In collaboration with
Ana Paula Arruda
Taylor Kuhn, PhD
Siemens, NVIDIA, Epson USA, ARUP, AiBuild,
SAHA Association, Sabri Ülker Foundation
Complete production credits
Ho Man Leung
Raman K. Mustafa
Sense of Space and Molecular Architecture – 2021
Refik Anadol (Turkey, b.1985)
Gökhan S. Hotamisligil (Turkey, b. 1962)
3D AI Data Sculpture, projection, custom software, archival digital material, robotic large-scale 3D printing, 4-channel sound.
Understanding architecture as a living organism in the age of big data and advanced analytical and computational methods demands a more nuanced look into the complex relationships between the human body and the changing meaning of structure. Living things seem to possess and control tremendously rich and dynamic architectural repertoires compared to rigid architectural forms, making them more susceptible to endless permutations, randomness, disorientation, and entropy to support their ever changing functional demands. Whether we expose the molecular structure of human cells advanced microscopy (FIB-SEM) or study fMRI scans of people to view networks of connectivity in the brain, we are essentially dealing with infinite functional capacities for construction of not only systematic relations but also structural failures that threatens health and survival. The exhibit on the “resolution of biological structure” explores the main theme of 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, “how will we live together?” through an interdisciplinary investigation of how human vitality and unobscured anatomical spaces can help us find new metaphors for adaptability in innovative design. Visual re-imaginings of the relationship between form (spatial connections) and function (temporal relationships) with the help of machine intelligence lie at the heart of both works on display, encouraging the viewer to also reflect on the role of advanced artificial intelligence tools and 3D printing technology to re-define our sense of space.
Through collaboration between Dr. Taylor Kuhn, coordinator of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) at UCLA, Refik Anadol Studio developed a dynamic network at the intersection of neuroscience and design to study fundamental questions about the architecture of the human brain. Approximately 70 Terabytes of multimodal MRI data, including structural, diffusion (DTI) and functional (fMRI) scans of people ranging from birth to nonagenarians and beyond are used to train machine-learning algorithms that discover patterns and imagine the development of brain circuitry throughout the human lifespan. Using this complex yet groundbreaking approach, Refik Anadol Studio was able to generate a fully immersive, augmented and audio-visual 3D brain model, Sense of Space.
Molecular Architecture is a manifestation of infinitely dynamic and molecularly defined biological forms on the nanoscopic scale at a never before achieved detail. Based on the data collected from Prof. Gökhan S. Hotamisligil’s years-long study at Harvard Unıversity and Sabri Ülker Center on the relationship between metabolic health and certain chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, the augmented sculptures of Molecular Architecture emerge from the application of cutting-edge FIB-SEM imaging, segmentation and segmentation of 22, 035 sections collected from a 1m µ3 volume, machine learning, and 3D constructions and printing techniques to accurately represent the spectacular resolution of inner architecture of liver cells and their biochemical and physiological constellations of healthy and unhealthy cell structures that will define the future of global human health.