GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2008
02309: Kinetic Architecture (VIS 0230900)
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Friday 2:00 - 5:00 Gund 508
In architecture, the notion of motion is often represented as an abstract formal configuration that implies relationships of cause and effect. Deformation, juxtaposition, superimposition, absence, disturbance, and repetition, are just few of the techniques used by architects to express virtual motion and change. These approaches are based on the idea that perpetual succession is not only conceived directly through physical motion but also indirectly through formal expression.Physical motion, other than in doors, windows, elevators, or escalators, is not commonly present in buildings. In fact, the form and structure of the average building suggests stability, steadiness, sturdiness, and immobility. Yet, while motion may suggest agility, unpredictability, or uncertainty it may also suggest change, anticipation, and liveliness.Challenging past practices, architecture today finds itself in a position to revisit its traditional kinetic aesthetics with new technological innovations. Through the use of sensors, actuators, and micro-controllers, actual controlled motion can be designed, integrated, and implemented in, on, or across buildings. The traditional problematics of motion, stasis, and order are challenged, redefined, and transformed by new spatio-temporal possibilities and strategies opened up through technological innovation, particularly robotic technologies and new approaches to mobility, portability, and nomadic culture.This course will examine the notion of motion in architecture through virtual and physicalmethods. It will seek to investigate, explore, and propose how motion can be suggested, depicted, or physically incorporated in buildings or structures. The goal is to link past practices related to kinetic form with motion-based emerging technologies in a meaningful way and project into the inherent architectural possibilities.The area of kinetic architecture, i.e. the integration of motion into the built environment, and the impact such results has upon the aesthetics, design, and performance of buildings may be of great importance to the field of architecture. While the aesthetic value of virtual motion may always be a source of inspiration, its physical implementation in buildings and structures may challenge the very nature of what architecture really is.