Hacking Urban Furniture // Auftakt-Konferenz im ZK/U

März 18, 2017

07.04. – 08.04.2017

ZK/U Berlin Moabit


Bei der Konferenz gibt es einen workshop von mir, hier die offizielle Ankündigung für die ganze Veranstaltung:
Bushaltestellen, City-Toiletten, Bänke, Mülleimer, Infoboards… Stadtmöblierung in Kombination mit Außenwerbung bestimmt seit ca. 30 Jahren die Grammatik unserer Städte. Das Projekt “Hacking Urban Furniture” will dieses den öffentlichen Raum unserer Städte bestimmende Geschäftsfeld untersuchen: Wie können so prominente öffentliche Objekte in Zeiten von Private Public Partnerships (PPP), bürgerlichen Begehren nach mehr Teilhabe, neuen Produktionstechniken und ökonomischen Optimierungsfantasien anders gestaltet, produziert, gepflegt und ökonomisch nachhaltig betrieben werden? Wie können Beteiligungsprozesse aussehen, die prototypisch für den Umgang mit öffentlichen Raum sind?


Corporate urban furniture, space, and money. A sketch for an artistic research project

Februar 25, 2017

In lieu with the Hacking Urban Furniture Project, I will hold a workshop at the upcoming symposion XXX 7./8. of April at ZK/U.

Image: sia


The basic idea of the project is a Marx-inspired exploration of the economic logic of corporate urban furniture with a focus on exploring it’s spatial patterns. It’s not about a rigid application of the Marxian technical apparatus, but, as a start, about embracing his critical perspective on economic patterns. The first step in Marx‘ critique of political economy was a sorrow historical analysis of how economic surplus is generated: in order to be able to critique economic inequality one has first to understand the regime of capital accumulation that produces the inequality. The first volume of his Das Kapital[1] is a minute analysis of contemporary modes of the generation of economic surplus with a particular focus on Great Britain and the so-called Manchester-capitalism, as well as of then current theories of economic surplus such as e.g. Riccardo’s and Smith‘. Only after this empirico-historical analysis Marx sets out for his own theoretical description of capitalist accumulation and economic surplus in the subsequent volumes of the Capital, posthumously published (and edited) by Friedrich Engels. […]

How to write a history of BIM from an epistemological point of view?

Februar 9, 2017

From the presentation sheets

I’ve presented my research of the historical development of BIM at the 2nd colloquium on the history and political critique of architecture at the Politecnico Milano. It was a great get together again, my talk on the other hand went not quite that well^^. There really seems to be a hiatus between architectural theory and the technical background of formal logic descriptions, and the digital machines they are implemented on. It really is strange that in spite of the omnipresence of the computer in architectural design, it still is predominantly used accepting it’s status as a black box. With BIM as my objective of research, the next thing to settle is the way i handle the technical parts about logical formalism.

On the formalization of architectural composition in Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Dezember 5, 2016

Abstract (t.b.c.!) for The Grammar of Things, 20th conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, June 14-17, 2017, TU-Darmstadt, Germany
image: sia

image: sia

BIM is the attempt to unify the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings by way of an integrated digital BIM-model representing both formal and semantical properties of the building. One key idea in the implementation of this goal – of which today exist quite a few competing approaches – is the concept of transformational grammars. Under this concept, architecture is modeled as consisting of atomic elements or types which can be composed under explicit transformation rules either in a forward or backward chaining manner, i.e. either generatively or analytically. William J. Mitchell has modeled this approach in the 1990ies under the paradigm of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in the framework of first-order predicate logic (PL1) as the intersection of three domains: a “critical language” for value judgements over architecture, a “design world” for the formal description and modification of architectural designs, and a “construction world” within which architectural designs are being built.1

The idea of a grammar of architecture, in this setup, comes into play as a knowledge-based specification of the range of the PL1-based combinatorial possibilities that are inherent in the initial definitions of elements and transformation rules, both in terms of the design world and the critical language. Even though Mitchell’s work draws profoundly on linguistic concepts of grammar, the predominant aspect in his approach to design is the geometrical model, onto which semantic properties are mapped in a second step. With the development from CAD as a drawing tool towards BIM as a knowledge-based expert system for design, however, the other direction of mapping formal properties onto truth-functional semantics attracts more attention, as for example in the definition of the structure of the data exchange format Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), where geometric forms are mapped onto semantic structures. What this paper aims at is a review of the epistemological role of formal grammar in BIM based on the Mitchell’s computational model of design as the interplay between design world, critical language and construction world.

