[artinfo] Soft Spaces in Architecture - Lecture by Usman Haque

tamas szakal tszakal at contour.net
Fri May 6 11:48:33 CEST 2005

Lecture by Usman Haque
M˛csarnok (Kunsthalle Budapest)
May 7 2005, 15-17h
(the lecture is held in english and addmission is free of charge)

Nextlab is happy to welome Usman Haque from Haque design and research to
lecture in Budapest. Usman Haque has created responsive environments,
interactive installations, digital interface devices and choreographed
performances. His skills include the design of both physical spaces and the
software and systems that bring them to life. He has been an invited
researcher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy,
artist-in-residence at the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences,
Japan and has also worked in USA, UK and Malaysia. As well as directing the
work of Haque Design + Research he is currently teaching in the Interactive
Architecture Workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London.

Soft Spaces in Architecture
The domain of architecture has been transformed by developments in
interaction research, wearable computing, mobile connectivity,
people-centered design, contextual awareness, RFID systems and ubiquitous
computing. These technologies alter our understanding of space and change
the way we relate to each other. We no longer think of architecture as
static and immutable; instead we see it as dynamic, responsive and
conversant. Usmans projects explore some of this territory.

Project extracts

Sky Ear is a non-rigid carbon-fibre "cloud", embedded with one thousand
glowing helium balloons and several dozen mobile phones. The balloons
contain miniature sensor circuits that respond to electromagnetic fields,
particularly those of mobile phones. When activated, the sensor circuits
co-ordinate to cause ultra-bright coloured LEDs to illuminate. The 30m cloud
glows and flickers brightly as it floats across the sky.

Open Source Architecture
Architecture may be thought of as a combination of static 'hardware' and
dynamic 'software'. Pushing the analogy further, architecture could be
considered an 'operating system' within which people write their own
programmes for spatial interaction. One model of operating system that is
particularly relevant to architecture (since the design of space is always
collaborative) is an open source system.

The aim of the floatable jellyfish-like vessels that drift around cities is
to create temporary, ephemeral zones of privacy: an absence of phone calls,
emails, sounds, smells and thermal patterns left behind by others. Through
various electrical systems they are also able to prevent access of GPS
devices, television broadcasts, wireless networks and other microwave
emissions. Finally, by creating a "blurry barrier" and a ground-plane
camouflage pattern, they provide shielding from the unembarrassed gaze of
security cameras and surveillance satellites.

Scents of Space
An interactive smell system that allows for three-dimensional placement of
fragrances without dispersion (With J Pletts and Dr L Turin).

Airflow within the space is generated by an array of fans. Moving air is
then controlled by a series of diffusion screens to provide smooth and
continuous laminar airflow. Computer-controlled fragrance dispensers and
careful air control enable parts of the space to be selectively scented
without dispersing through the entire space.

Texts are extracts from www.haque.co.uk ( visit site)

This lecture is organised by Nextlab, for more information contact:


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