Saturday, July 7, 2007

What is transArchitectural Topography?

I will define transArchitectural Topography as the substrata or virtual/physical topography which underlie all connected virtual and physical spaces. transArchitectural Topography encompasses a physical location, virtual location(s), and any infrastructure that connects the two. Specifically, the transArchitectural Topography extends from a single physical space, into a single virtual space uniting the two. As Marcos Novak describes the idea of transArchitecture, he speaks about both a visible and invisible element to it. The invisible is referred to as the underlying structural system or infrastructural system which supports the architecture in either case. Novak sees this architecture as one which exists across spatial conditions.

When Marcos Novak continues to describe the virtual, he describes it as a set of possible spatial iterations which exists within any given physical space. If we think of the dimensional topography which underlies these two conditions of the physical and the virtual it shifts from a fixed to an elusive position (in other word from the actual to the possible). As a result, the topography must move from a fixed position (or a defined set of fixed coordinate points) to a non-position or set of possible positions (range of Cartesian coordinate points).

If we examine this scenario with a more concrete example, we can look at a case of two rooms that might be positioned adjacently. One of these is fixed in space and the other room is a virtual space that has no set location, but may exist within a range of locations. Much like the Heidegger principal in quantum mechanics, the instant we attempt locate the second space, it becomes dimensionally fixed in space and loses its status as a virtual object. It is easier to think of the second space as simply existing as a virtual set of possible locations. The figure below displays how this might be spatially considered. The single grouped piece at the bottom represents the addition of all the possible ways two spaces may connect given a common boundary. The blue represents the physical while the gold represents the virtual possibilities for combination and placement. If we try to fix the virtual space in definitive coordinates (for example if we were to superimpose holographic elements into a fixed room) then that space becomes a physical space as it is now defined and bounded by a set of fixed dimensional coordinate points.

To further explain this paradox, we can imagine drawing a straight line from a physical space into a virtual space. The line remains straight until it arrives at the boundary between the physical and the virtual, and then breaks off into an infinite number of possible lines. The physically drawn line is the physical manifestation of all possible lines for a given context which then become visualized as we enter the virtual.

It is for this reason that the virtual may be called liquid, as its underlying construct is constantly in flux until it crystallizes into actual form - much like water and ice. When water is exposed to a particular condition, it hardens and takes on a fixed dimensional form. Any of the H2O particles of water can become part of the ice, but are not considered ice until they become restructured and defined in a fixed position. The same analogy may be used for the transArchitectural Topography. The physical architecture that we see and experience is a crystallization of all possible forms that may occur in that space. Another analogy is that of kinetic and potential energy. Potential energy stores within it the capability to be converted to kinetic energy (movement) at any given time. While we do not say that the potential energy exists necessarily as a tactile property of the object, it is a way to understand the possible physical actions that an object might take. As a result, the physical form or physical space contains within it all possible forms or spaces that may occur, but only the physical may be occupied due the physical nature of our bodies (also fixed dimensional physical elements).

As the physical structure approaches the virtual it will begin to represent all possible spatial iterations contained within it.

1 comment:

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