by Elif Erdine & Alexandros Kallegias AA DLab Visiting School

14 March 2013 Architectural Association, London & Hooke Park   Fallen Star is the final working prototype developed by the AA DLAB Visiting School, which conducted a research on biomimetics, interaction and perception at the Architectural Association – both in London and at Hooke Park in Dorset during July 2012.   AA DLAB carries out experiments using algorithmic design methodologies and digital fabrication techniques; this year using the theme of Green as its inspiration for observing natural and biological structures of differing scales. Generative algorithms abstracted from natural constructions have been transformed from the digital realm back into the three-dimensional world of human perception. The design proposals developed by student teams during the initial phase in London were integrated with a full scale installation fabricated and assembled at Hooke Park through the medium of video-mapping. The resulting installation is characterized by user interaction, which animates the architectural piece according to feedback, giving it the potential to create dynamic spatial experiences of perception and temporality.   Over a period of 15 days, participants with different levels of experience – from 2nd year students to PhD candidates and full-time professionals – experienced a highly-focused unit-based education system with shared agendas. This, in turn, promoted collaborative design, research and performance. The formal grammar of the workshop explored the variants seen in natural growth processes, such as the Lindenmayer system, fractal theory, reaction-diffusion systems and Voronoi algorithms. The computational toolset of the workshop was Processing, Grasshopper and iPad / iPhone.
During DLAB 2012, the student teams incorporated their design proposals into “Fallen Star” through the medium of video mapping. During this process, each team broke down their digital natural growth algorithms into specific parameters which were manipulated through an iPad interface. In this respect, the teams also designed their own iPad interfaces which enabled direct interaction between the user and the installation. The installation reacts to the user’s input on sound, choice of algorithm to run, and the manipulation of the algorithm itself by changing its parameters from the interface.   Since July 2012, “Fallen Star” has been exhibited twice in London. The first exhibition took place in the Back Members’ Room at the AA from 10 November to 8 December 2012. The exhibition created an opportunity for AA students and members to observe and interact with the installation. Afterwards, “Fallen Star” was taken to Westminster College, Ambika P3 to be exhibited as part of the Kinetica Art Fair 2013, where artists, engineers and designers sharing a common interest in kinetic and interactive design came together to showcase their latest contributions to the design and art community.   For more information: AA DLab Programme Brief AA DLab Microsite AADLab at the Kinetica Art Fair   [caption id="attachment_1022" align="alignnone" width="360"] Fallen Star at the Kinetica Art Fair[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1025" align="alignnone" width="360"] Fallen Star Exhibition Opening in the AA Back Members' Room
Image Credit: Valerie Bennett[/caption]  
[caption id="attachment_1030" align="alignnone" width="360"] Fabricating Fallen Star in Hooke Park[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1031" align="alignnone" width="360"] Photographing the finished prototype at Hooke Park
Image Credit: Valerie Bennett[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1023" align="alignnone" width="360"] The different guises of Fallen Star by AA DLab 2012[/caption]