Art + Architecture workshop at the Space Media Festival, Taipei, August 2016

Together with Jen Hwan-Ho, architect and professor at the Department of Architecture in Taipei’s National University of Technology, Ludmila proposed a spacial experience that reflects the social relations of its inhabitants. Departing from a sensory and playful approach, Ludmila created social experiments to generate complex forms. The exercises explored kinesthetic and collaborative skills within the participants.

From these experiments, including physical games and prototyping, they generated material for the second half of the project, based on parametric design with Rhinoceros 3D, Grasshoper and Kangaroo plugins, in a software workshop lead by Jen Hwan-Ho. Jen Hwan-Ho holds a master degree in Landscape Urbanism and a B.A. in Sociology. The workshop took place at the National Taipei University of Science & Technology and the results were presented in the Toad Mountain, nearby the NTUST campus. The Space Media Festival was organized by Dezact (London) and Modern Body Festival (The Hague).


Artistic input:

In this workshop we departed from the sensory and individual perspective towards the social and constructed environment. We wanted our participants to become aware of their physical potentiality, using their bodies in an active and conscious mode.

The human body perceives the world through the senses. Art history traditionally put sight and hearing on the top of a “hierarchy”. Our senses are culturally biased, they carry values and are highly malleable. We can educated ourselves to re-discover the environment through the “other senses” (smell, taste and touch).

Touch is often ignored in a visually dominated culture. But touch is our primary sense, from the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb. Some authors defend that every sense comes down to a form of touch.

Touch can be broken down to many sensations or categories. Proprioception is one of them and it’s so complex that it’s also considered another sense. Proprioception is embedded in the interaction of our skin, muscles and tendons. It’s our sense of movement: our limbs and joints know their positions in relation to each other.

Today authors claim that architecture should take proprioception into account. Architect Juhani Pallasmaa wrote “The Eyes of the Skin”, urging architects to recover the sense of touch in design experience. Several contemporary art works also engage the body of the audience.

So we departed from this approach to develop a structure that relates the human body to the constructed environment, in our case the Toad Mountain. We wanted to have a dialogue, not a mere representation, in that our architecture could reflect the relations in the space, the presence of its users – its inhabitants, dwellers, students or any other actor.

We wanted to offer this experience to the local community. Adding a social dimension, where the public feels invited to interact to the structure. The architecture that incorporates movement, becoming a metabody. The structure is alive, like a living process.

This way we invite the public to enter and reassess their experience of the Toad Mountain. We create a ritualized space, where walking is taken as an extraordinary gesture. The hands and the feet playing a major role.

About the Festival

Dezact is a platform created to speculate and investigate the changing modes of conception, production and consumption of urban space in the post digital era. It operates at the disciplinary intersection of art, architecture, new media and urban studies. It brings together artists, designers and educators to participate in a forward-looking debate on the position of technology in art, architecture and culture.

This year, the Modern Body Festival (The Netherlands) joined forces with Dezact for a large program across two continents. On Phase One, artists and architects worked together in Taipei, giving workshops at the Architecture School of the National Taipei University of Science & Technology. On Phase Two, the same artists and architects meet in The Hague for the second edition of the Modern Body Festival, in November 2016. The theme of this year is I/We/They.

Phase 1: Taipei, Taiwan edition – August 2016
Phase 2: The Hague, NL edition – Nov/Dec 2016