A large installation constructed in a warehouse near Euston, London, in 2009, ‘The Switching Labyrinth’ provided a framework for two weeks of real-time interactive experimentation and observation. 250 metres of black curtains constructed a wrapping of pathways around a central ‘room’, where sliding curtain ‘doors’ periodically shifted, ‘switching’ openings to offer alternative entrance and exits. As an occupant navigated and learnt about the installation, it too observed them, learing about how it was explored and unilaterally modulating its entangling paths […]
Geometric properties of an isovist provide a measure of the perceived spatiality from a defined ‘point of view’. As such they provide the basis for explorative movement, based on realtime numeric derivation of directional goals. Below we demonstrate three different movement strategies established in this manner. (above) Movement towards the perceived axial centroid of an unexplored space (axial movement). (above) Movement towards the nearest point on a perceived occluded edge of an unexplored space (proximal movement). (above) Movement towards the […]
Second implementation and testing of a species of autonomously visual spatial agents within an active digital environment. This demonstrates ability to deal with a high degree of complexity and activity within the context whilst achieving successful pathseeking behaviours based upon long-distance vision. This approach uses a raytrace mechanic basis for the generation and resolution of the isovist.
The work previously described here can now be applied to isolate 360 degree isovists in contiguous space. Doing so provides four distinct spatial classes of isovist. Below we use the Soane Museum to outline these types. ‘Accessible’ space: when all walls used to define isovists are considered as solid and impermeable to vision, the isovists describe only that space which is directly accessible and can be walked into. This allows us to examine complex networks of circulation in an architectural […]
Study of multiple generations of autonomous spatial agents progressing through a real-time reconfiguring maze-matrix. ‘Doors’ in this opened or closed depending on maze-inherent desires over occupation levels. Those that tended towards closure are illustrated as ‘walls’. Dependent on the desire sets exhibited by the maze, different ‘wall’ structures were observed. These can be related back to archetypal plan forms, suggesting an emergent occupational basis for common architectural devices.
The Generative Folly was a week long building workshop with students from the Canterbury School of Architecture’s Third year Interior Architecture and Design BA and the MA Architecture courses. It was run in collaboration with Hanif Kara from Structural Engineers AKT II to come up with design solutions for the deployment of a repetitive timber module. 130 elements were prefabricated in the Canterbury workshop and over a week students developed competitive proposals, carried out structural tests and finally collaboratively assembled […]
Much of the work for an installation focusses on how to construct it; metaphorically but also literally. This habitually hidden process deserves documentation as much as anything else; Architecture is, after all, often about delivery. This gallery shows some of the design drawings, prototyping and mass construction processes of the framework and intelligent acutation mechanisms for ‘The Switching Labyrinth’ installation. (See here for the completed project)
Micro-Installation produced for Bompass and Parr in 2010 as part of their exhibition and venue ‘The Complete History of Food’. A ‘bioresponsive jelly’ was made to pulse in time with the observer’s heat-beat, providing an instant and amusing interaction as they ate it. It is suprising what people will willingly push their fingers into.
Wistman’s Wood is a scrap of surviving ancient woodland that you can find near Two Bridges, Dartmoor. It is hidden 30 minutes walk up a steep sided valley. The trees are oaks, twisted and miniaturised by the rocky clitter upon which they have slowly grown. The tallest is seven metres high. [click & drag to pan] Similar woodland used to cover most of the moor and the UK, but beginning in the Neolithic Period, man’s activities have cleared the entire […]
The below diagrams are a taxonomic series in which we apply the methods described here and the spatial classifications described here to a plan analysis of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Interpretation of these results is ongoing and discursive annotations will be added in due course. The mappings above were produced using a methodology established in the context of a research project on Dynamic Three Dimensional Space Syntax Modelling directed by Sophia Psarra at UCL. The project was supported […]
Record and output from engagement sessions held with Hull Libraries service Librarians and staff in April and May 2012. The film takes the output of workshop discussions and brings them into an emergent briefing focus for future library interventions. Completed with Surface Architects.
