BIENNALE WORKSHOP GROUP 1: The techno-phenomenological field

Egle Varapeckyte
Petrit Pasha
Jorne van der Voorn
Anurag Bhattacharya


The Biennale 2012 has as theme Common Ground, as named by this year’s director David Chipperfield. With this he tries to reach three objects: creating a platform for shared ideas against individual and isolated actions in the professional field, collaboration with the public and offering a change in an ongoing crisis.

The actual situation at the current Biennale doesn’t reach the common ground, however. Experiences and expectations seem not shared at all. Most items on display are isolated in their own story, the only “common” in this sense is the space shared. Collaboration with the public is present, but only at a certain level. Than the third goal, the crisis. This is very visible at the Biennale, in the form of overall cheapness and less as a shared project. So where is this presupposed common ground?

The Biennale shows a clear overview of the different strands present in the field of architecture. Some are driven towards parametric design, others going towards the opposite, fixing on craftsmanship and human sensibility. Others again focus on an utopian project or make use of the crisis: making cheap architecture. From these a field arises, a field we will call the techno-phenomenological.

On the techno-phenomenological field arisen several parameters or sensors can be placed, referring to the human sensibility. These differ in how they are interrelated and how they are composed. This means that different architectures are differently experienced, need a different set of sensors in a different order.

Here we have defined our boundary conditions based on 4 parameters: technological, phenomenological, crisis and utopian. Each of them is driven by sensory perception based on user experience. Here we have used a net typology to mimic the field conditions prevailing in the sensory landscape – overlapping, abstracting and interweaving into one another. The landscape is dynamic in nature and varies with the variable attractors which are represented by clips in our prototype. Each of these clips depict certain sensory perceptions like aural, haptic, smell, temperature, etc and there exist inter-relationships between these perceptions and the 4 defined field conditions. This behavior of the field landscape is steered by the user experience, for example in case of CRISIS field, there is a sense of concealing which tries to hide the reality under a plastic layer. By making this prototype we are trying to define a thin membrane which is plastic in nature and could be extended to a limit of inflection till the definition of architecture overshoots its limits and rips apart to reach a vague state.

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