2007 - 2008: Pushing the Boundaries
Neil Spiller, Phil Watson
Post-digital (where the computer is totally synthesised into reality) design must attempt to be immune to sophist arguments of style and good taste. It should rejoice in the particular and the "I" who and whatever is the "I" (We must remember that objects can now become "I" to a growing extent).
Above all, post digital design is relativistic, glocal, ascalar and constructed from a genius loci that does not just include anthropomorphic site conditions but also includes deep ecological pathways, mnemonics, psychogeography and narrative.
The Continuums of Architectural Composition at the beginning of the Twenty-first Century
The experience of contemporary designers is one of positioning their work in relation to seven continua. These are:
1 Space - there is a continuum of space that stretches from "treacle" space standing in a field, no computer, no mobile phone, no connectivity whatsoever to full bodily immersion in cyberspace, along the way between these two extremes are all manner of mixed and augmented spaces.
2 Technology - Like space, technology ranges from simple prosthetics (the stone axe) via the Victorian cog and cam, to the valve, capacitor, logic gate, the integrated circuit, the central processing unit, the quantum computer, the stem cell, the nanobot and a million states and applications between and beyond.
3 Narrative, Semiotics and Performance - An architect or designer can chose whether their work operates along a continuum that ranges from minimal engagement in quotation or mnemonic nuance in relation to the history of culture or the contemporary world or embraces the multiplicity of the complex and emergent universes of discourse that we inhabit and engage with it daily. A design might conjure new conjunctions of semiotics as a way of re-reading them. It also might integrate itself with human and cultural memory and it might be reflexively and performative (in real time or retrospectively).
4 Cyborgian Geography - A designer now can posit work, which operates in all manner of mixed and augmented terrains that are subject to all manner of geomorphic and cybermorphic factors and drivers.
5 Scopic Regimes - Architecture can exist at all scales, it all depends on the resolution of the scope that one chooses to use- continents, oceans, cities, streets, rooms, carpets, micro landscapes and medico landscape are all part of this continuum.
6 Sensitivity - A designer might decide to make objects, spaces or buildings whose parts are sensitive that pick up environmental variations or receive information. These sensors therefore can make objects and buildings that are influenced by events elsewhere or indeed are influential elsewhere.
7 Time - Time is the most important of these continua. All the above six continua can be time dependant. Therefore designers can 'mix' the movement of their spaces buildings and objects up and down the other six continua. So a design might oscillate the spaces within itself with varying elements of virtuality over time. A design might use different technologies at different times in its existence. A design might perform complex mnemonic tableaux at certain points in its life cycle. A design might demand of its occupants the use of different lens with which to see other than anthropocentric phenomena or spaces. A design might coerce the occupant to be aware of environmental conditions in other locations that change. A design might change the sensitivity of objects over time, dulling them sometimes, making them hypersensitive other times.