A series of digitally coded collages produced for Surface Architects for exhibition in Hull, North East England. Each image explores different memories and vectoral layerings of the city by layering specific letters and fonts in an additive boolean process. The ‘designer’ acts as editor, selecting or rejecting different combinative forms in a dialogue with the running coding algorithm to produce a collaborative outcome.
The below diagrams are a taxonomic series in which we apply the methods described here to a series of hypothetical geometric layouts. Interpretation of these results is ongoing and discursive annotations will be added in due course. The mappings above were produced using a methodology established in the context of a research project on Dynamic Three Dimensional Space Syntax Modelling directed by Sophia Psarra at UCL. The project was supported by the UCL Space Group EPSRC platform grant EP/G02619X/1 (P7726).
If a labyrinth is a continual spatial line, tightly wound onto, but never intersecting itself, what does it become if it is lifted into a different geometry and dimension? What novel things might this tell us about the spaces we construct and how we gain delight through their occupation? This experimental prototyping explores hyperbolic geometry; where instead of being limited to one degree of parallel line, infinite variation can be achieved. This project is ongoing.
Drawings which iteratively explore common simple labyrinth forms; overlaying each to illustrate how one type might be switched or folded into another. This process subjects the delicate ‘coherence’ of the recognisable labyrinth symbols to fragmentation, generating potentially ‘switching’ or momentarily incoherent maze conditions.
A matrix of black and white chevrons which displays an inherent ability to iteratively resolve itself into a state of lower entropy. This process continues until a condition of equilibrium is established across the grid; from this point pattern iterations of the solution develop in perpetuity.
When isovist analysis is applied to a plan in its totality (rather than to individual locations of special interest), one issue to be resolved by appropriate convention is the identification of “all points” from which isovists will be drawn. The nature of space is such that the actual number of possible points is infinite. In conventional approaches (such as UCL’s ‘Depthmap’ programme), an square tessellation of samples is adopted. Such a method establishes ‘all points’ as having a uniform and […]
A conversion of the isovist-agent software into c++ has led to a number of performance improvements. As a result new complexities of isovist analysis can be calculated and recorded in realtime. This includes reflection and projection of spatial depth; ie mirror and glazing surfaces, as well as barriers and mobile elements. A plan of the Soane Museum in London is being used as a test analysis for the system. These images illustrate different ‘spectral’ recordings of the spatial depths perceived […]
Latest test outputs from an ongoing piece of research. The spectral chart produced shows the accumulative isovist mapping of autonomous spatial agents progressing in real-time through the archaeological plan of the ancient Cretan palace of Malia. Other record formats are also demonstrated. Each agents is capable of recognising the characteristics of its neighbours (displayed as modulated colours of isovist) and reacting to them. Social behaviours of seeking, following and fleeing contact are apparent as the agents collectively explore the palace […]
Iterative ‘loom’ models proposing points and forms of intervention within the Valletta context. Based on an in-depth examination of the locally contextual and historically significant practice and processes of silk lace weaving, these models proposed a series of interventions within the ancient city fortifications.
Concept design for a ‘pop-up’ local library box to be installed in disused retail units. Rather than simply focussing on the materiel of books, the solution targets programmatic affordance, with projective and interactive surfaces, acoustic treatments that double as re-configurable seating seating and high density book storage and ‘vending’.
Typical spectral graph results from the methods shown in the below films can be viewed here. A complete re-write of the realtime isovist agents code into c++ has facilitated more complex isovist modelling and realtime analysis extracts. An updated version of the previously demonstrated movement within and perception of real plan space in realtime is shown above; below follow illustrations of new capabilities. As a secondary level, transparent barriers to movement can now be modelled and isovists related to vision […]
Animation of design proposals for a finish arch for UK Triathlon’s elite series hosting in Hyde Park, London. A series of folded steel barriers form the transition zones where athletes switch from swim to bike to running; before rising up to a triumphal finish and timing archway. Notions of the body as a wrapped form informed the folding geometries of the steel plates, which were provided to reflect Corus’ sponsorship of the event. Completed with Surface Architects.
