Intermediate 1 Ludvig Holmen, Dataist Projections: Ways of Seeing Space, Intermediate 1, 2017–18

TOOLS FOR ARCHITECTURE – THE AGE OF HEDONISM

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg,

'There is surely another kind of architecture that would seek to give full play to the things that have been so carefully masked by its anti-type; an architecture arising out of the deep fascination that draws people towards others; an architecture that recognises passion, carnality and sociality. ' – Robin Evans, Figures Doors and Passages, 1997

In the age of hedonism, the human mind is the ultimate design object. Tools for Architecture works towards a new design discipline where foundations are laid by algorithms and voice recognition before being dug by piling rigs. After 300 years of dominance, humanism – which sanctifies the life, happiness and power of humans – has given rise to hedonic psychology, happiness economy and experience design. We live in an era where the wellbeing, safekeeping and evolution of the human mind have become our points of focus and the pursuit of pleasure is increasingly formed in the in nite scrolls and plains of the virtual rather than in the carnality of nightclubs or far-away beaches. In this new world the role of architecture is changing. If the new site is indeed the mind then site research must take us to the realm of psychology and behaviourism. Architects and engineers are creating more now than ever before but are replaced by Human Computer Interaction designers, neurologists and programmers in the making of the worlds that shape us most today. Moving beyond the immediacy of our physical environments, the architect now must operate between realities to embrace the metaverse of fantasy and wonder that lies behind our screens.

This unit will continue to study how these evolving conditions form our cognition and to highlight the relevance of architecture in a time when the making of space concerns both pixel and mortar. Perhaps there, outside the lobotomising dead-end rooms and endless corridors of twentieth century architecture, we will find what Robin Evans was looking for: an architecture that recognises the needs and desires of the human mind or, as he put it, passion, carnality and sociality.

Staff

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, both graduates from the AA, are founders of Space Popular. The practice, founded in Bangkok in 2013 and based in London since 2016, works at different scales: from furniture and interior design to architecture, urbanism and virtual worlds. The duo have extensive teaching experience at INDA (Bangkok) and the AA, and have lectured and participated as visiting critics internationally. Beyond their academic experience, Space Popular has realised built projects and exhibitions in Europe and Asia.

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