Responsibly Imprecise: Topology, Engineering, and the Politics of the City

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This presentation will discuss current research on architecture and urban density through topological optimization and solidThinking Inspire \ Morphogenesis.

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Responsibly Imprecise: Topology, Engineering, and the Politics of the City

  1. 1. Peter Macapia labDORA Pratt Institute/SciArc Responsibly ImpreciseTopology, Engineering, and the Politics of the City
  2. 2. Agenda:The relationship between Topology,Structural Design, The Space of the City,and Geopolitics.
  3. 3. Libya Crisis Map My Friends on Phone Tahrir Square
  4. 4. 50% world population in cities 50% on mobile
  5. 5. It seems as though all citiesAre in 100% conflict. Not withEach other, but within themselves.
  6. 6. How do you design for the city of today? And tomorrow? And what means Responsibility And how do we use Precision?
  7. 7. Topology has been formalized as away of thinking aboutconnectedness.Today the idea of “connectedness”is as political as it is formal.
  8. 8. Euler’s Königsberg Bridge ProblemSilk Trade Route Topological Optimization Social Networking, Crisis Mapping, Google Earth
  9. 9. Two of the most important aspects ofcomputation today involve algorithmiccombinatorials (which produceconnections)And emergent networks (whichproduce e.g. commerce, new forms ofsocial organization, and self-organizedpolitical awareness)
  10. 10. Early Work:Topology, Structures, Singularities, Sustainability (geometry and topology of matter/energy relations)
  11. 11. Dirty Geometry Pavilion: CaseStudy with a structure conceived astopological network.Stochastic Primary Structure,Building to suspend over vacant lotin order to free up urban space forrandom public use.Design based on capturing thermalgain from existing building surfacesin order to ventilate the pavilion bybringing cooler air off the shadedground and through the structurethrough convection.Problem was the concept ofstructure.
  12. 12. Topological Tower: Generative FEM analysis and topological networktower. Secondary structural network has flexibility in Primarystructural network.
  13. 13. Combinatorial Module Tower:topological network + generativecombinatorial algorithm
  14. 14. Responsibly Imprecise 1: The Sciarc experiment withSolidThinking/InspiredMorphogenesisThe research involved taking a class of students whowouldA) develop schemes for a large cantilever in front of the school.B) select a project,C) Materialize the Morphogenesis diagram into aconstruction logic that transformed the pictorial logic ofthe Morphogenesis results into something else.D) The “something else” was a fiberglass/compositeseries of panels, the seams of which would provide a newstructural network.
  15. 15. Responsibly Imprecise 2: The AudiExperimentAsked by Audi to redefine the city for 2030, theagenda was to lift buildings off the street inorder to generate as much urban public spaceas possible while allowing the mixture ofpedestrian and auto traffic throughout basedon embedded sensor technology within theroad surface which communicates directly withautomobiles.The entire endeavor was inspired by the StevieWonder Video Living for the CityThe Structural Insight came fromMorphogenesis.
  16. 16. Responsibly Imprecise 3: The United NationsCenter for Performing Arts.A theoretical project that would allow thebuilding to function as an open public spacesituated in the middle of a roadway, that wouldencourage an intersection between globalpolitics and performance art, open todictatorships and democracies around theworld.Here the structural base rises up through thebuilding in a really intense and almostimpossibly gross manner from which tocantilever performance platforms inside andoutside
  17. 17. Responsibly Imprecise 4: The PrattExperimentFind a way to use Morphogenesis such that itraises two questions:1) how to rethink the relation between structure and building in terms of space?2) how to rethink the building in terms of public urban space.The move takes us from the practical to thepolitical.Imprecision here means: you are free tointerpret the use of the technology for thingsother than its intended use.
  18. 18. Joy Tennanbaum: An open air birdcage prison structure forconvicts specializing in performance art, constantlysurveyed by the city. Calatrava meets Foucault meets Elvis
  19. 19. Dan Coughlin: Theconversion of the Citicorpbuilding into a national publicpark.
  20. 20. Vivi Wei: The universal church which turns the Gothic cathedralinside out for open air public space. Christianity meets Hinduismmeets Judaism meets whatever you want for religion on that dayof the week.
  21. 21. Vida Chang: An aspiring Super Hero converts the top of abuilding for today’s politically and environmentallyconscientious youth, all of whom are unemployed or really hatetheir jobs.
  22. 22. Towards the next step: Irresponsibly PreciseWe have at the moment no “logical” way to treat theMorphogenesis results as a material fact.This means we need to experiment wildly with materials andconstruction techniques.

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