ISSN 1695-5951


Listening spaces

Maria Luisa Palumbo (
Scientific Director of the Master in Digital Architecture at the National Institute of Architecture (Italy)

A paradigmatic and perspective overturning characterizes our horizon.
Before a body that extends day by day in space and via the radius of action of its sensors and remote-controls, architecture is experimenting a change into a real, sensitive, reactive and interconnected body.

Architecture is becoming the possibility to plan spaces that see, look, hear and which live on solar energy or which adapt to climatic conditions. These spaces-just like the bodies of living beings-live in a state of dynamic equilibrium and incessantly exchange information and energy as much with man as with the environment.

This thesis is argued via the analysis of four different projects all of which have been born into a context of boundless discipline between artistic, scientific and architectonic research: Ada (an intelligent space planned by the institute of Neuro-Information Technology in Zurich), Makrolab (a housing unit for survival in isolated areas planned by the Slovenian artist Marco Peljan), Blur (an artificial cloud / display pavilion planned by the architect artists Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio) and E-Sparks (an audio-visual installation based on a system of artificial life planned by the scientist artists at Plancton Art Studio). In a clear difference between theoretical assumptions and formal language, what is common to all these projects is the togetherness of physical machinery (hardware) and non physical machinery (software). They have been made from material (more or less traditional in itself and in terms of assembly) and information, codified according to the procedure and purpose, the specificity of which is an integral part of the specificity of the project.

It is in fact on the presence of this non-physical element, which elaborates information, that all these projects base the possibility of a new active relational capacity between building and landscape, man and the global environment.

artificial life, co-evolution, hybrid ecosystems, physical intelligence, sensitive spaces, web technology, webness
Submission date: July 2006
Published in: November 2006



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