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9th Archilab: architecture / bio-computation / responsive systems / MetaFollies / Fibrous StructuresOctober 20, 2013

META-Folly, commissioned by the FRAC Centre, revisits the architectural “folly” type as a synthetic organism.

It was exhibited for the first time during the 9th Archilab at the FRAC Center in Orleans and it is now part of its permanent collection.

A field of digitally materialized sensitivity agitates a proliferation of 300 piezo-buzzer analogically modulated in 4 different tones; programmed to operate like a swarm of crickets they react to the speed of visitors' movements around the folly, developing ripples of sound that bounce back and forth until dissolution, synchronisation or complete interference; the convolutedness of the geometry produces the emergence of unique sonic niches to be decoded by the human ears inside the folly.

META-Folly argues for computational cyber-artificiality to substitute nature as reference for the development of new architectural codes; offering refuge and consolation to the emerging crowd of urban post-ecologists, META-folly gives up searching for a green Arcadia and is determined to embody an abstract / mathematical version of it.

The project draws the line of a future convergence of cybernetics and environmental psychology, digital computational design and parametricism, digital craftsmanship and DIY interaction design, radical ecologic thinking and material activism.

The outcome may be an improbable assemblages of ‘urban trash’ (recycled polypropylene, hacked sound kits, steel rods, chameleonic nano-flakes) but within it we find a new aesthetic and spatial milieu, a new form of material life. 

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