CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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id ecaade2013r_018
authors Goyal, Akshay
year 2013
title Field condition and the robotic urban landscapes
source FUTURE TRADITIONS [1st eCAADe Regional International Workshop Proceedings / ISBN 978-989-8527-03-5], University of Porto, Faculty of Architecture (Portugal), 4-5 April 2013, pp. 217-228
summary The paper explores the concept of the ‘field condition’ in recent urban discourse and its implication with respect to emerging technologies in the domains of robotics and AI. The author argues that the notion of ‘field condition’ as one of ‘loosely bound aggregates characterized by porosity and local interconnectivity defined not by overarching geometrical schemas but by intricate local connections’1, has inherent limitations in its contemporary manifestation. The paper then discusses the discourse of the field theory in architecture & urbanism in context with recent developments in swarm robotics, modular self reconfiguring robotic systems and distributed intelligence. Recent design proposals that explore the idea of the city informed by such technologies are also analyzed. The author then argues for a ‘Robotic Urban Landscape’ that builds on the notion of the field as a possibility in the near future. In such a theoretical construct the city consists of a field of ‘nomadic’ mobile technological artifacts that respond to a complex set of parameters and act as a collective whole. The ‘robotic field condition’ in this respect has both physical and virtual dimensions, is both machinic and biological, and has fuzzy binary condition, effectively dematerializing its identity as part of the larger whole. Such fields of mini robots, which collectively are able to perform complex task systems, get intrinsically linked to the city fabric and result in a new urban ecology. The impact on the urban condition as a result of these ‘robotic fields’ of loosely bound mobile artificial constructs that respond in the mathematical matrix of urban ecology and socio economic parameters, is also discussed. Lastly the author suggests a provocative likelihood of a ‘singularity’ moment in light of these developments and the need to relook at contemporary architectural discourse
keywords Field theory, robotics, artificial intelligence, robotic ecology, emerging technology, emergent urbanism
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