intensive aesthetics|intensive surfaces lecture @ fAAshions - Paris

intensive aesthetics|intensive surfaces lecture @ fAAshions – Paris



Alessio Erioli


fAAshions – AA visiting school Paris – spring 2011 –

Director: Jorge Ayala –

Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris



Invited by Jorge Ayala, Director of fAAshions – AA visiting School in Paris, Alessio went to Paris in Spring 2011 to give a lecture about “intensive aesthetics|intensive surfaces”. PDF format of the lecture available soon.

Lecture Abstract:

There is a tight interrelation among culture, language and the physical substratum they are connected with. We store and transmit information through patterns, defined as sequences in space and time; this general framework encompasses cultural and material processes: patterns are made of matter, energy and information, which is flowing as an embedded property and not only through conventional symbols.

In living organisms skin is the outermost aspect of a complex system and thus is deeply and intimately intertwined to its processes of formation, life, cognition, behavior (including morphology, metabolism and its communication system, all involving patterns); the surface is an orbital where intensive properties (which are scale invariant – they do not depend on system size – and tend to eliminate mutual differences producing dynamics), self-organization processes and emergent effects+affects meet and gravitate mutually influencing each other through matter-energy-information exchange. Coded language interacts and feedbacks with the sonic matter it started from and the physical means of its reproduction and diffusion (organisms, technology and their embedded information); symbols themselves are a product of this interaction, an extensive outcome of intensive processes.

Contemporary design and fabrication strategies focused the interest into processes rather than products, shedding light on the role of topology, constraints, extended material properties in morphogenesis and emergent behaviors; the interlinked studies on biology and complex systems thus leveraged a novel performance based definition of rationality, promoting complex, articulated and differentiated multi-performative solutions. This is having a deep impact on extensive, crystallized conventions which seclude shape, meaning and performance in static and rigid associations; a better understanding of pattern generation dynamics might promote an enhancement in pattern recognition and interpretation, bringing the contributions of elements such as emergence and complexity in the construction of meaning, hence disclosing an understanding of it as a more complex and vibrant set of relations involving form, shape, pattern, function, purpose, content. Architecture does not shape meaning directly nor embodies it, but can provide the tools and constraints to disclose its potential, promoting an intensive idea of aesthetics.


We would like to thank Jorge Ayala for the invitation, it was awesome to be part of this!

Check the full flickr gallery here.

Other links:

Photos by Bryce Davesne.