Technical development notes:
Godot Machine and Ant Ballet#
I joined the Bartlett School of Architecture in 2009 to undertake a Masters in Architectural Design, as part of the Interactive Architecture Workshop led by Stephen Gage.1 The Bartlett provided a fertile test bed for ideas and experiments, and it was here that I learnt to write computational code, as well as integrate advanced manufacturing techniques and prototypical electronics into my production process. Both of these practices had a significant effect on the way that I worked; the possibilities of designing and manufacturing 3D-printed and waterjet-cut components, the use of Arduino microcontrollers and electronic components, and a network of peers and tutors with expertise, led to a phase of intense experimentation in building mechanisms and robotic assemblages. At the same time as developing these practical skills, the conversations with tutors and peers served to develop a number of enlivening ideas, many of which have persisted and found their way into this thesis. The two projects which formed the basis of my Masters in Architectural Design portfolio established a mode of working which continues throughout the other projects in this thesis: namely, the use of diagrammatic techniques to explore, explain, and analogise. I continued to develop both projects during the first year of this doctoral research; however, it is the later re-framing of these projects which had the biggest impact on later work.
See Stephen Gage, ‘The Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop’ (Maverick Machines: An Exhibition Inspired by the Work of Gordon Pask, July 2007). I was also taught by Richard Roberts and Ruairi Glynn. Prior to joining the Bartlett, I had a degree in Product Design, and a commercial background working in graphic design. ↩