In architecture, the ability to traverse scales is key. It is here, with such system as a model, we can reconceptualize architecture’s basic components—the potential to “rethink the brick.” Synthetically designed granulates, at an architectural scale, can produce a fluid architecture—a unique system that exhibits properties of a liquid through its reconfigurability, but is capable of self-stabilizing structurally, forming a solid-like state. Through a phenomenon called “jamming,” these metastable configurations are far from equilibrium and actually sit at “the edge of chaos.” It is this key concept that gives these systems great potential to evolve and adapt to natural and social pressures.
The proposed construction system is accessible to many, unlike current nano/bio-technologies. 3D building blocks were generated with digitally fabricated, slot-fitting wood sheet materials requiring little tools to assemble. The idea of precise control, as we are traditionally accustomed to in design, must be reconsidered. The relationship between the local elements and the global system in this case is important as it suggests that the exact outcome cannot be totally planned. For an architecture to react, and to react to unpredictable circumstances, requires that architecture adopts uncertainty in its formulation and materialization. A fluid architecture challenges conventional architectural practices and the foundation of permanence on which architecture was built.