1st Edition

The Art of Experiment Post-pandemic Knowledge Practices for 21st Century Architecture and Design

By Rolf Hughes, Rachel Armstrong Copyright 2021
    172 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A handbook for navigating our troubled and precarious times intended to help readers imagine and make their world anew. 

    In search of new knowledge practices that can help us make the world livable again, this book takes the reader on a journey across time—from the deep past to the unfolding future. The authors search beyond human knowledge to establish negotiated partnerships with forms of knowledge within the planet itself, examining how we have manipulated these historically through an anthropocentric focus. The book explores the many different kinds of knowledge, and the diversity of instruments needed to invoke and actuate the potency of human and nonhuman agencies. Four key phases in our ways of knowing are identified: material, strengthening, reconfiguring and extending, which are exemplified through case studies that take the form of worlding experiments. 

    This pioneering work will inspire architects, artists and designers as well as students, teachers and researchers across arts and design disciplines.

    1. Introduction
    2. Rachel Armstrong and Rolf Hughes

      1. Acknowledgement
      2. Overview

    3. Material Knowledge
    4. Rachel Armstrong

      1. Primordial
      2. Big Bang origin of universe

        Everything is entangled

        Strangeness of the mind

        Where does agency reside?

        Origin of planet Earth


        First Great Enfolding

        A new kind of extinction

      3. The first civilisation

    5. Strengthening Knowledge
    6. Rachel Armstrong and Rolf Hughes

      1. Origin of Human Thought
      2. Origin of Humans

        Origin of Thought and Language

        Early Origins of Formal Knowledge

      3. Communities of thinking
      4. Development of Modern Science

    7. Reconfiguring Knowledge
    8. Rolf Hughes

      1. Beyond giving an account: the dark continents of research
      2. Epistemology and subjectivity
      3. The formation of artistic research
      4. The description problem in artistic research
      5. The concept of exposition in artistic research
      6. The challenge of evaluating "unconventional" research outcomes
      7. Epistemic plurality
      8. Transverse epistemologies
      9. Epistemic partiality

    9. Extending Knowledge
    10. Rachel Armstrong

      1. Organa Paradoxa
      2. Nonhuman dimensions
      3. Worlding Experiments






      An Ethics of Care

      Worlding as an Entangled Practice








      Non-innocent Perspectives

    11. Worlding Case Studies

    Rachel Armstrong and Rolf Hughes

    6.1 Performance

    Creature Box

    The Capsule of Crossed Destinies

    Trace Hall

    6.2 Artefacts

    Brick Dialogues

    Caustic Ophelia

    Cracked Hermione

    Living Architecture

    Exploring Interfaces

    Synthetic Ethics

    Expressing Outcomes

    Monstering: A Transdisciplinary Method for an Unstable World

    The Temptations of the Nonlinear Ladder

    Making Monsters

    Monsters in Utopia

    Learning from Landscape: Forging Folklore, Tallinn Tales

    From Victoria Tunnel to Quantum Tunnelling

    Wicked Home: Sacred Spaces

      1. Towards an Ecological Era of Knowledge Exchange

    7. Conclusion

    Rachel Armstrong and Rolf Hughes

      1. A new kind of knowledge: Organa Paradoxa
      2. Change-making
      3. Developing appropriate toolsets

        Establishing new figures for thinking through

        Reconfiguring power relations

        Expanding the nature of experiment

      4. Activating Knowledge

    8. Epilogue

    Rolf Hughes

    8.1 An Art of Unfolding



    Rolf Hughes is professor in the epistemology of design-driven research at the Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, and director of artistic research for the Experimental Architecture Group. An interdisciplinary artist and performer, his writing spans creative and critical genres.

    Rachel Armstrong is professor of experimental architecture at Newcastle University and visiting professor at KU Leuven. She pioneers the interdisciplinary field of "living architecture," which engages the material and technological potency of life within spatial agendas.