DESIGNING THE COMPUTATIONAL IMAGE
IMAGINING COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN
During the three decades following the Second World War, and before the advent of personal computers, government investment in university research in North America and the UK funded multidisciplinary projects to investigate the use of computers for manufacturing and design. 'Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design' explores this period of remarkable inventiveness, and traces its repercussions on architecture and other creative fields through a selection of computational designers working today. Situating contemporary expressions of design in relation to broader historical, disciplinary, and technical frames, the book showcases the confluence, during the second half of the twentieth century, of publicly funded technical innovations in software, geometry, and hardware with a cultural imaginary of design endowing computer-generated images with both geometric plasticity and a new type of agency as operative design artifacts.
ARCHITECTURAL CERAMICS ASSEMBLIES WORKSHOP VI
This book chronicles experimental approaches to the design and production of architectural terra cotta facades and structures. Under the auspices of the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW), a research collaborative supported by Boston Valley Terra Cotta, the largest manufacturer of architectural terra cotta in the United State, architectural firms work with manufacturing to explore material and design innovation. Now in its sixthe year, the workshop aims to educate architects about terra cotta through the production of unique prototypes of rain screen façade systems, modular assemblies, columns and structural systems.
"Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop VI" chronicles the work of architectural firms ARO (Architecture Research Office), HOK (Helmuth, Obata, Kassabaum), Studio Gang, Goody Clancy, CookFox Architects, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and Alfred University/University at Buffalo at the 2021 ACAWorkshop.
SILT SAND SLURRY
Silt Sand Slurry is a visually rich investigation into where, why, and how sediment is central to the future of America’s coasts. Sediment is an unseen infrastructure that shapes and enables modern life. Silt is scooped from sea floors to deepen underwater highways for container ships. It is diverted from river basins to control flooding. It is collected, sorted, managed, and moved to reshape deltas, marshes, and beaches. Anthropogenic action now moves more sediment annually than ‘natural’ geologic processes — yet this global reshaping of the earth’s surface is rarely-discussed and poorly-understood.
In four thematic text chapters, four geographic visual studies, and a concluding essay, we demonstrate why sediment matters now more than ever, given our contemporary context of sea level rise, environmental change, and spatial inequality. We do this through a documentation of the geography of dredging and sediment on the four coasts of the continental United States. The book explores the many limitations of current sediment management practices, such as short-sighted efforts to keep dynamic ecosystems from changing, failure to value sediment as a resource, and inequitable decision-making processes. In response to these conditions, we delineate an approach to designing with sediment that is adaptive, healthy, and equitable.
TOWARD AN AMERICAN SPOLIA
A LOOSE INVENTORY OF ANTECEDENTS AND POSSIBILITIES
Spolia is what historians call the ancient practice of recycling of building materials, and until recently it was deemed rather inconvenient as it contaminates an understanding of history as a linear progression of time. It is both constructive (re-use) and destructive (“spoils” imply conquest, destruction and uprooting). Yet as a way of engagement with historic artefacts, spolia opens a new door into the creation of built form. This publication is an inventory of the processes of spolia, a distinctive cultural practice from the ancient times to ours, framing the necessity for the spoliation of the American 20th century—its materials, inventions, aesthetics and debris. The book will contain appropriated and repurposed images, drawings, and texts presented as a series of unbound plates affording multiple ways of sorting, comparing, mixing, and reusing.
The book consists of antecedents of ancient and contemporary spolia in the form of images, texts and drawing, composed of an introductory Bound Volume and a Loose Inventory, a collection of plates. Both the Volume and Inventory address the idea of spolia through the primary lenses of Form, Material, Type and Tech; and the contents of the Inventory are sorted, at least initially, according to those categories. The loose plates can be also organized chronologically, alphabetically, programmatically, volumetrically, chromatically, etc., and, of course, sorted randomly.
The introductory Bound Volume contains a foreword, a series of essays, illustrated footnotes and an afterword. The essays are essentially short “chapters” on the phenomenon of spolia in art, architecture, design & landscape composed by the author out of short fragments provided by prominent academics, curators and practicioners (detailed below). The Bound Volume is followed by the Inventory, a collection of loose plates with images on recto and text on verso. Recto contains photographs of buildings & objects, drawings & diagrams, paintings reproductions, and book spread reprints where contemporary spolia is case-studied. On each plate’s verso is an accompanying explanatory/exploratory text by the author.
‘Pratt Sessions’ presents conversations with notable names in architecture, discussions that unpack their work in non-standard ways, revealing new insight to familiar terms circulated in the discipline and profession. The two areas of focus—new architectural mediums and contexts—are timely issues in architecture that are challenged and questioned within the six conversations. The range of practitioners and thinkers that engage in critically exploring these topics allows the 'Pratt Session' series to develop and present evolving disciplinary arguments as different voices from different regions and praxes come together within the book.
