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The Archigram Vision in the Context of Intelligent Environments and Its Current Potential

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1 Author(s)
Yiannoudes, S. ; Dept. of Archit., Tech. Univ. of Crete, Chania, Greece

Formed in the 1960s cultural milieu, the Archigram avant-garde group envisaged and designed architectural environments able to respond to indeterminacy, individual choice, desires and needs. Their vision for an architecture able to provide instant services, automation and comfort, through cybernetic interfaces and robotized systems, seems to meet today the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) vision, applied in the so-called intelligent environments (IEs). Although outside the architecture discipline, these applications are able to proactively enhance and cater for people's life and needs either through autonomous/adaptive or user-driven control. This paper examines analogies and dissimilarities between Archigram's work and IEs looking at both their intentions and projects. It is argued that mainstream intelligent environments involve a functionalist flexibility paradigm, unlike Archigram's proposals. On the other hand, alternative types of intelligent environments, i.e. the so-called user-driven, seem to near Archigram's vision for indeterminately flexible spaces. Yet, the apparent potential of Archigram's experimental projects and hardware, especially those that are kinetically driven, is far from that vision and the capacities of user-driven IEs. The paper further examines contemporary attempts to combine user-driven control, indeterminacy and kinetics in architecture concluding that, apart from research in engineering systems and novel materials, conceptual guidelines toward this end are also needed.

Published in:

Intelligent Environments (IE), 2011 7th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-28 July 2011