xLAB Program

Keynote Session Greg Lynn + Tak Umezawa + Hitoshi Abe 2017.08.08 (TUE) 17:00 @Kasumigaseki Building

On July 7, 2017, Greg Lynn gave the Keynote Lecture at the inaugural xLAB Summer Program. The lecture was titled, “Localization: Static to Dynamic Spaces & Infrastructure.”

In looking back at the relationship between architecture and technology, Greg Lynn posits that digital technology did not change architecture, as much as it changed the thinking surrounding architecture. While digital tools allowed architects to animate spaces by creating visual dynamism, technology had no significant change to the underlying goals of the architect. However, the thinking about architecture changed, as seen in Lynn’s use of computational fluid dynamic space for his catamaran project . Unlike building modeling, where an object is created in a fixed space of x, y, z coordinates, computational fluid dynamics modeling allows for the visualization of air and water behavior based on the object’s unique form. Through this type of environment simulation, the object’s geometry can be optimized for high performance. Recently, Lynn’s work has evolved to include moving structures whose dynamism comes not through animating spaces but through physically moving volumes, opening the potential for robotic integration.

In today’s digital ecology, Lynn observes three themes relevant to the discussion of cities. The first is positioning, which looks at who is in the building and how that building is used. Important to the architect, the statistical user information within a building can be used to inform design. The second is mobility, which considers objects driving through buildings and mobility being able to penetrate built environments. The last is machine vision, where architects design buildings considering a regime of machines with vision. For example, by flying drones for projects, designers look through the eye of the machine. This way of looking not only changes the scale of and movement through the site but also affects designers’ attitudes of buildings and their thinking about space.

At the intersection of these three topics lies Lynn’s work with Piaggio Fast Forward. The mobile carrier, Gita, creates new typologies of autonomous mobility by focusing on quality of life and social interaction, rather than positioning autonomous mobility as a service that brings goods to people. By concentrating on a scale of granular mobility, autonomy can intelligently move people and things quickly, while providing an alternative to the automotive city. To conclude, Lynn suggests the point of access for the designer lies at the intersection of mobility, civic, and social thinking.

After the Keynote Lecture, Greg Lynn was joined by Hitoshi Abe and Tak Umezawa to discuss the future of mobility in the city.

In envisioning a city of Gitas, Lynn compared the streets of the late 19th and early 20th Century. to the ones of today, and he mentioned San Francisco as a model city for intelligent mobility. While the streets devoid of crosswalks or traffic signal may look chaotic, the greater volume of people and things demonstrate an intelligent system of mobility and will inevitably describe the movement with our future cities. To promote multimodal transportation, Lynn argues that cities don’t need more infrastructure, but rather more vehicles like Gita.

Keynote Speech by Greg Lynn