Formative Complexity: Hybridization, Hacking and Mutation

Regardless of over- or under-representation in the built world, every trait expressed in architectural detailing has expressive possibility. The theoretical background for each gene is my claim that all possible expressions of the gene have merit, and that observation of those expressions would be useful to humanity at large in fostering an understanding of the built world, their surround.

In the era of privatized and invisible infrastructures, understanding of our environment has never been more difficult. This disconnect between public knowledge and the process of spacial production is something architecture is particularly well positioned to address; not only do we have the power to gather the atomized components of our process back into the bounds of our profession, but we can do so with intention to reveal those bounds in a way that is experientially legible to those individuals who inhabit our creations.

Above, Utzon's Opera House hacked. Below left to right, organizational charts for global design studio, architect-as-artist, and integrated project.

Moving forward with my thesis, I am proposing a collection of details which embody the resultants of various methods of working present in today’s Architectural profession. The jumping points for these details will be projects from the sample population analyzed in the fall; I will choose projects from my study which are close to or particularly ready for mutation to express one of the underrepresented traits I’ve identified. Each of these projects has an organizational format documented and known to me; I’ll start by identifying where in this assemblage of players the shortcoming of the project’s detailing is rooted, then hybridize it with a more expressive detail resulting from a markedly different format of working. Some details will come from a single-handed (Architect-as-Artist) mutation implemented by me; others will require the input of other individuals, with ties to epistemic communities other than my own.

Beyond the realm of Architecture, how does the endgame of material connection terminate? What happens when there is no designer? When a detail is assembled without the specificity of oversight, derived wholly from standards implemented by an unknowing body? This exquisite corpse detail is a necessary bounding condition within the context of my thesis; I will assemble a few such designer-less designs to contrast with more the more willful creations of designers and engineers. {x-posted}


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