Keywords Abstract
Dounas, Theodore. "Algebras, Geometries and Algorithms, Or How Architecture fought the Law and the Law Won." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 111-114. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. An Architect is required to deal quite often with a restrictive piece of Building Code during his/her practice, especially in traditional and hence protected environments. The paper examines the algorithmic nature of such a Building Code and in particular the President's Decree governing the design and architecture of traditional housing in the Old Town, “Ano Poli”,  in Thessaloniki Greece. The nature of the constraints and descriptions the Decree contains is algorithmic, which means that the descriptions of the constraints is procedural with a specific start and a specific finish for a house design. The problem with such descriptions in a Law is that, although an architect can develop his/her own interpretations of the traditional language of the area, or even be able to trace his/her designs using shape grammars derived from traditional buildings preserved until today, the final result cannot be approved for a building permit since it does not comply with the Presidential Decree. We suggest that the nature of such legislation should be algebraic in nature and not algorithmic, since algebras allow an amount of freedom in development of architectural language while also permitting the restriction of scale, height and so on. This coupling of architectural design freedom and effective restriction on metrics of new buildings contained in algebraic systems can be shown to be much more effective than the established algorithmic system. The Decree's content comprises of regulations concerning the volume, form and use of new buildings in the protected and conserved built environment of “Ano Poli” in Thessaloniki.
Araya, Sergio. "Algorithmic Transparency." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 329-340. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper describes the procedures developed in the creation of an innovative technique to design and manufacture composite materials with transparency and translucency properties. The long term objective of this research is to develop a method to design and fabricate architectural elements. The immediate objective is to develop the methodology and procedural techniques to design and manufacture a composite material with controlled non homogeneous transparency properties. A secondary objective is to explore different levels of “embedded behaviouri or responsiveness by using these techniques to combine different physical material properties on new designed “smarter” and “responsive” composite materials.
Parthenios, Panos. "Analog vs. Digital: why bother?" In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 117-128. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Architects take advantage of a broad palette of tools and media for design, analog and digital, because each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses and provides an additional value ? an added level of vision ? to the architect. This closely relates to the notion of Critical Points for Change (CPC) a contribution this study makes towards a better understanding of the uniqueness of the conceptual design process. CPC are crucial moments when the architect suddenly becomes able to “see” something which drives him to go back and either alter his idea and refine it or reject it and pursue a new one. They are crucial parts of the design process because they are a vital mechanism for enhancing design. The right choice and smooth combination of design tools, analog and digital, is critical for the design outcome. Using multiple tools allows the designer to overcome the possible influences and limitations imposed by a single tool. The current and evolving landscape is illustrated by coexistence, complementing and evolution of tools. The answer to the pseudo-dilemma of analog or digital is both.
Okabe, Aya, Tsukasa Takenaka, and Jerzy Wojtowicz. "Beyond Surface: Aspects of UVN world in Algorithmic Design." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 195-204. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The need for architects to develop their own computational tools is becoming increasingly evident. In this paper, we introduced our design tool named “UVN generatori which is based on the algorithmic process combining scripting potentiality and flexibility of traditional 3D surface modelling. Our attempt on combining the two served us well to explore the new ground for design. New conditions were explored and observed in the three case studies which are named “on a surface”, “between surfaces” and “on a new ordered surface”, referring to place where the scripts were run. In design projects presented in our case studies, we focus on the system behind the generation of complex, expressive, biomimetic, yet humanistic shape. This challenge to find a new ground for computational design enables us to pose our critical question “What could be algorithmic design potential may lay beyond basic surfaces?”
Morad, Sherif. "Building Information Modeling and Architectural Practice: on the Verge of a New Culture." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 85-90. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The introduction of machine-readable tools for architectural design, which do not just focus on mere geometry or presentation, but on the richness of information embedded computationally in the design, has impacted the way architects approach and manipulate their designs. With the rapid acceleration in building information modelling (BIM) as a process which fosters machine-readable applications, architects and other participants in the design and construction industry are using BIM tools in full collaboration. As a trend which is already invading architectural practice, BIM is gradually transforming the culture of the profession in many ways. This culture is developing new properties for its participants, knowledge construction mechanisms, resources, and production machineries. This paper puts forward the assumption that BIM has caused a state of transformation in the epistemic culture of architectural practice. It appears that practice in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is still in this phase of transformation, on the edge of developing a new culture. The paper attempts to address properties of such an emerging culture, and the new role architects are faced with to overcome its challenges.
Celento, David, and Del Harrow. "CeramiSKIN: Biophilic Topological Potentials for Microscopic and Macroscopic Data in Ceramic Cladding." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 65-76. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. CeramiSKIN is an inter-disciplinary investigation examining recursive patterns found in organic matter. Through the use of digital capture and translation techniques, these biophilic systems may serve as topological generators for structural and ornamental consequences well-suited to mass-customizable ceramic cladding systems for architecture. Digital information is acquired through laser scanning and confocal electron microscopy, then deformed using particle physics engines and parametric transformations to create a range of effects promulgated through digital fabrication techniques. This inquiry is primarily concerned with two questions: Is it possible that natural systems may be digitally captured and translated into biophilic structural forms and/or ornamental effects that may foster beneficial responses in humans? / Since natural orders eschew rigid manifold geometries in favor of compound plastic shapes, is it possible to fabricate mass-customized, large-scale biophilic ceramic cladding from organic digital data?
