Liquid architecture

Marcos Novak, "Liquid Architectures in Cyberspace" from "Cyberspace: First Steps" edited by Michael Benedikt

""If we described liquid architecture as a symphony in space, this description sould still fall short of the promise. A symphony, though it varies within its duration, is still a fixed object and can be repeated. At its fullest expression a liquid architecture is more than that. It is a symphony of space, but a symphony that never repeats and continues to develop. If architecture is an extension of our bodies, shelter and actor for the fragile self, a liquid architecture is that self in the act of becoming its own changing shelter. Like us, it has an identity; but this identity is only revealed fully during the course of its lifetime." -- Marcos Novak

Marcos Novak is visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. He is a transarchitect: an architect, artist, composer and theorist who employs algorithmic techniques to design actual, virtual and hybrid intelligent environments. Seeking to expand the definition of architecture to include electronic

space, he originated the concept of "liquid architectures in cyberspace" and the study of a dematerialize architecture for the new, virtual public


Novak is the founding director of the Laboratory For Immersive Virtual Environments and the Advanced Design Research Program at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. His writings have appeared in numerous books and journals and have been translated into several languages. Interviews and documentaries on his work have appeared in several countries on CNN, PBS, BBC, NHK on television and radio. He lectures and exhibits internationally.

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Interview with Marcos Novak by Knut Mork

Marcos Novak defines liquid architectures: ""What is liquid architecture? A liquid architecture is an architecture whose form is contingent on the interests of the beholder; it is an architecture that opens to welcome you and closes to defend you; it is an architecture without doors and hallways, where the next room is always where it needs to be and what it needs to be. It is an architecture that dances or pulsates, becomes tranquil or agitated. Liquid architecture makes liquid cities, cities that change at the shift of a value, where visitors with different backgrounds see different landmarks, where neighborhoods vary with ideas

held in common, and evolve as the ideas mature or dissolve."

Liquid Architecture Series

Plate 19 - Composition created by a genetic algorithm. This image forms the basis of the following investigation of the spatialization of information.

Plate 20 - New composition derived from previous one by processes of superimposition, masking, and filtering, Information implicit in the original composition is now visible as color variation.

Plate 21 - Merging of algorithmic composition with scanned data, Image processing reveals hidden patterns implicit in the structures of the component images.

Plate 22 - Variation of the image in plate 21 produced by further image processing. Although it is simply a transformation of the previous image, for the viewer this image constitutes, in effect, new information.

Plate 23 - Three dimensional algorithmic composition, with the composition shown in plate 19 mapped onto the environment of a cyberspace chamber.

Plate 24 - Two algorithmically composed objects in a cyberspace chamber. Kynamically varying algorithmically composed textures combining computed and scanned information are displayed on both objects and environment.

Plate 25 - Dynamically varying three-dimenional composition comprising a liquid architecture. The number and dind of its component parts vary according to factors such as position, size, and proximity to other component parts.

Plate 26 - The same object as that of the previous plate, as it appears at another time. Patterns in the information stream that creates this object are revealed spatially, temporally, and contextually.

Plate 27 - Visualization of a liquid architecture in cyberspace.

Plate 28 - Every aspect of this world varies with position, time and information, and with the interests of the viewer and the other inhabitants.

Plate 29 - Mapping information onto object and environment, varying it in place, time, and attribute, focusing attention through filters and masks, and inhabiting it allows hidden patterns to become visible, and therefore knowable.

Plate 30 - The information content of computed and digitized data is used to create the perceptual character of this space, the "place" of cyberspace.

Category: Architecture

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