Architectural discourses today shy away from uncertainty and complexity. The current lines of thought champion representational models of historical appropriation, dogmatic styles, or an all-out rejection of architecture having meaningful social or political agency through design.
These approaches reinforce the normative with new narratives and representations without critically addressing how architecture can actively participate in the world. In contrast to this, we live in a technologically interconnected social and ecological sphere that has made us hyperaware of the magnitude and complexities of the challenges today. By necessity, if the contemporary design is to remain relevant it must shift from the finite representational models of practice toward real-time collaborative ones. The shift conceptually is to move from ‘models of’ towards ‘models for’. Enter design.
The role of the model today must be operative and prototypical in nature. Rather than illustrating ideas, models should offer us the possibility to engage and respond to the information-rich matrices that influence our everyday. Models here are understood as open frameworks and platforms enabling shared and collective participation. ‘Design must be considered as durational, real-time, and anticipatory exploring human with human, human with machine, and machine with machine communication.
This public lecture is part of theFuture Design Research Symposium (Sep 29-30),which explores design innovation and the new possibilities that digital technologies offer for contemporary design practice, the construction industry and education.
The Symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Robert Garland Treseder Fellowship and the Creative Futures Design Research and Education Fund.
Photo: The Order of Time, Minimaforms
Dr Theodore Spyropoulos is an architect and educator. He is the Director of the Architectural Association’s world-renowned Design Research Lab (AADRL) in London and resident artist at Somerset House.
Theodore has previously chaired the AA Graduate School, was Professor of Architecture at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt and has been a visiting Research Fellow at M.I.T.’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies. He co-founded the experimental art, architecture and design practice Minimaforms. The work of Minimaforms has been acquired by international art and architecture collections that include the FRAC Centre, the Signum Foundation and M+ (Archigram Archive). His work has been exhibited at MOMA (NYC), Barbican Centre, Onassis Cultural Centre, Somerset House, Detroit Institute of Arts, Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology and the ICA. Theodore has previously worked for the offices of Peter Eisenman and Zaha Hadid.
In 2013 the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture awarded him the ACADIA award of excellence for his educational work directing the AADRL. He has been published internationally including authoring Adaptive Ecologies: Correlated Systems of Living (2013), Enabling (2010) and forthcoming Behaviours (2023).
Federation Square is operating under Victoria’s COVIDSafe Settings. All visitors must be fully vaccinated (or have a valid exemption). Please do not attend the venue if you are feeling unwell.