  1. See William Mitchell, The Logic of Architecture: Design, Computation, and Cognition (Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 1990). []

Corporate urban furniture, space, and money

November 12, 2016

Artistic research for the project Hacking Urban Furniture at ZK/U, Berlin-Moabit
WALL advertising display on Straße des 17. Juni, Berlin, image: sia

WALL advertising display on Straße des 17. Juni, Berlin, image: sia

The basic idea is a Marx-inspired socio-economic analysis of spatial patterns of corporate urban furniture; albeit in a more empirico-practical or artistic research way. The idea is to try to break down the financial figures of corporate urban furniture to the single instances of the street furniture typology in Berlin. This could be pursued either through a systematic top-down theoretical approach or by something like a ‚financial biography‘ of single urban furniture pieces in a bottom-up fashion. The aim of the research is to think about a way – theoretically and artistically – to attach appropriate ‚price-tags‘ on the masses of corporate street furniture colonizing urban space. I’ll think along the lines of Keller Easterling’s Extrastatecraft1 approach: corporate street furniture as infrastructure in the sense of an agency involved in designing urban space. How does corporate street furniture program urban space, and who is programming?

The proposed method is to research and map the financial revenue of an urban furniture corporation onto their system of urban furniture in order to make visible their way of comodifying public urban space. The furniture is seen as a system of furniture-objects – as opposed to as a single object – in order to find a way to map their financial numbers in a differentiated manner: what are the elements and features of urban furniture systems that a corporation wants to put out in the city because they generate money, and what are the ones that it has to put out there as recompensation for the right to commodifiy parts of the public urban space? Or seen the other way around: How many dog stations do we get in exchange for giving a share of our attention to a mega advertising screen televising it’s message into public space, and do we want dog stations?

For this objective the project has two main tasks to address: (1) a plausible mapping of the corporation’s income and expenses onto their system of urban furniture, preferably type-wise and instance-wise. The main work here is the research into the buisness numbers and the price structure of ads placed via the corporation’s urban furniture system. Where hard numbers cannot be obtained, which is to be suspected given the secretive nature of buisness relations, the project can work with assumptions as it’s focus is on the system, not on the correctness of it’s quantitative evaluation. The second task is to (2) to come up with a model of the impact of urban furniture – seen still from the system’s perspective – on public space. The work here consists in building a metric to measure the spatial impact of ads vis-à-vis the additional functions they add to public space. The idea here is to employ a space syntax-inspired topological analysis of the distribution of the elements of the corporation’s urban furniture system within the city.

  1. Keller Easterling, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (London/New York: Verso, 2014). []

From CAD to BIM: Erkenntnistheorie digitaler Entwurfswerkzeuge I

September 17, 2016

Wintersemester 16/17, TU-Berlin, FG Architekturtheorie

Jean-Nicolas-Luis Dirand: Ensembles de edifices, Précis de leçons d'architecture, Bd. 2, Tafel 20

Jean-Nicolas-Luis Dirand: Ensembles de edifices, Précis de leçons d’architecture, Bd. 2, Tafel 20

Prinzip der Trennung von Geometrie und Semantik im IFC-Datenmodell, aus: Borrmann, André, Markus König, Christian Koch, und Jakob Beetz. Building Information Modeling. Technologische Grundlagen und industrielle Praxis. VDI-Buch. Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg, 2015., Seite 101.

Prinzip der Trennung von Geometrie und Semantik im IFC-Datenmodell, aus: Borrmann, André, Markus König, Christian Koch, und Jakob Beetz. Building Information Modeling. Technologische Grundlagen und industrielle Praxis. VDI-Buch. Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg, 2015., Seite 101.