Cardoso, Daniel. "Certain assumptions in Digital Design Culture: Design and the Automated Utopia." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 137-148. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Much of the research efforts in computational design for Architecture today aim to automate or bypass the production of construction documents as a means of freeing designers from the sticky and inconvenient contingencies of physical matter. This approach has yielded promising questions and applications, but is based on two related assumptions that often go unnoticed and that I wish to confront: 1. Designers are more creative if the simulations they rely on engage only with the superficial aspects of the objects they design (rather than with their structural and material-specific behaviours) and 2. The symbolic 3-D environments available in current design software are the ideal media for design because of their free nature as modelling spaces. These two assumptions are discussed both as cultural traits and in their relation to digital design technologies. The work presented is a step towards the far-sighted goal of answering the question: how can computation enable new kinds of dialogue between designer, design media and construction in a design process? In concrete, this paper proposes a critical framework for discussing contemporary digital design practices as a continuity -rather than as a rupture- of a long-standing tradition in architecture of separating design and construction.
Fiamma, Paolo. "D.I.G.I.T.A.L. Defining Internal Goals in the Architectural Landscape." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 35-40. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The digital factor is a challenge to regain the meaning of Design on Architecture, in addition to evaluating its possible extension and transformations. Digital could be an answer for the actual needs of architectural design: Architecture should be digital because digital is profit. Digital could help to understand architectural design as “verified conception” through the concept of computational modelling: Architecture should be digital because digital goes in line and not against design tradition. Digital could enhance the didactic dimension, really important for students: Architecture should be digital because is actual. Digital offers cognitive and ontological value for the design and new skills for the designer: Architecture should be digital because digital is a catalyst of new and creativity. Digital reshapes constructed architecture introducing new aesthetic paradigms: Architecture should be digital because digital is the mental landscape as reference point for the actual theoretical phase of Architecture. There are several answers to the question: “Why Architecture should be digital?”,  but without rigor and critical dimension cannot be any digital benefit in architectural landscape, and the main risk could be that the “representationi prevails over “the fact”.
Senagala, Mahesh. "Deconstructing Materiality: Harderials, Softerials, Minderials, and the Transformation of Architecture." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 367-376. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper presents a deconstructionist close reading of the conventional discourses about materiality by forwarding a triadic framework of harderials, softerials and minderials. The discourse draws from the Derridan notion of différance in articulating the fundamental difficulty in understanding materiality. Taking the discourse about materiality into the digital realm, a critical discussion of softerials (BREP Solids, Polynomial Surfaces and Isomorphic Polysurfaces) and their implication to architecture are presented. Questions about a possible material-envy and materiality-complex in architectural profession are also raised. Different binary strategies by which softerials are relegated by architects to a secondary status of “mediai are exposed.
Laiserin, Jerry. "Digital Environments for Early Design: Form-Making versus Form-Finding." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 235-242. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Design ideas, like scientific theories, are falsifiable hypotheses subject to testing and experimentation and ? if need be ? replacement by newer ideas or theories. Design ideas also are known through distributed cognition, in which a mental construct and an external representation complement each other. Representations may be categorized along the axes 2D-3D and Analog-Digital, plus a proposed third axis from Form-Making to Form-Finding. In Form-Making, the mental construct component (of distributed cognition) arises before the representation. In Form-Finding, representation arises before the mental construct. All media of representation have different affordances. Certain media and representations afford Form-Making more so than Form-Finding, and vice versa. Design educators, students and practitioners will benefit from conscious, systematic choice of media and methods that afford an appropriate range of Form-Making and Form-Finding behaviour when proposing and testing design ideas.
Vermisso, Emmanouil. "Digitality controlled: paradox or necessity?" In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 77-84. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. In view of a possible a-historical development of an architecture that is solely reliant on technology, this paper attempts to address the need for a set of working rules for digital processes which are at once flexible and controlled. As examples, we have re-considered Classicism within the current temporal context and in relation to available technologies and methods, by looking at how the Classical system was appropriated by theorists and architects like Claude Perrault and Antoni Gaudi.
Neumann, Oliver. "Digitally Mediated Regional Building Cultures." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 91-98. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Designs are complex energy and material systems and products of diverse cultural, economic, and environmental conditions that engage with their extended context. This approach relates architecture to the discourse on complexity. The design research described in this paper introduces an extended definition of ecology that expands the scope of design discourse beyond the environmental performance of materials and types of construction to broader cultural considerations. Parallel to enabling rich formal explorations, digital modelling and fabrication tools provide a basis for engaging with complex ecologies within which design and building exist. Innovative design applications of digital media emphasize interdependencies between new design methods and their particular context in material science, economy, and culture. In British Columbia, influences of fabrication and building technology are evident in the development of a regional cultural identity that is characterized by wood construction. While embracing digital technology as a key to future development and geographic identity, three collaborative digital wood fabrication projects illustrate distinctions between concepts of complexity and responsiveness and their application in design and construction.
