Copyright Shogo Suzuki © 2014. All rights reserved.

Y4 | Digital Metabolism. Disruptive Architectures.

About project

Tutors: Mollie Claypool, Jeroen Van Ameijde

…research has been taking place at the emergent material research centre designed in Y3/P3 2015…

This project aims to bring Metabolism to the 21st century, where their philosophy of impermanence and continual adaptation is ever more relevant to the fast-paced society we live in today. In the move towards post-capitalism the needs of individual users will change, and will change more rapidly – requiring a spatially and tectonically responsive architectural system.

Digital metabolism breaks down the unit of a capsule and megastructure into digital materials which are smaller, less specific pieces. Pieces that are small and generic on their own that can be configured into structurally and spatially different dwellings through discrete parts and connections, removing the need for predefined spaces.

Structurally, robotically bent steel tubes will be used to form a shell like structure where the individual tubes come together to form a structurally homogenous whole. These tubes will be designed in such a way that their densities can be controlled dependent on the differing structural loads placed upon them. The rod like geometries will then form the basis for the control of the inhabitable space itself, through using the same geometries as the steel tubes for structure that can now be varied in length. By using other materials such as timber this allows very specific and localised control of spacial qualities such as porosity in a volumetric way.

The process in which these structures are designed will be fully automated, where the user will be given more agency in the immediate sense of designing their spaces through a user accessible interface in which they can interact and control an otherwise complex system. The automation will occur from the initial design stage through to construction, to post-construction management and modifications. The user will intuitively configure the space while behind the scenes the structural densities and construction sequences are simulated and automated.

The process aims to allow complex volumetric operations to be made by the user in a intuitive way, giving true meaning to responsive and adaptable architecture; one which can be directly controlled by the user at will, when desired. The system allows the architecture to be impermanent, constantly adapted and tailored to whom the architecture is for – the end-user.