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  • Chance Encounters Between Body and Buildings: New Technologies in Architecture and Dance

    Sam Spurr

    Chapter from the book: Architecture Schools in Australasia, A. 2007. Association of Architecture Schools in Australasia.


    The fields of dance and architecture initially seem in direct opposition – one dedicated to movement and the other to stasis. In many ways dance appears to hold the many qualities ever beyond architecture; the opportunity of flight, of ‘liveness’, of the ephemeral. Importing ways of thinking as well as doing from dance into architectural practice is conditioned through the shared focus on the encounters between bodies and spaces. In grappling with the impact of new technologies on the design process, new kinds of movement and spaces are being produced. 

    A key tactic that has emerged within both fields is that of chance. This is arguably the most radical shift that has occurred in the architectural design process. As well as the growing explorations of interactive, multi-media and virtual technologies in dance performances, has been the expansion of notational and choreographic programs that utilize unpredictability. The move toward abstracted systems in these programs endeavours to incorporate energy, force, direction and intent, opening up choreographies to undetermined movements. In this context what dance may provide for architecture, are methods that respond to the difficulty in retaining the animate body in the virtual acrobatics generated by new, generative, architectural programs.

    In this paper I will be examining the transformation of the architecture drawing through generative modelling programs based in indeterminacy. The implications of these new methodologies in terms of the design process and the animate body, are viewed in relation to dance experimentation in this area. By specifically looking at the digitised body geometries of choreographer William Forsythe, I hope to open both fields to new encounters between bodies and buildings.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Spurr, S. 2007. Chance Encounters Between Body and Buildings: New Technologies in Architecture and Dance. In: Architecture Schools in Australasia, A (ed.), Association of Architecture Schools in Australasia. Sydney: UTS ePRESS. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5130/aab.al

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Sept. 27, 2007


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