Juhász, Joseph, and Robert Flanagan. "Do Narratives Matter? are Narratives Matter?" In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 295-300. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Narratives ? public and private are the stuff of design. This commonplace truism is often forgotten in the buzz, boom and confusion surrounding the development of digital media, digital media seem to offer a “virtual” alternative to such stuff, as such, the current Romance with Digital Media is nothing but a weak revival of primitive mentalism.
Rojas, Francisca, Kristian Kloeckl, and Carlo Ratti. "Dynamic City: Investigations into the sensing, analysis and application of real-time, location-based data." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 267-278. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Over the past decade, our cities have been blanketed with digital bits. Unlike the old electromagnetic, unidirectional waves, these bits are bidirectional - they communicate - and are thus tied to human activities. Our hypothesis is that by analyzing these bits we can gain an augmented, fine-grained understanding of how the city functions - socially, economically and yes, even psychologically. Some preliminary results from different projects recently carried out at MIT senseable city lab are discussed below.
Jaskiewicz, Tomasz. "Dynamic Design Matter[s]: Practical considerations for interactive architecture." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 49-56. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper explores the concept of interactive architecture. The first section begins by formulating a daring vision of a radically new kind of architecture. In the second chapter this vision is further elaborated upon, by proposing a generic approach towards practically accomplishing the originally formulated theoretical concept. Opportunities and threats that emerge from this vision and approach are discussed in the third section and eventually, in section four and five, the proposed approach is brought to practical applications and illustrated with a number of experimental building component examples that all together include all necessary features to create a complete large scale architectural object. All projects and explorations have been conducted as part of the Hyperbody groupis research at the Delft University of Technology and have been inspired by groupis director, prof. Kas Oosterhuis.
Holzer, Dominik. "Embracing the Post-digital." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 17-22. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper discusses ways for designers to reconnect their design methodologies with the process of making. The paper takes a critical standpoint on the way architects have integrated digital tools and computational processes in their design over the past three to four decades. By scrutinising the support designers can derive from their virtual design-space it is debated in how far this may be complemented by sensory information-feedback from the physical design-space. A studio-based design project is used to illustrate how students have approached this issue to address aspects of building performance in a post-digital way. Moving between digital and physical models without difficulty, the students were able to study the effects geometrical changes on sustainability-performance in real time.
Papanikolaou, Dimitrios. "From Representation of States to Description of Processes." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 311-322. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008.

Introduction of digital technologies in architecture has generated a great amount of hesitation and criticism about the role of design and its relation to the artifact. This confusion seems to stem from the dual nature of design as representation of the form and as a description of its production process. Today architects urge to adopt digital tools to explore complex forms often without understanding the complexity of the underlying production techniques. As a consequence, architects have been accused of making designs that they do not know how to build. Why is this happening today? It seems that while technology has progressed, the design strategy has remained the same. This paper will deal with the following question: What matters in design? The paper will reveal fundamental problems, attempt to answer this question, and suggest new directions for design strategies today. The conclusion of this paper is that digital design should also aim to describe process of production rather than solely represent form.

Kotsopoulos, Sotirios. "Games with(out) rules." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 341-348. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Fifty years after the first attempts to introduce algorithmic methods in design we have reached a point where we might ask if design has become not a game in which the designers play with the notion of rule, but a game where they play according to rules.
Sommer, Bernhard. "Generating topologies: Transformability, real-time, real-world." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 213-220. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Customization is a contemporary trend, which should not be ignored by architecture. An increasing demand and decreasing resources will necessitate the reuse and the sharing of space. Transformability will facilitate these tasks. On the basis of a case study, this paper demonstrates the technical feasibility of a continuously transformable structure, which enables the transformation and manipulation not only of shape, but of topological qualities as well. However, this fully and universally transformable architecture itself cannot only be seen in the context of customization, but also as a further development of architecture as a discipline.
Karandinou, Anastasia, Leonidas Koutsoumpos, and Richard Coyne. "Hybrid Studio Matters: Ethnomethodological Documentary of a Tutorial." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 23-34. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper looks into the electronically augmented, or “hybridi contemporary environment, through the spatial and temporal thresholds or “seamsi that it encompasses. Electronically augmented environments have been studied increasingly within the past few years. The question of how architects respond to the new spatial conditions, how they interpret and design space, is a major emerging issue. Within these broad questions, we conducted an ethnomethodological analysis of a particular environment-example: the architectural design studio, through the documentation and analysis of an episode in an architectural tutorial. The analysis of this case-study is based upon the seams, the thresholds or ruptures that occur between different media. We argue that the shift or transition from one medium to another can be smooth and un-noticed, whereas, in other instances, it shifts completely the centre of attention, the flow of the tutorial or the perception of the means (and other elements) engaged. The transitions, occurring within the recorded tutorial, are studied in relation to the notions of engagement, immediacy and continuity. We consider that these three notions bring forth the complexities, conflicts and richness (of the hybrid environment) that the tutorial recording reveals.
