This year the DRL concluded the thirs year of the four-year design research agenda Proto-Design, which investigated digital and analogue forms of computation in the pursuit of systemic design applications that are scenario- and time-based. Considering controls systems as open acts of design experimentation, the DRL examines production processes as active agents in the development of architecture. Behavioural, parametric and generative methodologies of computational design are coupled with physical computing and analogue experiments to create dynamic and reflexive feedback processes. New forms of spatial organisation are explored not as type or context-dependent but by examining scenarios that evolve as ecologies and environments that seek adaptive and hyper-specific features.
This performance-driven approach aims to develop novel design proposals concerned with the everyday. The iterative methodology of the design studio focuses on the investigation of spatial, structural and material organisations, engaging with contemporary discourses of architecture and urbanism. Four research studios run parallel to each other, exploring the possibilities of Proto-Design. Theodore Spyropoulos’ studio, Digital Materialism, investigates behaviour as the means to explore self-regulating and deployable soft systems within the field of scientific enquiry. Proto-Campus, led by Patrik Schumacher, focuses on the design of parametric prototypes that intelligently vary general topological schemata across a wide range of parametrically specifiable site-conditions as a campus. Robert Stuart-Smith’s studio, Behavioural Matter: Broadening Our View of Buildings, explores how non-linear design processes may be instrumentalised to generate a temporal architecture with a designed life-cycle. Philippe Morel's Studi, Reconsidering Elementarism, challenges the contemporary relevance of high-technologies through shelter related architectures that make use of cheap and deployable elemental geometric components.