Alien-Embed, 2014-5 Scenario Development / World-Builder SW>D  






















SMALLWORLD_D ///////// ALIEN_EMBED - Scenario Development / World-Builder - SW>D

Jason Vigneri-Beane <>

Project Statement

Alien-Embeds : Forthcoming.


Small_World_A/A-E is an exercise in scenario design that explores relationships among industrial design, architecture and ecological sub-urbanism in an amphibious environment. Each sector (A-E) remains somewhat opaque while still indicating a niche-filling potential in the emerging urbanism that is, for the moment, simply designated Small_World_A/A-E. So far, the architectural objects populating this world are tending towards clusters and arrays of residential-scale structures, transportation infrastructure consisting of crawling buildings (as opposed to streets and vehicles) and landscapes of industrial activity. There are also exceptions and entanglements among these oversimplified and expedient programmatic categorizations.

For example, structures designated Small_World_A appear in isolation on the periphery of this patchy settlement. It is unclear if it is a residential outpost, a weather station, a depot of some sort or a signal station. There is no way to tell, yet, if it accommodates an anthropocentric interior to it or if it is some kind of machine with an illuminated and hydrophobic skin. As a clear form embedded in a fluid environment of water and fog, it simultaneously enacts its own counter-formal agency in the self-illumination of its envelope and the cloud of point-illuminated drones that attend it.

Small_World_B is inscrutable with regard to an accessible interior while simultaneously being the most aggressively differentiated from and integrated into its context. It is both detached from and embedded into a watered landscape which it simultaneously structures and exceeds. It appears to be the hybridization of landscape, bathyscape, object and infrastructure. Notable, this sector is the most zoologically supportive and it is teeming with fish, waterfowl and aquatic plant and animal life. It structures the shallow-water terreforming that acts as its own substrate while the geometry of that substrate benefits from the rise and fall of the water level.

Small_World_C can only be speculated on. There is a high probability that it is some kind of transport/transit agent with an excessive structural undercarriage that holds its body high above the waterline. When viewed as a mere structural system it seems excessive but when it begins to move, to “crawl” through shallow water one can see that it is in fact a multi-legged locomotion system with buoyant footings, hydraulic action and a self-leveling capability as it traverses different terrains and different degrees of hydrodynamic activity. It is slow moving and self-illuminating. It is simultaneously self-illuminating and self-propelling and, as such, acts both as signal and as self-organizing agent of collective and distributed design. It appears to be some kind of Swarming Infrastructure to deliver people, resources, goods and information.

In addition, Small_World_D and Small_World_E have components that are similar formally and tectonically. Those components appear to be in similar co-evolutionary relationships with a synthetic terrain made of cradles, channels, platforms and notational graphics denoting a logistical sub-text to the activities that it sponsors. However, Small World D suggests a possible ecological-economical location for salt-harvesting while Small World E seems to serve as a distributed docking station for population of drones that collect and deliver material and information as mediators between architecture and synthetic ecology.

Small_World_D is a study in continuous differentiation. It has distinct features that border on the conventional: objects, grounds, interiors, exteriors and so on. Yet these features are played out less as discrete entities and more as co-evolutionary entities that are attenuated into their own identities as often as they are interfaced with that of their adjacencies. They are bulbous, layered, spiculed, involuted, ridged, ribbed and raked. They are opaque, glossy, translucent, self-illuminated, smooth, rough and particulate. These features comprise another inscrutable environment yet this one, unlike Small_World_A/B/C is diversified into a more robust sector that indicates a multi-agent/multi-program complex of production, consumption, containment and staging. Its two-dimension features consist of a more extensive and elaborate set of logistical markings throughout the various super-components that interlock to form its terrain. And while all of these features provide a the coherent and stable basis for this sector there is, above, the constant and subtle sound of drones. Arriving, departing, ascending, descending, hovering, harvesting and acting as cloud to the cores of this sector. To have become vapor.

Small_World_E is, for lack of a more determinate reading, a sector-variant on Small_World_D. (Or, perhaps, vice-versa.) Similarities: cores (architectures), clouds (drone infrastructures), terrains (synthetic and logistical landscapes), attenuated identities, co-evolved interfaces, continuous but no contiguous forms and programs, material diversity, programmatic diversity (apparent but not confirmed), substrate super-componentry with logistical graphic maps and markings, interrelated interiors and exteriors, routes, ridges and ribbing. Distinctions come perhaps in explicit and implicit relationship with those dynamic operators that have come to coexist with the fixed “architectural” features of this sector. (What is “architectural” here is a bit suspect: why should the large, inhabitable, passive features of this sector bear the label “architectural” and the full entanglement of entities present be labeled something other?) These dynamic operators exhibit agency and are significant of this sector’s special status as complex-adaptive-system (Holland) in-the-making. These Agent-Others are both/and/either/or electronic/organic and, in spite of their differences, appear to be both drones and animals. Watershedding interior envelopes dock drones on the outside of the inside. These drones dock, depart, probe, harvest, transmit, download, distribute and, it seems, extend this most physical environment’s capacity into the virtual environment of data-driven dynamics. At the same time, this sector, built for flood, built TO flood, embraces animal emigration into its non-anthropocentric sub-urbanism. Fish, waterfowl, cephalopods, crustaceans have been seen to populate this sector and, in the end, the architecture seems a mere platform for the activities of the robots, animals and elements that circulate and settle in and around its attenuations. To have become substrate.