New Contemporary Spaces

First became aware of fabric at the 2004 conference in which the firm presented their project, a design for a museum, both physical and virtual, that presented the user with navigation tools to experience an exhibit where some of the works were physical and others virtual. I encourage you to view that presentation, which you can find here. It is a firm interested in blurring the lines between the physical and the virtual and sees architecture (and architectural design) as the vehicle to that end.

I am a fervent supporter of design that facilitates buildings with an intelligence, and the theory behind the “Real Rooms” is something that needs to spread. For myriad reasons, environmental, physical, economic, it makes good sense for architecture to have an artificial intelligence that optimizes its own performance. We have this in every new car we drive, sophisticated sensors that note consumption, calculate wear, automate shifting, and inform the user when a problem occurs. I don’t see why every building doesn’t have this basic level of event feedback. That said, I’m not sure I understand the “Terrestrial Spaces” he refers to at the Headquarters building, and why mapping the light/time movements over the earth across the face of the building is relevant. If anyone can explain the significance to me, please do. I do like that Guignard freely admits this is a fiction, and actually enjoys the play between reality and fiction in the function of the building.

The Perpetual (Tropical) Sunshine project does push this fiction even further. Using the built form as a simulacrum or a foreign environment to where it itself resides, challenges the traditional notion of architecture as a built form, exclusively. It, in fact, suggest that architecture constructs environments, more than simply forms – environments that facilitate and enhance experiences for the individual. I really enjoy how it engages this notion, and experiments with the use of technology to manipulate our experiences. I’m eager to see more.