BUILDSMART2011: Polito + RPI workshop

The 2011 joined workshop of the Politecnico di Torino Faculty of Architecture II and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture is directed by Lonn Combs (RPI) and Cesare Griffa (Polito), with the title ‘BUILDSMART2011’.
The workshop is taking place in Torino at the Castello dl Valentino and at the Fablabitalia from August 29th to September 30th. 18 Italian and 18 American students will be collaborating in this 4th annual joint workshop.

‘The idea that architecture belongs in one place and technology belongs in another is comparatively new in history, and its effect on architecture, which should be the most complete of the arts of mankind, has been crippling.’
Reyner Banham, The architecture of the well-tempered environment

The history of architecture is fundamentally based on the inclusion of ‘open-source’ models and technologically driven innovation. Arguably, until only very recently, the contemporary culture of architecture has resisted the notion that technological, environmental, social and aesthetic performance converge as architecture. As Banham’s critique points out, understanding building as a series of independent qualities does not generate a ‘complete’ architecture.

The BUILDSMART2011 Turin Workshop will be a platform for the development of an integral interdependent approach to the relationship between technology, ecology, the social and the aesthetic in architectural innovation. The workshop will explore the important grassroots Arduino and Fablab movements which have quickly become a global phenomenon. Through the exploration and experimentation with additive technological systems that can be constructed into complex sensor driven and reactive systems the students will develop open-source systems of environmental modulation in architectural surfaces. Additionally the students will test their models within the Fablab Italia on exhibit at the ‘Stazione Futuro’ in Turin, Italy.

Finally the BUILDSMART2011 workshop will explore new models of public space intervention in Turin that will be presented as part of the City Smart conference from September 29th to October 2nd.

More info @ the workshop blog

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