PATTERNS: Cases in Synthetic Intelligence

Establishing links between otherwise disparate cultural, intellectual, and technological categories has long been the job of the architect. An arbiter of aesthetic connection, who else can create a bond between the Parthenon and a sportscar, bricks and B movies, octogenarians and the color orange? This task is not as esoteric as it may seem. The ability to create relationships where none existed before is endemic to both the production and experience of architecture. As a result of their increasingly sophisticated logic, appearance, and application, patterns promote this synthetic activity.

The projects in this exhibit foreground an emerging generation of patterns in architecture. Fueled by the introduction of new technologies and revised conventions of style, form, and temporality, they remix distinct epistemological domains by anticipating unseen links. Advanced patterns in contemporary design promiscuously combine a variety of materials, performance requirements, environmental factors, sensibilities, elastic geometries, and kinetic forces. As seen here, they are capable of absorbing each of these demands and desires into an intricate yet consistent aesthetic whole.

New breeds of synthetic patterns maneuver on the spectrum between organization and sensation, constancy and randomness, stability and flexibility, permanence and transience—with no clear predilection for the extremes. This emerging definition of patterns means that their sensory, fleeting, and iterative traits are taken as seriously as their functional, everlasting, and essential ones—producing projects of protean vitality and multifarious intelligence.

—Paul Andersen, curator