Nikoletta Karastathi (UCL) - 2022-23 Students

Sympoietic Eco-Plexis: A post-digital approach towards ecologically crafted textile architecture

In the past decade, there has been a shift towards rethinking materials, digital tools and fabrication methods, leading to a post-digital approach. Post-digital implies that the computational tools are interwoven with sociocultural and situated environments, pushing for new cultural and material forms where materiality, craft, ecology, and sociocultural interdependencies have started to become key aspects of the design process. Therefore, it is vital to responsibly create hybrid design approaches where computational tools work in synergy with materiality in developing new cultures.

The proposed design-based research sets out to develop and examine forms of architectural craft alongside fabricating prototypes. It uses textiles as a medium to explore how craft techniques can be re-interpreted to inform our current design, material, and ecological methodologies. Textile making is a craft known from prehistoric times. It is a performative action of construction and deconstruction that could be considered as the first architecture. Thus, the first known architects can be identified as weavers with the skills to produce structurally complex enclosures. Also, textiles can be seen as a medium to express stories, myths transferred from one generation to another and can indicate aesthetic values, technological advancements, and sociocultural characteristics. The research will examine how we can re-translate, re- interpret and construct parallels from craft processes and theories to cultivate current digital design methodologies through a dynamic framework.

The aim would be to create new methodologies and fabrication methods for architecture. The exploration will use textiles as a theoretical metaphor and construction method, working with hybrid processes of craft and computation to establish new ecologically crafted architectural cultures.

Primary supervisor: Prof Marjan Colletti, UCL
Secondary supervisor: Dr Fiona Zisch, UCL

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