Automatic Architecture

From government to social media, algorithms shape the world around us. Two new installations have been unveiled in the Arsenale at this year’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia which explore how algorithms can generate new kinds of dynamic architecture. Space and Wall were designed and realized during Riccardo Blumer’s collaborative workshop at the Academy of Architecture and are supported by the MADWORKSHOP Foundation.

Spring 2018
Project Type:

Wall explores the boundary as an element of architecture. Here, though, the wall is made from liquid, a stretched soapy lamina that is both permeable and fragile, waiting to break. Transparent, iridescent and penetrable, this wall draws the viewer towards it — meaning that, although ostensibly a wall, the installation also exposes a boundary’s limitations. Due to the ephemeral nature of the material, each of the eleven soapy surfaces will have a different lifespan. Although the rods will begin in sync, they will almost immediately fall into discord. The machine’s only objective is to maintain a complete wall (composed of its eleven segments) at all times. Wall was created by Lorela Arapi, Stefano Clerici and Andrea Cappellaro.

Space explores the relationship between rules and creativity. This grid of 81 wooden towers is governed by a generative algorithm, in which each tower adjusts its height according to the algorithmic command. The result is an ever-shifting landscape in endless configurations. Space’s infinite spatial variants express an ongoing tension between restriction and expressive freedom. Space was created by Georgios Voutsis.

Students: Lorela Arapi, Andrea Cappellaro, Stefano Clerici, Georgios Voutsis, Silvia Cippelletti (video), Massimiliano Marconi (video)
Assistants: Tommaso Alessandrini, Matteo Borghi, Claudia Broggi, Ettore Contro, Simone Majocchi, Francesco Tencalla (Local coordinator)

Photo Credit: Alberto Canepa (header image), Plane-Site (all the rest)