From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 unpacks the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design. In an era of declared crises--economic, ecological and climatic, among others--the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static and hard systems. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has reentered the domain of design. The examples displayed in "Bracket goes soft" are offered as nothing more than a short catalog of soft systems--some explicitly architectural, others geological, others entirely metaphorical. In all cases, these examples explore how the notion of going soft can be iterated across professions, disciplines, and fields of research. The book is divided into the themes "sensing/feedback"; "interfacing/ enveloping"; "subverting/hijacking"; "formatting/ distributing"; "contingency/ resilience"; "diffusing/generating". Bracket is a book series structured around an open call that highlights emerging critical issues at the juncture of architecture, environment, and digital culture. The editorial board and jury for Bracket 2 includes Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba, Geoff Manaugh, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro, as well as co-editors Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard. Bracket is a collaboration between InfraNet Lab and Archinect.
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An in-depth study of soft systems in designAbout the Author:
Neeraj Bhatia received his Masters degree in Architecture and Urban Design from MIT where he was studying on a Fulbright Fellowship. His thesis research focused on the design of public libraries in infrastructural landscapes and was awarded the thesis prize. Prior to that, he attended the University of Waterloo where he obtained a pre-professional (B.E.S) and professional degree (B.Arch) in Architecture. His B.Arch thesis was awarded a thesis prize and two awards of excellence from the OAA. Amongst other offices, he has worked for Eisenman Architects, Coop Himmelblau, Bruce Mau Design, OMA, ORG and Lateral Office. He has taught at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto, and been a guest reviewer at Harvard GSD, MIT, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo. His research has been published in Volume/Archis, Thresholds, Footprint, Onsite Review, brkt, and Yale Perspecta. He is co-editor of ‚Arium: Weather + Architecture' (with Ju?rgen Mayer H., Hatje Cantz Publishing, 2009), a research guide examining the relationship of building and weather. In 2008, Neeraj became a director of InfraNet Lab, a non-profit research collective probing the spatial byproducts of contemporary resource logistics. InfraNet Lab's research into urban infrastructures will be published in Pamphlet Architecture 30.
Lola Sheppard is an architect based in Toronto. She received her B.Arch from McGill University and her M.Arch from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture in Canada. She is a founding partner of Lateral Office (2003) with Mason White, a firm dedicated to the productive overlap of architecture, landscape, infrastructure and urbanism. She is also a co-director of InfraNet Lab, a research laboratory dedicated to probing the spatial byproducts of contemporary resource logistics (2008). Lateral Office and InfraNet Lab were awarded the Pamphlet Architecture no. 30, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2011). Lateral was awarded the Emerging Voices Award (2011) and the Young Architects Forum (2005) from the Architectural League of New York and the Canadian Prix de Rome (2010).
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