From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 unpacks the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design. In an era of declared crises–economic, ecological and climatic, among others–the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static and hard systems. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has reentered the domain of design.
The examples displayed in “Bracket goes soft” are offered as nothing more than a short catalog of soft systems–some explicitly architectural, others geological, others entirely metaphorical. In all cases, these examples explore how the notion of going soft can be iterated across professions, disciplines, and fields of research. The book is divided into the themes “sensing/feedback”; “interfacing/ enveloping”; “subverting/hijacking”; “formatting/ distributing”; “contingency/ resilience”; “diffusing/generating”.
Bracket is a book series structured around an open call that highlights emerging critical issues at the juncture of architecture, environment, and digital culture. The editorial board and jury for Bracket 2 includes Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba, Geoff Manaugh, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro, as well as co-editors Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard. Bracket is a collaboration between InfraNet Lab and Archinect.