from constant to variable – mammoth // building nothing out of something

from constant to variable

Adam Greenfield wrote a post about a week ago using Berlin’s Allianz Arena as a test case for a general shift in urbanism from “constant” to “variable”, which is one of the shifts he’s previously identified as composing a condition he calls “networked urbanism”. Greenfield speculates about how the Arena’s current, relatively limited ability to reconfigure itself in response to stimuli (it varies the color and lighting of its facade, depending on what team is using it) might be expanded to incorporate more sophisticated feedback loops, allowing building and crowd to interact successively and more directly, as well as noting that the increasing mutability of architectural properties (which he describes as “architecture… learning to dance”) has the potential to have massive effect on the future of the city. I’d be fascinated to see what this shift — constant to variable — looks like as it develops in less strictly delineated, much more individuated incarnations — such as buildings or landscapes that evolve or mutate in response to the generative and emergent properties of crowds, or, to extend the soccer analogy, an Allianz Arena whose architectural properties are as much a result of the interactions of the crowds (within or without) as the interior landscape of Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion is of the Südtribüne.

2 Responses to “from constant to variable”

  1. [...] The interface between place and network appears likely to grow stronger, as the linking of network participation with location which first gained mass effect through the iPhone is strengthened and deepened by hardware and software advances, such as hyper-local trending topics on twitter, google goggles, wikitude, collective memory models, and the tools being developed by MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Group.  Public utilities can utilize the collective intelligence of a city’s citizens to detect system malfunctions; citizens can develop tools to gather reports of failure within the urban system, collate those failures geographically, and pressure government to react using the collected data.  And as the network becomes increasingly tactile, immediate, and geographically relevant, it can be expected to develop more direct interfaces with buildings. [...]

  2. [...] anything so rigorous here, but we have produced a few brief scattered thoughts on stadia, from Allianz Arena as a test case for networked urbanism to touring Soccer City Stadium from above and within to reading Dan Hill on the design of [...]