Project and Design Development - Vamsi Krishna Vemuri
Staedelschule Architecture Class, Frankfurt, Germany
The Project Umwelt Garden is a Speculative Thought experiment that mediates on a possible near future, investigating specific outcomes of a Digital apparatus, that outbreaks into the landscape of the City.
The videogame based simulation Umwelt Garden is an interactive collective of digital Architectural objects resonating in the virtual and the augmented real. The project the analysis of game-based AI and behaviors deployed in live simulations and contemporary games to establish a design framework. By understanding the video game medium as a synthetic ecological life cycle apparatus, the game aims to establish a dialog between the users and the synthetic, defined by the contextual disposition.
The video games universe has been on the fore front in unravelling immense narrative based simulated fictions since its inception. The rich expansive environments set in contemporary games unfold unfamiliar spatiality of Immersive interaction for the users. They attempt to simulate the natural biological processes and produce Architectural forms. The process was often times autonomous and component of interactivity was feebly present. The Project emphasizes more on the latter (videogames), being primarily interactive and real-time, the formal disruptions are non-linear, unanticipated and constitute a larger part of how communal engagement can operate on the field.
Umwelt Garden– Is a Drawing apparatus, devised in the form of a Videogame, which operates on a time and life cycle based quasi interactive gamescape; that stops and restarts upon the digital death (envisaged through Stasis of the deployed Creatures/Objects). It is comprised of a Digital ecosystem with its components being:
A. World/Environment - A Platform diorama environment
B. Digital Objects/Creatures (A kit of parts)
C. Behaviors and Interactions
“Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.” ― Jean Baudrillard
//DIGITAL BEHAVIORS - UMWELT GARDEN SYNTHETIC BEHAVIORS - SIMULATED ECOSYSTEMS
The objective of making aggregations reinstate the game truly Architectural. The game in the Virtual space works with a user embodying one of the object and participating in the construction or the disruption of the aggregation enabled by the NPCs. The player object engages the other objects based on different logics of attractions and repulsions; triggers and behavioral patterns. The digital series of interactions and relationships are encompassed under a term Digital Ethology. Contrary to the dictionary definition of Ethology being the science of animal behaviors, the digital ethology forays into the behaviors and effects of digital entities.
//PLATFORM LEVEL DESIGN - DIFFERENT RESOLUTIONS
Digital Ethology in this case is elucidated into ABC – a three-term contingency as given by B.F. Skinner, an American Psychologist, Behaviorist and Philosopher.
//FIXED ACTION PATTERNS
The initial events or triggers within the Umwelten (Collective umwelts) begin the interactions based on which the different entities coalesce or repel and begin their life cycle. Each entity is coded with a different life span as elaborated in the Behavioral diagram of Umwelt Garden. Their corresponding behaviors and fixed action patterns follow as a sequential continuity of the triggers and the objects exhibit a wide array of interactions and behaviors based on the proximity, hierarchy and the overarching laws of attraction. The fixed action pattern (FAP), or modal action pattern, is sometimes used in ethology to denote an instinctive behavioral sequence that is relatively invariant within the species and almost inevitably runs to completion.
//GAME BASED DRAWING - UMWELT GARDEN
//CHOREGRAPHIC OBJECTS | BEHAVIORS
//choreographic Relationships, Umwelt Garden
The politics of the user presents itself with a debatable scenario, while the politics of the Architectural space raises furthermore interesting questions. Vandalism, historically holding a socio-political relationship in crafting the history of Architecture, the augmented architectural media presents itself with multiple questions. The image fundamentally questions the idea of a scaffold. What constitutes the façade and the scaffold? The scaffold is present to commemorate the façade panelization or to lure these Augmented life forms. Is the façade a principal building front or it becomes a hive for data mining?
We are emerging into an age where citizens and physical infrastructure are not merely the occupants, but the intangible digital begins to leak into the Augmented real.