[ISEA2008] Panel: Mike Phillips – Base Data for/to Model Behaviours

Panel Statement

Panel: Intelligent Architecture

This paper discusses the emergence of ‘data’ as a building material, integral to an architectural manifestation and the detritus of human occupation. Having evolved from a quiescent by-product of CAD systems and galvanised as a substrate of the 90’s ‘uninhabitables’ data are increasingly playing a critical role in our tacit understanding of our relationship to each other and our environment, whether local or global, built or ‘natural’. As a material malleability of data makes an ideal canvas for painting future vistas yet being equally fl exible in providing the antithesis of the ‘Emperors New Clothes’, the garments are so frightening everyone pretends they are not there.

This paper focuses on the models provided by Arch-OS (arch-os.com) and the i-500 Project (www.i-500. org). The role data plays in these installations is critical to the manifestation of the various technical and creative interventions. Arch-OS, and its implementation as the kernel of the i-500, provides temporal information from interactions within the buildings and in the process of manifesting these behaviors generates complex, dynamic data models. Data generated by the buildings interactions with and the activities of their inhabitants is important, not just because of the generative and dialogical nature of the dynamic, but more significantly, because the streams of data generate a temporal genetic architectural grammar. The temporality is significant because it offers real-time responsive modelling possibilities (as harnessed by many of the art works), and the genetic grammar important because it allows specific data sets or objects to be identified, inherited and transmitted. Data models provide not just a mirror to reflect the buildings activities, but a mirror with memory that facilitates comparison between past and current events, enabling simulation and predictive possibilities.

  • Mike Phillips, i-DAT, University of Plymouth, UK

Full text (PDF) p.  500-501