Automatic Architecture

From government to social media, algorithms shape the world around us. MADWORKSHOP unveiled two new installations with Riccardo Blumer at the Arsenale of the 2018 International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The projects 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 Mendrisio Academy of Architecture with the support of MADWORKSHOP.

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 proves both permeable and fragile, waiting to break. Transparent, iridescent, and penetrable, this wall draws the viewer towards it. 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 reveals a different lifespan. As the rods begin to sync, they quickly fall into discord. Wall beckons the viewer to upset and warp its opalescent surfaces with their breath. The harder one blows, the more the Wall responds and evolves. Playful, interactive, and fleeting, the Wall disappears as quickly as it comes to life – an alluring cycle of regeneration. 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 creates 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)