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Competition: Innovative Minds 2017 – Cybernetic Framework

An international ideas contest has been launched for innovative architectural concepts that bridge the virtual and physical worlds (Deadline: 1 June)

The Innovative Minds competition, which is open to architects, artists, engineers and students, seeks proposals that harness new forms of cybernetic interaction to improve life for humanity.

The programme is organised by gURROO, which has run the annual competition since 2011. Submissions may occupy any location and be of any scale, but must include a clearly articulated link between their chosen site and the architectural solution.

Innovative Minds 2016 winner

Innovative Minds 2016 winner

Perspetiva-Virtualis by Arthur Lachard and Julien Rippinger

According to the brief: ‘Innovative Minds 2017 is an exploration into the relationship between the virtual world blending with physical architecture, striving to tangibly enhance humanity’s wellbeing through the design of complex systems. As cybernetics increasingly interconnects the virtual and physical worlds, how will this relationship influence architecture and its physical context to solve complicated problems?

‘As humans continue to design the virtual and physical worlds, how can cybernetics bridge these domains? Inherent challenges in chosen physical sites will create a unique cybernetic framework that will expand architectural strategies such as environmental contextualism, user interaction, building function and construction techniques.’

The competition was first launched six years ago to promote innovative solutions to societal issues and recognise emerging talent from around the world. Previous themes have included Virtual Context, Dimensional Evolutions, Situational Synthesis and Virtual Epoch.

Applicants have submitted projects from Czech Republic, Shanghai, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, UK, Crete, Jordan, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Mexico, USA, France, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Russia, Greece and other countries.

Innovative Minds 2016 winner

Innovative Minds 2016 winner

Perspetiva-Virtualis by Arthur Lachard and Julien Rippinger

The winner of last year’s Virtual Context-themed competition was Perspetiva-Virtualis (pictured) by Arthur Lachard and Julien Rippinger of ULB architecture Lacambre Horta in Belgium.

Their proposal featured a software-enabled physical corridor, which allowed users to interact with both the material and virtual worlds simultaneously.

Applications to this year’s contest must include a 300-word project description alongside graphical representations of the scheme on two ARCH D sized boards submitted as PDF files.

The overall winner, set to be announced 1 July, will receive $1,000 USD while 10 honourable mentions will also be selected by the jury of design professionals.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 1 June

Fee

Early registration from 1 March: $30 USD
Regular registration from 2 March to 31 May: $50 USD

Contact details

Email: iminds@gurroo.com

View the competition website for more information

London

London

Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion by Asif Khan

Beatbox Pavilion case study: Q&A with Asif Khan

The London architect discuses lessons learned designing an interactive pavilion for the 2012 Olympic Games

How did your Beatbox Pavilion create a cybernetic bridge between the virtual and physical worlds?

The Beatbox Pavilion was designed for Coca-Cola as its showcasing venue for the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sited between the Handball Arena and what used to be the media centre, it was the busiest non-sporting venue, having over 200,000 visitors during the games.

The plan contains a spiral ramp which ascends the exterior to the rooftop through envelope of 240 ETFE cushions connected as a reciprocal frame. These individual elements and parts of the handrail display sensor zones which record visitor touch and proximity and respond with rhythmic sports sound and light, designed to enable intuitive musicality.

London

London

Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion by Asif Khan

Each trigger is based on capacitance sensor technology, and is networked and centrally controlled by a computer which synchronises the system’s responses as sound and light at 120 beats per minute. While the central computer holds and adapts the overall continuous emerging musical and luminous ‘score’ of the building, it is experienced as a traditional soundtrack by walking along the 200m ramp. The experience of the soundtrack is made entirely unique to each visitor depending on their speed of walking and the current mix being created by visitors. We can think of it as a spatialised piece of music.

The ramp descends into the interior which contains a more traditional performance space. While the exterior treats the visitors as creators, here the visitors become audience members.

Which architectural, material and other considerations are important when designing structures such as these?

The opportunity is not to make a technology demonstration, rather to develop the means to design specific human experiences. Such projects need their user interfaces to be intuitive and be integrated fully with the architecture, but the designer should carefully consider maintenance, cabling containment for data and power, and if wireless, latency. These are all factors that affect the architecture and the overall user experience.

London

London

Source: Image by Hufton + Crow

Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion by Asif Khan

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