Self-organizing and self-assembling systems are trending topics in design, notable for their capacity to use simple parts and interactions to generate complex organizations. This seminar, conducted at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design allowed us to experiment with creating such systems in order to create forms and effects that are responsive and adaptable. We embarked on our experiments with the following framework:
- Creating fabrication and material studies to define basic components.
- Investigating relational interactions and systemic disturbances while prototyping with simple electrical and magnetic components.
- Generating organization from disorder through repetition.
- Examining scalar relationships between parts and aggregations, and between local and global behaviors.
This was an opportunity for students to conduct bottom-up, generative design experiments and to develop a hands-on ethic of tinkering or hacking. The seminar culminated with the production of exhibited installations in the Kasian Gallery on the campus of the University of Calgary. The exhibition runs from 10 February – 7 March.
Joshua Vermillion was the 2014 Visiting Taylor Seminar Lecturer at the University of Calgary. The seminar is directed and coordinated by Jason Johnson, assistant professor at Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design.
Seminar Students: Mehrdad Amjadi, Michael Chu, Nic Dykstra, Meysam Ehsanian, Daniel Farid, Alyssa Haas, Kendra Kusick, Joanna Long-Tieu, Matt Marrotto, Jamie Lynne McFadyen, MacKenzie Nixon, Obinna Martins, Shane Oleksiuk, Sadaf Rabbani, Matt Stewart, Sabrina Vastag
Prototyping in advance of seminar performed in collaboration with Ludwing Vaca, Graduate Assistant and MArch Candidate at UNLV’s School of Architecture.