Intelligent Architecture

Paul Thomas, Mike Phillips, Chris Speed, Shaun Murray

In this panel session the authors explore the potential of 'Intelligent Architecture' as a critical, reflexive and enabling tool to support social interaction, trans-disciplinary research and ecological strategies.

The panel uses the various iterations of the Arch-OS system (http://www.arch-os.com/) as a critical model for the manifestation of dynamic data (social, temporal, ecological and digital/electro/mechanical). The authors critique the role of these technologies and their ability to effectively model, communicate and modify human behaviour. Arch-OS explores the potential generated by the translation of dynamic data from physical and social interactions within a building into volatile and evolving interactive art interventions.

The conceptual underpinning of this panel centres on the affordences offered by dynamic generative data that would otherwise be invisible. With this approach we aim to convey the sense that a more meaningful 'architecture' is physically revealed by peeling back its skin and architectural surfaces and giving the feeling that the occupant is an integral part of the building.

The agenda is to create interventions that perform vital and integral roles in the development of trans-disciplinary research (for example; nanochemistry, applied chemistry, environmental science, biotechnology, and forensic science), ecological monitoring, visualisation and awareness (collaborations with the Centre for Sustainable Futures and the English National Opera) and the development of new architectural strategies. The artworks potential is to represent the visualisation of quantitative scientific research as a qualitative experience within the fabric of the architectural environment. Through large-scale visual projections, 'personal computing', intimate mobile interactions, and the multiple auditory experiences, these systems reveal subtle dialogues between the behaviour of the buildings inhabitants and their environment.

These strategies are demonstrated in two significant applications:

The original Arch-OS installation (http://www.arch-os.com/) in the University of Plymouth and Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth UK


the i-500 installation (http://i-500.org/) working with Woods Bagot Architects in Curtin University's new Minerals and Chemistry Research and Education Buildings, Perth Western Australia.

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