cover of book

Experiments with Body Agent Architecture: The 586-year-old Spiritello in Il Regno Digitale
by Alessandro Ayuso
University College London, 2022
Paper: 978-1-80008-171-0

Explore the human figure as an agent of design through scholarly analysis and fiction narrative.

Experiments with Body Agent Architecture proposes the notion of body agents: non-ideal, animate, and highly specific figures integrated with design to enact particular notions of embodied subjectivity in architecture. Body agents present opportunities for architects to increase imaginative and empathic qualities in their designs.
Beginning with narrative writing from the viewpoint of a body agent who finds himself uncomfortably inhabiting a digital milieu, the book combines speculative historical fiction and original design experiments. It focuses on the process of creating multimedia design experiments, moving from the design of the body itself as an original prosthetic to architectural proposals emanating from the body.
A fragmented history of the figure in architecture is charted and woven into the designs, with chapters examining Michelangelo’s enigmatic figures in his drawings for the New Sacristy in the early sixteenth century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s physically ephemeral putti adorning chapels and churches in the seventeenth century, and Austrian artist-architect Walter Pichler’s personal and prescient figures of the twentieth century. 
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