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SCImatic Design at the INTERCAD 2011 – Vienna | SCImatic Design

SCImatic Design at the INTERCAD 2011 – Vienna

Abstract for the presentation at INTERCAD 2011 – Vienna, Nov. 2011:

SCImatic Design – Categorizing the Architectural Utopia in the Genre of Science Fiction.

In the genre of filmic science fiction, architecture is a secondary but important factor, which has not been well explored yet. Although the visual background in film plays a key role in representing and defining the setting for the story and gives with its design structure a clear social and technological framework as well as time context, there has not been given much analytic attention to it so far. The generally very free and endless design options of science fiction architecture, however, let conclude that there exists innovative potential. Thus, it is time to examine this background within the framework of the theory of architecture.

Starting with a clear distinction of what science fiction architecture is and what it is not, the paper lays out the first results of the categorization of the architectural utopias in the genre of science fiction.

Basing on the leading principles for this kind of research, which are: the acceptance of incompleteness, the interpretation of the visible and the considering of the social circumstances and technological conditions, it is possible to discern clear borders and to gain results in analysing the science fiction architecture. These results are five incommensurable architectural stiles transgressing the different science fiction subgenres first developed within the project SCImatic Design.

This paper presents a system theoretical and qualitative analysis. Using visual examples of technological and sociological paradigms of various science fiction worlds; the paper aims at carving out prototypical architectonical style elements and structures and categorises them into a system from witch further conclusion could be drawn.

The investigated area for this study comprises the best 159 science fiction movies as defined by a German speaking online community. The theoretical background and the relevance of this study find their base on the theories of Hans Reichenbach (with the two concepts of the ‘context of discovery’ and the ‘context of justification’) and Heinz von Förster (with the concept of the ‘theory of cybernetics 2nd order’).

The aim of the described analysis as well as for the whole on-going study of SCImatic Design is to create a basis for and to contribute to an Architectural Theory of Science Fiction and tries to lay a structural starting point for the further development of a meta-theory of architecture transgressing the different subgenres of science fiction which is termed SCImatic Design. Ultimately, SCImatic Design looks for answers to the question what architects could learn from science fiction architecture. 

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