The eco-Machinic Apparatus

While systemic thinking provides the cultural substratum for an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect in the realm of complexity, the discipline of architecture still lacks operational instruments for the organization of complex material transformations [artificial ecologies].

This thesis framework will therefore concentrate on the development of such instrument, the “eco-Machinic Apparatus”, an architectonic platform where technology is embedded in new forms of synthetic life. The”Apparatus” offers the opportunity to incorporate scientific and technical ‘know how’ while testing in real time its effects within the realm of architectural and urban design.

This research framework is organized around the development of the following 3 components:

The Apparatus:

Students will be asked to formulate their initial research hypothesis by extracting from their previous projects: – material properties – organizational principles and logics –energetic and informational flows.

These will be then synthesized in a first working model were the emergent patterns of self organization and potential for systemic self regulation will be explored.

This “Apparatus” will then become the main tool of design research allowing direct evaluation of architectural effects as a result of material and organizational changes; every experimental iteration will lead to a refining of the model and its material qualities, sensing capabilities and behavioral intelligence. As the experiment progresses a more complex behavior can be nurtured and qualitative differences can be appreciated.


While the “Apparatus” provides the main mean of research and architectural expression, the LabBook will be the recording instrument of the research activity. Formatted as a diary, it will register any daily activity, experimental findings, background research, fabrication drawings, comments and thoughts, conceptual and critical arguments. At the end of the course it will be bound as hard covered book.


A 2 min. video will be accompanying the final presentation as a mean to recreate a design scenario based on the behavior and performance of the “Apparatus” and its architectural scope and or repercussions. Presented as a conceptual scenario it can integrate ‘extracted scenes’ form research videos, stills or videos form the experiments, as well as staged scenarios of actualization.

A dedicated source of research links and cultural references to support the intern’s work will be made available upon arrival.

For preliminary research:

UNIT BLOG 08/09: UNIT BLOG 07/08:

Team: ecoLogicStudio [Claudia Pasquero, Marco Poletto]

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