greg lynn is an architectural theorist, designer and professor at Columbia University. This exhibition marks an attempt to use time and motion based techniques for the evolution of a dynamic flexible architectures.

Historically, architects have understood movement as the travel of a moving eye in space. Yet, architecture, in both its realization and its conception, has been understood as static, fixed, ideal and inert. Themes of motion and dynamics in architecture are typically addressed through pictorial views of static forms. Not only have buildings been constructed as static forms, but more importantly architecture has been conceived and designed based on models of stasis and equilibrium.

Typically, computer animation software reinforces this normative assumption that architectural design belongs in static cartesian space waiting to be animated by a mobile view. Instead of using animation software to breath picturesque movement into lifeless Cartesian spaces, this exhibition represents an ongoing attempt to use motion for the generation of architectural projects dynamically. Classical architectural metaphors of stasis and equilibrium are replaced with more vital architectural design process that are literally and conceptually animated. Building forms and organizations are evolved through the interaction of disparate forces and gradients of influence in time based environments within which the designer guides their often undecidable growth, transformation and mutation.

The development of these projects proceeds through the development of provisional prototypes that are chosen for their flexibility and adaptability. To initiate transformation and mutation, external constraints are exerted on these internally regulated prototypes. The result of this interaction between a generalized flexible organization and particular external constraints is a design process that has an undecidable outcome. This process of increasing novelty through the incorporation of external constraints mandates an improvisational design attitude. This shift from determinism to directed indeterminacy is central to the development of a dynamic design method. The use of topological geometries that are capable of being bent, twisted, deformed and differentiated while maintaining their continuity is also necessary.

In their search for systems that can simulate the appearance of life, the special effects and animation industry has developed a useful set of tools for these investigations; as contemporary animation software utilizes a combination of deformable surfaces and physical forces. The convergence of computer aided technological processes and biological models of growth, development and transformation can be investigated using animation rather than conventional architectural design software. Rather than being designed as stationary inert forms, space is highly plastic, flexible, and mutable in its dynamic evolution through motion and transformation. In animation simulations, form is not only defined by its internal parameters, as it is also effected by a mosaic of other fluctuating external, invisible forces and gradients including: gravity, wind, turbulence, magnetism and swarms of moving particles. These gradient field effects are used as abstract analogies for; pedestrian and automotive movement, environmental forces such as wind and sun, urban views and alignments, and intensities of use and occupation in time.

The exhibition chronicles the design process of five experimental architectural projects through computer animation footage and a series of miniature resin models that were output at various stages of the projects evolution. In this exhibition there are no static drawings such as plans or sections and in their place are videotape sequences. The complex organic forms of the projects are realized directly through three-dimensional rapid prototyping printouts from computer files using stereolithography and laser cutting. These models are extremely small (less than 9" in any direction) yet maintain a high degree of detail (within a micron). One of the projects is the exhibition space itself which will be printed out and constructed at full scale in plastic.

As the entire exhibition was incubated and designed with the assistance of computers, the exhibition itself is merely a collection of videotape and three dimensional output. The original files can be accessed via the internet on an accompanying on-line virtual exhibition published on the internet magazine BASILISK.COM. This virtual exhibition will include animation and renderings of the various projects within a three dimensional interface modeled on the installation itself.
Correspondence, contributions and comments may be directed at


SPONSORS | THIS EXHIBITION WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF: The Graham Foundation for the Advancement of the Humanities COMPUTER EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY: Silicon Graphics Computer Systems SOFTWARE PROVIDED BY: Alias / Wavefront Inc. SOFTWARE FOR QTVR AND CATALOG DEVELOPMENT PROVIDED BY: Apple Computer Corp. STEREOLITHOGRAPHY MODELS PROVIDED BY: Center for Manufacturing Systems: Simulation and Rapid Prototyping Lab, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ. LASERCUT MODELS PROVIDED BY: Studio Associates, New York, NY PRINTING FOR SHOW PROVIDED BY: Impact Presentations, New York, NY VIRTUAL INSTALLATION PROVIDED BY: Basilisk Magazine,

the online exhibition of greg lynn FORM at Artists Space designed by Ed Keller
( for basilisk/straylight imaging and design,
in collaboration with greg lynn and the FORM office.
The international viewing platform BASILISK is a quarterly Internet Web site that serves as a host for a variety of disciplines. BASILISK worldwide has deployed architectural theory and design, film theory and criticism, short animations, fiction, cultural and media theory, philosophy and alternative music. all work copyright © 1995, greg lynn FORM/basilisk.