Formeta 1.0: A Project Proposal

In Formeta 0.9 we stated our desire to see architecture move into the world of dynamic form. To move forward, architecture must accept the reality of changing conditions, that optimization has never been fully attainable, and that only a dynamic formal response can adequately account for dynamic conditions. Given these changes to architecture a discussion of dynamic authorship emerges.

Formeta is an exploration of dynamic authorship in a world of dynamic form.

To learn about these concepts and facilitate a discussion we propose a series of projects that investigate what ongoing design looks like in this new context. Using the language of morphogenesis we plan to setup scenarios involving the interaction of forces in a specific environment. Initially we will confine these experiments to a specific smaller scale examining different forms of authorship in response to changing conditions and unpredictable outcomes. Based on the knowledge, experience, and values we acquire from these experiments we plan on developing a larger scale project that will bring these concepts closer to human experience. Our ambition is that this project will communicate our vision of a dynamic architecture.


\\small scale

Our strategy for understanding dynamic authorship begins by making certain assumptions in an attempt to uncover approaches to this new mode of designing. Some of these assumptions may include:

  1. Authorship of form remains a periodic practice.
  2. Authorship is an ongoing process in response to certain stimuli.
  3. The architect defines the parameters of what is dynamic.

We expect the conflicts that might emerge from these assumptions will lead to a deeper understanding of what dynamic authorship will require of the designer. Examples of how we may explore these assumptions will include experiments in materials, kinetics, interactivity, and responsiveness. The tools we intend to employ involve various software such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Kangaroo, Maya; hardware such as low cost microprocessors and actuators, a CNC mill, KUKA robotic arm; and materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, shape memory alloys, and others that prove useful.


\\large scale

In order to exhibit our findings in a manner that is experiential rather than theoretical our final exploration will be of a relatable human scale. This may take the form of a piece of furniture, a building element, or an installation. This object will exemplify a refined utilization of tools and methods we have developed during the thesis semester, will further develop our understanding, and will allow us to demonstrate one or more aspects of dynamic authorship. Even at this scale the object will be designed with mobility in mind to facilitate exhibition and allow outside audiences to experience its dynamism.



The documentation of dynamic authorship and form mandates the use of media that capture events over time. Video, animation, and time-lapse photography of our work will be presented through this website and other appropriate tools. This approach will also allow us to share and promote our work across a wider audience. The documentation will also form the body of submissions to various conferences and awards with the hope of public recognition for our work.