Cutaneous Tectonics investigates the relationship of inside and outside and how the construction of skins can manipulate and blur this duality.
This MArch thesis discusses the architectural deﬁnition of skins as a continuous exchange interface. By blurring the boundary condition of the envelope a third – intermediate - space can be created in the in-between. Furthermore the role of transparency and human perception of openness are discussed, as they are an integral part of the visual and sensorial appreciation of indoor climate. The envelope’s spatial dimensions are extended from a thin threshold to a thick inhabitable zone.
The city of Istanbul is introduced as a given outdoor climate condition and data centre, archive, library and greenhouse are set indoor climate zones. Non-mechanical environmental control techniques, such as natural ventilation, thermal mass and material embedded moisture buffering, are utilised to modulate climate conditions according to thermal comfort demands.
A voluminous boundary, shielding a central core region by shell layers, can construct seasonal chambers with migrating functions and occupation patterns. Computer aided ﬂuid dynamics tests were conducted by the author to identify principles of air ﬂows in cavity spaces. The calculated results, analysing those tested matryoshka envelopes, proof that it is possible to design a system of moulting fabrics and still sustaining required standardised air change rates.
This method, inﬂating the sticky envelope and creating puffy cutaneous cavity layers, is illustrated by several conceptual designs. Environmental ﬁeld conditions are strategically deﬁned as climates, rather than functions, are allocated. One particular intuitive design is further optimized and the previously generated knowledge is applied. Both the syntax of allocating climates – hence resulting temporary functions - and the idea of epidermal tectonics show great potential for architectural application and seem feasible within a temperate climate zone.
Intricacy In Motion
Being determined to be a method to elevate architectural expression beyond the pragmatic and obvious, ornament can depict images impossible to be showcased just by the structural and tectonic vocabulary itself. Therefore ornament can contribute notions of motion to an architectural design, on scales perceptible by the human eye. Ensuing the relations between ornament, intricacy and motion are discussed.
An analysis of the theoretical argument about order and complexity, comparing writings by Kent Bloomer, Ernst Gombrich, Robert Billings, Louis Sullivan and Thomas Beeby, is accompanied by graphical analyses of historic and contemporary examples. After introducing the importance of complexity and order, concerning the depiction of motion, and a short excerpt on kaleidoscopic geometry three types of dynamic movement are chosen: expansion and contraction, the organic movement along a surface and the vibrating noise of super intricate surfaces. Graphic analyses of projects by Herzog & de Meuron in Spain, Beeby’s comparison of the work of Sullivan and Wright, Michael Hansmeyer’s Columns, the sacristy of the Cartuja de Granada and Billings’ templates for Gothic tracery are accompanied by a continuous argument between different theories concerning complexity, order, intricacy and motion.
After questioning all precedencies regarding senses of motion within their ornament it becomes clear that rhythm, variety, symmetry, hierarchy and especially temporary endemic defiance of order play an important role in the ornamental depiction of motion, same accounts for intricacy.
When Technology Goes Mad
Since more than two million years the human genome has undergone a process of evolution. The rise of computer science in the early 1950s and subsequent development in the scientific field of artificial intelligence alongside with achievements in biotechnology and neuroscience has inspired philosophers and science fiction authors likewise. According to these technological devlopments, new philosophies like posthumanism and transhumanism emerged. They argue about future visions and ethics regarding synthetic life, the implementation of technology into the human body and their consequential effect on human personality and society. Inspired by new technologies architects and artists have developed experminetal projects like Guallart Architect’s Hyperhabitat, Xefirotarch’s Chlorophilia or Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground. Critics of the transhuman idea like Francis Fuku-yama and Bill Joy state that creating true artificial intelligence can be highly dangerouse and can eventually even put the existence of humanity itself to an end. Refering to this scenarios filmmakers have created movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, The Terminator and The Matrix, in which high tech intelligence turns against it’s creators - the moment technology goes mad.