Hybrid Space @ Delft University of Technology

In recent years our means of interacting with one another have changed dramatically thanks to emerging virtual realities, globalitaty and mass customization.

Historically built space has been a platform for social interaction: how can architect ensure a relevant public role in an emerging media driven society, which seems to operate separately from traditional collective spaces.

Hybrid Space Lab is contributing with a lecture and workshop to INDESEM, the International Design Seminar hosted by Delft University of Technology.

Lecture & Workshop Hybrid Space @ Losing Ground, INDESEM 2011 International Design Seminar, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, 13 May 2011

Losing Ground
@
INDESEM 2011
International
Design
Seminar

Have you already used the ‚ÄėLike‚Äô button today? Do you still send letters by post? Where do you interact more with your friends ‚Äď on Skype or at a caf√©? In recent years our means of interacting with one another have changed dramatically thanks to emerging virtual realities, globalization and mass customization. Historically, built space has been a platform for social interaction; how can architecture ensure a relevant public role in this emerging media driven society, which seems to operate entirely separate from traditional collective spaces?

In the face of this phenomenon, it could be said that architecture as we know it is losing ground to new cultural forms. The possibilities of instantly expressing and sharing our myriad individual thoughts and beliefs, increasingly at anytime and anyplace, are creating fundamental changes in society and consequently our spatiotemporal practices.

Where, as designers, do we now take our cues: The liquid phenomenology of the screen? The emergent qualities of advanced algorithms? Endless iterations of ‚Äėrelated links‚Äô? The grassroots democracy of the ‚ÄėLike‚Äô button? Architecture sees itself in a moment in which existing paradigms have to be redefined and new values have to be critically evaluated and tested so as to be able to properly form an active approach to the challenges posed by an increasing divide between old and new social realities.

Designers must find ways to operate in this new context. Is architecture able to provide new models for the intersection between the media-driven society and physical environment, and can this be balanced with traditional social interaction and engagement? In recent years we have seen various suggestions; liquid, interactive architecture, ever mutating according to the needs of the user, ‚Äėblurring‚Äô architecture, based on spatial qualities suggested the computer screen; open-source urbanism, employing the participatory dynamics of games; light, nomadic urban forms made possible by infrastructural and communications networks, and so on. Conversely, is it still possible to argue that there is no pressing need for change, that we should instead reinforce historical types and stable, tried-and-tested notions of social space?

INDESEM, the International Design Seminar, is a biennale, founded by a group of students in 1964 and reinitiated in 1985 by Herman Hertzberger. The biennale is hosted at the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the Delft University of Technology.

Losing
Ground

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