sebs_concept

Fig. 1T : Hiker Amplification Proposal One
 

 

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

 

-Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

 

 

This thesis is a study and promotion of the integration of 

biotechnology and architecture in the form of, what the 

academic Marcus Cruz has termed; Neoplasmatic design.

Marcos Cruz originally used this term in his doctoral thesis 

‘The Inhabitable Flesh of Architecture’. He describes the 

meaning of the term as utilising design as a method to explore 

and manipulate actual biological material. He describes the 

products of this design methodology as partly designed object, 

partly living material. He also describes them as semi-living 

entities and bio-architectural composites that sometimes appear 

as constructed entities and at other times are seen more like 

living beings (Cruz and Pike, 2008).

This thesis will specifically look at the possibilities for 

the enhancement and transformation of the human condition 

through the design and development of fictive and non-fictive, 
Neoplasmatic, telemetric responsive systems.

This thesis will look at these responsive systems as a means 

of highlighting the loss of plasticity in viewing architecture 

that has occurred during the modern period. The thesis will do 

this by exploring ways in which all the senses can be engaged 

to produce a physical, sensual and embodied architectural 

experience.

The loss of being able to find pleasure in architecture 

through multiple senses has occurred as humans have become 

more dependent on vision as the primary means of understanding 

the world.

This vision based understanding stems from the predominance of 

ocularcentric information and communication technologies.

Modern architecture has been significantly influenced by this 

ocularcentrism.

 

Architect Markus Jatsch comments on this ocularcentrism when 

he states that,

Space has become a consumer item, consumed by the tourist’s 

gaze: a point of view whose primary intention is to >>see<< 

experiences. Accordingly space is configured in such a way as 

to facilitate its visual consumption. Space appears less as 

something that is experienced; rather, it is something people 

visit in passing and consume without considering, all around 

them, the daily lives of those who use it. Our modern >>life on 

the move<< produces the spaces of the contempory city that Marc 

Auge calls >>non-places<<. What characterizes these spaces is 

that passers-by pass through them, so that participation in space 

becomes a simple act of viewing (Jatsch, 2004, 15).

At the root of the problem however is the prevailing, underlying 

philosophical framework which encourages the separation of mind 

and body. This framework has developed, in modernity, a culture 

of categorization and boundary making. This could be understood 

as a culture of ontological hygiene.

Architecture is viewed within the confines of this hygienic 

ontology. It is encaging architecture.

This thesis will attempt to erode this ontological hygienic cage 

by the persuasiveness of representative forms of alternative ways 

of being. These alternative ways of being will be made possible 

by the part living, part constructed, responsive systems I design.

At its core, this thesis has an aspiration to destabilise the 

ontological hygiene of Western thought on the possible futures of 

architecture (Graham, 2002).

The design promoted in this thesis could be seen as an alternative 

to the current modernist and humanist architectural traditions.

These architectural traditions are constructed, like so many others 

parts of our lives, by commercial and political factors. It would be 

naïve to think of architectural design without considering their 

influence. Therefore this thesis takes the position that our current 

world view and subsequent systems of power and social organisation 

are flawed.

In this light, the development of a proposition for a new community 

of humans in a post-industrialised society is an aim. This community 

will be a new type of people that can be described as Transhuman. 

What is Transhumanism?

Tranhumanism is defined by Young as,

 …The belief in overcoming human limitations through reason, science, 

and technology (Young, 2006, p.15).

This will be the basis of the philosophy of these fictional 

other-than-humans. Their architectural experience will reflect this.

The ideas that I have mentioned bring into question what it means to 

be human. What makes us human? It also makes us question our 

relationship to technology, and specifically the technology known 

as architecture.

As traditional architectural modes of practice are attacked from ever 

increasing angles, for example, climate change, pollution, inequality 

and aesthetic irrelevance, we are made to question whether making 

adjustments to the current mode of design is enough. It is time to 

re-evaluate our architectural trajectory and not just reposition it 

but move it to an entirely different scale.  

It is time to look at alternative ways of being, how our understanding 

of being may affect our architectural preferences and architectural 

perception, and how a greater understanding of being might be beneficial 

to the architectural goals we seek.

This thesis takes as its goal the production of a point of departure that 

aims to help set architectural practice on the path to facilitating an 

ever more vibrant and free humanity.
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