant-Garde architectural research, inevitably ask for its own theoretic framework that is composed of the nature of interactivity, the concept of real-time and the innovative ways of computational system construction. The emergence of such a new theoretic framework is only possible when new paradigms are introduced into the traditionally well defined architecture discipline, as the old architecture language has already been proven to be inadequate to announce the spirit of interactivity for this new kind of architecture. It is within these circumstances that quantum paradigm is introduced into the research of architecture, especially interactive architecture.

    Quantum theory, one of the most profound discoveries in physics, has already triggered a set of revolutionary redefinitions of the basic concepts such as, space, time, consciousness, reality and causality. The interpretation on these new definitions and the examination on the inner relationships between these concepts have lead to flourishing research activities within the fields of not only natural sciences, but also social sciences like conscious study and social study. Equally exciting examples could be found in literature and art, where new understandings of physical reality are tested and visualized. As for the research of interactive architecture, the impact of the quantum paradigm can be concluded from three aspects.

    The first one is that it provides a new understanding of space as a fluctuating field filled with potentialities which could only be described by means of statistical statement, which naturally serves as the most fluent way of describing the complex dynamic design background that architects are facing today. The second one is that it denies the objective deterministic paradigm by pointing out the crucial role that observer carries on in shaping the configuration of the observed system. The architectural interpretation for it will be that architectural space could be very much possible collectively designed and shaped by its real-time user based on a set of explicit simple rules.  The third one is that it advocates non-locality by the quantum entanglement principle, which broke down the very notion of locality based causality and the limited information sharing method which was taken as granted, the relevant architectural reflection on it will be the rethinking of the simultaneity of both the non-local information sharing and remote causal-effect relationship as a new concept in designing an interactive system that is not limited by spatial relationship of events.

    The Quantum architecture research agenda examines the above mentioned impact of quantum paradigm on architecture both in the construction of a theoretical framework, and a methodological enquiry of how these notions could actually contribute to real-time interactive quantum system setup, which can be applied to architectural design.