Graduate Architecture

Non Discrete Architectures: Networks, Digital Prosthetics and Augmentation

Thursday, April 2, 2015 6:30pmFriday, April 3, 2015 8:00pm
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Lower Gallery, Meyerson Hall

Registration Required

Eventbrite - Non Discrete Architectures: Networks, Digital Prosthetics and Augmentation

Non Discrete Architectures:

Networks, Digital Prosthetics and Augmentation


Within the design fields, the use of programming languages, data, sensors, physical computing, and robotics are serving as new design mediums.  These mediums are proving immensely capable of embedding degrees of intelligence into design which in turn allow for the production of space to move beyond static compositions of building material and toward environments that can sense, read, and react. 


This new responsiveness aided by the convergence of digital and physical space will take design beyond physical artifacts and toward the inclusion of interfaces, responsive experiences, and human-machine interaction.  We are now beginning to witness early results of this convergence in the form of non-discrete architectures: digital prosthetics, networked environments, and augmented space and objects. The affordances gained and provided by new design medium and the computation tools that drives them, have ushered in a new aesthetic. This new aesthetic is one that is diffuse, mute, expectantly intelligent, and simultaneously virtual and experiential. 


The Non Discrete Architectures Symposium will catalogue and explore the implications, methods of understanding, research and production of the imminent convergence of the digital and physical, and thereby acknowledge its power and intent on shifting and expanding architectural and spatial production.


Organizers and Funders
This symposium is organized by Shawn Rickenbacker and generously supported by Motorola Solutions and PennDesign's Office of the Dean and the Department of Architecture.


Non Discrete Architectures:

Thursday April 2nd 6:00 PM Symposium Opening

6:00 - 6:30 PM Registration

Welcome by Dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor (Dean, PennDesign)

Introduction by Shawn Rickenbacker (PennDesign)


6:30 PM Keynote Lecture by Carlo Ratti ( MIT)


Friday April 3rd  9:00 AM -  6:30PM

9:15 - 10:00 AM  Registration / Breakfast

10:00 AM Welcome by Winka Dubbeldam (PennDesign)

Introduction by Shawn Rickenbacker ( PennDesign)






10:30 - Session 1: Spatial Networks

Through distributed and embedded computing, the emergence of spatial networks has formed as an embodiment of information and the exchange of that information.  The rise of spatial networks represents a new spatial domain allowing for new exchange protocols and possible outcomes.   This session will explore how designers conceive of, understand and instrumentalize concepts of spatial networks toward augmenting space and human experience. 

10:30  Introduction Dana Cupkova (CMU)


Lydia Kallipoliti, Syracuse University 

Sean Lally, UIC

Mark Shepard, University at Buffalo

Kipp Bradford, Data Sensing Lab


Respondent: Dana Cupkova,CMU

Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30


1:30 - Session 2 Digital Prosthetics

Digital data represented as discrete discontinuous values is a new design medium.  Increasing volumes and the complexity of digital data require multi-part systems to interpret and successfully coordinate actionable responses. The design of these systems act as new legible forms of prosthetic interfaces that extend the production and accessibility of human-machine synthesis.  This session will examine current research and the design of new digital prosthetics.

Introduction by Simon Kim (PennDesign)

Orkan Telhan, PennDesign

Biayna Bogosian, USC

Jason Kelly Johnson, CCA

Michael Szivos, Pratt / Yale University


Respondent: Simon Kim, PennDesign

3:30 - 3:50 Break


4:00 Session 3 Augmentation

The leveraging of computation in design is intended to increase capacity, functionality and agency. The spatial and generative capabilities served by computation communicate with a new and expanding range of tools. The tools are the bridge, linking new human, machine and environment exchanges, responsible for the new found augmentation of materials, spaces and experiences.  This session will examine the design processes and their corresponding  range of augmentation and affect.

Introduction:  Shawn Rickenbacker (PennDesign)


Ryan Luke Johns / Nicholas Foley,  GREYSHED

Campbell Hyers - Control Group, Storefront for Art & Architecture 

Peter Testa, SCI ARC

Molly Wright Steenson, U of Wisconsin-Madison

Carlo Ratti, MIT


Respondent: Shawn Rickenbacker, PennDesign