Friedrich, Christian. "Information-matter hybrids: Prototypes engaging immediacy as architectural quality." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 105-110. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Immediate Architecture'is an exploratory investigation into possibilities of immediate interactive and constructive interaction with the built environment supported by digital technologies. Aim is to realize interactive reconfigurable architectural objects that support their informational and material reconfiguration in real-time. The outcome is intended to become a synergetic amalgam of interactive architecture, parametric design environment, automated component fabrication and assembly. To this end, computational and material strategies are developed to approach the condition of immediate architecture and applied in real-world prototypes. A series of developed techniques are presented, ranging from realtime volumetric modelling, behavioural programming and meta-application protocol to streaming fabrication and dynamic components for interactive architecture.
Loukissas, Yanni. "Keepers of the Geometry: Architects in a Culture of Simulation." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 243-244. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. “Why do we have to change? Weive been building buildings for years without CATIA?” Roger Norfleet, a practicing architect in his thirties poses this question to Tim Quix, a generation older and an expert in CATIA, a computer-aided design tool developed by Dassault Systemes in the early 1980is for use by aerospace engineers. It is 2005 and CATIA has just come into use at Paul Morris Associates, the thirty-person architecture firm where Norfleet works, he is struggling with what it will mean for him, for his firm, for his profession. Computer-aided design is about creativity, but also about jurisdiction, about who controls the design process. In Architecture: The Story of Practice, Architectural theorist Dana Cuff writes that each generation of architects is educated to understand what constitutes a creative act and who in the system of their profession is empowered to use it and at what time. Creativity is socially constructed and Norfleet is coming of age as an architect in a time of technological but also social transition. He must come to terms with the increasingly complex computeraided design tools that have changed both creativity and the rules by which it can operate. In todayis practices, architects use computer-aided design software to produce threedimensional geometric models. Sometimes they use off-the-shelf commercial software like CATIA, sometimes they customize this software through plug-ins and macros, sometimes they work with software that they have themselves programmed. And yet, conforming to Larsonis ideas that they claim the higher ground by identifying with art and not with science, contemporary architects do not often use the term “simulation.” Rather, they have held onto traditional terms such as “modelling” to describe the buzz of new activity with digital technology. But whether or not they use the term, simulation is creating new architectural identities and transforming relationships among a range of design collaborators: masters and apprentices, students and teachers, technical experts and virtuoso programmers. These days, constructing an identity as an architect requires that one define oneself in relation to simulation. Case studies, primarily from two architectural firms, illustrate the transformation of traditional relationships, in particular that of master and apprentice, and the emergence of new roles, including a new professional identity, “keeper of the geometry,” defined by the fusion of person and machine. Like any profession, architecture may be seen as a system in flux. However, with their new roles and relationships, architects are learning that the fight for professional jurisdiction is increasingly for jurisdiction over simulation. Computer-aided design is changing professional patterns of production in architecture, the very way in which professionals compete with each other by making new claims to knowledge. Even today, employees at Paul Morris squabble about the role that simulation software should play in the office. Among other things, they fight about the role it should play in promotion and firm hierarchy. They bicker about the selection of new simulation software, knowing that choosing software implies greater power for those who are expert in it. Architects and their collaborators are in a continual struggle to define the creative roles that can bring them professional acceptance and greater control over design. New technologies for computer-aided design do not change this reality, they become players in it.
Jensen, Ole. "Networked mobilities and new sites of mediated interaction." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 279-286. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper takes point of departure in an understanding of mobility as an important cultural dimension to contemporary life. The movement of objects, signs, and people constitutes material sites of networked relationships. However, as an increasing number of mobility practices are making up our everyday life experiences the movement is much more than a travel from point A to point B. The mobile experiences of the contemporary society are practices that are meaningful and normatively embedded. That is to say, mobility is seen as a cultural phenomenon shaping notions of self and other as well as the relationship to sites and places. Furthermore, an increasing number of such mobile practices are mediated by technologies of tangible and less tangible sorts. The claim in this paper is, that by reflecting upon the meaning of mobility in new mediated interaction spaces we come to test and challenge these established dichotomies as less fruitful ways of thinking. The paper concludes with a research agenda for unfolding a “politics of visibility”, engaging with the ambivalences of networked mobilities and mediated projects, and critically challenge of taken for granted interpretations of networked mobilities.
Schork, Tim. "Option Explicit - Scripting as Design Media." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 41-46. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. In practice, the domains of architecture and computation have traditionally been perceived as distinct. Computation and its associated technologies, such as computers and software applications, have primarily only been applied to the domain of architecture. The aim of this paper is to reconsider the relationship between these domains. In moving away from separate entities towards a synthesis of architecture and computation, this paper explores the potential and the challenges of this rich creative space that opens up for architectural design through a series of case studies.
