Programmable Architecture

by | 23. Aug 2012


Photo-1.jpgPhoto courtesy Kas Oosterhuis

What does the future hold for architecture when any of its buildings can be animated and transformed by projections and electronic displays?

What possibilities would be opened up if not only people but whole environments could be linked together in networks?

An active structure responds to a programme. Its architecture is not a static structure which is calculated to resist the biggest possible forces. The active structure is a lean device which relaxes when external or internal forces are modest, and tightens when the forces are fierce. It acts like a muscle.

Photo-2.jpg Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis/Ilona Lènard
Floriade Pavilion
Design with Ilona Lènard

The open Noord-Holland  Pavilion is an open-air meeting space. The visitors come to rest in the curved concrete bowls. from there they view 68 photographs depicting the province of Noord-Holland. The visitors are immersed in the art project.  

Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis
Self-explaining Trans-port mode.


Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis
Programmable landscape  

“Just about everything that makes architecture more than a technical construction, an accommodation, and an investment, is under pressure in the digital era. The meaning of architecture as a specification of something that transcends the actual architecture itself, is under pressure. What does it mean to draw boundaries in a society where entire environments are intermixed by means of sensor and display technology and interface design?

What does it mean to occupy a place when at one and the same moment you can be everywhere and nowhere, via GSM and WAP, via avatar and alias. What is there left to represent by means of buildings when there is little collective meaning any more  and messages are becoming more and more individualistic?

Unless architecture is able to redefine itself and broaden the substance of its design activities.  And that will only be possible when it no longer leaves the design of the digital environment to trained specialists but incorporates it into the design of the physical built environment.

The result is the rise of Digital Gothic.  This is not just lite architecture, but a full- blown architecture of light.  It is multiple architecture without contingent form, territory, client, representation, space, or iconography.”
From the introduction by  Ole Bouman

We treat buildings as unibodies. Buildings which perform with kind of structural integrity associated with the skull of an animal’s head. What has the concept of a unibody to do with the evolution of the car and PC?

Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis
Unibody Smart town car


Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis
Unibody skull heterodontosaurus

The inflatable vase is both light and light.  Light as a visual phenomena, and light as having little weight.  A number of Ilona Lènard’s sketches form the basis for the different shapes of the flow bodies.

Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis/Ilona Lènard
Rendering series of unique multiple inflatable vases.


Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis/Ilona Lènard
Rendering of inflatable vase with tulips

Can a sculpture be a building?
Or can buildings be autonomous sculptures?

Image courtesy Kas Oosterhuis
Sculpture building Cloud 004 embedded in urban fabric Central Station area Rotterdam.