Interdependent Urbanism is a architectural and urban research project by Project : Architecture. It looks toward computation as an essential tool to augment the increasingly complex design process of cities where a myriad of factors must be considered simultaneously. Let’s look under the hood for a moment: The tool is based on the voxel, a 3-dimensional informational pixel. It allows us to generate a solution for the entire urban mass. Something that would takes weeks to do manually. Customized floor-to-floor heights for instance can help delivery excellent daylighting to all the buildings. The power of the tool is that many social, environmental, and material factors can be analyzed simultaneously. So instead of diminishing the role of the designer, it actually empowers us. And since this tool is essentially 3-dimensional, property lines and air-rights can be designed for much more effectively.
Interdependent Urbanism is a architectural and urban research project by Project : Architecture. It looks toward computation as an essential tool to augment the increasingly complex design process of cities where a myriad of factors must be considered simultaneously.
I’m not sure why architects are always waiting till the last minute to make deadlines, but my alter-ego gave me 5 hours to complete the soundtrack and voiceover to this video. The electric piano backdrop was easy. As soon as I plugged in my gear and started recording a take while watching the video, my cat jumped onto the keyboard creating a semi-dissonant ‘kerplunk.’ That was it! An energized, rhythmic theme to match the video’s concepts of ‘computation,’ ‘voxels,’ and ‘customization’ (The piano comping will be featured in a new tune on my upcoming EP, n0va).
Just as I thought I was miles ahead in quickly laying down the music portion, the voiceover was a different story. Having just got back into singing and even pretending to be a rockstar while at it, I was overly confident that speaking would be second nature. Well it’s not, and now I realize why great voiceover artists are highly trained and sought after professionals. While the act of singing matches melody to the musical context, narration must stand starkly in the foreground while maintaining pace (no umm’s or even slight awkward pauses), inflection (overdo it just enough so you’re not overdoing it), pronunciation (we should have heeded the criticism of our grade-school teachers), and personality (who the heck am I anyway?). It’s both a physically and mentally ambidextrous art and those that have mastered it while maintaining a natural composure deserve many props.
I ended up struggling with the narration for the remaining few hours, but to no avail. While I claim to be a ‘multi-instrumentalist,’ I can now definitively say that I have no future in reciting poetry or radio… But don’t listen too closely – it’s better to just watch. The ideas in the video are pretty darn cool (I can brag when my alter-ego is not around) and have been internationally published and discussed including in the book Ecological Urban Architecture by Thomas Schroepfer. And to see more work where machine learning, music, and architecture come together, the Cloud interactive sculpture where I performed the sound effects and whispered eco-doom secrets may also be of interest…