Organic design is a philosophy of design that respects the users is influence by nature, recognizes the process of evolution and is holistic in its approach. This panel of architects and designers talks about what is required to practice organic design and the importance of energy conservation, natural materials and renewable resources in modern buildings.
The panelists include Usman Haque, CEO of Connected Environments Ltd. and founder of Pachube.com, Rachel Armstrong, TED Global Fellow and Teaching Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and Matthias Hollwich, Architect and founder of HWKN.
Rachel Armstrong is an interdisciplinary researcher and sci-fi writer. She is a Senior Lecturer in Research & Enterprise at the University of Greenwich & Co-director of architectural research group, AVATAR. Her speciality is Synthetic Biology & Architecture.
Her pioneering collaborative work on the 'Future Venice' project proposes that it may be possible to stop the historic city from sinking into the mud on which its foundations are based, by growing an artificial limestone reef underneath it.
This could be engineered using 'protocells', a programmable, life-like chemical system that can make artificial shell-like material, as well as working symbiotically with the native wildlife in the Venetian waterways.
Matt Costello has scripted dozens of best-selling games, including the critically acclaimed "The 7th Guest," "Doom 3," "Just Cause," and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by Lions Gate. His latest suspense novel, "Nowhere," was published in 2007. He also wrote Island of the Skull (Pocket Books), an original prequel to Peter Jackson's film, "King Kong."
Costello has written for television for PBS, The Disney Channel, The Sci-Fi Channel, and the BBC among others. Costello's children's books include the series The Kids of Einstein Elementary (Scholastic) and Magic Everywhere (Random House), as well as books on puzzles and games.
Usman Haque, director Haque Design + Research Ltd, founder of Pachube.com and CEO of Connected Environments Ltd has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances.
His skills include the design and engineering of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life. He has been an invited researcher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy, artist-in-residence at the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences, Japan and has also worked in USA, UK and Malaysia. As well as directing the work of Haque Design + Research he was until 2005 a teacher in the Interactive Architecture Workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London.
He received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), a Wellcome Trust Sciart Award, a grant from the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology, the Swiss Creation Prize, Belluard Bollwerk International, the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the world, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Hillside Gallery (Tokyo), The National Maritime Museum Greenwich, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Itau Cultural, Sao Paulo, NTT Inter-Communication Centre, Tokyo, the Singapore Biennale, the Dubai World Cup 2009, and the National Art Museum, Beijing, China.
Matthias Hollwich is the co-founder of Hollwich Kushner (HWKN), a New York City based architecture and concept design firm. The office deploys targeted research and fast-footed development to create innovative and responsible projects that exist at the intersection of client, user, and nature.
Current projects include a retirement village for priests in Cote d'Ivoire, 2 large-scale apartment renovations on New York's Upper East Side, the Favella Formiga Open Air Theater in Rio de Janeiro, and ongoing work with the Obama Administration on the rehabilitation of the Sasha Bruce House in Washington DC. In the Fall of 2008 the firm's award winning vision of urbanism, MEtreePOLIS, was featured in the German Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. This year, HWKN developed the website ARCHITIZER, a social networking platform connecting architects via their designs. Before co-founding HWKN, he worked in several internationally acclaimed architectural firms and urban design studios, including: OMA, Rotterdam (Netherlands), Eisenman Architects, and Diller+Scofidio, New York City. In 2001 he founded XPEKT, a concept-engineering firm based in Amsterdam.
From 1999-2001, Hollwich was assistant professor at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland 1999 - 2001 and part of the Bauhaus Dessau Werkstaedte between 2002 and 2006. In 2004 he finished editing his first book with Rainer Weisbach at the Bauhaus: UmBauhaus - Updating Modernism. He most recently took part in the PICNIC lecture series in Amsterdam and is a contributor to the forthcoming IBA 2010 Urban Redevelopment program for the Dessau region.
He is currently working with the University of Pennsylvania on a series of courses and symposia to reinvent nursing home design.