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Research Seminar at the Bibliotheca Hertziana BHMPI
Architecture’s fascination with the machinic dates to its very origins. The enquiry into the capacities of autonomous generation and the rendering of complex and often unpredictable aesthetic, tectonic, and spatial outcomes is engrained at the core of the architectural and urban disciplines. And nowadays, algorithmic prowess promises to revolution the generation of form. But to what aim? Beyond stylistic recombination and autonomous generation of form, urban studies still identify the ultimate extant performative capacities of architectural form to be at the socio-spatial dimension and at urban scale. From this perspective, I propose to look at the city as the yet unequaled architectural ‘machine’. I contend that the importance of architecture lies in specifying the spatial conditions that ultimately facilitate a structured articulation of social alterity and the affective and cognitive frames of tolerance and collaboration the urban environment is characteristic for. This postulate might help us elucidate a strategy that embraces the unavoidable dynamics of new algorithmic machines and environmental awareness together with a careful and attentive regard to spatial transformation, sketching an adequate response to the challenges of our contemporary societies. In this light, the analysis of existing forms and the projection of generative architectural articulations ought to embrace a reconsideration of space as a capacity and form as an enabler.