Dynamic Digital Landforms

The course will explore nascent digital techniques of modelling, simulation, analysis, and visualisation of the landscape as a dynamic system, and speculate on the role of emerging sensing and responsive technologies to generate recursive relationships between computation and ecology. The intention is to examine and frame new approaches to land-forming, and the making of new environments not prioritised as extensions of humans, but rather as new configurations that include, and re-value, non-human agents.

The landscape, 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 uncertainty and 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, and that will continue to do so, in which form translates the material registration of force as ‘a network of enveloped material processes.’ 

The sensed landscape creates reciprocal relationships between dynamic material conditions that shift the perception of matter to information. Questions that will be pursued include; how might the agency of this technology inform new ways of shaping the morphology of the landscape in response to issues of climate change; what generative sequences that shape the land and its processes can be developed; and what conceptual shifts might this propagate? 

Experiments with digital techniques and methods will build on these concepts to generate innovative, imaginative, and measurable digital representations for the translation and visualisation of landscape systems as landform, process, and phenomena. This will be conducted as an iterative design process interrogating how we might perceive change in a landscape system and consequently new ways to engage with it. This investigation will be defined through the constraints of space that examine material and form, in relationship to modalities of time.

This is a project-based seminar framed through 3 parts. In part 01 we will explore the agency of sensor and responsive technologies through lectures, guest lectures, readings, precedent studies, and class discussion. The intention is to define new conceptual frameworks of the dynamic landscape. Digital simulation techniques will be explored in part 02 through demonstrations that explore the visualisation and representation of change over time. In part 03, we will develop a final project that brings together the conceptual positions developed in part 01, and the techniques of part 02, as a digital model that describes the structural design of a complex landscape system.

Note: the instructor will offer online live course presentations on 08/26, and/or 08/27. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website.

Please note this course will meet online through 9/15.