Digital – Biodigital

A diagram for a class I give at l’ESA on digital architecture based on the teaching of Antoine Picon who writes that digital culture caused architecture to enter a crisis of scale and tectonic and that architecture is seeing a renewal of ornament [1]. The ornament versus cosmetic argument comes from a text by Jeffrey Kipnis [2]. My interest in mobility and ecology leads me to believe that architecture is actually going beyond ornament, and that we have integrated to our digital manipulations molecular scale and structure. This is what constitute biodigital architecture. You see how both are linked. To be continued!

[1] Antoine Picon, Culture numérique et architecture – une introduction (Birkhäuser, 2010)
[2] Jeffrey Kipnis, “The Cunning of Cosmetics,” El Croquis 84 (1997): 22 – 28

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FlashTaTu


Le personnage de FlashTaTu est né d’une réflexion sur le corps et l’espace augmenté. FlashTatu est un super héros qui a le pouvoir de numériser les P. I. G. S. – les People, Information, Goods and Spaces. Flash fait référence aux QR codes aussi appelés flash codes que l’on scanne à l’aide d’un téléphone mobile et qui renvoient à un url. TaTu rappelle l’origine tahitienne du mot tatouage : ta pour dessin et atouas pour esprit. Interpretation littérale mais aussi humoristique de l’individu augmenté et hypertexte, FlashTatu donne corps au zeitgeist bio-numérique. FlashTaTu navigue dans des univers parallèles, le physique et le numérique, et les met en relation. FlashTaTu est aussi un agent bio-politique qui se mêle des questions d’aliénation dans la ville augmentée. C’est un avatar, un médiateur, prétexte à des expérimentations sur les espaces hybrides – physiques et numériques.

Les activités mises en scène au cours de cette exposition qui réunit artistes, penseurs et innovateurs ont pour but de questionner l’identité des espaces hybrides de la ville – le corps est aussi un espace – et d’envisager les lieux hypertextes de demain.

Yasmine Abbas, Research & Design Direction
Marion Daeldyck, 3D design
Nadine Branellec, Research Assistant

Corps – technologie – habitat – peau – information – mobilité – néo-nomade – identités hybrides – espaces hybrides – hypertexte – interface – ecotone – architecture – urbain – numérique – augmenté

Body – technology – habitat – skin – information – mobility – neo-nomad – hybrid identities – hybrid spaces – hypertext – interface – ecotone – architecture – urban – digital – augmented

PIGS in 3D

PIGS stands for People, Information, Goods and Spaces… Preparing two lectures (it’s all in the book! Read it :-) that will happen at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture (ESA) in Paris, France – Architecture des milieux post-master (end of January) and Tokyo Denki University, Japan (mid February). The image above is an avant-goût. More details will come. Come say hello!

Image 1 _ Etienne-Jules Maray, Saut de l’homme en blanc, Chronophotographie sur plaque fixe, vers 1887 © Couval/musée Marey-Beaune

Image 2 _ May 1941. “ Dymaxion house, metal, adapted corn bin, built by Butler Brothers, Kansas City. Designed and promoted by R. Buckminster Fuller.” Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott.

Image 3 _ A random avatar picked for its visual quality.

Image 4 _ The Hug Shirt by Cute Circuit.

Image 5 _ Cécile de Cassagnac, Chose à l’anneau, 2009, aquarelle et encre sur papier 76 x 58 cm

Image 6 _ Cedric Price, Generator, 1976

Human – Non-human


Currently writing a piece on hybrids and explaining why it is relevant to space analysis and design, architecture and urban. In fact hybrids embody what I label as “mental mobility”. They live in “ecotones”, in transition zones between two ecosystems, in fluid and liminal spaces. We often relate hybridity with power or with cosmic power. In the “spaces of flows” and in our “liquid society”, looking at hybridity, however fictitious – we are all hybrids after all – is a way to argue for a design that is open to re-assembly and re-configuration.

The photograph above is from a temple that I visited when in Sri Lanka. The Makara “has the lower jaw of a crocodile, the snout or trunk of an elephant, the tusks and ears of a wild boar, the darting eyes of a monkey, the scales and flexible body of a fish, and the swirling tail feathers of a peacock.”

My Body Is A Hypertext

Summer time – August 16, 2005 – As I was reading (and writing for my thesis) on augmented bodies – William J. Mitchell, Me++, The Cyborg Self and the Networked City (MIT press, 2003) – I thought of getting a 2D code tattoo – though a washable one, for that I don’t like things permanent – or let’s say it differently – I accept that things have an expiration date – that death is part of life. That is true (ecological) neo-nomadism btw.

That is the vignette (with a text) I had produced to illustrate the concept:

project number . 20050816
project title . shotcode tattoo
medium . ink or washable tattoo
my identity has shrunk to my skin…
<< I link therefore I am >> says WJM
my tattoo is no more a barcode that one scans
for revealing the identity of a product
the extension of my body is a url
we exist because of the envelope, the image
which is drawn, written, or projected onto it
our skin is a state of mind, a habitat, and our identity
the last private space?
my body is a hypertext

On August 23, 2005, I received the email below:

My name is [x] and I’m the founder / CEO of [x] / ShotCode.

I loved your blog entry and I just wanted to let you know how close to home it hit for me.

In the coming month I will tattoo a ShotCode on my chest. It’ll be a ShotCode that I can point to any type of content that I want. We’ll make a little movie of it to prove that it’s an actual tattoo and not a stick on or penned shape.

And then again on the same day after I had answered:

I’ve had the ShotCode drawn on my chest to test if it works and it does. The next step is the actual tattooing which I’ll have done in [x] (a city in Sweden) [etc.]

Anyway, I had also been forwarded another link… Here you will find the newest way to pick-up a Japanese Babe! Or when bodies become blunt commodities.

Nowadays, my reflection on augmented bodies (And what this has to do with space) has evolved – especially in light of the Arab Spring. Neo-nomads are bio-political agents – More about this concept in the book: Néo-nomadisme.

Actually pushing the #hyperbody project further (Paris is so intellectually stimulating). Stay tuned. It is coming very soon.