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Architectures of Chance
The study of chance, as a fundamental aspect of the creative consciousness of the world, has received extensive attention in many disciplines, but not in architecture. My research aims to cover part of this gap and make foundational contributions to architecture by examining the creative role of chance in the fine and performing arts and by pinpointing the significance of the dialectic between design and chance in design and the production of space and buildings. 'Architectures of Chance' will be the first architecture book to theorize chance as a spatial concept and to systematically explore it through drawing in practice. The book is to be published by Ashgate's 'Design Research in Architecture' series in 2012. It aims to define architecture as a paradigmatic model of aleatory practice open to chance through a variety of impulsive, systematic and socially engaging processes. QUESTIONS: How does chance relate to intuition, subjectivity and indeterminism? If our everyday perception of space is vulnerable, but constructively so, to accidents, what is the role of chance in the design process? Can architecture be thought of as a process of mediation between control and circumstance, as a practice of enabling but also counterbalancing indeterminacy? How has the concept of creative chance changed in modernity’s passage from energy to information? METHODS: The book contributes to the emerging field of design research in architecture by integrating drawing, making, and writing. The drawings are used as imaginative and critical tools; they introduce questions that are then explored critically in the texts. CONTEXT: The work is interdisciplinary in nature, making links between architecture and art, psychoanalysis, film and philosophy. Architects have considered indeterminacy in terms of programmatic flexibility (Price, Tschumi) but less so in terms of perception and representation. Bergson, Lacan, and Barthes build the theoretical framework and a range of techniques from Dada, Surrealism, and Duchamp, to Bakhtin, Brecht, and Cage; from Mies, Price, Koolhaas, Tschumi, Herzog & deMeuron and Lacaton Vassal, to Evans, Utzon, and Miralles Pinos) are reviewed comparatively. DISSEMINATION: Selection of related talks and referred articles: - ‘The Practice of Chance’, leading article in OASE 86: On Time: Indeterminacy in Architectural Design, Nai Publishers (Dutch and English), 2011. - ‘Research by Design’, Department of Architecture, Technical University of Delft, Invited talk, 2008. - ‘The Active Voice of Architecture: An Introduction to the Idea of Chance’, in field: Architecture and Indeterminacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2007. - ‘Drawing on Chance: Drafting Pier 40’, The Unthinkable Doctorate, NeTHCA and School of Architecture Sint-Lucas, Brussels (English and French), 2007. - 'Drawing on Chance: Drafting Pier 40’, The Journal of Architecture, Volume 11, no.3, UK, 2006. - ‘Drafting Pier 40: The Development of Chance as a Drawing Tool in the Process of Architectural Design’, Architectural Design Research RMIT, Volume 1, no.1, 2005. Selection of related awards: - Architecture Research Fund, Bartlett School of Architecture, and UCL (PI) to cover sabbatical and publication costs (£13,000). - RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, Thesis: ‘Drawing on Chance: Perception, Design and Indeterminacy’, short-listed
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