2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture (Shenzhen)

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Form Axioms, co-led by Prof Eva Castro, is invited to participate in the international 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen).

Form Axioms’ exhibition is located at the Yantian sub-venue (Yantian District, Shenzhen, Block 8, Sha-Tau-Kok Bonded Zone __ 深圳市盐田区深盐路 – 沙头角保税区8号楼). It presents the studio’s research agenda and students’ projects which are shown through physical models and video projections. Two sections of the exhibition are dedicated to immersive information visualisation through virtual and augmented reality.


“Mapping the Invisible: Para-Consistency, Design and Fiction”


0.0 {The Sea and the Maps}

0.0 {海洋与地图}

The present work is committed to the challenging task of rethinking through design the eco-logy of liquid territories, understanding their multiple designations and the (labile) boundaries that are painted on them by men, in history. The liquid mass of the “world” carries a tremendous strategic importance owned to the fact that it could become the potential space of a different form of commonality, one that is absent today given how the nation-based world’s economy passes through it, dividing it, using it, exploiting it. We read the (in)tangible lines, “mapping the invisible” we recount the submerged, to uncover the concealed. We analyse liquid-scapes making emerge the particularities they contain, the faces and characteristics of the randomly distributed arrays of elements they contain, the mutating features that are seasonally submerged or permanently underwater: the state-without-state, the states of the sea, phases in continuous state of mutation. Environmental changes are drawn-out together with the anthropic factors affecting them, so to give shape to the possibility of designing archipelagos of floating communities, to envision via design new forms of sharing and inhabiting the some parts of the sea, imagining forms of living together on the fluctuating impermanence that is the open liquidity of the world.


0.1 {Communities, Fiction(s) and Nature(s)}

0.1 {社区、 虚构与自然}

The research proceeds via a speculative approach, making meta-fictions that give shape to new ways of rethinking “ecology”, in order to model new-nature(s) and alternative modes of life. To design here is to fearlessly think the future, one not yet here, one made by writing out alternative (para-consistent) realities to come. “Terraforming” earth-systems (inland or off-shore) could only happen by thinking “reality” through (science-)fiction, as in fact Kim Stanley Robinson reminds us, “science fiction is the realism of our time”. Designers in here are, or have been, strategists, conceptual writers and morphological explorers. This laboratory of ideas employs “hyperstitional” narratives, thus stories and shapes able to re-invent what the present is by grafting on it (by giving form in the now) its alternative futures. Design in this laboratory requires rethinking “nature”, challenging the ontological positions that take for granted a benevolent and transcendent mother of all. We must accept at this point that, and given the scientific evidences, there cannot be any naive return, nor any total re-naturalization of earth, any of such regressive thought is nothing but forgetting that in order to live on this still blue-marble “we” necessitate a continuous process of discussion, invention, hybridisation, and so of artificialization. One has to loose the trivial gaze upon things to embrace the “fact” that things (and that nature as the actual set of all things) is constructed, a set in the making designed by waving together complex networks of social-political-material and ideological forces, fibres of varying densities that are, via processes of abstraction and composition, to be woven in new eco-logically viable systems for alternative subsistence. We strive for designing some kind of local-universalism, a multi-layered model of interwoven local-global scales of processes and operations. We strive for (world-)building and “terraforming” liquid localities that are parts made of parts, forming community-clusters that could be potentially parts of the earth-vast archipelagos of communities. It is so that we envision a territorial mereology-of-mereologies, a newly delineated territory that belongs to the world by both: declaring its own “form” and by negotiating with the community of other “forms” (systems).


