Team: Guvenc Ozel, Benjamin Ennemoser, Tyson Philipps
Cypher is a sculptural installation that creates an interactive experience through robotics, virtual reality, sensor interaction and machine learning. By combining an interactive soft robotic body with a virtual reality interface, Cypher establishes a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, collapsing them into the same experiential plane by synchronizing a virtual reality simulation with human-robot interaction.
Through an infrared sensor array and a LIDAR (similar to technologies in autonomous vehicles), the sculpture has an ability to detect the proximity of the audience and change its shape accordingly. The virtual reality headset tethered to the sculpture teleports the user to its interior, radically shifting the scale of experience from object to space. While in VR, the user has the ability to change the shape of the simulation through natural hand gestures. As the user changes the shape of the VR simulation, the robot moves real-time, aligning the physical and digital transformations. The relationship between VR and robotics is further negotiated through machine learning algorithms, allowing the sculpture to develop natural motions by learning to predict the way in which people are interacting with it. The AI component allows for the sculpture to get more “intelligent” the more it is exhibited, using the number of interactions it has with the audience to cumulatively shape its motion and behavior through time. Through the synthesis of these multiple technologies, the sculpture challenges the notions of what is real vs. virtual, allowing the viewer to travel between multitudes of realities simultaneously.
With this combination of multiple technological systems working seamlessly, Cypher exists simultaneously in the digital and the physical worlds. It has an ability to respond to changes in its environment both as simulation and as material. By merging the worlds of virtual reality and robotics, Cypher has an ability to translate concepts and experiences that are traditionally seen as opposite domains: architecture vs. sculpture, object vs. space, digital vs. physical, real vs. virtual, visual vs. tactile, machine vs. organism.
Project: Singularity Pavilion
Location: Coachella Valley, Indio CA
Team: Guvenc Ozel, Benjamin Ennemoser
Proposed for the Coachella Valley Music Festival, Singularity is a robotically controlled architectural system and sculpture serving as a canopy during the day and becomes an interactive monument by night.
By attaching lightweight, carbon-fiber and fabric “wings” to 3 industrial robots, the project creates a programmable structure that can change shape so that it performs multiple functions throughout its life cycle. During the day, the robots position their wings horizontally with the optimal angle toward the sun, very slowly changing position as the sun moves, maximizing the amount of shade underneath. As the sun sets, the robots turn their wings slowly into an upright position, transforming into a tall architectural monument and a prominent visual marker on the expansive grounds of the Coachella festival. During the evening, artistic lighting schemes and interactive projection mapping content adorns the moving monument, increasing audience engagement and its presence in the Coachella skyline.
The pavilion offers a real-time relationship with the audience through the Coachella app, allowing Coachella participants the potential collective ability to control the shape and ambiance of the monument and/or to provide them visual cues about set times, real time activity markings and other forms of data visualizations. This level of heightened interaction is achieved through a combination of video projection mapping and Augmented Reality.
Project: NASA 3D Printed Habitat
Status: Competition Entry, Runner Up (4th Place)
Project Team: Guvenc Ozel, Onur Karaduman, Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci, Eda Yetim
Created in collaboration with experts from UCLA Department of Engineering and Material Science, the competition entry for NASA and AmericaMakes 3D Printed Habitat challenge received the Runner Up Prize in more than 160 international entries.
The competition brief put together by NASA required the participants to design a 100 m2 habitat which would be able to accommodate living and research facilities as well as life support equipment for 4 astronauts for the first mission to Mars, built through the use of 3D printing technology using indigenous resources. Instead of 3D printing concrete-like shells from local sand, the team proposed to 3D print high performance composite shells through the combination of locally harvested basalt and carbon with fast curing polymer resins, a 3D printing version of how high-performance boats, planes, satellites, and spaceships are built.
Project: F1 Condominiums
Location: Cesme, Turkey
Status: Schematic Design
F1 Condominiums is a 65 unit luxury condominium building planned of the trendy coastal town of Cesme, Turkey. Reaching a total construction area of 13,000 sqm, the scheme proposes undulating continuous balconies which double up as both shading and outdoor space. These terraces create visual and contextual connections to the sailing and maritime history of the site, meanwhile providing natural cooling for the units and creating cascading gardens that travel up the interior facades of the building.
Project: F2 Villas
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Status: Schematic Design
F2 Villas is a group of luxury residences located in a popular resort town in Turkey. The project aims to redefine the typical beach residence by creating individual islands of programmatic units that balances the paradigms of privacy and openness.
Project: Burger Lounge
Location: San Francisco, CA
Burger lounge is an interior study for a technology start-up in San Francisco, currently developing a robot that automates the process of producing customized gourmet burgers. Burger as a fast food staple has had cultural resonance in the architecture of culinary environments. Ozel Office analyzed spatial themes from American diners such as booths, counters, bars and other traditional furniture elements and re-designed them with a contemporary approach. These elements would be manufactured through inventive use of current digital fabrication techniques and combine natural materials with synthetic ones as well as integrating interactive and reactive technology that would fully automate the ordering and customization of food.
