The project reflects, among other things, an interest in stories and storytelling through software, and tries to pose a polemic possibility of software becoming the ground for architectural fictions.
Conjuring a dialog with the tradition of Borges, but also Roland Barthes, the text of the software becomes conflated with the conjectural narrative strategies and myth-making of an architectural proposal, resulting in a series of 'fictions' that correspond to different programmatic and scalar issues. These fictions were constructed in correspondence to different media, under the umbrella of the software 'metamedium'. While the software explores the generative possibilities of an architectural text, two computer games (Superstructure and Instant) explore the possible active inhabitation of a world filled with these software apparitions, while the two videos (All Watched Over and Apparitions) conjure architecture as pure image making. A final medium, a book titled Running on Random, expands the field into a full blown narrative. It contains fictional dialogues between users, algorithms and brain implants, as well as a full account of the project itself.
The project attempts to ask a question: what is the role of software in architecture? What is the status of the ‘algorithmic’ object? If it is true that architects do not make buildings, but representations of buildings, what happens when it is not just about representation anymore? If architects can only act through a medium, what happens when the medium becomes partially self-sufficient?
These are the questions that this project deals with. It also aims to construct a possible new methodology of working with software in architecture.
Initial position is established through the research on gardens, by mapping their effects, qualities and elements, and compiling this content into a semiotic package. This package is then conceptualized in the form of an interface - a software application called Speculative Garden. The relation between the semiotic content and its codified, activated language is manifested through software.
By manipulating the interface elements, a new structure becomes constructed by the designer. The resulting structure is then analyzed and mapped again, in order to see what kind of architectural, spatial, symbolic transformations the content went through, and what new qualities arise.
Instead of using software as means for producing and manipulating quantities, the primary focus is the question of architectural qualities that the software yields. In short, aesthetics over optimization and complexity management.Finally, a series of architectural prototypes is constructed from the models, to test each quality and record the results of computation, or the change of semiotic content. These prototypes are realized through various media.Architecturally, the models are tested in three scales, and mapped for their possible programmatic affordances. A large scale model becomes a city sprawling superstructure, small scale models become everything from benches to follies.
One of the medium scale models is tested for an art gallery program. Questions of exhibiting and staging become related to the garden qualities as transformed through software.