Saturday, 12 April 2008

Initial Ideas

The early ideas for the click-raft concept came out of several questions I have been thinking about for a long time.
• How to enable myself and others to unlock the huge potential of do it yourself architecture?
• How to accelerate the feedback loops in architectural experimentation
• How to explore completely new domains of architecture such as the rooftops or roof-topes (upper level ecologies)
• How to shift from dependent buildings to autonomous buildings
• How to move from boxes (ala filing cabinet architecture) to something more fluid, adaptable and flexible
• How to explore an architecture not through drawing or design but rather by creating seeds (components) and exploring/growing these...
• How could such structures therefore facilitate more fluid inter-relationships between people, organisations, activities to facilitate new forms of innovation and creativity?

Strangely most of these questions led me to very similar conclusions: -
- mini-prototyping (is small, cheap and quick)
- fabrication of simple components for much more complex structures
- discovering that the elements can be used instead of a pencil or computer ie a new form of physical spatial sketching.
- evolutionary architecture is still a deep seed and inspiration in all of this (thanks to my friend, long time collaborator and mentor John Frazer)

The architectural questions I was busy with at mini scale could also be connected to other issues I have been working on for some time, namely mixed use urban design and how this could be grown or seeded by many D.I.Y. players rather than simply by a few large players. Also the potentials of this way of thinking to create new approaches for innovation environments or interaction between different creative industries. In other words, could the principles of what I was exploring be useful at a much bigger scale and in relation to a whole range of other concerns in the realisation of cities. This first initial experiment came out of exploring alternatives to Bucky Fuller's octet truss space-frames, shifting the focus from space-frames to alternative flexible geometries of framing-space. Developing this experiment into a serious mini live/work architecture, and real building prototype has been a purely solo effort, all ideas, time and resources have been my own.

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