New Generic

Spring 2012 Studio
Critic: Alejandro Zaera-Polo
Partners: Can Vu Bui, Ian Starling
Feldman Nominee

The world has started to look the same. Buildings in Singapore and Moscow look essentially the same. The New Generic aims to change this. The New Generic redefines Rem Koolhaas's Generic City by pinning it against Kenneth Frampton's Critical Regionalism. Rather than creating fabric ex-nihilo a la Modernism or Koolhaas, the New Generic deploys an invasive species that completes and densifies existing fabric and mutates according to site and climate data. Unlike Frampton's conception of Critical Regionalism, which is largely against the optimization of building technologies, the New Generic utilizes technology to create regional difference. Factors of consistency and factors of adaptation are used to achieve generic regionalism. Factors of consistency draw on the conventional wisdom of the global construction industry. Factors of adaptation account for local issues of climate, scale, density and program. The facade redefines the interaction between building and nature. A panelized ceramic aeroponic facade system is integrated with the building's water and ventilation systems increasing the building's performance. The panels are deployed based on climatic and programmatic concerns. A series of scripts were developed allowing the New Generic to work like an invasive species. The scripts use climatic and programmatic information to make a building that mutates based on the needs of each site.