Project: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Robotic Stonehenge
Location: Pasadena, CA
Status: Concept Study, Ongoing
A FUNCTIONAL MONUMENT TO INTENSE PRODUCTIVITY AND SIMULTANEOUS LEISURE
As a part of a research collaboration between UCLA CityLab on new modes of workspaces, Ozel Office proposed a landscape feature for the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Pasadena Campus. The outdoor scheme focuses on the interchangeable fluctuating relationship between work and leisure in a day. Digital media and extreme mobility reconstructs the relationship between what is considered to be labour and leisure. As work is no longer confined in the traditional business hours, a professional’s day is no longer segmented between work time and downtime. As going in and out of focus is constantly in flux through direct access to emails, spreadsheets, colleagues and social media, productivity becomes a moving target. In this new work context of extreme mobility, intense focus and inevitable time wasting, new environments need to provide a multiplicity of contexts simultaneously in order to create potential scenarios of intense activity and spontaneous recreation.
Operating within the context of cyclical productivity, the Robotic Stonehenge is a functional monument to work and leisure. Organized in a circular form subdivided into 4 distinct activities, a robotically actuated canopy allows for ondemand transforming modes of privacy and shade. As the distinct zones of isolated focus, hedonistic relaxation, public presentation and team collaboration is formally conjoined, the probability to achieve mental zones of productivity is enhanced.
Status: in progress
Designed for avant garde British electronic music artist Actress, Livef0rms is an installation by day, and a backdrop for a live performance by night. Constantly being assembled and disassembled by industrial robots based on an algorithm that translates music into crystalline form, Livef0rms is concerned with form (sonic or spatial) as a dynamic design process for its ability to (self-) generate as infinitesimal outputs. By employing tools such as computation, sampling, digital composition and robotics, it creates multi-disciplinary crossings between the physical and the sensational. The objective is to create a space that is a physical manifestation of the interaction and real time collaboration between the artists, revealing the invisible; translating music into a naturally evolving architecture that makes speculative links between sound, materiality, sensation and human emotion. Thus, it explores what it is to exist in a post-human age, acknowledging processes that are born from and yet simultaneously indifferent to human agency.
Project: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, E-VEIL
Location: Pasadena, CA
Status: Concept Study, Ongoing
E-VEIL: THE NEW ENHANCED OFFICE SPACE
As a part of a research collaboration between UCLA CityLab on new modes of workspaces, Ozel Office proposed an interior layout system for the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Pasadena Campus.
The indoor scheme aims to create a versatile preprogrammed variation of office territories controlled by the user. As contemporary workplace requires professionals to constantly change teams, work in collaboration as well as in isolation, the traditional layout of a personal cubicle as the organizing principle of office architecture is no longer practical. In order to face the demand for constant reconfiguration meanwhile allowing the worker to maintain an individual identity and privacy for personal work space, the EVeil proposes to create user controlled flexible clusters through the use of layered smart fabrics. At the center of the space, a room with a touch screen table serves as the anchor that fulfills both the challenge of individual isolation and small collaboration. The large continuous table can either be used for big group meetings or can be subdivided into individual work stations by reconfiguring the curtains as needed.
When the curtains are not present in the space, the continuous furniture piece allows for an introverted layout where the users can face each other. Through the help of stationary tracks, the furniture surface can be subdivided into 3 subgroups, or 6 individual workstation surfaces as needed. The translucency of the fabric can be adjusted in order to maintain visual privacy or control lighting. The fabric surface operates as a scrim for an array of permanently ceilingmounted projectors, allowing every partition to turn into a collaborative workboard when needed.
Project: Ertan Residences
Location: Cesme, Turkey
Status: in progress
Ertan Residencies is a 5 free-standing villa complex on the Aegean coast of Turkey. There are 2 villa types, Type A is singles with 170 m2 of usable space, and Type B is a duplex with each 120 m2. Even though the site is only a block away from the beach, it is adjacent to a busy road , therefore privacy was a high concern for the client. Cesme being a seasonal town, the client preferred a scheme that can be habitable for the entire duration of the year, as the complex will be used as luxury rental. Therefore individual swimming pools were devised per villa, which will be pumped with sea water during the summer, and hot thermal water during the winter. This not only expands the economic longevity of the project but also allows the scheme to achieve significant gains in heating and cooling.
