Master of psychedelic parametric architecture, Arthur Mamou-Mani’s Burning Man installation, the Galaxia Temple was a major hit of 2018 and has shown the versatility of digitally-designed and fabricated architecture. Currently working on the new municipal building for Burning Man, Mamou-Mani has suggested an energy theatre as he calls it – a fractal amphitheater and forum to provide infinite possibilities to artists keeping in mind Burning man’s ‘Multiverse theme’ for 2020.
Based in London, the French architect talks about the dilemma that businessmen are facing in the hard times of the pandemic, especially the works that involve on-site interaction like laser cutting and 3d printing! Things like design development and technical design can be done remotely but projects with heavy fabrications and projects involving lab testing can be rarely done online which is causing difficulty in the process of the design.
The virtual reality, when merged with architecture, can be very fascinating and Arthur shares his experience of the virtual burning man for this year and how fascinating it is to work in separate universes and how virtual teleport is making the entire project go on a whole new level. Even though people will miss the real burning man this year and might not have the same experience as that of the other years but the VR techniques open up whole new realms to the burning man and can show parametric psychedelics are not just mere concepts anymore!
Temple Galaxia was a major SRO in the field of psychedelic architecture and the french-man talks about the redundancies of such concepts yet how they attract people and how difficult it is to construct such installations which make every designer realize that design and engineering are both very creative and both go parallel, hand in hand!
It is equally fascinating to realize how diverse VR becomes when designers merge the worlds of abstract geometry to static analysis and Arthur demonstrates the importance as well as vulnerabilities of using software that not only provides the basics of the parametric models as well as gives a base for analytical fabrications. Although the software is an essential tool for psychedelic parametric, design primarily relies on the designer’s perception of the structure and his representation of the edifice via graphics which might not be biased to software but the designer should rely on their basic skills of modeling which might include traditional methods which are most often ignored or thought to be frivolous. BIM is helpful for such complicated structures but automated technicalities can often lead to minute mistakes leading to grave errors!
Arthur also gives his insight on design fluidity; how as architects and designers one needs to understand the importance of design holistically and how it gives an advantage in design approach over conventional design principles just the way nature does not restrict herself to any hindrances. Parametric psychedelic architecture, as perceived by many, seems to be elementary; yet the hardships and the complications of the structures are phenomenal and Arthur shares his experience on such knots that include minute treacherous calculations which in case of aberrations can lead to serious implications. However, designers might find it interesting that collaborations might lead to the prevention of errors and mistakes, so as architects the keyword for a good design to a perfect design should be sharing and taking inputs from as many people as they can co-produce with.
As designers, sitting on a computer desk and working on data and numbers to come up with a complex structure has a scientific approach towards architecture and it provides the designer with the satisfaction of a creator yet being on-site and building a structure with their own hands and taking things from nature and returning it to ‘Gaia’ has a whole different dimension to architecture which can give designers a sense of creation – a cycle of innovation, economics, and waste returning to soil and sand! Burning man is just not a mere festival but it has the ability to change a designer’s perspective towards the traditional norms of architecture and merges it with psychedelic composition! It might be argumentative that using artificial intelligence in architecture does not involve any ingenuity, but in reality, it is approaching the same creative process of architecture, only from a different point of view.
Architecture in its context revolves around a lot of things but most essentially it depends on people, place, and time. A project no matter how aesthetic and beautiful eventually has no positive implication if it does not have multiple layers of values towards helping people and the planet. Architectural contemplation has a disciplinary rebound to permanence and with chronology, all the creativity, as well as ego, leads to responsibility towards the creation and hence impermanence breaks the quintessential boundaries of architectural contemplation and opens up new realms of understanding where we are the creators of our own destiny. Hence as designers, we need to merge the traditional scientific approach towards architecture with innovation as well as psychedelics.
Psychedelic parametricism is like a new dawn in the field of architecture. Parametricism can be proportional to automation and it is becoming a part of every single field, so there is a constant effort to blend traditional architecture with it. Also if the in-depth disciplines of every minute field of architecture are automated then as an architect one can explore and be proficient in various fields without having to dive deep into a particular topic. However, the issue with traditional architecture is the rigid structure of the plan where it is very difficult to make changes on the go.
One of the main reasons for this is that the traditional architecture of buildings is controlled mostly by profit rather than the creative ideas of an architect. Hoping for a world of three-dimensional drawings, parametric psychedelic architecture is bringing a dynamic approach to architecture breaking the utopia of its conventional rigidity where anything can be changed at any given point and the other parameters will be updated accordingly, providing the designers a lot of freedom to showcase their creativity! Parametric modeling brings out a more emotional and artistic side of architecture which eventually helps to connect with the general public more.