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  • ‘Soft embodied architectures’: towards a hybrid embodied design ideation method for soft embodied architectural design

Castán Cabrero, Marina, 2019, Thesis, ‘Soft embodied architectures’: towards a hybrid embodied design ideation method for soft embodied architectural design PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

‘Soft Embodied Architectures’ is a practice-based investigation that explores the use
of embodied design ideation (EDI) methods within the context of textile architecture.
The expression ‘textile architecture’ comprises a wide and varied range of projects
that make use of textile materials for architectural design in various ways. EDI
methods have proved to be successful in eliciting meaningful knowledge during the
early phases of the design process. While EDI methods have been widely used in
other fields such as interaction design, fashion design, and product design, there are
fewer examples of these within the context of textile architecture. Consequently, this
investigation sought to find out how EDI methods could contribute to creating new
ways of ideating textile architecture. Through four collaborative experiments, the
spatial potential of textiles was explored by means of body-material interactions and
mapped out into the digital realm. By collaborating with dancers, choreographers,
embodied interaction designers and architects, the notions of embodiment,
materiality, and choreography were explored in relation to the creation of nuanced
spatial expressions such as dynamic soft volumes, elastic spaces and soft envelopes.
This investigation acknowledges the agency of the material, the body and the context,
and develops a hybrid EDI process that combines embodied explorations with motion
capture technology. The findings show that by exploring spatial opportunities through
body-material interactions, soft body-space entities emerged. Such entities offer a
nuanced understanding of space, in which the material, the bodies and the context
co-shape the architectural form through the experience. By digitally capturing this coshaping
process, raw geometries were obtained and explored to expand the design
possibilities of a soft and embodied architecture. A hybrid EDI process such as this
offers a new way of ideating soft embodied architecture by collectively folding,
deforming and ‘layering up’ soft material on and around human bodies, providing
embodied and digital outputs that can be combined and used as insights for designing
soft embodied architecture.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Other > Technologies > J400 Polymers and Textiles > J420 Textiles Technology
Architecture > K100 Architecture
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 642328.
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 10:46
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3949

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