The advent of digital media has radically impacted the way we design. Media is still widely seen as an immaterial, virtual thing, distant from the real, analog world, disconnected from matter and materiality. At the same time, digital media is highly political and mobilizing, it is a cultural agent with a global impact on society. Matter and materiality are considered real, analog things, but are understood as a-cultural and a-political. Our neo-capitalist network society seems to create an ever increasing gap between the concepts of media and matter. Digital media are used to opress representational from on matter, but at the same time losing the political and social context inherent to media itself. Set within an Object Oriented approach, this workshop proposes that matter and media are actually not that different from each other, on the contrary, they can be understood as one and the same thing. Through the notion of Object-Oriented Design (OOD), this workshop will try to reconnect matter and media, speculating about concepts as broad and diverse as interaction, formation, physics, simulation, material affect, politics and programming.
Object Oriented Eclecticism
The workshop proposes non-linear methodologies based on the concept of Object-Oriented Design (OOD). OOD is a new paradigm in contemporary philosophy, physics, computer programming and critical theory and can be understood as the process of planning a system of interacting objects for the purpose of solving a specific problem. In contrast to contemporary thought and design, which views things as the aggregation or assembly of smaller bits and parts, in OOD new objects emerge out of an ecology of interaction of multiple and heterogeneous objects and concepts. Highly differentiated and contradictory concepts and structures can become one object, without resulting in an incongruous collage. OOD is fundamentally eclectic, it is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories and ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, applying different theories in particular cases. This matter-based approach is post-geometrical. Geometry onlyappears at the end of the process as a result of formation, rather than at the start, as a predefined representation.
Participants will form small teams of two to three persons. Each team will develop an “object” in Processing with a specific material behavior and interaction to the other team’s objects. The objects together will, through mutual adaptation, give rise to a new, emergent object. The workflow is as eclectic and rigourous as the character of OOD: we will simulate and design objects in processing, and tweak their specific behaviors and interaction. We will establish a communication between processing and modelling packages, where objects will be further adapted, studied and detailled. At the same time, the physical process and behavior we organise in processing will be fabricated through actual material experiments. Arduino will be used to embed intend and agency in the material simulations. The workshop is equally digital and analog, equally simulated and fabricated. Through its object-oriented approach, this workshop establishes a new form of authorship and teamwork, a “collective virtuosity”.
The final goal of the workshop is to generate a number of objects that will constitute a detailled and architectural proposal, which will be prototyped in a diorama environment. Each team will work on a set diorama of 1.0x0.4x0.3 m, which is a 1:33 representation of an existing public space somewhere in Ghent. The prototypes will be exhibited at the specific location they simulate and should establish an engagement with the public across different scales.
Isaïe Bloch is a Belgian architect and founder of Eragatory which is a creative company with a focus on design for 3D printing and Creative fabrication.
Isaïe’s ongoing research and design ambitions within the plastic arts, fashion and design are focused on the correlation between craftsmanship and Additive manufacturing. Using digital tools as a new set of utensils within the arts and architecture, his designs always focus on the geometrical capacities of what digital fabrication techniques and digital tooling have to offer. Not because it is a new medium but because it offers him a very specific set of geometry to work with.