Digital vernacular - In-Situ Resource Utilisation - Support and Infill framework negotiating contingent forces in architecture

“Practicing the Digital Vernacular embraces the inherent opportunities provided by new digital technology while maintaining the virtues of working manually with hand tools.”

Digital Vernacular - Stevens and Nelson

RMIT examples:


* Examination example:


Loughborough phd programme

“Architectural Legacies, Architectural Tectonics and Digital Architecture”

  • Building structures and materials
  • Building performance and systems
  • Digital fabrication
  • Automated and AI design
  • Human robot co-creation
  • XR architecture
  • Adaptable architecture
  • Design pedagogy
  • Architectural history and theory
  • Socio-behavioural impacts of architecture
  • Built environment heritage and legislation
  • Urban morphology and mapping
  • Architecture as social mediator


architected metamaterials - symposium on computational fabrication

Low resolution

Self assembly - Skylar Tibbits MIT

Disassembly value

Adaptation to environment

Self organising systems

Hierarchical assembly

Functionally Graded Material - FGM

Post-production challenge

Digital Materials Symmetrical units that can be connected in any orientation - 2.5d voxels

Mollie Claypool Discrete Automation

Striated workforce / adversarial procurement Part to whole vs whole to part relationships (bottom up)

Crisis of syntax - new ontology of built space for less bias - enabling heterogeneity

Neri Oxman - Material Ecology Digital Vernacular

Design and analysis of digital materials for physical 3D voxel printing Jonathan Hiller and Hod Lipson

Voxel. (volume-x-element A fundamental, physical, aligned object, constrained to a repeating unit of physical 3D space. Not necessarily cubic or space filling. “do not typically have their position (i.e. coordinates) explicitly encoded with their values. Instead, rendering systems infer the position of a voxel based upon its position relative to other voxels”

Digital material. Material composed of many such assembled voxels. Refers to the overall material, which is defined by the voxel topology, how the voxels are assembled, and the material each voxel is constructed of.

“Matter is fundamentally digital if it considered in terms of distinct, regularly repeating regions (voxels) that tessellate 3D space. In much the same way as a digital byte is binary, the occupation of each voxel-space within the solid must be defined as either present or not present”

Microbial relations

Newcastle program - BIOME Transplanetary Imaginaries of Living Architecture: Sociocultural Explorations of More-than-Human Relations in Off-Earth and Futuristic Habitats

In-Situ Resource Utilization in the Extra-Terrestrial Critical Zone or speculative cultural materialism of interplanetary intentional communities

Environmental niche - microbiomes of intentional communities

Geoengineering - biochar - carbon control

Speculative fiction and microbiomes - depictions of terraforming and colonisation - cli-fi - hyperobjects

How is extra-terrestrial microbiome manifested in SF?

Controlling boundaries of human microbiome in space habitats and planetary protection issues

Legible, hackable microbiomes capable of adaptation. Tailored to suit environment.

Minimal launch mass materials for rapid expansion and growth in use - growing, foaming, expanding, replication

Radiation protection, thermal protection, structure vs skin - questions of trust in living, changing materials

Different cultural relationships with home and shelter and impacts on habitats and ships - language, personalisation, anthropomorphism

Cultural attitudes to archetypal forms or spaces

Maintenance - building management - live adaptation and repair

Terraforming before human arrival - seeding habitats, automated, uncontrolled

Waste recycling - closed systems, closed microbiomes

Non-human companions in habitats and impacts on microbiome

The Microbiome Vernacular

How the microbiome challenges our concept of self

Anthropology of microbes

cultural materialism, the investigation of how material realities such as technological, economic, and demographic factors mold and influence culture;

'…Bringing anthropology and human microbial ecology into a meaningful dialogue allows for new modes of collaborative research. It should create a symbiosis that enables both fields to codevelop in ways that encourage a more profound view of our “humanness”—transforming our categories of “community,” “individual,” and “life,” and in the process helping to address major global health inequities…'


NET - Negative Emissions Technology

Return to Papanek / Schumacher?

  • research/lines_of_enquiry.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/03/29 22:16
  • by rob