CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
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id acadia06_230
authors Anzalone, Phillip
year 2006
title Synthetic Research
source Synthetic Landscapes [Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture] pp. 230-231
summary Synthetic Research insinuates a relationship of a meticulous process of discovering truth contradicted against a fabricated, as in concocted, reality. It is important to recognize the logical aspect of synthetic when examining what synthetic research can provide for architectural discourse. Synthesis contrasts with analysis in that itís primary methods involve recourse to experience; it is experience that is at the heart of synthetic research. The synthesis of theory, architectural constructions, technological artifacts and computational techniques requires experiencing the results of experimentation. Synthetic digital architecture necessitates a discovery process incorporating creation that allows for experience, be it virtual reality, full-scale prototyping or spatial creations; provided experience is a truthful one, and not disingenuous and thereby slipping into the alternate definition of synthetic.Researchís experimental arm, as opposed to the analytic, relies on tinkering - implying the unfinished, the incomplete, the prototype. Examples of this are everywhere. Computer screenshots are a strikingly literal example of synthetic research when used as a means of experiencing a process. Performance mock-ups of building assemblies are a method of synthetic research in that one experiences a set of defined performances in order to discover and redefine the project. The watchmaker craft is an exercise in research/experimentation where material properties are inherent in function and aesthetics; consider how the components interact with the environment - motion, gravity, space-time, temperature. Efficiency at this point is predominantly structural and physical. Decorative or aesthetic elements are applied or integrated in later iterations along with optimization of performance, marketing and costs.What is a architectural research? How can research synthesize the wide range of possibilities for the trajectory of architecture when engaged in digital and computational techniques? The goals, techniques, documentation and other methods of research production have a place in architecture that must be explored, particularly as it related to computation. As in other fields, we must build a legitimate body of research whereby others can use and expand upon, such that digital architectures evolve in innovative as well as prosperous paths.
series ACADIA
email phil@abc-architects.com
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last changed 2006/09/22 06:22
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