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The Innovation Imperative: Architectures of Vitality



The Innovation Imperative: Architectures of Vitality


The pressure to innovate has become pervasive. Both inside and outside the architectural profession we are increasingly pressed by the quest for the new; by an innovation imperative. But what does ‘innovation’ really mean for architecture? Predominantly framed in terms of technological invention, economics and consumption, the notion of innovation is often problematically applied to the arts. Design and creativity are widely considered as drivers within innovation economies, but how can architects understand and approach the imperative to innovate meaningfully, ethically and on their own terms? Suggesting a process that is fundamentally emergent, collective and environmentally situated, The Innovation Imperative explores architectural innovation in terms of the production of vitality. Emphasising attention to ways of doing as key to innovation, this title of AD brings together historical perspectives with a range of leading provocative, emerging approaches to architectural practice that together offer fresh insight into the often vague and ubiquitous atmospheres of innovation-speak. Ultimately, this issue asks how an emphasis on vitality might offer a more nuanced understanding of the aesthetic value and ethical know-how intertwined within innovative architectural endeavour.

  • Contributors include: Mario Carpo, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, Jondi Keane, Brian Massumi, Leon van Schaik, Michael Weinstock, and Gretchen Wilkins and Liam Young.
  • Featured architects and designers include: Arakawa and Gins, Eva Franch i Gilabert, Greg Lynn, MOS (Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample), Francois Roche, Veronika Valk and Vergelabs.

EditorIal 5
Helen Castle

About the Guest Editors 6
Pia Ednie-Brown, Mark Burry and Andrew Burrow

Introduction 8
The Innovation Imperative: Architectures of Vitality
Pia Ednie-Brown, Mark Burry and Andrew Burrow

The Ethics of the Imperative 18
Pia Ednie-Brown

Design and Society: Innovation Through Appropriation and Adaptation 24
Mark Burry

Innovation at the Storefront: The Practice of Eva Franch i Gilabert 34
Pia Ednie-Brown

Architecture as Initiative (A Manifesto) 38
Veronika Valk

On a Fine Line: Greg Lynn and the Voice of Innovation 44
Pia Ednie-Brown

Becoming Architectural: Affirmative Critique, Creative Incompletion 50
Brian Massumi

The Ebb and Flow of Digital Innovation: From Form Making to Form Finding – and Beyond 56
Mario Carpo

Strange Vitality: The Transversal Architectures of MOS and New Territories/R&Sie(n) 62
Pia Ednie-Brown

The Vitality of Matter and the Instrumentalisation of Life 70
Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr

Initiating Change: Architecting the Body-Environment with Arakawa and Gins 76
Jondi Keane

bioMASON and the Speculative Engagements of Biotechnical Architecture 84
Pia Ednie-Brown

The Evolutionary Dynamics of Sentience in Cities 92
Michael Weinstock

Final Draft: Designing Architecture’s Endgame 98
Gretchen Wilkins and Andrew Burrow

Differentiation in Vital Practice: An Analysis Using RMIT University of Technology and Design Interfaces With Architects 106
Leon van Schaik

The Mothers of Invention 114
Tom Daniell

Designing Tomorrow’s Innovation 124
Terry Cutler

Counterpoint 128
Architecture, Innovation and Tradition
Antoine Picon

Contributors 134