The Business school project design is a theoretical investigation of how abstract concepts and ideas are articulated as physical form through the application of ideal and complex geometries, hence the name morphometric machine.
The morphometric machine is a formal statement that materializes the tension between the comfort and security of the long held orthodox business traditions and the more open-ended methods of conducting business in the twenty first century. As such, the form acts as a memory machine that reminds students and users of the building of the complex ideas and concepts of the business world. Thus, the project is conceived as an articulate, dynamic, and spatial shipyard that teaches and educates through its spatial and physical design.
Theoretically, as the design addressed issues of business principles, architectural principles, and geometry, an integral part of the formal exercise was to address the relationship between an idea and its copy or physical representation. This was conducted within the philosophical framework Eleatic monism, sophistic relativism and platonic idealism. Through its formal expression, the machine investigated how the Eleatic concepts of aletheia i.e. truth, and Doxa i.e. appearances can be architecturally addressed.
The notion of the collapsing reality into streams of images, products and activities and its inherent fragmentation of society sanctioned by business traditions and bureaucracy was inspired by Plato’s Icastic and Phantastic places where the interaction of ideal and transformative geometries within the form constructs multi-dimensional ambiances of moments, spaces and places where shifting relational images and the emotional dynamics detaches the user from the Platonic Icastic space of imitated reality and physical representation of an idea, to the Platonic Phantastic imaginary space that detaches the user from the mimic reality to the freedom of the what is unreal and yet to come.
This was also reflected on the program where the functional units of the school; educational, support, department, and administrative where reorganized according to the imagination process (gathering data-idealizing, synthesizing, realizing, and defining).
Formally, the structural concept of tensegrity was used to express the duality between the orthodox and more liberal and their inherent tension. Tensgrity is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in-compression inside a net of continuous tension, in such a way that the compressed bars or struts do not touch while the pre-stressed tensioned cables or tendons delineate the system spatially.
Accordingly, the geometry of form oscillates between two extremes: an ideal geometry of order and proportions, and uncertain mathematics understood as probability and randomness manifested as energetic lines that penetrate the space. The ideal geometry is made up of a Cartesian grid of modular columns and beams forming the main structure and boundaries of material and acting as a metaphor of the old. This system of beams and posts is made of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, (AESS).
To structure the building and be part of the architectural language of the building, the (AESS) is specially treated for form i.e. visual and aesthetic expression, fit i.e. connection and assembly, and finish i.e. visual impression, weather withstanding, and fire protection. The uncertain mathematics presents itself as a tensegric structure. Accordingly, the building extends beyond the pragmatics of form and function of a business school building to articulate a set of architectural principles and design ideas and to test them.
The final form of the building conveniences between ecological and pragmatic factors of site and function as well as estimating quantitative genetic parameters of ideal and parametric geometry, that’s where morphometric architecture was used to quantify a trait of evolutionary significance, eventually acting as an expression of order and disorder, of the simple and the complex, and for the coexistence of permanent reference and random happening.
Project credits :
Name: Rasha Al Shami
School: The University Of Jordan
Advisor: Saleem M.Dahabreh, PhD
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