Nonstandard Homo Faber: A Digital Life
2007 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
This paper will highlight two different approaches taken to the question of digital life as that driving force which is invested in seemingly open-ended computational design processes in architecture. These two approaches align with two recent exhibitions of architecture – Architectures Non Standard (Pompidou Museum, Paris, 2003-04) and Homo Faber: Modelling Architecture (Melbourne Museum, Melbourne, 2006). The first, Architectures Non Standard, curated by Zeynep Mennan and Frederic Migayrou, constituted two exhibitions, one embedded in the other. Ostensibly it displayed, in physically modelled form, contemporary digital architectural exemplars, from practices such as NOX, Decoi and R&Sie. A genealogical ribbon of research supplemented this contemporary collation, presenting an historical series of exploratory organic forms that articulated a pre-digital legacy for the formal permutations with which we have become reacquainted through computational techniques. Along this supplementary exhibition ribbon the curators effectively invented a set of conceptual and material precursors by drawing attention to an otherwise repressed fascination in the organic. This organic pre-history of digital architecture was articulated across eleven taxonomical headings, including biomorphisms, mathematical objects, shells, and so on.
Where a mathematical paradigm (the non standard) and a curatorial system of formal classificatory logic was privileged in Architectures Non Standard, the Melbourne exhibition, Homo Faber instead examined a return to craft or hand-made procedures proper to the so-called ‘process model’. Importantly, much of the work gathered in the exhibition explored this return to the crafted process model by way of a necessary detour through prevalent computational technologies. The crafting of contemporary process models were frequently seen to be inflected with digital techniques, such that digital techniques could be described as craft-like in their application. A conceptual and material interchange between craft and the digital could be thus seen to emerge. With this paper I will argue that both exhibitions are in search of a life or vital forces in the domain of the digital whether this is articulated as a return to the apparent mark of the maker’s hand, to the life inherent in the concept of process, or even the essential biological principles that motor organic form. The question that must be asked is to what extent either investigation, framed in the exhibition format, also translates into an increased quality of life that contributes to our contemporary architectural surrounds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital architecture, digital craft, non-standard, Gilles Deleuze
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Architecture
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-63528OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-63528DiVA: diva2:492374
Quality Conference, Cardiff University, UK, 4-6 July 2007.
QC 20120920. A paper presented at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK, 4-6 July 2007.2012-02-072012-01-232012-09-20Bibliographically approved