Alain Haddad, Duane Harry, Xue Li, Djamila Pietzner, Kavinaya Sakthivelan, Li Yanjie
In 1995 Nicholas Negroponte stated that the “The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable”. In 1972 Martin Caidin the author of ‘Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future’ writes the sci-fi novel ‘CYBORG’, which later was adopted for the movie ‘The One Million Dollar Man’, followed by ‘The Bionic Woman’ in 1978. At the same time wearable computers experience their advent, the Internet (at the time ARPANET) is in its first decade and the term ‘bionic’ creeps into disciplines such as medicine, architecture and engineering. While Artificial Intelligence is flouring in the world of hard computer sciences, Frei Otto investigates Natural Material Intelligence for lightweight structures in architecture.
20 years after Negroponte’s statement we may claim that atoms and bits will merge and perpetuate further with the rise of smart skin and biological computers. The human body as physical interface to the world has been complemented by smart devices and the Internet; using wireless, invisible, fast data- autobahns. It has excelled itself as communication device between the individual and its physical and virtual environments.
All disciplines are challenged by a tabula rasa convergence of hard and soft matter, biological computing and the artificial intelligence body in a semi natural world overridden by communication devices alien to nature.
CITC VIII investigated architectural and urban transformations and novelty deriving from the body’s modification, where cyborgian and humanoid genes cross; describing a fundamental change of the body’s actual material and its tasks as semi-autonomous communication interface in the local and urban environment, in a macro- and micro-scale. We hovered between the real and the virtual, asking the question, which is what, trying to find common ground between the two. Lost and found worlds of serious coding will meet architectural skills, evolution and imagination. We analyzed current design trends in order to design architectural scenarios for the near future, the architecture of communication, the architecture of urban utopia between material and virtual world and the architecture of emerging design challenges
The project is part of the Digital Bauhaus Summit 2015 in Weimar on ‘Designing Society’. www.digitalbauhaussummit.de and was complimented by Madeline Gannon, Carnegie Mellon University.