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id acadia04_052
authors Sliwka, Ryszard
year 2004
title Untimely Fabrications
source Fabrication: Examining the Digital Practice of Architecture [Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture and the 2004 Conference of the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community / ISBN 0-9696665-2-7] Cambridge (Ontario) 8-14 November, 2004, 52-65
summary The value of material in architectural practice is determined not by its character but by functional performance and economy. In early modernist thought, part of this motivation was to liberate construction from the ‘burden’ of aesthetic speculations and return it simply to the concerns of building. Any artistic agenda became embedded in the economic and productive processes of the project. Authenticity emerged out of the need to focus on the essentials and reject the superfluous. However, this demand for truth in materials has long since been compromised by the climatic requirements of building enclosure. Most contemporary practice in architecture is derived from principles of cladding where the ‘essential nature’ of a complex building requires concealment. The communication of the building is expressed in the refinement of the layers that make up the surface. This shift from the emphasis on making and the idea of ‘material’ in architecture, to one of perception and ‘materiality,’ has an important corporeal dimension that parallels the material aesthetic practices developed in art and sculpture in the 1960s. In this sense, Fabrication carries an ‘untimely’ dimension. This paper proposes to look at the work of a broad range of architects, both well-known and not so well-known, in light of these artistic-based approaches to materiality. Digital fabrication opens a new chapter on this debate and it remains to be seen how this economically useful approach to construction changes, once architects investigate the visual characteristics of materials and methods of fabrication.
keywords material, materiality, embodiment, fabrication
series ACADIA
email rsliwka@hotmail.com
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