A large scale interactive installation designed and produced for the UK WWF charity. WWF’s brief called for four unique ‘zones’ (Forest, Freshwater, Marine and Wildlife) in which visitors to their new headquarters could experience and engage with their work across the globe. Each zone was detailed to reflect aspects of their theme and fabricated from sustainable timber using advanced CnC techniques by specialist joiners Millimetre. The project was designed, project managed and installed with Jason Bruges Studio and opened by […]
The Epigenetic Object was a mobile that performed and whistled noisily to attract attention, inflating in gratification when petted. Coded behaviours combined with the latent epigenetic qualities of the mobile’s body to produce a continually novel and playful sequence of form and dialogue with the observer. The ambiguities of this encounter were deliberately emphasised with the use of an androgynous yet strangely appealing doll’s head at the centre of the piece.
Here we demonstrate an isovist based approach to definition of the axial lines of a space. The algorithm identifies the primary and secondary longest axial lines of each isovist in real-time. These are used to define a pair of median 2d centric points: Movement towards either of the median points causes following of the general axiality of the space as perceived at that location. Further sets of exploratory movements based on this approach are demonstrated here.
The below diagrams are a taxonomic series in which we apply the methods described here and the spatial classifications described here to a plan analysis of Sir John Soane’s Museum. Interpretation of these results is ongoing and discursive annotations will be added in due course. The mappings above were produced using a methodology established in the context of a research project on Dynamic Three Dimensional Space Syntax Modelling directed by Sophia Psarra at UCL. The project was supported by the […]
Prototype testing of the responsiveness of high resolution, autonomously visual spatial agents within an active digital environment. This approach uses a geometric basis for the resolution and intersectional calculations of each agent’s ‘isovist’ or visual field, leading to successful pathseeking behaviours.
Study of an autonomous spatial agent progressing through a real-time reconfiguring maze-matrix. Agent behaviours changed in response to modulation of individual spatial ‘desires’ and the ‘discovered’ or observed changing environment. Dependent on variation and combination of desire sets, different movement typologies can be categorised; these have a direct relation back to ancient labyrinth form elements. An emergent, emotive root for the occupation and understanding of spatialities is implied.
Mapping of strategic opportunities on the tideways and basins of the East Thames, London. This work lead to identification of potential forms and typologies of housing to be floated on the river as a response to limited supply of key worker and family home supply in the surrounding areas.
The Centre for Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck, University of London, was completed by Surface Architects in 2007. It includes a state of the art auditorium, seating eighty, academic offices and a highly visual ‘breakout’ area for meetings and events. Built using a cross laminated structural timber solution, the complex geometries of the scheme were modelled, controlled and checked ‘in silico’ to maintain a set of rigourous output requirements. The demanding parameters resulted in a high impact scheme that […]
Private residential conversion of a first floor flat in a listed Georgian terrace in Notting Hill, West London to provide a high specification ‘bachelorette’ flat. The bathroom was housed in a highly decorated central box, freeing up the flat layout. Strategically placed full height mirrors and hidden lighting were used to enhance a pervasive sense of lightness and increased area, whilst bespoke sliding bookcases rationalised and optimised storage. Completed with Hogarth Architects.
Completed with Surface Architects, who were appointed to work with LOCOG and ISG in the design and delivery of a family of high profile Wayfinding structures for the 2012 Olympic Park. The proposals combine historic vectors and iconic influences into a highly distinctive design that fits LOCOG’s original ‘look and feel’ brief. Each form incorporates LED backlighting, creating a field of glowing beacons across the Stratford Park. Six 7m high zone beacons, five 15m high major beacons and two 12m […]