Next skip 3 The research presented in this book condenses the work carried out over the last ten years, oriented toward the development of architecture projects. A process oriented toward creating conditions of habitability in the territory more than constructing buildings. We are, then, more interested in the systemic character of the architecture than in its iconic character per se. Architecture is necessary to create conditions of habitability that are not dependent on the time of day or the time of year, on the climatic conditions of the environment anywhere in the territory. Geography is the science that deals with the mapping of physical, economic or social phenomena on the territory.
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Next skip 3 The research presented in this book condenses the work carried out over the last ten years, oriented toward the development of architecture projects. A process oriented toward creating conditions of habitability in the territory more than constructing buildings. We are, then, more interested in the systemic character of the architecture than in its iconic character per se.
Architecture is necessary to create conditions of habitability that are not dependent on the time of day or the time of year, on the climatic conditions of the environment anywhere in the territory.
Geography is the science that deals with the mapping of physical, economic or social phenomena on the territory. It deals with mountain ranges, trade flows and social interactions. Every architectural project is thus a manipulation of the geographic parameters of a place.
They are the mechanisms we use to interact with a place in accordance with its own essential rules. They are processes that we define, based on our recognition of the various systems to be acted on, in order to implant habitable structures that follow a natural order. We understand a natural order as one that emerges from the nature of things, from their basic principles, following patterns that tend to the generation and conservation of life.
Architecture is thus a process that adds new layers of history to places. Architecture is a re-active activity. Architecture has managed to respond to the social, technological and cultural conditions of each successive era throughout history. The logics presented here thus encompass a range of issues—structural, formal, physiological, relational—that have to do with the physical aspects of the territory and the elements that compose it and with the actual structural relationships of living beings.
The buildings that we construct today and the cities we inhabit are the products of an accumulation of knowledge over the course of our history. But still, the most rudimentary living being on the planet is more complex and more intelligent than any building constructed at any time in history.
Architecture and urbanism need to learn from nature in a structural way, in order to integrate the principles and values of environmental processes, of the logics of natural ecosystems, of the anatomy or physiology of living beings and of their material properties, which in their totality have demonstrated their capacity for survival throughout their evolution process.
This constitutes an incredible opportunity for architecture, which down through the ages has defined its field of action in terms of the challenges and aspirations of the societies and cultures that construct it. In this way, architecture expands its areas of action and its materials for its project of habitability of and in the world. In doing so it must define new codes of actuation, new principles with which to set an architectural project in motion that are grounded in their connection with the energy and the potentials of the place and that, on completion, enable us to leave there open conditions in which life can operate.
Just as when a tree is planted. In the pursuit of an architectural project that is more than an object on a background, an affirmation of personal identity on the landscape or a phenomenon on a cultural context, the human actuation must be a nature in itself capable of possessing differing degrees of artificiality both in its gestation and in its operation. In this situation, architecture itself must operate on the basis of logics that are no longer confined to the traditional functional typologies or to simple exercises of formal manipulation of the material for a manifestly iconic purpose; what is needed is a logic that responds to the processes and conditions that obtain where it is to be inserted.
For this to be possible, the informational processes linked to design, visualization or manufacture using digital systems can be seen as key tools in the development of new construction techniques and processes for this new hybrid reality. In many cases it has been necessary to redefine the team with which the architect works. The incorporation into the projects of external specialists from fields such as geology, anthropology, sociology, engineering, software and interface design, ecology, art, economics or biology enables these projects to encompass records registers that in other conditions would be impossible.
We understand the practice of architecture as an activity that sets processes in motion rather than simply surfing the conjunctural waves that periodically invade the territory. In this way, when new spaces are opened up for action, it is able to define its own rules of actuation.
This is especially relevant when operating in relation to mechanisms such as the production of the city, where practices based on purely economic problems have produced in the territory places of low environmental or social stimulus. A number of the projects are explained in terms of various logics that can operate at different scales or by way of multilayer systems. Any architectural practice that it seeks to act according to these principles must devote a significant amount of its time to research.
The Metapolis group, the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and the Fab Labs and other structures that may be created in the future are oriented toward stimulating the progress of architecture in an open, collective way. The processes of socialization of the information technologies in the last years permit now mean that all of this open system of organizing the world on the basis of open knowledge networks is diluted in the physical world and transforms it.
We work in this way to produce an architecture which develops the potentials that the information society offers for constructing a more natural world. The most basic geographies, predating human action, consist in the physical elements of the territory.
Geography deals with phenomena that have a multiscale condition and form complete complex ecosystems. A mountain range and an eroded stone are part of the same geographic phenomenon, as are the relational networks of a city or a personal encounter. Any architectural action operates on multiple geographic factors. Geometry Any geographic event can be measured using specific techniques, according to category.
Going beyond traditional Euclidean geometry, fractal geometry makes it possible to draw the self-similar and multiscale natural elements found in any location. Statistical mathematics can make visible basic relationships between elements — in particular, groups of people. Geometry generates maps and relations which in themselves are preformative materials that can give rise to a project. The logics extracted may pertain to strategic, functional, relational or formal questions, which can be applied to engender projects.
Projects can be developed in terms of a single logic or multiple logics. The logics that we are interested in have a humanistic, not a speculative value. The structure embodies the basic pattern from which the various fabrics and systems of a project will be developed.
A structure can be developed strategically by defining the basic criteria of action , tactically by defining the mechanisms to be implanted, linking the different parts or technically through the specific treatment of its construction elements.
Geologics: Geography Information Architecture
Vicente Guallart Published by ACTAR, The research presented in this book condenses the work carried out over the last fifteen years, oriented toward the development of architecture projects. Our practice encompasses multiple scales, from the territorial project, the creation and reform of cities, the design of neighbourhoods, landscape, the buildings, the homes, the objects that inhabit it and the informational relationship between them. A process oriented toward creating conditions of habitability in the territory more than constructing buildings. We are, then, more interested in the systemic character of the architecture than in its iconic character per se. There would be no need for architecture if human beings were content to live in caves or in trees.