AIA - Architectural Intelligence Agency 2.0 (Housing)
In choosing to work with software specifically created for industrial design and for film animation rather than for architectural design, our studio explicitly engages the issue of cross-categorical pollination by problematising it in the design process itself. In this way, the architectural design process is affected by what I call a "productive inadequacy". The design tool is not entirely but somewhat inadequate in that it has not been made to address the conventions of architectural design but rather those of another kind of design. It is, as it were, like having to write with a knife. One has to rethink "writing" through the logic of "cutting" to arrive at "carving". The idea of inadequacy as a trigger for inventive and continual categorical transformation is intriguingly presented in Deleuze' description of Vladimir Slepian's Man-becoming-Dog problem. In order to become a dog without resorting to imitation or analogy the man uses a pair of shoes to trigger a series of responses toward a desired goal of becoming-dog. "If I wear shoes on my hands, then their elements will enter into a new relation, resulting in the affect of becoming I seek. But how will I be able to tie the shoe on my second hand, once the first is already occupied? With my mouth, which in turn receives an investment in the assemblage, becoming a dog muzzle, insofar as a dog muzzle is now used to tie shoes. At each stage of the problem, what needs to be done is not to compare two organs but to place elements or materials in a relation that uproots the organ from its specificity, making it become "with" the other organ...." In a similar sense, addressing architectural problems through non-architectural software "uproots" the specified rules of the design process. New rules have to be invented. Insofar as the use of a dog nozzle to tie a shoe produces a complex chimerical system of man-dog categories, the use of simulated effects -to name but one tool of the software- in order to create a building envelop or structure yields a complex chimerical system of architecture-film-product categories.
The studio's intent is to introduce computational methodologies into architectural design through the use of self-organizing system software. Play will be combined with analytical and speculative thought to diagram and construct architectures without fixed scale but with set rules.
Scalability is to be understood as referring to a diagram (set of rules) capable of being translated into many scales and -by extension- contexts. Particularly viable scales and contexts are those where performative affinities to the diagram do already exist.
In the context of housing scalability suggests different kinds of relations between the living unit (the individual apartment), the urban unit (the individual block) and the city than we are accustomed to. Rather than operating up and down a hierarchical structure, scalable constructions assume these relations in a manner of drifting. Variable scales are constitutionally interconnected and mutually embedded. To the extent that private and public realms are linked to the question of scale, they, too, need to be reassessed and newly construed.