Building An Evolutionary City In 24 Hrs In One Room
New Zealand Architect / Urbanist Chris Moller of S333 Architecture+Urbanism based in the Netherlands launches the [CITY
IN A ROOM] 'thought experiment' to explore alternative ideas about how we could think about cities.
Exploring evolutionary architecture techniques in a 24 hr pressure-cooker with John Frazer
WHAT: [City in a room]- Cooking with John Frazer
Building an evolutionary city in 24 hrs in one room.
In a 24 hr multimedia Jam shifts of multi-disciplinary teams are invited to think, build and translate; together seeking
to express Frazers thought experiment, computing without computers in real time, engaging all senses. In this steaming
pot we collect ingredients for an evolutionary city which are passed by Chinese whispers; and then stirred to taste.
This experiment doesn’t aim for an utopian image; it seeks to bring together the dynamic powers that are at work in
cities and reflect on the unpredictable outcome The process aims to built a city in which, to speak with Frazer ‘… the
symbiotic behaviour and metabolic balance that are characteristic of the natural environment …’are at work. This [city
in a room] is to be built, live and vanish within 24 hrs.
Why is it today that cities continue to get stuck in formal planning processes that so often fail? They dont seem able
to tap into so many available alternative or informal resources of the people or place for whom they are intended? Is it
not time to think outside convention, to think sideways, to tap the energy and creativity that this could offer? [City
in a Room] is an event intended to do just this, to explore new creative tools beyond convention, to engage in
spontaneous ways of imagining cities. To discover clues that such a multi-media jam might reveal.
9725 BG Groningen
Saturday November 1st at 18.00 in shifts across 24 hrs until 18.00 Sunday 2nd
Prof. John Frazer has been a pioneer in the development of intelligent and evolutionary design computation for over 30
years, at the AA in London, Cambridge University, University of Ulster and, most recently, Hong Kong Polytechnic
University. He will lead the experiment supported by teams of artists, thinkers, builders, musicians, architects,
inventors, chefs, scientists, friends&.
This project is being developed and funded through the joint initiative of 3 independent Art- and Architecture studios
including Pavlov Medialab (Groningen), S333 Architecture + Urbanism (Amsterdam), and Onix Architecten (Groningen), with
additional support from Platform GRAS (Groningen Architecture Center) en Peter de Kan Grafisch ontwerp
NOTES TO T HE EDITOR
For more information about [city in a room] or photos you can contact Chris Moller
Of course you are welcome to visit the project in Groningen.
Bibliography _ Prof. Frazer
John Frazer has been a pioneer in the development of intelligent and interactive building design systems and
evolutionary design computation for over thirty years. His research in this field has been developed at the
Architectural Association in London, Cambridge University, the University of Ulster where he was awarded a personal
Chair, and most recently the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where he was Head of School and also Chair Professor. He
is also an honorary Professor at four other Chinese Universities. His work has been presented worldwide in conferences,
and extensively published in journals and books, including the seminal An Evolutionary Architecture.(1995)
Philosophies of the three initiators
Pavlov Media www.pavlov.nl
We think new media is far too often seen and presented as a new technology. That is why we want to present other aspects
that are just as essential to us: new media as a mass communication device, new media as a way of thinking.
One thing is clear: new media is not just about technology but every bit as much about common (mass) culture in the
public domain. New media artists are not as much craftsmen as they are thinkers and manipulators of the (mass)
conscience. Actually, we could just as easily talk of communication art .
As media artists we would not like to restrict ourselves to the research of aesthetics and techniques of new media. We
would also like to bring to light the effect of new media on our culture and force mutations of the consciousness with
the intention to open new roads and perspectives. We feel socially engaged without taking up an explicit ideological
That's why we demonstrate our work in public spaces and every day life, and also make contact with the government,
industry and social institutions in our work. Projects include multimedia shows in public space, digital film, music and
urban adventures. Projects include Requiem for a cityhall (1994), Mobile, an urban adventure (2001) and This is not
Kings Cross (2003)
S333 Architecture + Urbanism www.s333.org
It could be said that the critical question for architecture today is precisely the question of practice. S333 finds
itself moving more and more away from merely representing the world in its work to forming architectural and urban
strategies that operate within the world. This pushes the design possibilities of architectural work, encouraging the
invention of new forms, new modalities and new ways of thinking about the converging relationships between architecture,
urbanism and landscape.
In this sense, S333s projects and research are experimental and explorative, seeking an investigation of higher forms of
organization and combinations, rediscovering architecture and the city within contemporary cultural conditions. This
approach to design is strengthened through a collaborative and interdisciplinary working method, resulting in projects
achieving greater levels of expectation.
S333 architecture + urbanism officially opened its office in 1997 in Amsterdam the Netherlands. Composed of a
multi-national team of architects and urban designers led by four partners: Burton Hamfelt (Canada), Christopher Moller
(New Zealand), Dominic Papa (England) and Jonathan Woodroffe (England). The office has been awarded a number of projects
in the Nether-lands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and France. Most recently completed are Schots 1+2, two innercity
blocks, Groningen NL (short listed for the Mies van de Rohe Award), 56 houses, Vijfhuizen NL, 50 innercity cliff + row
dwellings Beaumont Quarter Auckland NZ (completion 2004).
Onix Architecten www.onix.nl
The design attitude at Onix can be characterised as a continuous search. A search between old and new, between change
and improvement, between neutral and specific, between the obvious and alienation, and between the generic and the
architects signature. During this search borders are crossed, so that the assignment can be stretched and new
possibilities arise as to the requested programme. By responding to the changing reality during the design process, the
designers are being challenged to improvise and to get the most out of their design. This design attitude works as a
mechanism to resist the obvious and create something one-off. A work in progress in which any penchant for the past and
the future is rejected. Thus architecture becomes a product of the present. Projects include elderly homes in Eelde,
realisation of 25 elderly homes ,a biological farm in Haren and the Vensterschool in the Oosterparkwijk (Winner