Month: May 2010

Symposium on Contemporary Practice: Beyond the Crisis, KTH-A 19-20/5 2010

Posted by on May 23, 2010

The Contemporary Practice: Beyond the Crisis invited designers, clients, developers, and educators to discuss interdisciplinary challenges affecting the built environment.

Symposium logotype

Symposium logotype

Regional and international speakers with multi-disciplinary backgrounds initiated discussions about: political vision and the built environment (Leadership); specialisation, scale and region (Construction); process, fabrication, education (Design). The initiative supports the Research Cluster Design and Technology for a Sustainable Built Environment launched by the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, KTH, in January 2010.

Among the speakers were Christer Larsson (Director of Development, Malmö), Kristina Alvendal (Vice Mayor at City of Stockholm), Sarah Jackson (Director of Design Review, CABE, UK), Klaus Bode (founding Partner, BDSP, London), Hugh Whitehead (Specialist Modeling Group, Foster and Partners, London), Rikard Espling (Skanska Sweden), Frank Barkow (Barkow Leibinger Arkitekten, Berlin), Erik Stening (Skandinaviska Glassystem, Gothenburg), Neri Oxman (MIT, Cambridge), Ole Gustavsson (Snöhetta, Oslo) and Cristiano Ceccato (Zaha Hadid Architects, London).

The event was organized by Architectural Technologies Research at the KTH School of Architecture, through Tim Anstey, Hanif Kara, Lina Martinsson and Erik Törnkvist, in association with the cross-department Forum for Industrial Building Practices (KTH FIND) and with the support of Stockholms Arkitektförening. I was an advisor on early stages of planning, and a moderator for the second session (with Louise Masreliez), themed: Construction – Specialisation, scale and region.

The Future Agency of Digital Design in Architecture, 2010

Posted by on May 4, 2010

Cover of Conditions # 4

Cover of Conditions # 4

Article published in Conditions # 4: THE PRODUCTION OF ADDED VALUE , 2010

This issue of CONDITIONS is an investigation into the production of added value in architecture. The economic crisis has put architecture under increased pressure. Everybody wants “more for less” from architecture. The promise of “more” is everywhere in the world of architecture. Architects are in danger of getting reduced to mere service providers, unless they are able to increase the ambition beyond the given assignment.

The past 15 years have seen an open-ended, innovation driven development in the field of digital design in architecture, where the current ambitions are focused on fabrication and production. In many ways this is concluding a phase of free exploration by proving that things before envisioned can be actualized as built work. In parallel, the discourse has targeted critical practice, suggesting its replacement with projective practice, and design intelligence has been defined as a mode of operation that allows innovative architecture in a commercial arena. Recent attempts to conjecture a heterogeneous discourse into a collective manifesto, as well as a regard of the first decade of this century being characterized as “un-serious” in its formal approach, has been answered by critical voices that suggest that this trajectory of architectural development is superficial, internal, self-absorbed or even subversive.

This text is investigating the shifting field of digitally based design within architecture, and its recent turns, including internal discourse, external debate, and samples of especially potential design. It suggests that we need to multiply our agendas and combine techniques with agency. This needs to be supported by the establishment of new conceptual tools that incorporate digital techniques, the notion of the parametric and the potential of network practices in order to step up to the challenges of the future while building on the recent past. The text is illustrated by the work of Elliot Krause, Diploma Unit 16 2010.