“Building intelligently” is one of today´s leading questions worldwide, as design, architecture, and urban planning have to urgently find answers to changing global circumstances. The laboratory-talk “Smart Structures – What Is Intelligent Architecture Like?” will investigate new approaches and ideas such as drastic weight reduction, functional integration, and the development of sustainable combinations of materials to support minimization of environmental damage – towards an intelligent and flexible architecture. How can architecture free itself from established styles?
There is no such thing as a final state of a romantically perfect eco-balance. In a continuous flow of evolving cycles, design, architecture, and urban planning have to deal with facilitation of intelligent adaptation to changing circumstances. Knowledge and experience are increasing, but stereotyping, rhetoric and misunderstanding between professionals with different backgrounds and affinities hamper development of a new design dynamic. More than in other trades in building and construction improvements depend on integration of design disciplines and cooperation between industrial sectors that are not accustomed to combined thinking. The first challenge is to make disciplines and industries understand each other.
This is even more important, since progress depends on seemingly contradictory propositions. Dogmatic belief in various levels of recycling ignores the industrial energy consumption it may require, plus its implications for the greenhouse effect. The consequential principle of design for disassembly is certainly valid, but as a by-product it feeds prejudice against any kind of chemical bonding, thereby raising suspicion about any innovation and improvement of gluing and of composite structures, whereas this has the potential to develop into the realm of sophisticated renewability. Composite structures are generally mistaken for a limited range of high range materials, typically Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers, whereas composite thinking offers opportunities to increase added value by combining minimum amounts of all kinds of different materials in smart product elements based upon optimum use of their properties.
Architects choose materials by what they express rather than how they can be processed and what they can do. They tend to think that weight reduction, which most of them favour, is a matter of choice of materials, whereas it can have much more impact if it involves rethinking both structure and style. It appears difficult for architects to critically reconsider their rather traditional views on architectural identity on all levels from detail, via building to ever changing urban networks. Opportunities for developmental strategies of cooperation will be discussed by curator Ed van Hinte together with his Dutch and German controversial partners to boost mutual learning and inspiration as well as information exchange for fruitful cooperation in the future. “Building intelligently” is one of the today’s leading questions worldwide and will generate revolutionary approaches for the audience as well as for experts and producers of building materials. Pioneers in this field are invited to reinvestigate the issues of sustainability and responsibility of architects as to evoke radical changes in architecture and design.