DIA (Dessau Institute of Architecture), StudioX
critics: Christos PASSAS, Matias del CAMPO, & Alexander KALACHEV
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Olga KOVRIKOVA, Asa DARMATRIAJI, & Timothee RAISON: The project continues to explore the notion of housing as a cellular component of an urban organism. Our project is a masterplan that is being informed with the landscape previously scanned and analyzed by swarming robots in order to be able to classify certain geological conditions that would lead to produce the network structures on site.
The project is being developed through a layered multi-agent system that is inspired by nature—in our case, desert-dune field pattern formation, desert erosion processes, which are proliferating continuous spaces that have striated, contoured, cavernous surface aesthetics. The scanning robots are developed to avoid obstacles—which can be elements such as high rock formations—and trace geological formations. By applying this scanning technique we are able to generate the height map and geological consistency of the scanned area. Elements such as sand, clay and rock are maps on site and are informing the robots for the next stages of the process—settling the buildings on the site, excavating and printing.
While adding structural elements that work as shading systems and as structural framework for the buildings, we are also allowing horizontal and underground expansion. In the same time, we created an artificial landscape that is contrasting but adapting to the topographical conditions. The integration between building and landscape is formed by the sands 35° repose angle condition that is constraining the printing process. A series of retaining walls are being introduced to protect the building from the extreme environmental conditions, as well as narrow cuts or openings to control the light intensity, narrow pedestrian pathways that are protected, striated wall conditions, integrated furniture and shading systems that are using fabric for shading the areas underneath.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
OK, AD, & TR: We were inspired by the invention of sand sintering solar machine by Markus Kayser and also other technological development on the advanced tools—for example, robotic CNC drilling machine; composite 3-D printing machine (such as D-Shape by Enrico Dini); geological scanner which could enhance the architectural production not based on ready products, but instead being self sufficient, by reinventing the available sources on site.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
OK, AD, & TR: Reading Scripting the Future by Neil Leach & Philip F. Yuan, “Automating Construction with Artificial Swarms” by Justine Werfel. Watching TEDTalks; Michael Pawlyn, “Using nature’s genius in architecture.”
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
OK, AD, & TR: FOA, Biothing, Kokkugia, Tighe Architecture.