Aleksandar Bursac, Georgia Tsoli, Lisa Kuhnhausen, Suzan Ibrahim Architectural Association Design Research Lab M.Arch 2016: Theodore Spyropoulos Studio
XO is a research project that is positioned as a way to investigate softness in architecture not only in a programmatic sense, but also working through the problems of softness materially. We therefore propose a self regulated system that exploits the gradients of pliability and softness as a technique to deal with problems of mobility, formation, structuring and organization within a system. To achieve these goals we employ communication strategies that negotiate between taxonomies within an ecology that controls the outcome of the ecology’s self-regulated properties.
Working up from the lowest level of organization and intelligence, our system starts by defining two taxonomies that interact within the system. These separate taxonomies use the division of labour specified by their characteristics in a collaborative model to achieve complex goals. We refer to these two taxonomies as spheres and grippers. The sphere is a passive unit whose motivation is to regulate the system. The gripper’s primary goal is to organize and interface with the system. The simple goals of these taxonomies cause seemingly anonymous behaviour when deployed as a small population, but once deployed in the thousands discernible emergent formational qualities begin to manifest within the ecology. Over time the system slowly, yet continuously reconfigures. With this we aim to challenge the idea of modularity by establishing various relationships at every level of the organization. That is to say that that the increments of the system, at any given time, can be seen as a singular element or the co-dependencies of elements comprising the system — the distinguishing of a single part becomes blurred. Within our ecology the many can be seen as one.