Roland Snooks is directing a graduate studio at USC titled Encoding Matter. The studio posits a behavioral design methodology, re-conceptualizing design as the organization of matter. This behavioral understanding of design focusses on the dissolution of normative hierarchies that operate within architectural organization and tectonics. A non-linear algorithmic design methodology is proposed capable of displacing existing hierarchies through the emergent operation of self-organizing systems.
The studio is developing an understanding of agency and its role in the formation of complex structures. This exploration is an attempt to rethink the formation of order from the behavior and intent of the monad or agent and explore this within a framework of the brief for the design of a mixed-use tower.
The studio explores how normative tectonic hierarchies can be dissolved and re-imagined within a systemic non-linear logic. Where it is the local interaction of the agent which gives rise to global complex order, rather than a design process operating on sequentially decreasing scales. The premise of the studio rejects modernist tectonics (including mass standardization) and contemporary parametric component assemblies (mass customization). Instead the studio is looking for an alternative organization of matter that draws from an understanding of micro-structures such as those found in butterfly wings; where color and pattern are determined through the organization of matter as a geometrical configuration rather than through chemical attributes such as pigmentation.