This video shows an interview with Philip Beesley who is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, where he creates immersive, responsive environments. His work is widely cited as a pioneer in the rapidly expanding technology of responsive architecture. His projects feature interactive kinetic systems that use dense arrays of microprocessors, sensors and actuator systems arranged within lightweight ‘textile’ structures. These environments pursue distributed emotional consciousness within synthetic and near-living systems. Beesley’s work is widely published and exhibited, and has been distinguished by awards including VIDA 11.0 and FEIDAD, and by the Prix de Rome in Architecture (Canada). He was educated in Visual Art at Queen’s University, in Technology at Humber College, and in Architecture at the University of Toronto. During the interview, Beesley explains how architecture of the future could be alive in some ways. He also discuss ‘Hylozoic Series: Sibyl’ his installation for the 18th Biennale of Sydney.
Beesley thinks that architecture of the future will be alive and be able to know and care about us. His work shows a rather long history of thinking about environment and working with nature, but at the same time it presents methods of working with artificial technologies and digital fabrication, the method of making new things from innovative materials. Beesley explains that by combining these two “worlds” he tries to create something sensitive, which might approach a living system. Beesley convinces that when he thinks about the way his installations work and interacts with the public, he sees a lot of ambivalence. Nevertheless, this is an ambivalence that he really enjoys. On the one hand, when his team work on the boundaries of living system they are treading on very trouble ground. He sees similar disaster images to those from science-fiction movies where people go far beyond that they were allowed to go. He thinks that it is always a little insecure to create living systems which could in the future threat us. But on the other hand, he convinces that when he sees a group of children coming to this kind of environment and having a lot of fun he is proud of the possibility of physical respond to their curiosity. It encourages him and confirms in the belief that they are creating something for common purposes.
Beesley explains that when he thinks about the people who interact with his work and perhaps take messages from it. He hopes that they will carry those messages not only in a sense of being interested in new technologies, but also that they will take away a sense of optimism of searching about the possibilities.
- Could Architecture Respond to Humans? (Lecture by Architecture Professor Philip Beesleyand)
- Architecture that repairs itself? Lecture by Rachel Armstrong
- Architecture Paradigm in Financial Crisis Context (Interview with Charles Jencks)
- Designing with Nature (lecture by Lehna Malmkvist on TEDxBerlin)
- Architecture that Senses and Responds (Lecture by Carlo Ratti)