architecturally augmented curiosity

This project is a case-study in thinking about architectural ontology in relation to digital spaces and non-traditional means of architectural representation. It is about the potential for manipulation and study of architecture which does not exist.

Physical construction may not always be seen as the desired end goal for architecture. Due to advances and developments in virtual and augmentation technologies, the digital world has the potential to challenge the role, status, and importance of certain types of architecture to exist in the built environment. However, for this to happen, a shift in perception must also happen. On smaller scales, the object here is not to be treated as a prototype or miniature to be put into a gallery, but rather as a fully scaled and absolute thing that can be architecturally quantified, dissected, and described through diagram, section, plan, elevation, perspective, etc.

Rem Koolhaas argues that architecture will have to fabricate a “new newness” which will be more about uncertainty, non-permanence, underdevelopment, and thinking of architecture as things that are able to remove boundaries and manipulate conditions of growth: it is about “living in the sea which swept away our sandcastles” (Koolhaas, 1995). This brings up questions regarding particular ways to compliment and represent a “new newness” through techniques that stray away from traditional diagrams and instead explore the potential of augmenting familiarity in digital ways. For this project, this is explored by rendering the object in realtime in virtual reality with characteristics of water flow that affect materiality, texture, and form. And this is specifically achieved through various procedural operations and simulations that manipulate and erode geometry in unexpected and interesting ways.

Koolhaas, Rem and OMA with Bruce Mau. (1995). What Ever Happened to Urbanism? The Monicelli Press, New York. pp. 959/971.

Created by Ryan Cook with Josh Taron. School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL), University of Calgary, 2014.