Hyperbody’s MSc 1 studio inspires its students to rethink conventional architectural design process in order to creatively challenge the contemporary culture, society and technology, and their relation to architecture. The studio operates at the scale of an architectural intervention in a complex architectural and urban context. The studio framework specifically challenges students to develop an architectural process that can keep up with the actual needs, desires and activities of people in a rapidly changing world. Such a process can only be validated by participants in the project - users, stakeholders and designers - actual people who judge the state of the design process against their actual needs.
In 2012 the leading theme for Hyperbody student projects is the “Internet of things and people”. All projects will deal with increased connectivity between people and technologically augmented “things”: devices, vehicles or building components, altogether constituting vibrant architectural ecosystems. This semester, Hyperbody MSc1 embarks on a project dealing with the design, fabrication, erection and operation of an architectural intervention, to be situated in Amsterdam, on the former NDSM shipyard area. The site offers ample opportunities to study interaction patterns among its diverse actors, while at the same time encourages new interaction scenarios, enhancement of active participation, radical transformation and augmentation of current spatial organisation on site.
The general goal set for the project is to double the amount of users and inhabitants of the area each year during the coming ten years. What architectural means need to be provided to achieve this goal, so that the site doesn’t loose any of its current qualities, but that it consistently gains new qualities, flourishes and continues to exponentially increase its architectural volume?
The site is subdivided into sectors and each student is assigned to one of such sectors. These sectors are locally connected, forming a network of interrelated architectural projects. Each student identifies, researches and consequently answers to a different architectural, societal or cultural challenge. Following this, individual sectors develop specific connections to both direct and remote context of the project; people, buildings or objects. Sectors also operate in a dense field of locally interrelated discrete parametric points, directly linked to local environmental and spatial parameters of the site (temperature, humidity, precipitation, acoustic or wind field gradients among others). Throughout the duration of the semester, sectors can form clusters, allowing for stronger integration of individual interventions. Throughout the process, a real-time link to the site is created and architectural interventions are to be tested, prototyped as full-scale components and deployed on location.