Politecnico di Milano, Science of Architecture
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Mihai Dragos POTRA: Does nature asks itself “What if?” Is there a reason why it creates billions of different life forms? Does it have a final purpose other than its own existence? Is the evolution the mechanism that enforces its own existence or the one thing that leads to a final purpose, or is just an efficient way to answer the “What if” question? In any case, the beauty it creates, the diversity, the music and the unexpected, visualized through our conscious minds it’s a one majestic creation of this universe.
There is one fact: the smallest things always organize themselves in the bigger complexity. That’s the atom, and now we are reaching this world, the quantum world, controlling matter at the smallest levels. When I started these concepts I didn’t know where I’ll end up, it was more like a search and exploration of a simple idea, that all of them are the same substance in different forms. At quantum level everything is fluctuating and there is no certainty that one can admit, there is no right or wrong, up or down, but both of them at the same time. As long as you don’t observe it directly, then all the possibilities are happening at the same time. It has always been up to us what we choose to see.
These concepts are the manifestation of this question: “what if?” Their shapes and internal organization of space will be in constant transformation and will always ask to their present users needs and adapt to incoming changes of the future. The users will choose what to see. The material of these structures will be controlled at nano level and will be in constant connection with the surroundings. It will sense and search for the space around them to interpret the possibilities of development and connection with other structures, thus creating a continuous space of variation and experience at or above the ground level. As in nature nothing is permanent but everything is in transformation. Matter is energy and energy can not be created nor destroyed, but only change form.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
MDP: I guess that all the sci-fi illustrations of cities I saw 10 years ago, which were something I’ve never seen before. But then I noticed one thing. They were quite similar (Blade Runner style), huge skyscrapers blocks with lot of artificial lights, still inspired from the present skyscrapers morphologies put just envisioned in a new atmosphere. Few of them were actually different, but those few ones told me that there are alternatives. In the movie A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) there is a scene at the end where the AI beings floating vehicle, as it reaches to its destination, is defragmenting in many levitating smaller pieces disappearing in the surroundings and that are later to be used for other purposes. While I haven’t read many sci-fi books, I read a lot of theoretical physics books for general public, about space, time and quantum world, especially Michio Kaku’s Parallel Worlds and Physics of the Future, where he speaks about future technologies of the next 100 years. Then I always liked the natural world, the shape of a tree, of a whale, the dynamics of clouds, the diversity of flowers, and realized those are all the same substance in transformation.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
MDP: Reading The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose, where he speaks about artificial intelligence and human consciousness; listening to Hans Zimmer; and watching myself drawing, and sometimes watching sleepy people in airport.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
MDP: I think there are many individuals who are somehow shifting the course of architecture to new directions, so it’s hard to say there is one-two specific individual. I admire those who take the risks to experiment new approaches. I believe the computational architecture has its potential, because we live in a new era where new needs may appear, which also requires new ways of implementing architecture in our world, and new experiences can be created by this new architecture.