Emotive City

Nesta: Future of Machines, London


Emotive City, Nesta: Future of Machines, London

Our architecture will enable
Our architecture will play
Our architecture will sense
Our architecture will self-structure 
Our architecture will learn
Our architecture will be self-aware 
Our architecture will stimulate 
Our architecture will get bored 
Our architecture will anticipate
Our architecture will interact 
Our architecture will be emotive


Could our daily interactions and social scenarios within the city be enabled to restructure our environments through collective interaction? 

What if our everyday local interactions and behaviors were allowed to construct communities and social fabric as living environments that would operate through a collective intelligence that is adaptive and can evolve? 

Emotive City is a framework to explore a mobile and self-organizing model for our contemporary city. Models of the past have proven limited and should not operate, as blueprints for our urban future, a new generation of design enquiry by necessity must address the challenges of today. The fixed and finite tendencies that once served architecture and urbanism have been rendered obsolete. Today the intersections of information, life, machines and matter display complexities that suggest the possibility of a much deeper synthesis. Within this context, architecture is being forced to radically refactor its response to new social and cultural challenges with an environment of accelerated urbanization.  We propose a framework that participates and engages with the information-rich environments that are shaping our lives through a model of living that we call an adaptive ecology.  Interaction within this project enables communication and real-time reorganization on multiple scales of engagement.  

Our interactive model is scenario based and asks what if our living environments were durational, mobile and energy producing could we conceive of a model of city organization that is not tied to infrastructural but would be governed locally through neighborhood relations. 

The model proposed is an alternative experiment to planning that acknowledges the limited capacity of systems that segregate architecture, infrastructure, urbanism and the inhabitants. Our prototype examines a model structure through engagement and social interaction that within mobile and flexible infrastructure can dynamically address issues of latency and the unknown. As a response to Nesta’s Future of Machines theme we felt that our living environments by necessity should be part of the conversation as we actively move towards an understanding of the human machine ecologies that are forming around us.  The emotive city uses interaction as a fundamental communication model to create ecologies of mobile and self structuring habitual environments, a new nature of human machine interactions that are structured through behaviors. 


Nesta (UK Innovation Department) Future-Fest commission
Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Taipei: Emotive Taipei
Frac Centre, 1st Orléans Architecture Biennale
Maison Mais Non Gallery, The Extraordinary Process
Zaha Hadid Gallery, MetaUtopia exhibit London, England
Somerset House, Studio 01 Exhibition
Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura de Buenos Aires, Feedback
Serafio / Benaki Musuem (Pireas) Athens, Greece
ARS Electronica, Radical Atoms, Linz, Austria
Frac Centre, Acquired in Permanent Collection

Selected Works

The Order of TimeProject type

Petting ZooRobotic Sculpture

Of and In the WorldRobotic Sculpture

Memory Cloud DetroitProject type

Dark MatterProject type

Nodeul IslandProject type

Seeing MachineProject type

VehicleRobotic Sculpture

Soft CastProject type

FacebreederRobotic Sculpture

Becoming AnimalProject type