Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
B-Pro, M.Arch Graduate Architectural Design
Interactive Architecture Studio RC3
critics: Ruairi GLYNN & Ollie PALMER
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Chryssa VARNA: Architecture nowadays uses industrial robotics as a tool; Industrial Improvisation is using them as a material.
The project is part of an ongoing research by Chryssa Varna, on merging two parallel gradients of choreography and kinetic architecture. It draws observations about how the two disciplines can become complementary towards one another and exchange ideas.
The project investigates how kinetic design and industrial robotics can embody the complexity of movement found in contemporary dance. Using structured improvisational techniques, a combination of pre-choreographed and improvised performances have been designed to form a gestural dialogue between a dancer and two robotic performers. The result is an emerging set of movements that construct an unpredictable and evolving choreography.
A gestural vocabulary has been developed to explain and describe a set of rules based on improvisation techniques. Space is in constant transformation, modulated by roboticly driven fans, puppetered by robotic armatures. As the choreography develops it creates unpredictable spatial qualities between the dancer and space. The improvising participants (dancer and robots) continuously switch roles between choreographer and performer.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
CV: Wayne McGregor, Gordon Pask, Ruairi Glynn, improvisational choreography, contemporary dance
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
CV: Reading: Gordon Pask; Jonathan Hill, “Architecture: The Subject is Matter.” Listening to: Plan B; Gramatik; Amon Tobin; The xx; an, of course, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on repeat. Watching: Wayne McGregor’s performances and dance workshops.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
CV: Eno Henze, Cohen Van Balen, Random International, Conrad Shawcross, Simon Penny, Usman Haque, Ben Cerveny, Golan Levin, and United Everything.
Additional credits and links:
A special thanks to: CADCAM Workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Khaled ElAshry, Abi, Patrick.