GE: Future Matter

What is the future of matter - both theoretically and physically - in an age of virtual connectivity? William Mitchell in Me++ calls this hyper-linked, intelligent living environment the 'sensorium,' a term that resonates more with haptic engagement, rather than a disembodied functionality to which he is referring. In contrast to the mechanical systems-based architecture of Reyner Banham'sAnatomy of a Dwelling or the techno-virtuosity of the Centre Georges Pompidou by architects Piano and Rogers, Mitchell reminds us what these thinkers missed: that their future hypotheses would instead evolve into today's reality of the "hyperminiature, wirelessness, digitization, and dematerialization." It is a network devoid of body, leaving the architect potentially wondering what to dowith form, and by extension, asking what is the contemporaryrole of matter in architecture. This seminar will progress the concept of the 'sensorium' byextending its reach back into the world of matter, material processes, and ultimately to the production of phenomenal spaces. Programmable surfaces, genetically modified living substances, and real-time 3d print production, to name a few, are radically leading the way towards visceral re-materialization. Throughout the semester this course willexplore a wide range of cutting-edge emerging technologies that are leading the change of architecture today, fromnanotechnology to global resource scarcity and adaptability. As we think ahead, the 'sensorium' is not devoid of matter. It is matter.