Parametric design and manufacturing, that seem to be in good tune with micro scale projects, are gaining more and more space in the architecture schools programs all over the world. Parametric workshops, camps, conferences and competitions combined with an increasing number of Fab-Labs are reflecting the accumulating theoretical talks, methodologies and the upcoming computational techniques. But, what about the larger scale projects? Can parametric way of thinking address intricate city-sized configurations like the metropolises we live in?
Architectural Association school, under a far-reaching visiting program to prominent architecture schools worldwide, is trying to explore the manifold sides of the parametric style while nourishing innovative thinking to the newest generations of architects and urban planners. For the last two years, the School of Architecture in Athens has hosted the AA Visiting School Cipher City workshop which, in parallel, has been at an open dialogue with an equivalent workshop taking place in Istanbul. The Cipher City workshop is investigating connectivity, adjustability and interaction within the increasingly fragmented urban tissue of Athens.
Last year’s projects, smaller in scale, had to deal with the parameters of sun, wind and noise in the Dionisiou Aeropagitou pedestrian street around Acropolis. During the presentation, the teams unfolded a series of lighting systems, flower-shaped tents, cylindrical walls, sound responsive partitions and such, so as to provoke citizen’s interactivity. This year, Cipher City projects grew in scale and the installations were placed in the atrium of the architecture school. One among them incorporated as its main parameter the feeling of anxiety (provoked by the void) which by the way, may be also mirroring the most common feeling of Greek citizens at current times.
Have you ever participated in an equivalent workshop concerning your city? If yes, would you like to share your experiences with us?
Credits: Data linked to sources. Images by Charis Triantos (team representative of the project: Biodiversity Clusters, Cipher City 2012) and Ioanna Rammou (team representative of the project: Horror Vacui, Cipher City recharged 2013).