The Polytopes as an Architectural Laboratory


Session Title:

  • French Institute of Architecture — Information Architecture and Urban-scapes

Presentation Title:

  • The Polytopes as an Architectural Laboratory



  • The aim of this presentation is to present the series of ‘Polytopes’, developed by the famous Greek composer Iannis Xenakis after his collaboration with Le Corbusier and Edgar Varèse on the famous Philips Pavilion, at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. In these large-scale multimedia installations, independent layers of light, sound and space are brought together in an abstract and highly sophisticated cybernetic synthesis. Xenakis extrapolates here the Constructivist search for parametric form into a totally dynamic and immersive environment. Examining the artistic potential of the latest technologies in light and sound, they can be considered as an architectural laboratory. The Polytopes, a landmark in multimedia history, illustrate notably the transformation the concept of ‘space’ has undergone from the industrial epoch to the information society, and offer an intelligent interpretation of the at present too often banal in notion of interactivity.