Apophenic Ecologies

Matias del Campo

Apophenia describes the phenomenon of perceiving meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data, such as seeing faces, figures and structured patterns in clouds. The term was coined by Klaus Conrad in 1958 who defined it as the “unmotivated seeing of connections”

The main task of the Apophenic studio is to oscillate between control (Maya),  and uncontrolled Pattern generation (Processing)which allows for pattern recognition. In the last decade the prevailing computational design paradigm was defined by the desire to control the output;  by the means of parametric modeling tools the level of control has surpassed every expectation. This course however explores novel, alternative paths in order to find new opportunities within the computational realm for architectural expressions, slightly on the outside of the control paradigm, the course oscillates between modeling and coding in order to create moments of randomness which allow for apophenic reading of the results. The studio will be exposed to a new technique which allows for a stringent flow of information between Maya and Processing.

Within this universe of thought the generation of the articulation is substantially out of the control of the designer. The studio will explore how subtle changes in code can create multiplicious variation in the result. The results are scrutinized for their potentiality in terms of architectural proto-conditions: Enclosure, compartmentization, aperture and circulation and the relations of these elements to each other. The explorations then are casted into architectural prototypes which allow to evaluate the architectural affect generated by this novel approach.

The transition from code to reality is of utmost importance to evaluate the results of the studio. A constant flow between modeling, coding and fabrication forms the main ecology of the studio culture.