Animate Form

Lynn, G. (1999). Animate form. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

In Animate Form, Greg Lynn invites architects to move from a static conception of form and space to one that is characterized by force and motion.  In the past, architects have expressed motion in form through superimposed snapshots in time and through sequences in form and space to which the eye gives life as the space is experienced.  Lynn sets up a framework that moves the discussion to a more abstract understanding of motion where the forces at play in a specific environment give rise to a specific form that embeds or stores the effects of those interacting forces in its shape.  The move from static to dynamic requires that architects embrace a more complex mathematical foundation for the description of form that integrates additional, continuous dimensions such as time and gradient forces.  This calculus allows for the expression of forces as inflections to and deformations of primitive forms resulting in complex topological surfaces.  Lynn argues that with an understanding of these concepts and tools that embed them, an intuition for the use of this approach can be developed and incorporated into a process that leads from abstract, diagrammatic form to concrete implementation.