Bartlett lecture: The Creature.

Lecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Architecture as a living organism has appeared in various guises across history, with particular intensity through the avant-garde and in relation to utopian projects. This was fed by influential figures such as Sigfried Giedion, who asserted that architecture is an “organism” that “has a life of its own, grows or dwindles, finds new potentialities and forgets them again.” Today, contemporary architectural twists and turns are revisiting the organism through the lens and promise of biotechnologies. Living entities such as bacteria have become employed as building material, and white lab coats have become fashionable attire for the architect on the job.

This presentation by Pia Ednie-Brown, Associate Professor in Architecture at RMIT, will both consider this contemporary situation and discuss an idea of the architectural creature that is not restrained to biological life per se, but to a more transversal, distributed form of life. It will be argued that this notion of ‘the creature’ can become particularly valuable in relation to creative practice research and for approaching architecture in terms of the vitality it can contribute to the world.