Die Entwicklung von BIM zum epistemischen Medium

Entwurfswerkzeuge sind immer auch Erkenntnismedien: Die Mittel des Entwerfens bestimmen mit, was entworfen wird, denn sie bestimmen mit, was was überhaupt in den Horizont des Entwerfens geraten kann. In diesem Seminar geht es darum, erkenntnistheoretische Ansätze des Entwerfens mit der Untersuchung der Entwicklung digitaler Entwurfswerkzeuge zu verbinden. Im Fokus steht dabei die geschichtliche Entwicklung digitaler Entwurfswerkzeuge und ihre erkenntnistheoretische Reflexion. Wir lesen und diskutieren einschlägige erkenntnistheoretische Texte zum Thema und verfolgen die Entwicklung von Designsoftware von der digitalen Mimesis des Zeichnens in den Anfängen von CAD bis zur Arbeit mit digitalen Systemmodellen in der aktuellen Entwicklungsstufe von BIM.

BIM und die Formalisierung des Entwerfens: Erkenntnistheorie digitaler Entwurfswerkzeuge II

September 11, 2016

Wintersemester 16/17, Seminar Architekturtheorie an der Universität Kassel, FB06, Lehrstuhl Architekturtheorie und Entwerfen

Voroball (sketch for the Meteorite) by Luis Berríos-Negrón and Stephen Form (2009), turned by 90° CW. Parametric model using program for Voronoi surface optimization created by   Barbara Cutler during the Sinthome Workshop directed by Mark Goulthorpe at MIT, 2005.

Voroball (sketch for the Meteorite) by Luis Berríos-Negrón and Stephen Form (2009), turned by 90° CW.
Parametric model using program for Voronoi surface optimization created by Barbara Cutler during the Sinthome Workshop directed by Mark Goulthorpe at MIT, 2005.

Die BIM-Methode und ihre historischen Anfangspunkte. Objektivierung des Entwerfens durch Standardisierung

Ausgangspunkt des Seminars ist die um sich greifende Verbreitung von BIM (Building Information Modelling, dt. Gebäudedatenmodellierung) in der aktuellen Architekturproduktion. Im Seminar geht es um die historische Kontextualisierung und Rückbindung der sich vielerorts durchsetzenden BIM-Methode. Der Fokus liegt darauf, die Idee, Teile des Entwursfprozesses oder und/oder der Entwurfsobjekte zu standardisieren, in ihrer historischen Entwicklung zu verfolgen. Parallel zu dieser historischen Perspektive, in der es etwa um Durand’s Ansatz zur Objektivierung des Entwerfens als Entwurfsmethode oder Neufert’s Konzept des Schnellentwerfens geht, schauen wir uns ‚Meilensteine‘ der Entwicklung von BIM-Anwendungen und ihren Vorläufern an, wie etwa die AMG Architecture Machine Group und die Entstehung des IFC Industry Foundation Classes Datenstandards. Ziel ist es, BIM-Verfahren und -Methoden architekturtheoretisch in den Fokus zu bringen, denn die architekturtheoretische Reflexion des Einflusses von BIM auf die Entwurfspraktiken und -kulturen der aktuellen Architekturproduktion ist Voraussetzung dafür, dass wir diese Verfahren angemessen anwenden können.

The Anxious Prop Case 4: Reviewing Making-Visible

März 30, 2011

[cvg-video videoId=’1′ width=’636′ height=’400′ mode=’playlist’/]

30.3.2011, 19:30, www.theanxiousprop.org/case4

Das 2009 von Luis Berríos-Negrón initierte Kollektiv The Anxious Prop (AXP) veröffentlicht in unregelmäßigen Abständen Positionen zur politisch-kulturellen Dimension von digitaler Fabrikation und der Entwicklung des digitalen Habitats in Form von Ausstellungen und Publikationen.

AXP Case 4: Reviewing Making-Visible thematisiert die verschiedenen Strategien und Formate des Sichtbarmachens von Objekten, Strukturen und Prozessen in beschreibenden und gestaltenden Wissenschaften und Künsten. Um theoretische Debate und künstlerische Intervention zu verzahnen, wurde Case 4 als ein Ausstellungs-Konferenz-Hybrid konzipiert, in dem Theoretiker und Künstler mit Argumenten und Objekten/Installationen aus verschiedenen Disziplinen und Bereichen zusammentreffen konnten.

Gemeinsam kuratiert mit Luis Berríos-Negrón.