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I was thinking about emergence, possibility, and narrative today. Then I ran across these two pertinent articles.

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh‘s completion of the Dome at St. Michiel Church via Bldgblog:

“But the method of analog calculation seen both in “Upside Dome” and in the work of Ball-Nogues—that is, simply drooping pieces of chain or string through space till they stabilize, like architectural stratigraphy—gives force and form to gravity and to the potential architectures tucked away in empty space.”

(emphasis mine)

Almost all generative systems define a range of possible outcomes – a space of potential forms that can be vast. Often the visual complexity in generative art is actually visualizing a part of this form-space by overlaying or combining a range of forms into a single outcome.

found here.

As discussed in the generative art article, there’s the element of what Eno calls “surrender” that unites the work here.

Only – what differentiates architecture as a spatial exploration in the catenary net from the visual complexity of the draughting exercises in the second is the surrender to an undeniable and very non-virtual force. Gravity. Therein lies the grace that is both architecture’s biggest liability and its most substantial contribution as a critical practice.


Speaking of emergence, take a look at another Bldgblog post that will be the subject of much more speculation soon.

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