Interactive Architecture

Michael Fox, Miles Kemp

This book is available in a different edition

     7 × 9 in (17.8 × 22.9 cm)
256 pages
350 color illustrations
Publication date: 9/1/2009
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568988368

Every year, a bevy of new phones, games, televisions, and electronic reading devices ride into our lives on a tidal wave of interactive hype. These i-products, while handy, primarily confine their interactivity to the surfaces of screens. Not exactly the kind of "world-changing" transformation we've been promised. In Interactive Architecture, authors Michael Fox and Miles Kemp introduce us to a brave new world where design pioneers are busy creating environments that not only facilitate interaction between people, but also actively participate in their own right. These spaces--able to reconfigure themselves in response to human stimuli--will literally change our worlds by addressing our ever-evolving individual, social, and environmental needs. In other words, it's time to stop asking what architecture is and start asking what it can do.

Interactive Architecture is a processes-oriented guide to creating dynamic spaces and objects capable of performing a range of pragmatic and humanistic functions. These complex physical interactions are made possible by the creative fusion of embedded computation (intelligence) with a physical, tangible counterpart (kinetics). A uniquely twenty-first century toolbox and skill set--virtual and physical modeling, sensor technology, CNC fabrication, prototyping, and robotics--necessitates collaboration across many diverse scientific and art-based communities. Interactive Architecture includes contributions from the worlds of architecture, industrial design, computer programming, engineering, and physical computing. These remarkable projects run the gamut in size and complexity. Full-scale built examples include a house in Colorado that programs itself by observing the lifestyle of the inhabitants, and then learns to anticipate and accommodate their needs. Interactive Architecture examines this vanguard movement from all sides, including its sociological and psychological implications as well as its potentially beneficial environmental impact.

Michael Fox is a founder and principal of Fox Lin Inc. In 1998, Fox founded the Kinetic Design Group at MIT as a sponsored research group to investigate interactive architecture. In 2001, he founded Odesco (Ocean Design Collaborative) in Venice California from which the office of Fox Lin has evolved. Prior to founding OdescO, he served as an assistant to engineer and inventor Chuck Hoberman in New York, and as a design team leader for Kitamura Associates in Tokyo, Japan.

Miles Kemp is the founder and principal of Variate Labs and Series Design/Build. Miles is currently developing a number of interface, robotic and spatial projects in Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York, Mexico City, Frankfurt and Munich. Kemp works as a Senior User Experience Designer and information architect for Schematic Inc. developing next generation interfaces for web, touch, gesture and other emerging technology platforms. In addition to his professional work, Kemp created and moderates a blog about robotics and emerging technologies in architecture,

Reader Comments

The end of the beginning (rating 5 out of 5):
Interactive Architecture (IA) is a great read and a must have in everyone's physical/digital library. IA gives you a great overview of the area of research and its origins found in cybernetics, computer science, electrical, mechanical engineering and other disciplines. IA redefines the role of the designer as a catalyst of design that evolves with an understanding of the pragmatic and awareness of aesthetic, conceptual and philosophical issues. Michael Fox and Miles Kemp challenge the state of architectural design and propose transformable spaces that dynamically change and create adaptable spatial configurations through embedded computational infrastructures and intelligent feedback loop systems. The authors describe a future of the architectural profession in which a new level of consultancy and multi-disciplinary approach is needed to address the issues brought by innovative materials and biologically inspired systems. The book ends with a beautiful statement ì IA as a field is not at the beginning, nor is it by any means at an end; but it is, in a sense, at the end of the beginning. I look forward to future editions and inspirational works in IA.
- German from (10/09/2010)

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