在此,设计即大胆畅想未来,去设想尚不存在,去写出即将到来的其他(次协调)现实。只有通过(科幻)小说思考“现实”才可能对(内陆或沿海)进行“地质性改造”,正如金•斯坦利•罗宾森提醒我们,“科幻小说是我们身处时代的现实主义”。因此,设计师或许已经是战略家,概念写作者和形态学探索者。概念实验室采用的叙事方式里故事和框架能通过(将现有形态)嫁接到其他未来以彻底改变当下。在实验室中设计需要重新思考“自然”,并质疑一种想当然地认为存在善意,超然的万物之母的本体论。这时候我们必须认同,基于科学证据,地球不可能简单恢复原状,也无法完全重新自然化,任何此类逃避性的想法忽略了这样的事实:为了在蓝色大理石般的地球上生活,“我们”将人工化,和连续的讨论,创造,杂交一样变成了必需。我们必须抛却琐碎看待事情的方式,直面“真相”,即事物(和实际承载所有事物的自然)都是被建构的。这种建构将一张包含社会,政治,物质和意识形态等多种力量的复杂网络编织到一起; 通过抽象的流程和构造,把纤维密度各不相同的它们编织入一个生态上可行的新系统来支撑新的生存方式。我们努力设计某种基于当地的普世主义,即一个多层级,相互交织的当地和全球规模的流程与活动。我们努力尝试(世界性)建设和“地质性改造”由不同层级区块组成的水上聚居,使其成为在全球范围社区群岛中的一组社区。为此,我们设想一种地域性的理论,关于可适用于局部范围且同时适用于整体大范围的分形学(即部分整体理论),这是一块新描绘出的、从两种意义上属于世界的地域:不仅宣布自己的“形态”,而且与社群中其他的“形态”(系统)进行反复的沟通与磋商。

What should emerge from this exhibition are works that have the courage to paint “post-”, “trans-” or “hyper-” anthropocentric scenarios, ultimately carrying forward our primary mission: liberating thought from the enslaving forces that makes it a victim of its own incapacities, and with such liberation imagining new forms of thoughts, of living together on earth, on its open-liquid horizons.






This project speculates about prototypical infrastructures of “excavation” that, whilst redefining the processes of extraction, production, and re-use, attempt at re-designing the relationship between man, nature, and the machine; in a post-capitalist scenario taking place under and over ground.




This project explores the nature of plastics, whilst creating an infrastructural network that varies with environmental conditions in order to create resilience in Manila’s coastal region.




In Mekong River Delta, acres of mangroves are deforested leaving the land vulnerable to erosions, sea level rise and typhoons. This project examines the possibility of a community that creates nature out of “synthetic” processes, for living off their environment while rebuilding and modifying it at the same time.




How could mankind adapt and evolve through the unpredictable natural changes caused by volcano eruptions? This project examines this issue whilst planning new relationships to such harsh environments, experimenting formally to adapt to the condition, to ultimately “terraform” resilient infrastructural spaces that could mediate the hazardous nature of volcanoes whilst benefitting from their thermal energy.

作品探讨面对火山爆发导致的变幻莫测的自然环境,人类应该如何适应和进化? 是与严峻的环境建立新关系,正式试验适应环境; 还是最终 通过“地质性改造”可复原的基础设施来降低火山爆发危险的同时,运用期间产生的热能。



This project attempt at creating the conditions for populations of displaced individuals to constitute their own agenda and to form of floating communities on reef-like environments.




This process delineates modes and processes in which the emergent aggregation of materials could define floating mechanics, means for inhabiting the oceans in which communities of fishermen would establish sustainable practices and define more egalitarian “sharing protocols”.

作品描述了通过新兴材料聚集的模式与流程来重新定义渔民社区的浮动力学和海上定居方式; 以此来树立可持续的惯例并明确更为平等的“共享协议”。



This project imagines an alternative maritime condition where production and operation are not tied down by the rigidity of infrastructure and ownership, but rather encapsulate the fluid and transient state of the sea. This is to form a hyper-productive nomadism made possible through the complex mapping of shifting seasonal conditions and the implementation of a dynamic infrastructure that ties the living solely to its mobile ecology.




This project aims to create independent sources of energy via an infrastructural belt sprouting from, and connecting between, islands and growing according to the bathymetry’s morphology and the environmental conditions.




In the VR area the user can immerssevely visualise layers of information whilst hoovering on the pre-selected area of inquiry; an island. In the AR area the user through an Ipad device can interactively display layers of information revealing different environmental factors and evaluating their inter-dependence.


[Details and Credits]


The exhibition “Mapping the Invisible: Para-Consistency, Design and Fiction” is curated by form_axioms (www.formaxioms.com). The present work is a mix of new projects and work developed in Advanced Option Studios and Master Thesis led by Eva Castro and Federico Ruberto at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD_ASD). The AR and VR experiences have been created by IRL-Game Lab: Jacob Chen Shihang and Song Yong Bin.

