Architecture stands at an inflection point. The confluence of advances in both computation and fabrication technologies lets us create an architecture of hitherto unimaginable forms, with an unseen level of detail, producing entirely new spatial sensations.
Architecture should surprise, excite, and irritate. As both an intellectual and a phenomenological endeavor, it should address not only the mind, but all the senses - viscerally. It must be judged by the experiences it generates.
Today, complexity and specificity are no longer an impediment to design and fabrication. Rather, they are opportunities that are waiting to be explored. To truly exploit the possibilities, we can no longer draw by mouse in CAD programs, nor can we use simple parametric methods. What is needed is an abstract and open-ended method: a computational approach.
At best, a computational approach enables architecture to be embedded with an extraordinary degree of information. Structure and surface can exhibit a hyper-resolution, with seemingly endless distinct formations. The processes can generate highly specific local conditions, while ensuring an overall coherency and continuity. As such, the resulting architecture does not lend itself to a visual reductionism. Rather, the procedures can devise truly surprising topographies and topologies, offering a thousand unique perspectives
Computational architecture can defy classification, it can evoke curiosity and elicit individual interpretations. The projects presented here forecast an exuberant architecture in which the exceptional supersedes the standard.
Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form. Recent projects include the Sixth Order installation of columns at the Gwangju Design Biennale, the design and fabrication of full-scale 3D printed grotto for the 2013 Archilab exhibition, and the Platonic Solids Series.
He is currently a visiting professor at Southeast University in Nanjing. He was previously a lecturer in the CAAD group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Prior to this, he worked at Herzog & de Meuron architects and in the consulting and financial industries at McKinsey & Company and J.P. Morgan respectively. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and an MBA degree from INSEAD Fontainebleau.