Presented by the School of Architecture, “Technoecologies” reconceives the relationship between humans and their environment in architecture through prototypes and models that explore emerging forms of bio-architecture, living systems and evolving environments. The exhibition critiques the performance-driven corporate architecture of “sealed” envelopes and controlled environments, which disconnect users from natural air, light and exposure to public activity while contributing to spatial homogeneity and dullness, possibly triggering psychobiological disorders.
By contrast, “Technoecologies” proposes a metabolic architecture as a provocative alternative approach, being manifested in speculative yet tangible ways. In architecture, metabolism is connected to the neo-avant-garde design strategies of the Asian postwar movement of the 1960s known as Japanese Metabolism, a movement grounded in the idea that, rather than being fixed machines, buildings and cities should be organic and constantly grow, change and renew. “Technoecologies” shares that vision and aligns, too, with that of architect and artist Gordon Matta-Clark, who also deployed the concept of metabolism in his work, using the medium of the art installation as a means of tangible experimentation and real-time intervention in existing buildings.
With examples ranging from artificial sonic gardens and living wall prototypes to interactive models of seed banks, projects in “Technoecologies” examine processes of material transformation, eventually generating a series of themes that advocate how art, technology and architecture might progressively transform the environment, society and culture.
Zenovia Toloudi is an architect, artist and assistant professor of architecture at Studio Art, Dartmouth College. The founder of Studio Z, a creative research practice on art, architecture and urbanism, she has exhibited internationally, including at the Biennale in Venice, the Center for Architecture, the Athens Byzantine Museum, the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Onassis Cultural Center.