Forms of Saturation
Over the last few decades, architecture has gone through radical processes of liberation whereby novel and complex forms built with an increasingly wider spectrum of material candidates have become possible. This ‘liberation’ of form has first and foremost been enabled by increasingly sophisticated digital technology. However, it has also generated a vacuum in architectural theory where either digital technology is simply and uncritically celebrated or the focus has turned to other disciplines, such as biology, or to nature.
Without providing answers or suggesting alternatives to the current vacuity of architectural thought, this lecture will attempt to address the influence and status of the digital by focusing on an inclusive notion of space. This is both architectural space but also the productive space in which we find ourselves as we go about architectural design.
Johan Bettum is a professor of architecture, the program director of the Städelschule Architecture Class and currently the interim dean of Städelschule. He has taught and lectured, amongst other places, at the AA, UCLA, the Berlage Institute, Innsbruck University, the EPFL in Lausanne and Oslo School of Architecture. Bettum studied at the Architectural Association (AA) after gaining a BA with a major in biology from Princeton University. His main interests reside in the intersection between materials, geometry and architectural design. Bettum was a research fellow at the Oslo School of Architecture from 1997-2001 and headed a nationally funded research project on polymer composite materials in architecture. Until 2000 he led the OCEAN group in Oslo whose work on polymer composites and advanced digital modelling greatly influenced the projects of the group in this period. Bettum’s PhD is entitled The Material Geometry of Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites and Architectural Tectonics. His experimental practice, ArchiGlobe, conducts various small-scale projects, exploring related subjects.