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Semantic Architecture - a performance oriented arcology project exemplified through a free manufacturing zone

Part 2 Project 2013
Rune Noël Björnson-Langen
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Denmark
The advent of 3D digital additive printing technologies establishes direct links between the making-of-information and the making-of-things. Together with the rapid proliferation of designs for DIY printer kits the ability to produce complex artifacts – the act of making – has been fundamentally democratised and arguably trivialised. But these technologies entangle issues beyond those of making and the status of the maker.

They are presenting significant challenges and tests to existing social, cultural, economic and legal structures as recently evidenced through the manufacture of the first functioning 3D printed pistol and the public release of its blueprints online – downloaded 100,000 times in two days, and immediately printable.

Architectural practice (and the status of the architect) is rooted in the relation between representation and making. This can be understood as a relation of separation – in general the architect does not make what she proposes. But with 3D print technologies certain forms of representation can be used directly as an instruction-to-make. The implications are not trivial and require critical enquiry and open speculation.

‘Semantic Architecture’ is a speculative project that envisions a possible architectural, social, economic and urban future predicated upon these existing technologies of 3D additive printing. The project invents the programme of a ‘Free Manufacturing Zone’ and sites this within Tiergarten, Berlin. The notion of ‘Free-Manufacturing’ extends to the scaffold of the architecture itself. The scaffold is a perpetually 3D printed materialization of the zone’s economic data which acts simultaneously as structure and representation.

‘Sematic Architecture’ can be understood as a contemporary extension of the culture of architectural production conceptualised by Bernard Rudofsky in his book ‘Architecture without Architects’. It is a neoprimitive vision in which the specialist has relinquished deterministic control, and where occupation and inhabitation are acts of colonisation within a spontaneous and persistently materialised datascape.

Rune Noël Björnson-Langen


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