Oxman, Neri. "Oublier Domino: on the Evolution of Architectural Theory from Spatial to Performance-based Programming." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 393-402. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The conception of the architect as form-giver has since historical times dominated the field of architecture. It is precisely this image which has devalued material practice in the distinction between form and matter consistently inherent in architectural discourse. Recent technological developments in the field of design computation, coupled with environmental concerns and philosophical debates have contributed to the shift in focus from form, as the exclusive object of design practice to matter and materials as an alternative approach to the conception of form. Such a shift calls for a reorientation of existing protocols for design generation. Design based upon performance appears to justify and make sensible computational design processes that integrate material properties with structural and environmental constraints. These processes, as demonstrated here, contribute to the elimination of traditional architectural typologies replaced with spatial organization driven by need and comfort. This paper proposes a new approach in design where processes of formgeneration supporting sustainable design solutions are directly informed by structural and environmental constraints. Computational models are developed and implemented that incorporate data-driven form generation. Fabrication tools and technologies are customized to include material properties and behaviour. The projects illustrated in this paper are currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art.
Wie, Shaxin. "Poetics of performative space." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 403-417. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. My project concerns subjectivation, performativity and embodiment, as inflected by notions of process and field. These questions were inspired by recent work in the margins of experimental performance, sound arts, computational media, and philosophy of process. They are informed by, and critically respond to Leibniz's continuous substance, Whitehead's “unbifurcated” process ontology, and Petitotis approach to morphogenesis. Beginning with a concern with the materiality of writing, the project explores the ethico-aesthetics of touch and movement, and poetic architecture or installation events as sites for speculative action. The kind of events I describe, are collective, co-present, embodied, and a-linguistic. The potential for physical contact is a condition for the collective embodied experiences needed to conduct experimental phenomenology. Our events are designed for four or more participants, three to destabilize dyadic pairing, and lower the threshold to improvising being in that space, and a fourth for potential sociality. Having dissolved line between actor and spectator, we may adopt the disposition of an agent of change, or equally a witness of the event. Relinquishing also a categoreal fixation on objects in favor of continua, we inhabit ambient environments thick with media and matter that evolve in concert with movement or gesture.
Kolarevic, Branko. "Post-Digital Architecture: Towards Integrative Design." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 149-156. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. In this paper, an alternative vision of integrated design is proposed that is more open, fluid, pliable, and opportunistic in its search of collaborative alliances and agendas. This alternative approach is referred to as integrative design, in which methods, processes, and techniques are discovered, appropriated, adapted, and altered from “elsewhere,” and often “digitally” pursued. The designers who engage design as a broadly integrative endeavor fluidly navigate across different disciplinary territories, and deploy algorithmic thinking, biomimicry, computation, digital fabrication, material exploration, and/or performance analyses to discover and create a process, technique, or a product that is qualitatively new.
Onur, Gun, and Jonas Coersmeier. "Progressions in Defining the Digital Ground for Component Making." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 57-64. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Terms digital and computation, once accepted as emergent understandings in design, became commonly known and used in recent years. Transformation of techniques from analog to digital created a shift in the understandings as well as products of design. Digital design exploration enabled the designersi exposure to variety and richness. Increasing number of digital tools became easily-accessible. Thus design thinking in both practice and academia was transformed. Computation, via increasing power and speed of processing, offers mass information execution. Once this power was utilized to inform the discrete pieces of design, “component making” quickly became one of the trends in architectural design. Idea of components transformed the enclosing forms of architecture into subdivision surfaces which act as fields for components to aggregate on. While there has been a great interest in creating variety via manipulation of components as individual members, the characteristics of the surfaces became overlooked via common use of parametric (UV) subdivision. This paper, with a critical look at the current component field generation techniques, focuses on alternative methods of transforming a surface into a digital ground for component aggregation. Series of studies address and deal with various pitfalls of component design and application on software-dictated UV subdivision surfaces. Studies aim to release the component design logic from being software-specific by creation and use of customized digital tools and scripts.
Quijada, Rodrigo. "Reality-Informed-Design (RID), a framework for design process." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 323-328. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The “action” of design is an integration process, in which values, information of different kinds and data leads to a physical object of “design”. This integration process is non-linear and multiple objectives aimed, producing complex requirements to computer programs. RID systems intend to develop a new tool for the design process, using an evolving structure in the perspective to introduce basic levels of “self-awareness” in the design process to relate analogue and digital tools. This paper proposes an interpretation of the design process, a model for it and the first ideas for a possible new generation of “self awarenessi design software.
Burke, Anthony. "Reframing “intelligence” in computational design environments." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 359-366. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper seeks to establish a set of principals that form an understanding of intelligent systems related to design and architecture, through a review of intelligence as it has been understood over the last 60 years since Alan Turing first asked the question “can machines think?”. From this review, principals of intelligence can be identified within the neurophysiological and artificial intelligence (AI) communities that provide a foundation for understanding intelligence in computational architecture and design systems. Through critiquing these principals, it is possible to re-frame a productive general theory of intelligent systems that can be applied to specific design processes, while simultaneously distinguishing the goals of design oriented intelligent systems from those goals of general Artificial Intelligence research.
