apomechanes is derived from "ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός" [aˈpo mɛːkʰaˈnɛːs tʰeˈos] literally "god from the machine", which is a plot device of ancient greek drama. In numerous tragedies, the poet would gradually steer the plot/myth to an inflection point at which the natural resolution of the conflict would be very difficult if not impossible. Then, an unexpected event in the form of an intervention of a god would take place and allow for the play to continue. The term "from the machine" was established due to the fact that the god would enter the stage with the help of a "machine" - a wooden crane on which he would appear floating form above.
Apo Mechanes is an intensive 2.5 week computational design studio to be held in Athens, Greece. A studio dedicated to furthering the techniques and concepts of algorithmic processes as means for design and fabrication, apomechanes investigates the modes of algorithmic and machinic processes in architectural design.
At present computational techniques are predominantly employed in the optimization, rationalization or surface decoration of more traditionally created wholes. This research will instead focus on the inherent potential of computation to generate space and of algorithmic procedures to engage self-organization in the design process. Participants will create their own custom algorithms leading to the fabrication of working prototypes appropriate to their research trajectories.
Computational Design Workshop
The Apo Mechanes workshop will explore algorithmic design methodologies that engage complex and non-linear systems. The workshop will develop both recursive and self-organising techniques that are capable of generating complex forms of order. The workshop will introduce a set of algorithmic design techniques that students will expand on in the development of a coherent generative design methodology. These strategies will include: recursion, conditional substitution and self-organisation. The workshop will assume no prior experience with scripting languages and will commence with a brief introduction to rhinoScript. However the primary focus of the workshop is to introduce the structure and concepts behind algorithmic design rather than a broad introduction to scripting.
Computational Design Studio
The Apo Mechanes Design studio will expand on the generative design techniques developed in the workshop and will interrogate how architectural intention can operate at a local level and through the interaction of low level rules systemic geometries and aggregations emerge. This methodological research will be focused on the design of a spatial installation. The project will be conducted in groups and will lead to the fabrication of either a part of the complete design. The project will take the form of either a space filling installation or an element of stage scenery. The point of departure for the stage scenery will be drawn from the theatrical pieces providing in the reading list.
The requirements of the brief are kept intentionally simple as we are concerned with the development of complex orders and their resultant emergent affects - these concerns should be understood as the primary criteria for the project.
The Apo Mechanes Instructors have a wide range of international teaching experience including teaching design studios and seminars in algorithmic design at Columbia University, the Architecture Association, SCI-Arc, Pratt Institute, UPenn, USC, UCLA, RMIT and the University of Michigan. Further information is available at: http://www.apomechanes.com
EZIO BLASETTI, registered architect TEE-TCG, holds a masters of science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University after graduating from the National Technical University of Athens. Founder of algorithmicdesign.net Ezio is 1/3 of Serge Studio, his recent collaborations include Acconci Studio, biothing and a|Um studio. He has taught at Columbia University, the Architectural Association, The Pratt Institute.
DAVE PIGRAM is the founding Partner of supermanoeuvre, Dave Pigram has taught at Columbia University, the Architectural Association, The Pratt Institute, The University of Michigan and The University of Canberra. He has exhibited and lectured on his work internationally and was formerly a project director for Studio Daniel Libeskind.
ROLAND SNOOKS is the founding partner of Kokkugia, he teaches at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, having previously taught at Sci-Arc, University of Southern California, UCLA, Pratt Institute and RMIT University. Roland was the curator of the Australasian section of this year's Architecture Bienale Beijing
IOULIETTA ZINDROU architect NTUA, MArchAA Iaac [Institutto de Architectura Abancada de Catalunia]. Digital Fabrication Lab Coordinator. Colaborator of Actar Architecture and Guallart Architects. Jury member at UPC, Iaac, Pratt Institute.
All Apo Mechanes meetings (studio and workshop) will be held in the ex machina theater (από μηχανής θέατρο), located in the center of Athens. The building was built in 1930s and was initially a hardware factory. In mid 1990s the building was transformed to a theater allowing artistic experimentation and breaking the limits between stage and stalls. We would like to thank the Theater Company Syn, Epi (+,X) and mr. Akis Vloutis for providing us access to this amazing space and Mrs. Elisavet Andapassi for her continuous support and mediation.
Between Friday August 7th and Tuesday August 11th participants in the full studio program will visit our fabrication facilities in order to produce large scale prototypes of their projects. The factory is located in Kalambaka at Meteora and its fabrication capacities include a large (1.4x2m) industrial laser cutter suitable for a variety of materials such as plywood or Corian. Studio participants will have free access to our facilities and the pre-ordered materials we have allocated for the production of their prototypes. An additional allowance has been allocated for finishings and fixings. Should the studio particpants exceed the allocated budget, additional expenses in the fabrication process (alternative materials, personal tools etc) are not covered.
Additionally, Apo Mechanes is inviting the participants of the studio as well as a curated group of emerging designers to a week long sailing symposium around the greek islands. This initiative is seeking to formalize, through a series of records of proceedings, an on-going dialog around the future of contemporary methodologies in architectural design and fabrication technologies.
[svgallery name="ApomechanesExhibition"] photos by Zindrou Ioulietta
- Melite Babili
- Tania Branquinho
- Vasilis Charalambidis
- Pavlos Fereos
- Griffin Frazen
- Xara Gavra
- Theodoros Kanellopoulos
- Catia La Grotta
- Dimos Lapas
- Evangelos Pantazis
- Elena Porcelli
- Luis Quinones
- Kimon Veneris
- Verena Vogler
- Eleftheria Xanthouli
- 1000 years of non-linear history
- 13 objects
- Agent Intellects: Pattern as a Form of Thought
- Animate Form
- Atlas of Novel Tectonics
- Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
- From Object to Field
- Funes The Memorious
- Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
- Landscapes Of Change
- La Jetee
- Library of Babel
- Manhattan Medea
- Self-made Tapestry
- Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design
- The Birds
- The Garden of Folking Paths
- The Metaphysics of Genetic Architecture
- The Origin of Language: Biology, Information Theory & Thermodynamics
- Tlon, Uqbar Orbis Tertius
[svgallery name="apomechanesP"] photos by Tania Branquinho, Catia La Grotta, Luis Quinones and Ioulietta Zindrou