The report of the "Variable_environment" project, a joint project between EPFL and ECALhas just been released. Although it's in french, this 19 Mb. document is full of great content, material and insights (some parts are in english).
With principal textual contributions by Patrick Keller, Philippe Rahm, Ben Hooker, Rachel Wingfield, Christophe Guignard, Christian Babski, etc., it addresses the notion of the "variable environment/" or the "mobility" problematic:
"From industry, planes, cars and motorways to services, mobile media, mobile (micro)-spaces, interactions, jet-lag, ...From Architecture's "high-tech" & mobility utopias to a "mish-mash" (hybridization) of (technological) objects, micro-architectures, situations, networks and interfaces. Those two comparative images (yesterday/today, see below) serve us since the start of the project as a kind of general background for our transversal ra&d project (transversalities between architecture, design, sciences). They resume some of our main concerns:
They both speak about "mobility". Two kind of "mobilities": 1__ mobile environment in term of distance. It moves and its context of use is changing (img 1: a walking city & a "mobile personal environment") or 2__ mobile environment in term of time. Its configuration, shape or function varies along time, but its location is fixed (img 2: an instant city and a flock of blimps). We can therefore speak about "Variable environments" in these two cases (variable in distance/context and/or in configuration/size over time)."
Why do I blog this? great material to be read, 2 possible of reading the document: (1) simply focusing on the content, (2) observing the underlying signs of collaboration between different actors (engineers, researchers, designers) and trying to understand the ideas at stake, what happens when art/design and research work together. Surely a relevant achievement for that matter.