Megastructures: Designing Bigness

ARCH 574 | Fall 2016
Associate Professor Thérèse Tierney 


This research studio considers the speculative and projective potential of megastructures as a theory and practice of architecture, specifying it as a particular response to territorial transformation. According to the architectural theorist, Tulay Atak, if the architectural object is to be situated between autonomy and contingency, form and performance, criticality and projection, there may also be a need to acknowledge that the status of the object itself has changed. We see this perspective voiced by Stan Allen in his publication Landform Objects or with Bjarke Ingles’ large-scale projects in Hot to Cold.  Both Allen and Ingles agree that environmental concerns now extend the boundary beyond architecture to encompass many other factors.  In a similar way, Timothy Morton defines hyperobjects as extensive interrelated systems. This design studio questions whether or not megaforms can be a way to respond to hyperobjects. How would we define or describe form as a way to relate these two concepts? In other words, can form and scale mitigate a hyperobject?  Moreover, can architecture of the megaform precede and neutralize the hyperobject?