Robert Stuart-Smith + Tyson Hosmer
Nicholette Chan (USA)
Gilles Retsin (Belgium)
Aaron Silver (USA)
Sophia Hua Tang (USA/China)
SoftKill researches generative methods of topological and material formation in combination with additive manufacturing through the production of a prototypical house. While traditional building processes result in substantial material wastage, from manufacturing to construction, SoftKill aims to do more with less. The project enables weak materials to become stiff structures that define qualitative spaces with an ornate character. A generative method of topological formation was developed in an attempt to negotiate space, structure and programme, while minimising the deployment of material. It is a systemic approach that allows design at a range of architectural and material scales, challenging the high modernist notion that space and structure should manifest as singular generic environments in which any activity can take place. This methodology directly operates at micro scales of matter where material organisation is defined. From this, a highly ornate, structurally performative and materially efficient tectonic dissolves the notion of parts and whole. As opposed to distinct contrasts, this tectonic contains varying gradients of hard to soft architectural elements. Through a prototypical house, SoftKill tests the control of resolution and customisation in fabrication to produce an output that economises on material usage without compromising design intent.