VOLATILITY: Material Flows, Materiel Tactics, and Architectures of Logistics

The circumstances in which we operate as architects are overwhelmingly governed by volatility. Accidents, catastrophes, turbulence, singularities, merely people changing their mind: these events in which the only constant is change itself force us to reassess our ability to make decisions and move ahead with clear, projective action. Volatility and its corollary — uncertainty — challenge our effectiveness and ask us to define the limits of our knowledge. Rather than accepting defeat via paralysis, how can we reformulate our methods to exploit volatility’s potential and inhabit this provisional space at the edge of certainty?

This Research Group will focus on the development of methods for contending with volatility; whether it is to be managed, eliminated, exploited, or intensified will be subject to each student’s own agenda and specific area of interest. Initial research into practices (and histories) of logistics will serve as a shared methodological platform from which students will launch their own research trajectories, contending with volatility in a wide range of scales and contexts.


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