The 'Pratt Sessions' series is aimed at an architectural audience, especially students and young practitioners who are engrained in the fast-paced media culture and engaged in contemporary practice. All content included in the publications is original and has only been available to attendees of the Pratt lecture series. Through the publication of these conversations, a much larger audience can engage with these topics. In its examination of two central topics in contemporary architecture—which will only continue to grow in importance in coming years—the book is also relevant for the wider architectural community, both academic and within practice.
EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOLS OF ARCHITECTURAL REPRESENTATION
Emerging technologies of design and production have transformed the role of drawings within the contemporary design process from that of design generators to design products. As architectural design has shifted from an analog drawing-based paradigm to that of a computational model-based paradigm, the agency of the drawing as a critical and important form of design representation has shifted. 'Drawing Codes: Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation' examines the effects of this transformation on the architectural discipline and explores how architects have critically integrated procedural thinking into their drawing process. The book contains 96 commissioned drawings by a diverse range of architects that investigate how rules and constraints inform the ways architects document, analyze, represent, and design the built environment. The publication features essays by architects and theorists offering diverse perspectives on how computational techniques and, more importantly, computational thinking, can revitalize the role of architectural drawing as a creative and critical act.Each drawing responds to a shared conceptual prompt developed by the authors and conforms to a standard size and format. The intent is for this consistency to elicit a wide range of approaches to questions of technology, design, code, and representation. The book documents how computational processes such as procedural drawing, digital simulation, automated production, and machine learning can contribute to a new understanding of what drawings are and how they are created. The result is a considerable diversity of medium, aesthetic sensibility, and content, demonstrating how conventions of architectural representation remain fertile territory for invention and speculation
Bracket [On Sharing]
'Bracket [On Sharing]' considers the historic roots of sharing and their relationship to contemporary models of sharing. Sharing is one of the humanity’s most basic traits; we intrinsically recognize the benefits of pooling resources within a community in order take advantage of varied abilities and access in order to fulfill needs. The impact of sharing goes beyond simply satisfying the necessities for survival and extends itself into the social and cultural dimensions of our communities. In constructing an urban commons, composed of collectively managed and shared resources, we shape our physical, social, and cultural environments to achieve some degree of shareabilty—whether of goods, services, or experiences. These historic and evolved cultural roots ensure that sharing is inevitably part of our daily lives. Yet, its central role in how we organize and manage our cities is increasingly threatened. Within a context of increased emphasis on the individual and privatization of the commons, sharing holds much promise for re-evaluating our economic, political, and social relations to equitably distribute resources and services at the scale of both the individual and the collective.
DESIGNING FOR EMPATHY
THE ARCHITECTURE OF CONNECTIONS IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
'Designing for Empathy: The Architecture of Connections in Learning Environments' explores the intersections between human development theories and spatial perception, and proposes design strategies for creating learning environments that catalyze empathy. The critical question guiding the book is: how can architecture influence human development, and by extension, how can concepts of empathy in development be influenced and catalyzed by architecture? Planners, architects, and designers are responsible for shaping our physical environment—from our homes, schools, and cultural and religious centers to the wider neighborhoods and cities within which human development takes place. However, architecture is conspicuously absent in most development theories, even though the environment is omnipresent.In 'Designing for Empathy,' architect Aybars Aşçı puts forth a new perspective on empathy in architecture, which shifts focus toward designing emphatic spaces. If the empathic imagination of the designer is at play during the creative process, designing for empathy occurs after the design reaches its intended users. Applied to the design of learning environments, this proposed approach aligns closely with development theories and explores the important impact of spatial environments on the experience of learning. Through examples of projects designed by Aşçı, the book illustrates how physical spaces have the potency to catalyze empathy in learning environments.
When the editors of this journal’s predecessor, ‘Modulus,’ chose “Craft and Architecture” as the theme of the 22nd issue (1993), they had little doubt as to how the former related to the latter. To them, craft, deriving from Vitruvius’ definition, is a combination of industrial wisdom, a knowledge of buildings, materials, and construction, and a cultural intelligence, coming from a critical engagement with the myths of construction and the ability to further the idea of homo faber, or the transformation of the environment through tools and making.
Thirty years later, this editorial board of ‘LUNCH 17’ certainly does not have as sturdy a grasp on what “craft” means to architecture. While construction and labor is central to our work, it is rarely the center of the conversation, let alone described as craft. As it’s been delivered to us in studio critiques and reviews, craft has been nothing more than a weak compliment to models and drawings that are pleasing to the eye. But where others may bemoan a “loss” of craft within the profession, we see a sea-change in the relationship between design and its tools.
The call was an open invitation for practitioners, scholars, and students to see craft beyond traditional artisanal labor and the production of objects, instead seeing the world as constructed from the crafty interactions between culture and technology. By giving space, including space on the page to Craft, we hope that readers continue to grapple with what it means to reinterpret rather than rewrite, to regenerate rather than restore.
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