My work in Rome is part of an upcoming book, co-authored with Justine Holzman, titled Responsive Landscapes.
Illustration of continuous monitoring of ecologies within the Atchafalaya Basin, Responsive Systems Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Frank Melendez, Students: Devon Boutte, Kim Nguyen, Martin Moser, and Josh Brooks.
The last two decades have seen a range of experiments using responsive technologies that have focused on the interaction between environmental phenomena and architectural space. These experiments go beyond site or architectural controls that rely on efficiency and automation, instead they are attempts to expand the application of responsive technologies. In many cases this mode of exploration has focused on installations or as unique architectural features and provide a range of work that can be used as a datum for the future of responsive environments. The advancement and availability of responsive technologies have increased accessibility to designers, prompting the development of new design methodologies, which move beyond conventional methods of representation and implementation. New methods focus on the expression or design of processes, logics, and protocols that speak to design interventions that evolve throughout a project‚ Äôs lifespan.
Liminal feedback loop diagram, Bradley Cantrell and Natalie Yates.
Landscape architecture has simultaneously seen a paradigm shift in the last two decades, requiring designers to respond to the dynamic and temporal qualities of landscape. This response examines the long held view that landscape embraces an ephemeral medium and that it is constructed and maintained through generations. This dynamic and temporal medium is expressed through careful manipulation of vegetated, hydrological, and stratigraphic systems. The coupling of this shift and the increased accessibility of responsive technologies presents a new approach that challenges static design solutions. The ability to sense and respond to environmental phenomena invites new ways to understand, interpret, experience, and interact with the landscape.
Ambient lighting proposal for West Oakland, California, Synthetic Urban Ecologies Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Justine Holzman, Students: Yu Liu, Matty Williams, Yitian Wang.
Responsive Landscapes frames a comprehensive view of interactive or responsive projects and their relationship to landscape or environmental space. Projects are classified by their potentials for responsive design within the landscape and their effects perceptually or by direct manipulation. A common series of threads are found through the projects, speaking to their direct relationship to the landscape by expressing each project's mode of response. These modes of response focus on methods of clarity, interaction, connectivity, and augmentation that deliver both physical and virtual environments, expanding beyond installations to new relationships within the landscape.
Thresholds installation, Baton Rouge, LA. Bradley Cantrell.
MIMMI installation, Minneapolis, MN. Invivia.
Responsive Landscapes deconstructs a series of contemporary projects to develop a lexicon that defines new methods of constructing and framing responsive systems. Many of the projects are speculative and demonstrate a new methodology of working that moves beyond conventional methods of representation or perception. The complexity embedded in the design of responsive technologies requires iterative prototyping and computational development. This process of prototyping requires rigorous methods of making and tuning of sensing, feedback, and actuation. Each of the projects in Responsive Landscapes engages feedback or response as a method of modification, in a limited way, to understand the outside world and to respond in calculated ways.
Synthetic Mudscapes landscape interventions, Southern Louisiana, Project Team: Matthew Seibert, Jeff Carney, Liz Williams, Bradley Cantrell, and LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio.
Responsive technologies play a pivotal role in our evolving relationship between constructed and evolved systems. Current models of machine/human interaction are slowly evolving to encompass more complex methods of simulated intelligence and nuanced response. The case studies open up a focused discussion, framing the potentials for responsive technologies that takes the installations beyond the role of landscape or architectural folly. The structure of the text responds to several modes that are specific to landscape methodologies and organizes the case studies to actions expressed by the responsive system. These actions speak to modes of behavior or modifications that phenomena are subjected to when converted to data or expressed through analog constructions.
Pod Mod sediment settling illustration, Responsive Systems Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Frank Melendez, Students: Charlie Pruitt, Brennan Dedon, and Robert Herkes.
Several technologies are converging that change the landscape of responsive technologies including autonomous robotics, distributed intelligence, biotic/abiotic interfaces, and ubiquitous sensing networks. Taken as a whole, these technologies fundamentally alter our perception of constructed systems in highly nuanced relationships between environmental and ecological processes. These new relationships suggest a series of networked and object-oriented relationships between designed devices, ecological entities, and regional influences. This shift calls for an expanded view that asks for ecological system abstraction, filtering, and embedded intelligence that drives feedback loops of sensing, processing, and visualizing. This process of feedback, sensing the environment, processing the sensed data, and visualizing the response is the core design focus in the development of responsive technologies.
Algae processing prototype, Responsive Systems Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Frank Melendez, Students: Josh Brooks, Kim Nguyen.
Responsive Landscapes conceptualizes the connection between environmental phenomena and responsive technologies as a continuum in which landscape places a vital role. The sensing, processing, and visualizing we are currently developing within the environment boldly changes the ways we perceive and conceptualize the design and maintenance of landscape or environment. This is the first work that attempts to rationalize interactive architecture and responsive technologies through the lens of contemporary landscape architectural theory. While many of the selected projects are not specifically‚ Äúlandscapes, Äù each engages landscape in important ways and develops a pragmatic framework to understand responsive methods in a new context.
Algae processing proposal, Responsive Systems Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Frank Melendez, Students: Josh Brooks, Kim Nguyen.
Responsive Landscapes will be divided into seven sections that frame the projects through the terms; elucidate, compress, displace, connect, ambient, and modify. Each of these themes focuses on the case studies presented, and frames the connection with the landscape. The cases studies will be explained through media (text, photographs, and diagrams) supplied by the designers as well as original artwork created by the authors.
Strata distribution methods, Synthetic Urban Ecologies Studio, Studio Faculty: Bradley Cantrell and Justine Holzman, Students: Lydia Gikas, Matt Rossbach