Architecture of time: from motion picture to computer animation

Ada Kwiatkowska



The architecture of the digital era, exploring the dimension of time, refers to the concept of so-called time-based art. Present computer technologies allow one to simulate the space-time transformation of architectural objects connected with observer’s movement and to create dynamic movable spatial structures by applying smart materials and technologies to architecture. The purposes of the research are to analyse the influence of the concept of time on the shaping of architectural forms and the directions of the development of architectural forms determined by technologies discovered during the industrial and information revolutions (film techniques, computer visualisations, simulations, and animations). Based on the structural analysis of dynamic mutual relations between the observer, the architectural object, and the context, connected with comparative and critical analysis of modern trends, different types of architecture of time are distinguished. These types are derivatives of the expression of time in three-dimensional space and assumptions related to the degree of changeability and dynamics of the spatial structures (kinaesthetic, kinematic, and kinetic forms), and depend on the expression tools used in the creation and simulation of the mutability of forms. Computer animation is not only a tool, but also a way of thinking about the architectural form as an object immersed in space-time, therefore it will influence the way of designing and contribute to the emergence of a new generation of forms in the near future. Time-based architecture of the information age will explore the idea of streaming architecture.

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