Director and senior designer at the Zaha Hadid Architects practice, Patrik Schumacher holds prestige in the industry. Somewhat revered as a spokesman for the future of architecture, Schumacher is outspoken on subjects such as the use of robots in architecture, computational design and parametricism.
He worked closely with Zaha Hadid on most projects, including the Regium Waterfront project, a cultural center resembling a luminous star to be built on the southern Italian coast, and the Soho Galaxy Project in Beijing which was met with tremendous anticipation, with 15,000 artists, architects and fans at the opening ceremony.
Schumacher is also closely involved in the research and educational side of architecture, not only as a teacher, having taught across Britain, continental Europe and the USA, but also as a co-founder of the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. The design lab focus on parametric design in architecture and urbanism, as well as the creation of computer-integrated “responsive environments” with kinetic walls and robotic furniture.
This focus very much encapsulates Schumacher’s philosophy and interest for the future direction of architecture. He believes that as robots take the labor process out of human hands, all progression and productivity gains will be the result of communication. Thus, we will require a networked society where architecture is all about allowing for communication. We will achieve this through a dense matrix of communicative events and situations.
The Soho Galaxy project in Beijing is almost a slice of this future, exhibiting these ideals in action. It consists of hundreds of small units for businesses, small start-up firms and new entrepreneurs. Schumacher calls it a space of simultaneity, where many different things can be viewed at one time. It’s a continuously evolving space that reveals different layers and vistas as you move through the project.
As cities and societies become hyper-communicative, Schumacher suggests that spaces like this are necessary to progress and facilitate for such communications to take place.
With robots being used to fly bricks on construction sights and robotic spiders developed to walk vertically up the surfaces of facades, it seems that Schumacher’s predictions could hold some weight. Are you ready to enter the matrix?
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