Cercetatorul taiwanez Jia-Rey (Gary) Chang va performa cu Peter Gate Sound în cadrul proiectului The Deep Sound of Maramures – arhitectură acustică la Club Control din București în 10 mai 2017.

  1. Jia-Rey (Gary) Chang, please bear with us: what is interactive and parametric architecture?

I will start with answering the question of what is parametric architecture.

“Parametric Architecture” that “…As a style, parametricism is marked by its aims, ambitions, methodological principles, and evaluative criteria, as well as by its characteristic formal repertoire…” said by Patrik Schumacher, a partner and principle at Zaha Hadid Architects, once gave the definition of parametricism in his “Parametricist Manifesto”.  

In other words, as the computational technology has gradually taken the importance in the design process, parametric architecture has formed a new style/fashion in architectural design by the younger generation of architects. However, from my personal perspective, although the fashion of parametric design has become a “Parametricism”, it doesn’t depart from its essential idea: to define/design a shape/space by a set of parameters. With different configuration settings of parameters, designers might end up with a typical Modernism housing or carry out an extremely free-formed Hi-Tech opera house. It is the designer to define the style of the outcome, not the tools. Without falling into the “Parametricism” category of generating fancy organic shapes of architecture within parametric tools, my intension is to take one step back to purely see the parametric design as a result out of utilizing computational technology under the essential parametric idea.

Figure 1 Pattern Generation with Parametric Design

When it comes to the discussion of what is interactive architecture, there can be various interpretations according to the meanings of “interaction”. A room with voice-controller to turn the light on-off can be seen as an interactive space; an empty space without furniture, like a “Zen”-kind of room, which appeals one’s imagination can also be seen a place with certain interactions; or the informative interactive façade of building you usually see in the sci-fi movie is also in this realm. However, what I concern an interactive architecture the most is how the space adapts to either the environment or the users’ demands. When talking about traditional architecture, it’s mostly about space and forms with the image of firmness, beauty, and practical purpose…etc., while interactive architecture focuses more on adapting to the dynamic flow of the surrounding environment. It is the crucial moment for architectural design to look into nature and learn from it. For example, how living organisms adapt themselves with the environment and find their way out to survive. Therefore, the new interactive architecture should follow the dynamic equilibrium in the environment/users demands to adjust/adapt their architectural body in real time, like a living creature. Pragmatically speaking, the current development in so-called interactive architecture takes major explorations with the accordance of environmental factors, but I do believe the real-time reconfigurable space with multiple functions will become the next focus of the interactive architecture. People living in mega-cities can gain benefits from this re-configurable space which provide all the usages but take the same footprint of space to pay less for the space and reduce the redundancy of it. To conclude, interactive architecture from my point of view should turn out like a living creature to interactively response to the environment and users. Therefore, I would like to boldly claim that “the interactive architecture will be the new organic architecture.”  

Figure 2 HyperLoop, an interactive pavilion designed for MetaBody project (http://metabody.eu/). HyperLoop is an intelligent space with its own wills and behavior allowed the visitors to interactive with. (http://www.archgary.com/works/hyperloop/)

Figure 3 “Reflectego” is an interactive installation design by HyperBody, TU Delft master students tutored by Jia-Rey Chang. It is an interactive mirror ceiling which can respond to visitors’ movements. (http://www.archgary.com/works/metabody_2014-2/)

  1. How do “amateurs” react to your works? We mean people who are traditional cultural consumers, of passive art exhibitions with canvases on walls, theatre plays with humans only 🙂 etc.

People always want to define something or find the answer in everything they do, but in the world of contemporary art, there is no accurate answer. You don’t need to learn something about art before you go to any exposition or performance, and you don’t have to understand everything you see in the exhibition or show. The only thing you have to do is to ‘feel’ the moment and interpret what you see by yourself, to make it as your own experience. This is the same to people who don’t know much about new media art. In my projects, I always want to make people feel interesting and fun and to attract more people to experience the intriguing points of the new media art. I am also an “amateurs” media artist escaping from the architectural design (which is my profession). Therefore, I can fully understand the fears of taking the first step to embrace the totally new artistic world, such as media art. The reason of having both actual and abstract objects showing in my projects is because of my attempt to bridge the virtual and reality through the new technological manners. Apart from that, it is also my intention to induce the audiences’ imagination by starting with something they are familiar with and gradually broaden their notion with something extremely abstract. Although there seems to be a clear boundary between actual and abstract in general, I intentionally use simple geometries within different combinations to represent the objects both from the actual and abstract sides as my artistic style according to my architectural background. Therefore, once the project/performance was exhibited, the audience are allowed to have their own narrative, imagination, and fantasy along with the images I created as a journey. So, I would say, yes, it is a new thing to people who are used to traditional fine art. But please relax, and start imagining yourself being in a fantasy generated by digital technologies, and just to feel it. I guarantee that you will have not only sonic pleasure from Peter’s music but also a unique vision appreciation from my visual effects.  

Please visit my website for more understanding of my projects: www.archgary.com 

Figure 5&6 It is the First interactive fashion show in the Netherlands, “immaterialicious”. The interactive garment can affect the motion graphic showing on stage as well as the music by the model’s movements. Photograph by Jan Willem Kaldenbach, and Michelle Elisabeth as the model of the show. (http://www.archgary.com/works/immaterialicious-2/)

Figure 7&8 “Ambiguous Topology” is an immersive interactive light projection installation cooperated between Dieter Vandoren, Nimish Biloria, and Jia-Rey Chang. It is a swarm-based simulation created by Jia-Rey Chang and realized physically with volumetric projection system developed by Dieter Vandoren which can interact with visitors’ body movements.  

  1. What are you going to do for the project Deep Sound of Maramures in May 2017 in Bucharest (please tell us as little as not to mark this answer with spoiler alert 🙂 but tell us as much as possible as to attract crowds at the show)

In the project of “Deep Sound of Maramures”, with my geometric graphic style and spatial related artistic philosophy, I created several visual effects along with Peter’s composition. From what I heard from Peter’s “Deep Sound of Maramures”, it inspired me to develop a sequence of spatial visual elements. They are not fixed forms; they are alive. In order to make the audiences experience a unique journey, my approach is to create visually alive elements to follow the emotion of the music and the space. It is not a common background visual effect running through the concert, but rather a set of real-time interactive resulting images interacted with the live music performance. For example, in the scene of “sea waves”, the speed and the curvature of the waves will be lively-generated in accordance with the live music. You will see a bird flying through different spatial environments from the nature of earth to outer space, from concrete landscape to abstract imagination…etc. While adding the time dimension of the music, it generates a 4D immersive space for people to fully engage in the show. Hope everybody feel interested as I do. If you are curious about it, please come to see our show!

Figure 10&11&12 Images captured from the interactive installation designed specifically for “Deep Sound of Maramures”. There are actual and abstract objects exhibited during the animated images which can interact with the sound within a geometric style. It is a story about a bird flying through different spatial environments from the nature of earth to outer space, from concrete landscape to abstract imagination.

  1. What is your next project?

“Deep Sound of Maramures” is the project I am currently working on. Personally, I am considering/planning to create the project under one of my major artistic philosophy: “space as a living creature”. I would like to conduct more research into the artificial intelligence in terms of developing artistic creative projects. Instead of making a space which always follow user’s commands, it would be interesting to develop a space with its own wills and behaviors to challenge the existing notions/senses of human beings. And of course, I also open up to all the opportunities for cooperation within other interesting spatial ideas either in design or art projects perspective.