| kielder residency

* research question

* project description

* exhibition

* publication

* sponsors

* research question:

The computer allows us to simulate living systems and their environments over time.
With a bridge constructed between the worlds of the digital and physical through CAD/CAM, could notions of growth and adaptation act as mechanisms to drive the design, manufacture and life cycle of fragments, or larger parts of the built environment?


* project description:

The forest territory is a vast managed landscape exhibiting a multiplicity of conditions in constant flux resulting from the management strategy of the 50 year cycle - a period defining the planting, maturation and harvesting of each forest plot. It is an entirely artificial landscape, despite its largely biological composition. Kielder Water, an introduced reservoir condition, is surrounded by the dominant species of non-indigenous tree - the Sitka Spruce, of which there are 150 million standing at any one time.
Walking through the landscape, spatial conditions move from complete forest canopy cover to total exposure with great regularity. This results in highly localised microclimates to which the elements of the landscape act as material witnesses.

The management policy is the key imposed driver of change as the 50 year cycle guarantees that the qualities of any one site will be in continual transition between these two spatial extremes. This enforced change fascinated us, as it dramatically and continually alters a multitude of resources of any chosen site across the 62,000 hectare territory.

We began to consider how a proposition might exhibit sensitivity across varying temporal scales to such locally specific conditions and their microclimates.

A methodology has been developed that ties together a logarithmic time-line with site resources against propositional intent. The propositional intent incorporates the process of representation, the modes by which the proposition is synthesised, and defines the feedback mechanisms by which the performance of the 'physically constructed' is used to modify the idealised representation in order for the synthesis of subsequent iterations. Through this cycle the proposition exhibits a complexity of response manifested by an increasing specificity to its context and purpose.


diagram by Chris Leung []

[click image to view]

[click image to view [ 7mb ~ mp4 ]]
data gathering

phase 1 installation of Sarrus Hinge assemblies on candidate site by Bob Sheil + Chris Leung

robotic camera system design, fabrication, and site implementation by Chris Leung

[click image to view [ 4mb ~ mp4 ]]
data composite

photogrammetry solutions, data analysis, and data composition by Chris Leung

[click image to view [ 5mb ~ mp4 ]]
data driving digital model

[click image to view [ 2mb ~ mp4 ]]
system acting on gathered data

[click image to view [ 4mb ~ mp4 ]]


* exhibition:

'Assembling Adaptation' opened at the Building Centre on 4th December 2006.
It presented the work-to-date of the Kielder Residency through images, strategies, physical prototypes, dynamic digital models, time-lapse footage, and fragments from three iterations
of object assemblies.

[click image to view]

For more exhibition images visit


* publication:

Kielder Residency has appeared in the following articles, books, papers, sites and exhibitions.

'sixteen*(makers)', Jones, W., in Blueprint. [november, no.248, pp.86-90] 2006

'Assembling Adaptation', Building Center, London, UK [project exhibition] 2006

'Architecture in the Forest', UCL news. 2006

art and architecture at kielder. 2006

'Complexity From the Ordinary', Ayres, P. [conference website] 2006

'Digital Representations / Analogue Realisations', Ayres, P., in 'Responsive Architectures - Subtle Technologies 06',
[conference proceedings] 2006

'Transgression from Drawing to Making', Sheil, R., in 'Architecture Research Quarterly'. 2006 2006

'Constructing the Specific', Ayres, P., in 'GameSetandMatch II', Episode Publishers. [conference proceedings] 2006

'Finding Fluid Form', Brighton, UK. [seminar exhibition] 2005

'Kielder Probes - Bespoke Tools for an Indeterminate Design Process', Sheil, R. & Leung, C. in 'Smart Architecture - ACADIA'05', [conference proceedings] 2005

'Getting Specific', Ayres, P., in 'Design Through Making', Architectural Design [vol.75 - no.3], Sheil, R. [ed.]. 2005


* sponsors:

This project is supported by:

Art and Architecture Partnership Kielder

Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

The Graduate School, UCL

The exhibition 'Assembling Adaptation' was kindly sponsored by:


Projects > Current > Kielder Residency

(makers) [2003 - 2007]

last updated: 23/04/07