Project: Cerebral Hut
Cerebral Hut is a large scale installation that explores the relationship between architecture, interactivity,movement and human thought. It debuted at the Istanbul Design Biennial 2012 and was later exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London in Summer 2013 and SXSW Interactive Festival in Spring 2014 for Pepsi and Fast Company. We traditionally assume that the built environment, whether in the architectural or the urban scale influences our psyche. What if we can reverse that relationship? What if a kinetic architecture could establish a direct connection between the thoughts of its user and itself in order to reconfigure its physical boundaries accordingly? In order to achieve this, an electromechanical computer controlled system was devised that is activated by a wireless input from an EEG helmet that the user wears. The EEG helmet reads the concentration levels of the user and translates them into motion through a code. The more the user concentrates, the more he/ she can transform the physical boundaries of the space.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
#Liveforever is an augmented reality experience along the trail that leads to the Hollywood Sign. The hike allowed participants to uncover fictional relics from the future through an augmented reality app installed on their mobile devices. Four pedestals, each telling a story about an imaginary yet quintessential Los Angeles personality, served as trackers that called out particular 3D models when the participant pointed their mobile devices camera toward them. They were be able to observe, reveal and interact with these mythological objects that correspond to possible future stories of Hollywood and Los Angeles urban culture. The project, revolving around a fictional story line, allowed for a subversive mode of interaction with nature, where technology mediates between what is visible and what is hidden, what is real and what is virtual, during an activity like hiking that is inherently non-technological. It simultaneously calls into question the contemporary obsession with longevity and how theoretically this could manifest in a non-biopolitical fashion in a speculative era of consciousness without a biological existence.The digital relics being uncovered give clues about four fictional Los Angeles personalities; The Actress, The Performer, The Surfer, and The Entrepreneur. Each digital object is a part of a larger story that relates all the characters together.
Project: Project Source Code
Location: Venice, Italy
A digital intervention as a curatorial performance act,Project Source Code “hacked” the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 through Augmented Reality. By covertly overlaying a guerilla-style digital exhibition on the existing Biennale exhibition “Elements of Architecture”, which could only be viewed on mobile devices through a customized app, digital information is embedded into physical space by using the existing exhibition pieces as “trackers” that call out 3D models of selected projects. The selection in this digital exhibition includes 6 seminal works from contemporary architects and designers particularly known for their use of digital design techniques, including Asymptote Architecture, Greg Lynn FORM, Neil M. Denari Architects and Oosterhuis_Lénárd. The exhibition team acquired the featured digital models directly from the designers that agreed to participate in his digital exhibition. It is the first time an architecture exhibition is being “hacked” through augmented reality, where digital and physical space is combined and blurred, and also the first time that raw 3D models of architecture projects are exchanged as art objects and treated as exhibition pieces. An accompanying critical essay regarding the background and theoretical foundations of the intervention was also published on the project’s native website.
Status: in progress
Initially proposed for LACMA’s Art and Technology program and currently under development, Morphogram is an airborne sculptural roof in motion. It is a physical animate diagram machine, designed to respond to human form, consciousness, motion and emotion through inputs from sensory devices, actuated by drone technology, translating the digital and virtual into the physical. Morphogram is a surface made up of triangulated cells that are connected through a web. The surface is carried by a grid of software-controlled quadrocopters that act as actuators transforming the shape of the surface. As the quadrocopters change their location in 3D space, the surface morphs its geometry based on predetermined or live input iterations like a complex, computer controlled marionette.
Project: Fiat 500 Pavilion
Initially commissioned and proposed for the European launch of the Fiat 500 car, the Fiat Marketing pavilion is a traveling installation to serve as pit stops for different test drive events that would be deployed through a marketing campaign across Europe. The 3 different designs each stress unique aspects of Fiat's brand identity and address various practical issues related to a traveling installation. The bleacher configuration, the media experience and the modular configuration each fulfill specific design requirements and contexts meanwhile maintaining a uniform design identity.
Project: Izmir Opera House
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Status: Competition Entry, in collaboration with Buro EK
The proposal for the Izmir Opera aims to tap into the existing architectural memory of the city through a synthesis of 2 prominent architectural typologies: the tower and the amphitheater.
By fusing these two different types of architectural typologies, the proposal for Izmir Opera aims to create a continuous social space. This fusion creates not only a visual and spatial synergy but also a functional and operational one. The new Izmir Opera House should be perceived as topography rather than form. Therefore the Opera as a cultural program becomes an extension of the existing cultural landscape of the city in order to ensure an uninterrupted integration to the existing urban life. It simultaneously operates as a democratic platform for public interaction and a radical spatial marker in the existing skyline of the city.
Project: Romar Vista Residences
Location: Orange Beach, AL, USA
Status: Schematic Design, Pending
Located in Orange Beach, Alabama, Romar Vista Residences take advance of its beachfront location through an organic formation of balconies in order to create individual and unique luxury apartment layouts that offer dramatic views of the beach and the city.
Project: Prague Library
Location: Prage, Czech Republic
Status: competition entry
Proposed for Prague for an international competition, the library scheme aims to create an organized yet fluid transition between library collections through using architectural form as a browsing interface. Thematically organized and lined with shelves, the undulation of the wall and shelving spaces allow for transitions between different collections through intersections and creates a continuous circulation experience for a fluid conceptual and spatial experience.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Initially proposed for the Istanbul Biennial, this installation explores the perceptions of nationalism, iconography and history from a contemporary point of view. Playing into the perceptions and prejudices of different cultural vantage points, the animated and user activated interactive work opens up a dialogue about nationalism, pop culture, xenophobia and orientalism.
Project: Snow Queen
Location: Bennington, VT
set design for Bilge Gulturk's adaptation of the infamous Andersen fairytale, "Snow Queen" brought an architectural partitioning of a public atrium as a theatrical experience. Besides the stage proper, media such as video projections and animation were used in order to create a cinematic experience where the audience was not static.