Intermediate 7 Taiki Takemura, Housing Infrastructure, 2016-17

Material Life III - Tabula Automata

Marco Vanucci, Anna Muzychak

Intermediate 7 continues developing its systemic approach to architecture, looking at how forms of organisation define conditions of existence while establishing a dialogue with the external forces to which architecture must respond. The unit works along the notion of "applied research", oscillating between disciplinary autonomy and heteronomy, virtual and actual modes, systems and discrete parts, material and digital forms. For us, the main objective of architecture is to organise - not to turn chaos into order but to create the conditions that allow architecture to surpass itself, reaching a higher form of elegant synthesis. Organisation is an engine.

Automation and artificial intelligence will increasingly change the built environment. New technological breakthroughs are already rendering labour redundant, maximising efficiencies in energy and material saving and improving quality, accuracy and precision. While automation makes routine activities vulnerable, AI threatens intellectual labour through a combination of mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic and computational devices. Heavy industry, logistic infrastructures, retail, leisure, agriculture and transportation are all being radically changed. What is the role of architectural organisation when processes of automation render obsolete the need to organise the cycles of production in the contemporary city?

Placing itself in the future - year 2050 - Intermediate 7 will imagine a scenario of new hybrid building types where automation is fully integrated into the fabric of architecture. In turn, we will question how new technologies can change the way we experience the spaces already controlled by machines.

We will develop new ways of organising large-span mat-buildings by interrogating the interface between architecture and machinic automation. We will continue investigating the building envelopes as the boundary between internal and external forces, public and private spheres, human and non-human agencies. In particular we will develop trans-scalar material prototypes and organisational systems for testing ideas in a workshop environment. We will experiment with manufacturing processes, materials and computation.

Unit Staff

Marco Vanucci founding director of OPENSYSTEMS Architecture, an architectural and design practice specialising in systemic design methodologies currently developing projects in the UK and the Middle East. He has taught at KTH Stockholm and has taught at the AA since 2014. He has lectured internationally, and his work has been published and exhibited throughout Europe and North America.

This year the unit will be supported by Anna Muzychak, who will lead workshops and tutorials to help both with the development of the portfolio and its representation and with the material and computational aspects of the unit.


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