I was awed by the magic of Rachel Armstrong’s vision of a living architecture, creating a state of transformation, a language of metabolism, materials able to colonise a technological framework in symbiosis.
She showed us film of substances that we normally perceive as inanimate (water, with olive oil and alkali) behaving like self-organizing systems.
The development of materials that possess a metabolism for use in architectural practice would confer some of the properties of living systems on our cities. These metabolic materials would enable architecture to change over time using local sources of energy and raw materials and respond to variations in the urban environment.
I do not begin to understand either the science or the possibilities implied by this vision and for now it is just that; metabolic materials do not yet exist in practice. But joy was there in her fierce passion. And joy is truly present in her work with Philip Beesly on Hylozoic Ground for the Venice Biennale 2010 – utterly amazing!
Hylozoic Ground is an immersive, interactive environment that moves and breathes around its viewers. This environment can ‘feel’ and ‘care’. Next-generation artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and interactive technology create an environment that is nearly alive.
From the Hyzoloic Ground Website