Posted by on October 24, 2010
The ACSA Flip Your Field advert
I presented the paper Cognitive Estrangement in Digital Design Practice at the 2010 ACSA West Central Fall Conference in Chicago. The theme of the year was Flip Your Field, implying to a return to issues explored in architectural research over the past fifteen years in order to define ten opportunities for ideological re-investment with the aim to trade up the discipline. I was part of the Versions panel, and I suggested that there is a need to link speculative design work with global issues in order to not do less experimental work, but rather more, but tied into narratives that opens up the field of exploration.
The paper suggests that there are concepts and definitions within Science Fiction studies that may be useful in order to establish frameworks for this mode of speculative design. This is a trajectory that will be continued in my forthcoming PhD thesis.
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.
Posted by on February 5, 2010
As the agenda of many digitally driven practices has shifted to physical fabrication and full scale production, this paper suggests that new conceptual layers need to be integrated into the design agenda. Throughout the field, architects are formulating conceptual frameworks for future development, often defined by aesthetic identity or fabrication principles, and in some cases full manifests for implementation of parametric principles in all scales of the built environment are stated. I would argue that there may be alternate ways of widening the scope of experimental digital practice by looking at fields outside of architecture all together, and I suggest that one such field is literature, in particular Science Fiction. Rather than seeing the possibility of rational fabrication as the only motivation for the full implementation of recent digital explorations, or considering the digital design field mature enough for the establishment of a common manifest, this line of thought suggests a more open framework, situated between technology and utopian thought. By looking at a number of concepts identified within Science Fiction theory, the paper proposes that a design approach in analogy with the way an SF author designs worlds to be explored through a narrative, could be a fruitful way forward as the digital design field risks either an introverted discourse or a mundane application.