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Empathic Space: The Computation of Human-Centric Architecture



Empathic Space: The Computation of Human-Centric Architecture

Christian Derix (Guest Editor), Åsmund Izaki (Guest Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-61348-1 October 2014 144 Pages


In recent years, questions of space have gained renewed momentum in architecture and urban design, as adaptation, densification and sustainable regeneration have become an increasing priority. While most computing-based design tends to emphasise the formal aspects of architecture, overlooking space and its users, the ‘original’ computational design approaches first spearheaded in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s tended to be focused on behavioural and occupational patterns. Over the last decade, a new generation of design research has emerged that has started to implement and validate previous investigations into spatial computation, aiming to understand how to design spatial configurations based on user experiences. This revives an interest in the experiential that was first explored in the early 20th century by German and Nordic organic architects, who invented design methods that correlated cognitive responses of buildings' occupants to spatial structure. The current revival of human-centric design, however, represents the first design approach that synthesises spatial design and algorithmic techniques with organic design thinking, which could also be regarded as a return to the ‘first principles' of architectural design.

Contributors include:
Paul Coates, Christian Derix, Olafur Eliasson, Lucy Helme, Bill Hillier, Åsmund Izaki, Prarthana Jagannath, Dan Montello, Juhani Pallasmaa, Philip Steadman and Guy Theraulaz.

Featured Architects/Designers:
Jussi Ängeslevä (Art+Com), Stan Allen, Aedas|R&D, Markus Braach (Kaisersrot), Hermann Hertzberger, Kazuhiro Kojima (Cat), Pablo Miranda and Rafi Segal.

Helen Castle

Christian Derix and Åsmund Izaki

SPOTLIGHT: Visual highlights of the issue 8

INTRODUCTION: The Space of People in Computation 14
Christian Derix


Generative Design Methods and the Exploration of Worlds of Formal Possibility 24
Philip Steadman

The Deep Structure of the Picturesque 32
Paul Coates and Christian Derix

Crafting Space: Generative Processes of Architectural Configurations 38
Kazuhiro Kojima

Solutions You Cannot Draw 46
Markus Braach


Embracing the Creativity of Stigmergy in Social Insects 54
Guy Theraulaz

Block/Tower: A Vertical Landscape in Midtown Manhattan 60
Stan Allen and Rafi Segal

Programs as Paradigms 66
Pablo Miranda Carranza


Spatial Cognition and Architectural Space: Research Perspectives 74
Daniel R Montello

Empathic Imagination: Formal and Experiential Projection 80
Juhani Pallasmaa

The Future is Curved 86
Olafur Eliasson

The Aura of the Digital 94
Jussi Ängeslevä


The Generic City and its Origins 100
Bill Hillier

Polyvalence: Th e Competence of Form and Space with Regard to Different Interpretations 106
Herman Hertzberger

Encoding User Experiences 114
Åsmund Izaki and Lucy Helme


New Curricula: Syntonic Systems 122
Christian Derix and Åsmund Izaki

Near Futures: Associative Archetypes 130
Christian Derix and Prarthana


COUNTERPOINT: How Can Code be Used to Address Spatiality in Architecture? 136
Leon van Schaik