Responsive Simplexities

Tehran Visiting School 2011

Director: Omid Kamvari

Tutors: Giles Bruce + Wolfgang Frese

Complexity from chaos suggests hunger for energy, inefficiency, wastefulness.

Simplexity from order suggests optimisation, evolution, efficiency of resource. Modern technology often leads to far too complex solutions for essentially quite simple tasks and challenges and often ignores the simple solutions that can respond successfully to complex environmental conditions.

This unit explores this theme in terms of the dynamic relationship between buildings and their climatic context in Tehran. Can local environmental conditions be tweaked,
twisted, and manipulated to minimise building energy consumption? Can the rich cultural and engineering heritage of Iran and climatic extremes which characterise Tehran become the catalyst for innovation, experimentation and creativity? Can adaptive and responsive architecture intelligently interface between the environment within our buildings and the dynamic environment outside? By articulating a position towards a specific environmental context, the unit aims to develop architectural strategies and
design responses which challenge the conventions of low-energy design in the city.

Alongside presentations of vernacular and contemporary precedents of environmentally responsive design strategies, students will initially explore simple responsive systems of their own making with digital and physical prototypes that will be analysed in interim juries. We will then define a series of sites in Tehran from which location-specific passive or active strategies can be derived, and from which more complex architectural concepts can evolve. With an emphasis on physical experimentation and informed decision making, students will develop architectural propositions at a range of scales from individual adaptive components to an urban block.


Tehran Visiting School 2011