“绘制无形:次协调、设计与虚构”展览由形态构成(www.formaxioms.com)策划。当前作品为一系列新作品合集,主要由新加坡科技设计大学(SUTD_ASD)的伊娃·凯斯特罗和费德里克·罗伯特负责,在高级选项工作室完成。其中增强现实与虚拟现实体验由IRL游戏实验室的Jacob Chen Shihang和Song Yong Bin创作。

ITERATION 1_ A common Agenda and 3 Speculative proposals:

1-“Bioscapes”; 2-“Deep Aquatic Life”; 3-“Aegis”.


1:生物空间; 2:深水生活; 3:庇护

This phase has been elaborated by: 1-[Peng Haonan, Sim Yi-ting (Michel), Nabila Larasati Pranoto, Chow Khoi Rong (Clara), Ho Jin Teck (Daryl), Neo Wei Lin] 2-[Chu Wy Ton, Chew Cheng York, Hun Ming Kwang, Lau Zhi Hsien (Josiah)] 3-[Ching Su Ying (Marianne), Chang Chee Kin (Jeremy), Tan Pei Ru, Chua Rui Xiang, Lim Jayne]

该版本制作人员:1:[Peng Haonan, Sim Yi-ting (Michel), Nabila Larasati Pranoto, Chow Khoi Rong (Clara), Ho Jin Teck (Daryl), Neo Wei Lin]; 2:[Chu Wy Ton, Chew Cheng York, Hun Ming Kwang, Lau Zhi Hsien (Josiah)]; 3:[Ching Su Ying (Marianne), Chang Chee Kin (Jeremy), Tan Pei Ru, Chua Rui Xiang, Lim Jayne]

ITERATION 2_ 5 Speculative proposals:

1-“Black-strata” (Itogon_16.3452N_120.6890E); 2-“Volcanism” (Krakatau_6.1021S_105.423E); 3-“Plas·tic·i·ty” (Manila_14.7003N_121.1196E); 4-“Augmented Nature” (Mekong Delta_9.8127N_106.2993E); 5-“Bodies of Exile” (Union Reef_9.5156N_114.2616E).


1:“黑地层” (伊托冈_16.3452N_120.6890E); 2-“火山作用” (喀拉喀托火山_6.1021S_105.423E); 3-“可塑城市” (马尼拉_14.7003N_121.1196E); 4-“增强自然” (湄公河三角洲_9.8127N_106.2993E); 5-“背井离乡者的人” (联合礁_9.5156N_114.2616E).

This phase has been elaborated by: 1-[Ho Jin Teck (Daryl), Goh Jun Yang] 2-[Peng Haonan, Tan Shao Xuan] 3-[Chow Khoi Rong (Clara), Lee Huimin (Denise)] 4-[Nabila Larasati Pranoto, Tran Thi Thien Tam] 5-[Sim Yi-ting (Michel), Kendrick Tay]

该版本制作人员:1:[Ho Jin Teck (Daryl), Goh Jun Yang] 2:[Peng Haonan, Tan Shao Xuan] 3:[Chow Khoi Rong (Clara), Lee Huimin (Denise)] 4:[Nabila Larasati Pranoto, Tran Thi Thien Tam] 5:[Sim Yi-ting (Michel), Kendrick Tay]

ITERATION 3_ VR and 3 Speculative proposals (WIP):


This phase has been elaborated by: Emir Hamzah Bin Mustaffa Qamal, Heong Kheng Boon, Kelly Yeo Jing Er, Lee Qian Yi Jeanette, Nidhi Hegde, Nurul Nabilah Izzati Bte Rohaizad, Paris Lau Sherneese, Samson Sim, Sim I-En, Tan Jee Khang Benedict, Thet Naung Oo, Chi Jia Cai, Wesley Koh Zhi Peng, Xiao Yiming, Tina Cerpnjak

该版本制作人员:Emir Hamzah Bin Mustaffa Qamal, Heong Kheng Boon, Kelly Yeo Jing Er, Lee Qian Yi Jeanette, Nidhi Hegde, Nurul Nabilah Izzati Bte Rohaizad, Paris Lau Sherneese, Samson Sim, Sim I-En, Tan Jee Khang Benedict, Thet Naung Oo, Chi Jia Cai, Wesley Koh Zhi Peng, Xiao Yiming, Tina Cerpnjak

2020-02-10T16:10:50+08:00Categories: Achievements|