Asut, Serdar. "Rethinking the Creative Architectural Design in the Digital Culture." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 229-234. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper tries to examine the effects of emerging digital tools in architectural design. Digital tools are not only practical instruments used for drawing, but they also affect design thinking. As the ones that are used in architectural design are mostly commercial, one can say that design thinking, the identity of the design and the creativity of the designer are defined by the companies which develop these tools. Therefore architects have to be able to manipulate these tools and personalize them in order to free their design thinking and creativity. This paper addresses the open source development in order to redefine creativity in architecture of digital culture.
Conrad, Erik. "Rethinking the Space of Intelligent Environments." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 377-382. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Technologies are not mere exterior aids but interior changes of consciousness that shape the way the world is experienced. As we enter the age of ubiquitous computing, where computers are worn, carried or embedded into the environment, we must be careful that the ideology the technology embodies is not blindly incorporated into the environment as well. As disciplines, engineering and computer science make implicit assumptions about the world that conflict with traditional modes of cultural production. Space is commonly understood to be the void left behind when no objects are present. Unfortunately, once we see space in this way, we are unable to understand the role it plays in our everyday experience. In this paper, I argue that with the realization of the vision of ubiquitous computing, the fields of computer science and engineering reify the dominance of abstract space in real space. A new approach to the design of computing systems is necessary to reembody space. The social nature of the interface allows us to situate it within HenrLefebvreis notions of space, providing new tools for thinking about how computing practice engages space as well as opening avenues to rematerialize the environment through embodied interaction.
Herron, Jock. "Shaping the Global City: the Digital Culture of Markets, Norbert Wiener and the Musings of Archigram." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 301-308. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The contemporary “built environment” as conceived by designers - be it actual or virtual, be it architecture, landscape, industrial products or, more purely, art - is increasingly generated using powerful computational tools that are shaping the culture of the design professions, so much so that the phrase “digital culture” aptly applies. Designers are rightly inclined to believe that the emerging contemporary landscape - especially in thriving global cities like New York, London and Tokyo - has recently been and will continue to be shaped in important ways by digital design. That will surely be the case. However, design does not exist in a material vacuum. Someone pays for it. This essay argues that the primary shaper of global cities today is another “digital culture”,  one defined by the confluence of professions and institutions that constitute our global financial markets. The essay explores the common origins of these two cultures - design and finance, the prescient insights of Archigram into the cybernetic future of cities, the spatial implications of nomadic “digitized” capital and the hazards of desensitizing - in many ways, dematerializing - the professional practices of design and finance. The purpose of the essay is not to establish primacy of one over the other. Especially in the case of urban design, they are interdependent. The purpose is to explore the connection.
Kaijima, Sawako, and Panagiotis Michalatos. "Simplexity, the programming craft and architecture production." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 181-194. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. In resent years, digital design tools have become prevalent in the design community and their capabilities to manipulate geometry have grown into a trend among architects to generate complex forms. Working as computational design consultant in an engineering firm, between architecture and engineering we often come across the problems generated by a superficial use of digital tools in both disciplines and the incapacity of the current system to cope with their byproducts. Here we will discuss the problems we see with the current system and the opportunities opened by digital design tools. Two guiding concepts are simplexity [the desire to fine tune and build a system that yields a solution to a specific design problem by collapsing its inherent complexity] and defamiliarization [a side effect of having to represent things as numbers]. They can both affect the designer as an individual who chooses to engage with digital media as well as the production system in which he/she is embedded since he/she will have to find new channels of communication with other parties. To demonstrate our strategy and the obstacles faced we will examine our involvement in the development of a computational design solution for a small house designed by Future Systems architects.
Kim, Simon, and Mariana Ibanez. "Tempus Fugit: Transitions and Performance in Activated Architecture." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 245-251. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Meaning in architecture has isotropic instances of realization, one that can unfold during the design process and one that can be layered onto the artifact of the building, its components and forms constitute a communication flow that emerges from an abstract form of description to its physicality. The internal cognition of this condition situates the subject as the third element, one that identifies the meaning from the extant building to its proxy meaning. In this manner, narrative and aesthetics perform the actualizations (the spatial and physical sequences) so that the occupant may understand its implications.1 Architecture is thus a one-directional flow of information (the building is an inert object from which meaning is derived, its physicality is static). Even in process-driven design, the synthesis of the many and the ordered, is evident in the materiality of the architectural manifestation, the building, although presented as a result of process cannot be separated from the reading of the generative operations. 2 Rather than continue in this manner of constructing meaning from an extensive coding (joining a concept to an object) or the instantiation (producing one from a larger field of possibilities) from a version, we suggest a dialectic that is bi-directional, or even multinodal, that is, continually self-renewing in meaning and material configuration with the active participation of the occupant. This representation is one that is time-based.
