Rebugging the Metastadt

Spezialthemen Computational Design II | 6 ECTS

The metabolistic superstructure „Metastadt“ (1965-1975, Richard Dietrich) couples (pre-)digital systems with a daring architectural vision. Voxels, solar models, and cybernetic feedback loops form a playful, participatory and ecological imaginary for a future city. The Metastadt not only seems to anticipate contemporary trends in computational design and smart urbanism. Moreover, it articulates these approaches as a coherent architectural vision.

In this workshop, we will revisit the Metastadt as retroactive science fiction – as a critical perspective on digital methods now and then. We will explore how an architectural imaginary is articulated through playful systems and digital approaches. Hence, the workshop begins with a reenactment of the Metastadt. We will make and enact different playful systems of designing, managing and inhabiting this superstructure. Furthermore, we will explore the potential of these perspectives to reflect on current developments at the intersection of digitization and urban design.

Ultimately, our goal is to „update“ the games, simulations and structures of the Metastadt to contemporary urban problems and technologies. We will adapt and modify the playful systems of the Metastadt, combining physical models, Sims2, solar simulation, doll-houses, and micro-controllers. By this, we will use the “Metastadt” as a critical lens on contemporary planning issues and digitization projects. This investigation will allow new insights into how digital technologies, architecture, and urban spaces intersect. Thus, we will explore the architectural, collaborative and participatory dimensions of digital methods. We will discuss how to shape, narrate, and inhabit urban visions through digital methods, games, and simulations. This investigation will result in hybrid interactive models and installations.

The block course occurs in collaboration with the Professorship for Architectural Theory at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Prof. i.V. Nathalie Bredella) and leads towards an Exhibition in the Architekturschaufenster Karlsruhe.