Atmospheric Encounters: Visualizing the Invisible

The course will explore diverse atmospheric conditions with tools, techniques, and design methods for making the invisible visible. The measuring and mapping of atmospheric conditions seeks to redefine the notion of ‘site’ as a lived space of atmospheric encounters through analytical and conceptual approaches integrating drawing, modelling, simulation, and sensing to make visible the invisible thereby reconstituting it as a complex temporal and material manifold of differential space.

Atmosphere, considered as both form and process, is a palimpsest of conditional processes and properties, one that is open-ended, flexible, and adaptable, displaying a self-organizing dynamism. It is defined and shaped by a collection of material processes that reflect dynamic ecological, economic, social, and technological conditions. The resultant formal composition of these phenomena inherently describes the forces that have shaped them, in which form translates the material registration of force as ‘a network of enveloped material processes’ signaling simultaneously backwards into the past and forward into the future.

The class will be asked to address a range of core questions including: What are new and emergent ways of understanding the atmospheric environment? How might this approach challenge and generate new understandings of space and conceptualizations of ‘site’? How might this work reframe a description and a making of new environments not prioritized as extensions of humans, but rather as new configurations that include, and re-value, non-human agents? How might this generate new forms of engagement in response to issues of climate change? What conceptual shifts might this propagate, and how might this approach shape new forms of design practice?

Readings, lectures, and discussions will explore historical and contemporary theories, precedents, and installation design. Workshops will explore the making of sensors (Arduino), the collection and translation of data, drawing, and animation. The course will culminate with an exhibition and review of the work.