complexurban /

Complexity, Planning & Urbanism

New MArch Atelier at the Manchester School of Architecture: Developing new theoretical approaches & computational tools using a complexity science framework (systems, self-organisation, emergence, intelligence, structural change, adaptation) for the design, management, governance and understanding of future cities related to climate change, citizen participation, development strategies, resilient interventions, policy making, urban morphology and capacity management.

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Ganz_Feld_Verwand-Lung (Flux Territories – the beginning 01)

An exceptional piece of work by Robert Buehler as part of his final undergraduate year at The University of Nottingham, Department of Architecture & Built Environment. (B.Arch)

The project involved the merging of virtual (animated), real (filmed) and found (film) material to explore ideas of cities as territories in constant change. It was the beginning of our explorations into MAYA Dynamics and from there the exploration of emergent systems, parametric urban design and the relationship between identity, memory & urban patterns.

Formal Brief:


Project Requirements:
「Environments include patterns 『lines of force』 – meanings!」, Ponty
TERRITORY – A territory (from the word ‘terra’, meaning ‘land’) is a defined area, a field or sphere of action, thought, domain or province of some definition or limitation.
FLUX – Continuous change, passage, or movement.

Methodology and tools for exploration. TOOLS CAN NEVER REPLACE THOUGHT OR EXPERIENCE! However, it is to our advantage to understand and explore the tools that potentially allow us to consider and manipulate increasingly complex systems of organisation and influence. Time and Space have an interdependent relationship, and with the constantly advancing speed of communication and motion, complex situations can be studied and organised through the use of networks, events, program and accident.
Film, the moving image as a medium had a significant influence on the consideration and design of space, especially in relation to its temporal aspects and the scalelessness of a manipulatable image. High end Animation Software like MAYA, originally developed for special effects has allowed designers to directly experiment with rule based design set against a time line. Although in their infancy within the field, these tools and this methodology, allow the exploration of multiple solutions to a singular problem based on chosen influences. The design process has been influenced through the ability to consider and reconsider design decisions and rules through the manipulation of design history as a reworkable process.

You are asked to explore time based design methods through the use of MAYA and VIDEO (real world film), manipulating and animating objects, events and territories at 3 scales, culminating in a produced and edited minute of screen time.

This is an individual student project, divided into 3 parts.
1) MAYA workshop, basics & dynamics. Exercises and production of an animated territory. 1:1000-1:100
2) Film/Video. Recording and presentation of a situation & component + Storyboarding. 1:100-1:10
3) Editing, Compositing production of a looped video minute. Three aspects of scale 1:1000 – 1:100, 1:100-1:10, 1:10-1:1

Introduction 26.10.07
Workshop 26.10.07/27.10.07
Film Studies 09/11/07
Workshop 16..11.07/17.11.07
Interim Crit 23.11.07
Workshop 30.11.07/01/11/07
Final Review 07.12.07

Learning outcomes
You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of spatiality against time in several aspects. Produce a 1min film. Successfully document a screen based exercise in a paper portfolio. Do not forget that drawings/records of the project must be exhibited at the end of the year and documented in your portfolio』s.

Assessment criteria
Understanding of the difference between territory, space and object.
Portfolio/paper presentation of the 3 distinct stages/submissions.
Use of Animation (MAYA) and Film in the context of Architecture.
Production of a 1min film loop.

Student: Robert Buehler
Project: Flux Territories
Studio Unit: 2 (Undergraduate)
Design Studio Leader: Ulysses Sengupta (SoftGrid Limited)
Course: Diploma in Architecture (Graduate School)
Institution: University of Nottingham

14 October 2010
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