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T4T LAB 2013


Distinguished Invited Professors:

Eric Goldemberg, Principal of MONAD Studio and Associate Professor at FIU

Niccolo Casas, UCL The Bartlett, UK. RISD


Coordinated locally by Gabriel Esquivel operated as a satellite office working remotely with feedback from the designers’ technical challenges and intellectual charge.


Teaching Assistants: Ryan Wilson and Dylan Weiser


This was a vertical Studio that focused on the interaction of Architectural Theory and Technology. The range of research goes from Theory Research papers all the way to Digital Fabrication. 



Rhythmic Decadence: Programming Material Senescence as Prosthetic Affect



The main objective of the Spring Workshop was to explore the conditions of rhythmic affect –which we will call here ‘PULSATION’  and its manifestation using design processes of Material Senescence.

The beat of pulsatile systems is profoundly inherent in our psyche, from the material/molecular to the organizational/collective. The notion of digital prosthesis serves to articulate this purpose by extending the realm of the body through prosthetics that supplement the functionality and aesthetics of the body, leading progressively to the scale of urban aggregations by means of framing devices.

The workshop teased out ‘Intense Presentness’ of effects derived from time-based processes but privileging the Now, the Status of artificially articulated matter over any questioning of its process of becoming.

Now beats Index!


A pervasive aesthetics of Decadence informed the cognition of systems that partake on vital, rhythmic cycles– that which intensifies the transitional nature of all matter, its process of Senescence as positive feedback moving organizational patterns and their transformation through time-based operations.

Decadence as Senescence defined a moment in which the organism (biological or social) tends to lose its integrity whereas the parts acquire independence, this particular state doesn’t forcedly bring to the death of the organism but to a redefinition of it. Senescence and Decadence constitute an instance in Dynamic System redefining the internal and external equilibrium, a moment where the whole starts crumbling before becoming a new whole.


There was a paradigm shift in spatial perception due to the intense use of computational techniques in architecture and the capacity to process and manipulate massive amounts of data, whereby rhythm is now perceived as playing an active role in the formation of space and the tectonic articulation, claiming the foreground figural field and not just merely embedded or indexed in the structure. 


Joinery, meta-seaming and fractal organizations were understood as the opportunities to engender and transmit spatial rhythm are critical to the production of pulsatile architecture, giving way to an understanding of distributed, interstitial space both internal to the tectonics of the membranes as well as on their articulation of atmospheres. Such rhythmic activity of animate forms is translated to architectural systems as ‘pulsation’.

Pulsation thrives on hyper-charged, syncopated rhythms and sensual drive. It operates via smooth aggregation of discrete, holistically articulated components and de-aggregation of volumes in a state of urban friction, unzipping seams and foraging into spatial crevices charged with rhythmic opportunities.


The studio evolved through different but progressively interrelated scales of operation, testing material strategies and prototypes at every step of the way.


Character Hybridization: Research, recognition, and 3D modeling of hybridized mutations of character features in soft/layered rhythmic systems (ex: flowers, plants) and articulated rigid and semi-rigid rhythmical bodies (ex: crabs, insects).

Speculative studies on detailed aging – Senescence - and further deterritorialized character features of new hybrid species through programmed effects of decay/gain. Creation of new wholes through the aggregation of mutant features. Differentiation of new character features to be extracted from emergent, senescent wholes.

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