Digital infrastructure and learning algorithms, digital industry and automated services, digital society, humanities, and health converge with the Anthropocene. This mix has given birth to extraordinary challenges for architecture as discipline, and in its role as cultural heritage and as materialized co-evolution of man and machine.
The digital has impacted man’s long-standing relationship to architecture, technology, and space. Vaucason’s 18th century automaton, the defecating duck, describes a cornerstone for the beginnings of a humanification of technology. In 1958 Gilbert Simondon stated that as a result of the assumption that technical objects contain no human reality, "culture has become a system of defense designed to safeguard man from technics." The rise of digital culture, digital objects, and digital information since the 1980s, and a concomitant transformation of atomic materiality into wireless bits, pushed the co-evolution and co-existence of humans and technology towards coalescence.
I suggest a Sixth Ecology, described as dynamic relationality across systems; multi-parametric, functionally adaptable, morphological, and cybernetic, where humans, machines, technology and 'nature' merge. The Sixth Ecology is derived from the cybernetic concepts of 'netgraft' and 'neurotecture' and suggests radically coded structures leading to new forms (in)formation.
Presented with CDM, Nusasonic, and SHAPE, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Liss C. Werner is an architect and director of Tactile Architecture – Office für SystemArchitektur, Berlin. She is Assistant Professor of computational architecture and cybernetics at Technical University Berlin, where she founded the CyPhyLab.