Versatility and Vicissitude: Performance in Morpho-Ecological Design

Hensel, M., Menges, A. (eds.): 2008, Versatility and Vicissitude: Performance in Morpho-Ecological Design, Architectural Design Vol. 78 No. 2, Wiley Academy, London. (ISBN: 978-0470516874)

This third AD by the guest-editors of the highly successful “Emergence” and “Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design” titles shifts the morpho-ecological design project into the realm of performance. Whereas the dictionary definition of performance – to ‘carry out an action’ or ‘to fulfill a task’ – invokes a tired utilitarian debate, Hensel and Menges inject the meaning of the word ‘performance’ with an entirely new life. In this context, form is redefined not as the shape of a material object alone, but as the multitude of effects, a milieu of conditions, modulations and microclimates that
emanate from an object’s exchange with its specific environment; a dynamic relationship that is perceived and interacted with by a subject. A synergetic employment of performance and morpho-ecological techniques combine to create integral design solutions that will render an alternative model for sustainability. This issue presents historical precursors and precedents for this approach, as well as the current state of the art of morpho-ecological design. Key contributors include: Klaus Bollinger and Manfred Grohmann of Bollinger & Grohmann, Aleksandra Jaeschke, OCEAN NORTH,
Professor Remo Pedreschi, Defne Sungurog˘ lu, Peter Trummer and Michael Weinstock.