Europan 11 – Monthey, Switzerland

2011 Progetto: Civico 13 e Daniele Baiotto

Concorso Europan 11 - Game of life

 "Cities become at once real and virtual, physical and ethereal, concrete and imagined truly composed of media of all kinds, and accessible at all times. In this way, the city can be transformed from a dead archive where information is deposited and forgotten into a living flux of information and communication ...
...We need architectures of an impermanent and temporary nature that appear for a few weeks, days or even hours, that do whatever it is that they need to do and then disappear without leaving a trace, except that they remain in the minds of all those who witnessed them."
Iain Borden, 2007

The story of Chablais is deeply characterized by its geographical position. Because of being passed from hand to hand it is a region of transition, of passage and conquest.

At the end of XIXth century it becomes an industrial and economic pole because of its frontier position and the hydroelectric resources. In this scenery is born Giovanola metallurgic factory. Giovanola tells a story that is peculiar but shared with all the region. 

current situation

It is a territory with a multifunctional countryside: the agricultural land and the natural environment give a structure to the space in a different way.
The presence of spaces like the ponds, the slat houses, the footpaths, the farms, the garages, the ateliers, the factories with their red and white chimneys compose a diffuse and sprawled tissue.
These elements make impossible to identify the transition borders between the different ecosystems: natural, rural and urban merge themselves.
At the same time the built-up areas are isoleted also because the permeability and connections are cut by different kind of barriers: freeways, the river, railways, cantonal roads. The natural system of mountains and orography appears very clear in contrast with the sharp line of these linear axes and directions.

what is GAME OF LIFE ?

Often architecture is a process from the top to the bottom that isn’t concerned for people and speaks of authority, stature and permanence. Is it possible to start a design process without make “forms”? Is it possible to find a way to organize a functional program starting from an objective point of view?

We are thinking to a tool that could be used to organize these new kind of flexible and informal spaces. A simple example of how basic rules can generate a complex entity is the mathematical model developed by John Conway in 1968, called Game of Life.

The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, live or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight neighbours, which are the cells that are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent.
At each step in time, the following transitions occur:
- Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population
- Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation
- Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding
- Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction
Source: Wikipedia

The initial pattern constitutes the seed of the system.
We designed a few starting patterns on the themes we were sketching in the concept phase. A pattern is made of quantities by the program needs, just giving gradients respect to the analysis of the study area.



Processing the project with our custom software of game of life specifically designed for europan 11

Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional grid of square cells, live or dead / any cell interacts with its eight adjacent neighbours / The generations of the model are complex patterns of life-like behavior / each step in time is the result of simple rules of ISOLATION and OVERPOPULATION