1st Edition

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

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 20, 2020
ISBN 9781138479579
December 20, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

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 liveable 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. These are exemplified through case studies that take the form of worlding experiments, creating a handbook for navigating our troubled and precarious times that may help each reader imagine and make their world anew. 

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

Table of Contents

  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


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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" that engages the material and technological potency of life within spatial agendas.