“The Architects Series - A documentary on: Zaha Hadid Architects” is the 15th edition of a series of lectures and interviews dedicated to leading contemporary architecture firms, curated by THE PLAN magazine for Iris Ceramica Group. It is scheduled for Thursday, November 26, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (CET), to be live streamed on webcast.irisceramicagroup.com, the digital platform owned by the holding company. After a 30-minute video documentary screening, the lecture entitled “Cyber Space and the Autopoiesis of Architecture” will be held, during which ZHA Principal Patrik Schumacher will illustrate Zaha Hadid Architects’ design approach, thinking and vision of architecture. As always, all those who are interested will be able to participate in the lecture remotely, without any restrictions, and to interact with the speaker by asking questions, making considerations and exchanging opinions.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is regarded as one of the most visionary architecture firms of the 21st century as it has given new meaning to the concept of space, constantly pushing boundaries and projecting itself into the future. Established in London in 1979 by British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, it has attracted attention worldwide by working with prominent clients, developing extremely creative projects and creating shapes that break the rules of conventional architecture. Having won prestigious awards, including the Stirling Prize and the Pritzker Architecture Prize – Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive it – the firm now boasts designs and research for 950 projects in six continents, 60 of which are currently underway. A team of more than 400 highly qualified professionals from 55 different countries, together with Patrik Schumacher, the Principal of the firm, continue to carry on the legacy of its founder.
Over the last 40 years, ZHA has been continuously conducting research and formal and conceptual experiments in which shape and space intertwine in the structure of futuristic buildings that constantly interact with their surroundings. The operating mode adopted and interconnected concepts such as integration, connectivity, technological innovation and design have resulted – and continue to result – in the construction of buildings, which are not just simple buildings, but true urban landmarks that change the look of cities.
The organic language of projects, inspired by the principles of nature, gives shape to enveloping, dynamic structures that create spatial continuity, in the same way that living organisms are organized and structured. The ongoing interaction between elements deduced from nature becomes a source of inspiration for a fluid architecture, which makes it possible to design environments with a strong sensory impact and organizational clarity.
Spatial visions are processed using very precise parameters and sophisticated design, construction and building management technologies: this design approach has allowed ZHA to set the benchmark when it comes to applying the B.I.M. Building Information Modeling method worldwide. Parametricism, a discipline founded by Patrik Schumacher and theorized in the two volumes of “The Autopoiesis of Architecture” (2011 and 2012), is the cornerstone of the design approach, which is based on mathematical parameters that allow infinite variations belonging to the same original matrix to be developed. “Instead of assembling rigid and hermetic geometric figures – like all previous architectural styles – Parametricism brings malleable components into a dynamical play of mutual responsiveness as well as contextual adaptation.” (P. Schumacher).
With regard to energy efficiency, using rigorous mathematical parameters and latest generation technologies, by transcoding environmental data, allows morphological adaptations to be obtained, which can help us find practical solutions to modern-day challenges, for example significantly reducing production time and costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions into the environment. Architectural shapes are ‘autopoietic’, like a system that continuously redefines itself and feeds itself, reproducing itself from within.
Nowadays, the Internet has turned architecture into a global subject matter that can be addressed by everyone: any project shared on the Web can become a starting point or a source of influence in the global network of disciplinary communications, contributing to what Patrik Schumaker calls the ‘autopoiesis of architecture and design’. In the near future, cyberspace is the virtual dimension where all architectural actions and innovation will unfold.
Any choice made within this space involves all three phases of Patrik Schumacher’s architectural theory: the organizational project, the phenomenological project and the semiological project. This last element is of crucial importance: since all urban spaces are never just simple physical containers that transport and channel bodies or objects, but are always also spaces for travel and interaction, an information-rich communicative character becomes the very essence of all cyberspace. Whether real or virtual, designing architectural works implies the development of a spatial/visual language to enhance communicative capacity, which makes it possible to create environments rich in readable information that promote new forms of social interaction at all levels.
The course is under approval by AIA CES-USA, approved by CPD-UK for RIBA members for learning units recognition and by CNACPP for accreditation 2 CFP, Crediti Formativi Professionali - Italy only.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
6 p.m. / Welcome address and documentary screening: “The Architects Series – A documentary on: Zaha Hadid Architects”
6:30 p.m. / Conference: “Cyber Space and the Autopoiesis of Architecture” with Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects