Organization: DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med.
We are facing a profound transformation, we are active witnesses of an ongoing, pervasive widespread transition which combines dichotomies (analogue and digital), enhances oxymorons (artificial intelligence), overturns axioms (ubiquity), creates paradoxes (sharing economy) involving, without distinction, architecture, humanities and social science, anthropology, sociology, ecology, biology, physical-mathematical sciences and neuroscience whose impacts will become even more evident in the medium and long term. Although they are currently visible and accelerated in part by the global health emergency. A certainly ‘digital’ transformation, which scholars such as Floridi (2020), Galimberti (2020), but also Haraway (2018), Searle (2017) and Chomsky (2011) have placed above all on an ontological and epistemological level as it involves the essence of ‘things’, the way we define them, the world around us and in particular our relationship with the elements that constitute it.
Therefore, the nature of things and the relationships that connect them is one of the great issues that the digital transformation is ‘imposing’ today. It is also introducing innovative approaches and actions to solve both ‘historical’ and new problems (anticipating systems, possible futures, etc.) and new inconveniences (exclusion, digital divide, etc.), arrogating the ‘vitalism’ claimed by current cultural, social and economic challenges that influence the contents of Agenda 2030 and the principles of sustainability, innovation and social justice issues that underlie them. In fact, we are shifting from a reality made up of things to one characterised by relations – links – moving in a daily reality made up of intangible ‘objects’.
Physic/material and history of forms also become virtual reality by mixing in the immaterial current of networks and deterritorialized flows: the digital ‘opens’ by connecting (delocalising) and ‘confines’, limiting (self-sufficient city), but above all it ‘induces’ new spatial configurations in a constantly evolving relationship between genius loci and shape, function and flexibility of use, between the ‘Vitruvian’ man, in his physical proportions, and the ‘inforg’ man who lives, works and relates to the contemporaneity of simultaneously virtual, physical and digital places. A space that, as an ontological entity (natural, built, joint, open, secured, connected, residual, interstitial, on a macro or micro or nanoscale, no matter if we are talking about surfaces, volumes, thresholds, technical-construction/plant components and objects) in any form (from landscapes to territory, from infrastructure to cities, from buildings to objects, up to systems, components and materials) clarifies Links: Physical, in the single material, analogical and tangible object; Virtual in configuring experiences of augmented and immersive reality, of wearable technologies; Digital in interacting and implementing new creative and communicative processes and, at the same time, technical processes and to control and monitor the project at various scales, conveying forms and images, functions and performances in a new dimension of digital sharing.
In the light of these considerations, AGATHÓN journal, turning to disciplinary areas of the Project and in particular of Landscape, Urbanism, Architecture, Engineering, Architectural Technology, Design, Restoration Recovery, and Representation, presents the topic Links | Physical, Virtual, Digital with the aim of fuelling an open cross-disciplinary and inter-scalar confrontation, by collecting essays and critical reflections, researches and experiments, projects and actions dealing simultaneously which may include but is not limited to: objects and form; memory and transformation; addition/integration; configuration and rule; aggregation and deconstruction/disassembly; function and flexibility of use; quality and duration; smart and sensitive; languages and forms of communication; modelling and interoperability; automation and dexterity; eco-compatibility and circularity, welcoming the proposed and unspoken suggestions, in a hybridisation and contamination process of the areas of relationship that today are prefigurable and possible – between people, between people and things/places and between things/places – inside an ‘ecosystem’ that is increasingly a synthesis of these three interaction modes.