The book that resulted from the ‘inter_multi_trans_actions: emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice’ symposium at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland on Thursday 26 June, 2008 is nearing publication.
The book ‘Digital Blur: Creative Practice at the Boundaries of Architecture, Design and Art’ edited by Paul Rodgers and Michael Smyth will now be published by Libri Publishing following Middlesex University’s decision to close Middlesex University Press.
According to Amazon the book is due on 31 March, 2010.
The book contains an essay by Julian Bleecker and myself that is preambled thus:
Marshall and Bleecker, in their essay, propose the term “undisciplinary” for the type of work prevalent in this book. That is, creative practice which straddles ground and relationships between art, architecture, design and technology and where different idioms of distinct and disciplinary practices can be brought together. This is clearly evident in the processes and projects of the practitioners’ work here. Marshall and Bleecker view these kinds of projects and experiences as beyond disciplinary practice resulting in a multitude of disciplines “engaging in a pile-up, a knot of jumbled ideas and perspectives.” To Marshall and Bleecker, “undisciplinarity is as much a way of doing work as it is a departure from ways of doing work.” They claim it is a way of working and an approach to creating and circulating culture that can go its own way, without worrying about working outside of what histories-of-disciplines say is “proper” work. In other words, it is “undisciplined”. In this culture of practice, they continue, one cannot be wrong, nor have practice elders tell you how to do what you want to do and this is a good thing because it means new knowledge is created all at once rather than incremental contributions made to a body of existing knowledge. These new ways of working make necessary new practices, new unexpected processes and projects come to be, almost by definition. This is important because we need more playful and habitable worlds that the old forms of knowledge production are ill-equipped to produce. For Marshall and Bleecker, it is an epistemological shift that offers new ways of fixing the problems the old disciplinary and extra-disciplinary practices created in the first place. The creative practitioners contained within the pages of this book clearly meet the “undisciplinary” criteria suggested by Marshall and Bleecker in that they certainly do not need to be told how or what to do; they do not adhere to conventional disciplinary boundaries nor do they pay heed to procedural steps and rules. However, they know what’s good, and what’s bad and they instinctively know what the boundaries are and where the limits of the disciplines lie.
We have been working on TST_003 – our ToasterBot for the “Teahouse for Robots” exhibition (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010). We have a working set of prototype electronics and we have a first draft chassis built as a proof of concept. The CAD models for the robot shell are about 80% done. Bosses, ribs, intake slots and mounting brackets are next. There also needs to be some branding on the side which is looking very blank at present. The front end of TST_003 is shamelessly ripped off from a Dualit toaster merged with an Airstream trailer on tank tracks.
We are working on a project for the following exhibition:
“Trouble in Paradise / The Ethics of Survival”
Date: Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010
International Symposium: “Creative Engagement / The Ethics of Survival”
Date: Part I: Saturday, July 10, Part II: Saturday, July 31
Location: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
It is a speculative space in a ‘home of the future’ where domestic appliances (robots) can go to recharge, update their firmware and generally get away from it all. The starting point (see image above) for our robots are over-engineered, emotionally-durable, iconic products. You could say we are suckers for ‘Raygun Gothic’ – but we prefer the term ‘SodaPop Chic’.
Karl Daubmann is working on the tea-house structure.
“Shadow Pavilion is a temporary experimental installation by University of Michigan Taubman College professor Karl Daubmann in collaboration with John Marshall. The project is an extension from a graduate studio course. It utilizes computer-generated architectural forms inspired by organic models to design site-specific structures that maximize utility while minimizing material and waste. This botanical-inspired structure was designed for this overlook on the Sam Graham Trees Trail. It frames the vista for visitors while providing both shade and a visual destination that orients people to the view point.”
“Construction was assisted by graduate students Ngoc Thy Phan and Alex Timmer with construction volunteers Craig Borum, Peggy Chong, Jen Maigret, Jessica Mattson, Katie Santer, Dwight Song and Alex Watanabe. This project was made possible by a Research-through-Making grant from Taubman College at the University of Michigan and the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.”
The Shadow Pavilion explores the paradox of cutting holes in a structure because the removal of material makes a structure weaker but also lighter. The Shadow Pavilion, designed for a site at the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Garden, is both a structure and a space made entirely of holes. The pavilion surface is made with almost 100 aluminum cones that vary in size. Beyond testing the limits of sheet aluminum, the cones will act to funnel light and sound to the interior space, offering visitors a space to take in the views and sounds of the surrounding landscape.
By Karl Daubmann & John Marshall. Assisted by: Ngoc Thy Phan & Alex Timmer
This project was made possible by a Research-through-Making grant from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.