The G3 Master Project studio is a collective research studio, where each member of the group pursued related yet semi-autonomous disciplinary research centered on a shared theme. Together with the independent research group, the G3 year has taken on as a research theme centered on the perennial question of architecture and presence; that is, to what extent is architecture characterized by traditional notions of material embodiment in the world. Within the broad horizon of this question, the research studio group took on a more narrow problem pertaining to a salient example in contemporary society. Our concern centered on aspects of digital society, global networks, and new forms of the acquisition of knowledge afforded by digital representational systems. With this in mind, each student was asked to speculate on the implications and possibilities of remote sensing technology for the discipline of architecture. The studio explored both the cultural and disciplinary affects of sensing technology which have become ubiquitous and ever more important in our world.
Beyond the obvious social, ecological, and political implications of global systems of representation there is also an overlooked aesthetic implication to the mediation of the architectural landscape within these technologies. The fluid and at times delirious nature of representational systems such as Google Earth disrupt traditional architectural notions of site, context, ground, and scale and force architects to reconsider questions of the situations in which architecture defines itself. The technology produces a number of visual and spatial effects such as blurring, pixelization, edge distortion, and surface warping, that when registered against the new fluidity, alacrity and intensity of these mapping systems, combine in such a way so as to produce a new understanding of architecture’s place within the world. Just as the development of linear perspective during the rise of humanism fed new innovations in architectural organization and spatialization, the representational field of remote sensing technologies could, in our present era, similarly sponsor new effects that reorganize the architectural object.