Giddings, Bob, and Margaret Horne. "The Changing Patterns of Architectural Design Education in the UK." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 16-Jul. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Digital technologies have been introduced to students of architecture for over two decades and at present it could be argued that students are producing some of the highest quality designs, and some of the most interesting forms ever to come from University Schools. The value of computer aided design (CAD) is also being demonstrated in architectural practice, with high profile, large budget, bespoke and iconic buildings designed by internationally renowned architects. This paper reviews the changing patterns of architectural design education and considers the contribution digital technologies could make to buildings with more commonplace uses. The study offers a perspective on different kinds of buildings and considers the influence that emerging technologies are having on building form. It outlines digital technologies, alongside studentsi application for architectural design and considers the role they could play in the future, in developing a shared architectural language. It is suggested that some of the biggest opportunities for future research will be in the design of external spaces, often a neglected part of architectural design education.
Perez, Edgardo. "The Fear of the Digital: from the Elusion of Typology to Typologics." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 255-266. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. It might seem that architecture has been forced to choose, once again, between two worlds of existence. One of them might be the construction of the tangible, the other, a “formal fantasy” that will never reach a legitimate status among the “tectonic” or the “structural”. This vague spectrum has confirmed the fear of loosing typology as a proof, of loosing a foremost validation for architecture. But one could see the virtual as a possibility to generate a structure of discourses and interactive tactics to reformulate the typological. This meaning that the virtual could transcend the so called “graphic” stigma and actually produce the discourses and spatial strategies to radicalize typology and move towards a radicalization of content.
Kalay, Yehuda. "The Impact of Information Technology on Architectural Education in the 21st Century." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 6-Mar. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Architecture is a technology-intensive discipline. It uses technology ? both in the process of designing and in its products ? to achieve certain functional, cultural, social, economic, and other goals. In turn, technology transforms the discipline. The importance of technology to the discipline and to the practice of architecture has been demonstrated again and again throughout history. In the 21st century, the advent of computer-aided design, computerassisted collaboration, construction automation, “intelligenti buildings, and “virtuali places, promise to have as much of an impact on architectural design processes and products as earlier technological advances have had. Like most other early adoptions of a technology, the first uses of computing in the service of architecture mimicked older methods: electronic drafting, modelling, and rendering. But this rather timid introduction is changing rapidly: new design and evaluation tools allow architects to imagine new building forms, more responsive (and environmentally more responsible) buildings, even radically new types of environments that blend physical with virtual space. Communication and collaboration tools allow architects, engineers, contractors, clients, and others to work much more closely than was possible before, resulting in more complex, more innovative, and more effective designs. Understanding and shaping this transformation are the basis of architectural education in the 21st century.
More, Gregory. "The Matter of Design in Videogames." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 287-294. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. What is videogame matter? This essay examines the matter of videogames in relationship to architectural design, and advances a definition that videogame matter is: meta, modular, indexical, and distributive. These attributes support an argument that the materiality of the videogame has a markedly different set of properties than the matter of the physical world. A definition of videogame matter is critical to understanding the value of design within virtual environments, which then aids architects and designers utilizing the immersive environments of the videogame for representation, design and collaboration.
Breen, Jack, and Julian Breen. "The Medium is the Matter: Critical Observations and Strategic Perspectives at Half-time." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 129-136. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper critically reviews the professional impact and functionality of the pervasive digital “matter” we have come to believe we can no longer do without. On the basis of a playful exploration of the first “half-century” of our digital age, an attempt is made to draw new perspectives for the next “level” of our digital culture in a broader (multi)media perspective and more specifically: the domains of Architecture. To stimulate an open-minded “second-half” debate, the paper puts forward some potentially promising (and hopefully provocative) conceptions and strategies for imaginative interface applications and game-based architectural study initiatives. Furthermore, the paper proposes the establishment of a new cultural platform for the exchange of Critical Digital hypotheses and the evolvement of visionary design concepts through creative digital innovation, with the (inter)active involvement of older and younger team-players
Lobel, Josh. "The representation of post design(v.) design(n.) information." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 221-228. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Attempts to address interoperability issues in digital design information have become stilted. A lack of any real success is more indicative of the questions asked rather than the solutions proposed. If design information is the progenitor of design representation, and representation is a method by which to encode, store, and distribute design information, then the issues associated with digital design information can be seen as special cases of the general the problems associated with communication. Considering a representation by asking: “What is the information that needs to be communicated?” and, “With whom is this information being communicated?” may provide a better perspective from which to assess specific technological problems such as software interoperability. The goal of this paper is a call to attention - an exercise in critical thought and a provocation. Can reconceptualizing the problems with the representation and interoperability of digital design information as generic problems of communication offer insight on novel solutions? A brief overview of the challenges posed to interoperability is presented along with current and past efforts to address this issue. An alternative methodology for the communication of design information via process rather than state descriptions is proposed, followed by a summary conclusion.
