HAPPENINGText: Christopher Lenz

Materials & Applications is a gallery space located in Silverlake on the Eastside of Los Angeles. As they define themselves, they are a “research and exhibition center dedicated to pushing new and underused ideas in art, architecture and landscape into view.” They use their outside space to host elaborate installations twice a year by architects, landscape architects, designers, artists and environmentalists. These installations are usually pretty spectacular, as the current exhibit of the interactive bubbles demonstrates. The huge bubbles seem to be alive and breathing, as they can actually be inflated and deflated by the touch of your hand. Mysterious and awe-inspiring, and a good example of how organic modern sensor technology can seem.

As M&A also hosts an architecture and design related lecture series, the bubbles had to be tied away for a few hours, in order to create enough free space for the audience of tonight’s exciting lecture. Robert Miles Kemp, architect and visionary per se, held his lecture on the concept of reprogammable space and the idea of building updatable spatial systems.

In the course of more than one hour, Kemp incorporated such diverse elements as Hal 9000, the famous computer gone awry of Kubrick’s “2001 – A Space Odyssey”, Automated Cars, Transformable Architecture, Japanese Robot Snakes, …and many others.

When we think of our living space, we find it to be one of the main factors determining the quality of our life. The architecutural space we live in constitutes the foundation of our life and shapes our daily activities. We grow accustomed to the space and arrange ourselves in the given structure.

But what if the architecture would respond to our needs and adjust to us? The concept of interactive architecture is still considered a new and revolutionary field which is just at the beginning of exploring all the possibilities of a reprogrammable space.

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