||Geometry regarded as a tool for understanding is perhaps the part of Mathematics which is the most intuitive, concrete and linked to reality. From its roots as a tool to describe and measure shapes, geometry as ‘the space science’ , has grown towards a theory of ideas and methods by means of which it is possible to build and study idealised models, not only from the physical world but also from the real world.
In graphic architecture thought, geometry usually appears as an instrumental support for project speculation. Geometric procedures are presented as representational resources for the graphic testing of reflection and for the exposition of ideas in order to build a logical order as regards representation and formal prefiguration.
The fast rise of computing in the last decades has made it possible for architects to work massively and in a graphic and intuitive way with mathematical representations of tridimensional geometry, such as the NURBS . These organic surfaces of free shapes defined by vectorial curves have allowed access to a rapid generation of complex shapes with a minumum amount of data and of specific knowledge.
The great development of modelling achieved by the digital media and the limitations in the technical and building areas and in the existence of materials which are coherent with the resultant shapes reveal a considerable distance between the systems of ideation and simulation characteristic of the computing era and the analogous systems of production inherited from the slow industrial development. This distance has been shortened by CAD/CAM systems, which are, however, not very accessible to the architectural field. If we incorporate to the development of these divergent media the limitations which are distinctive of the material resources and procedures of the existent local technology, the aforementioned distance seems even greater.
Assuming the metaphor of living at the threshold of two ages (industrial-computing, analogical-digital, material-virtual) and the challenge of the new conceptual and operational tools in our field, we work in the mixture, with no exclusions or substitutions, proposing (by means of the development of informational complements) some alternatives of work to approach the issue under discussion from the Architecture Workshop.