Visualizing Complexity in Extreme Architecture



Architecture deals with the design of spaces for human activities, providing comfort to its occupants, within a myriad of environmental conditions. When facing extreme environmental conditions, architecture must be responsive and turn these adverse conditions into a comfort space for human conditions. The EA Unit at the Department of Architecture, in ABC University, is a conceptual umbrella under which students are invited to develop architectural projects meeting the technical demands of designing buildings for extreme conditions. While confronted with the evidence of the nature of such extreme demands, students are requested to develop an extreme scenario, which is indeed the storyline where all design elements are rooted into. In this sense, a visual narrative is the key instrument to code the projects’ syntax and to explain the logic by which each particular project can be understood. However, the unit demands the use of rather technical arguments to sustain a project responsive to extreme conditions and thus, close to be developed through a scientific method. Then, how visualizations can express individual approaches to the otherwise obvious solution to a technical problem? How visualizations maintain uniqueness while expressing the project's response to the technical demands? To answer both questions, we must embrace the inherent complexity of extreme environments. The use of visualizations allows students to deal with such complexity from their own perspective, expressed by the language of those representations. In this essay, the authors attempt to provide answers to these questions by critically revising two projects developed in the unit.


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How to Cite

Morales-Beltran, M., Çetin, K., & Kavani, B. (2022). Visualizing Complexity in Extreme Architecture. UOU Scientific Journal, 1(03). Retrieved from