Kallipoliti, Lydia, and Alexandros Tsamis. "The teleplastic abuse of ornamentation." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 383-392. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. Is it possible that psychoanalysis, a discipline that allegedly deals with abstract or invisible entities, and entomology, a discipline that predominantly taxonomizes insects by type, can offer us an insight into the nature of digital design processes and emergent material phenomena? One of Roger Cailloisi most controversial psychoanalytic theories, “teleplasty,” shows that psychoanalysis and entomology can indeed suggest an alternative perspective of how bodily or other material substances are initially fabricated by insects and how they can further transform. In several of his case studies, Caillois claims alliances between material and psychical structures in his psycho-material teleplastic theorem and eventually questions spatial distinctions: distinctions between geometry and material, purpose and function, cause and effect, between the imaginary and the real. Can digital media help us redefine the static relationship between a window and a wall as an interaction of chemical substances rather than a process of assembling joints and components? Can we perceive material, not as an application to predetermined geometries, but as an inherent condition, a subatomic organization of matter that precedes geometry? The aim of this paper is to problematize such distinctions as a discussion emerging through the prolific use of digital design processes.
Telhan, Orkan. "Towards a Material Agency: New Behaviors and New Materials for Urban Artifacts." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 205-212. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. As computationally augmented materials find their applications in architectural practice, we observe a new kind of material culture shaping architectural discourse. This is a kind of material intelligence that is not only introducing a richer vocabulary for designing more expressive, responsive and customizable spaces, but also encouraging us to think of new ways to contextualize the technical imperative within todayis and tomorrowis architectural design. It becomes important not only to discuss and extend the technical vocabulary of computational materials in relation to other disciplines that are also concerned with “designing intelligence,” but also to tie the researchis connection to a broader discourse that can respond to it in multiple perspectives. In this paper, I present a position on this emerging field and frame my work in two main threads: 1) the design of new materials that can exercise computationally complex behaviours and 2) the design of new behaviours for these materials to tie them to higher-level goals connected to social, cultural and ecological applications. I discuss these research themes in two design implementations and frame them in an applied context.
Pantazi, Magdalena. "Using Patterns of Rules in the Design Process." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 349-356. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. In the past three decades computational processes were introduced and were widely applied in the field of architecture. This fact imposed questions about the types of strategies that architects apply during the early phase of the design process. The answer to this question became crucial as computational processes, based on algorithms, use explicit rules while in traditional ways the role of rule during the creative phase of design remains unidentified. If we want to effectively introduce computational processes into design then the role of rule in design should be identified. In this paper, I present an experiment where I examine the patterns of rules that architects use during the exploration of a design idea, from the formation of the design problem towards the design solution. Furthermore, I investigate the role that constraints play in the formulation of these design patterns of rules.
Harrison, David, and Michael Donn. "Using Project Information Clouds to Preserve Design Stories within the Digital Architecture Workplace." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 99-104. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. During the development of an architectural design a series of design stories form. These stories chronicle the collective decision making process of the diverse project team. Current digital design processes often fail to record these design stories because of the emphasis placed on the concise and accurate generation of the virtual model. This focus on an allencompassing digital model is detrimental to design stories because it limits participation, consolidates information flow and risks editorialisation of design discussion. Project Information Clouds are proposed as a digital space for design team participants to link, categorise and repurpose existing digital information into comprehensible design stories in support of the digital building model. Instead of a discrete tool, the Project Information Cloud is a set of principles derived from a proven distributed information network, the World Wide Web. The seven guiding principles of the Project Information Cloud are simplicity, modular design, decentralisation, ubiquity, information awareness, evolutionary semantics and context sensitivity. These principles when applied to the development of existing and new digital design tools are intended to improve information exchange and participation within the distributed project team.
Rocker, Ingeborg. "Versioning: Architecture as series?" In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 157-170. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. This paper investigates the role of versioning in contemporary theory and the practice of design. The introduction of computation done by computers allowed for complex mathematical calculations and their visualization, which were for long time simply too complex. Today, differential calculus - underlying most interactive 3D modelling software - has significantly informed the production and conceptualization of architecture. The upshot of this transformation is that we are now witnessing a shift from an architecture of modularity towards an architecture of seriality, design versions. The core idea of versioning exceeds simple variation between different parameterized design iterations, versioning rather also operates at the micro-scale, within the structure and aesthetic of digital design itself.
Tryfonidou, Katerina, and Dimitris Gourdoukis. "What comes first: the chicken or the egg? Pattern Formation Models in Biology, Music and Design." In First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)?, 171-178. CDC. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2008. The popular saying that wonders if the egg is coming before the chicken or vice versa, implies a vicious circle where all the elements are known to us and the one is just succeeding the other in a totally predictable way. In this paper we will argue, using arguments from fields as diverse as experimental music and molecular biology, that development in architecture, with the help of computation, can escape such a repetitive motif. On the contrary, by employing stochastic processes and systems of self organization each new step can be a step into the unknown where predictability gives its place to unpredictability and controlled randomness.