Have you ever dreamed up a fantastical architectural idea, only to find your ambition constrained by what’s physically possible? The Serpentine Galleries, in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, have pledged to help you overcome these boring health and safety issues. They have launched an open call for creatives to imagine the impossible. Augmented Architecture is open for submissions and will realise shortlisted designs in augmented reality next summer.
Proposals are invited from artists and architects, graphic designers, game designers and coders for imaginary city spaces and speculations on the built environment to be developed and experienced in AR on-site at the Serpentine Galleries. A team of advisors and mentors, guided by Augmented Architecture Technical Director Ivaylo Getov, will work with shortlisted applicants to develop and create prototypes with the final versions presented in Summer 2019. The deadline for applications is 25 February 2019 at 10am.
In the spirit of the late architect, Zaha Hadid, who said “There should be no end to experimentation”, Serpentine Augmented Architecture was launched in the Hadid-designed extension at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. As a cultural institution without a physical collection, Serpentine Galleries has been pushing the boundaries of conventional exhibitions, whether contributing recordings of heartbeats to Christian Boltanski’s The Heart Archive or embracing new technologies by commissioning its own Digital Commissions. Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist describes this latest commission as N.E.A.T. or New Experiments in Art and Technology, taking its historical reference from E.A.T. an early example of artists and engineers collaborating in the 60s.
Building on the success of the Serpentine Pavilion programme which commissions a temporary pavilion each summer, Serpentine Augmented Architecture seeks to expand the field of who can be considered an architect and where. The boundaries between art and architecture are becoming blurred with Assemble winning the Turner Prize in 2015, Forensic Architecture shortlisted in 2018 and Frieze celebrating the significance of cultural buildings with its annual Art & Culture Conference – the former recognising architecture as an artform, the latter exploring the significance of cultural buildings beyond their primal function of housing art.
Drawing on a network of world class advisors who include artist and designer Virgil Abloh, WIRED UK’s editor in chief Greg Williams as well as creative leaders and curators at Serpentine Galleries and Google Arts & Culture, Serpentine Augmented Architecture invites unexpected collaborators into a safe space for unsafe ideas.
While technology in general and AI in particular are often criticised for reflecting a very male, very white view of the world, this balance may be redressed by new voices embracing AR to transform the spacial, social and structural experience of the spaces we inhabit.
For the full brief and how to apply click here.
By Meike Brunkhorst, factor-m