CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id ascaad2006_paper12
authors Katodrytis, George
year 2006
title The Autopoiesis and Mimesis of Architecture
source Computing in Architecture / Re-Thinking the Discourse: The Second International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD 2006), 25-27 April 2006, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
summary The use of digital technology in architecture has proven to be more assertive than originally thought: it has reconditioned the nature of the design process, and established new practices and techniques of fabrication. The 21st century began with the technology of art. There is a new responsiveness to the reading and understanding of digital space, which is characterized by complexity and the uncanny. Recent applications in digital technology show inquisitiveness in the contentious subject Genetic Algorithms. This new architectural process is characterized by two main shifts: from poiesis (or poetry) to autopoiesis, and from authenticity to mimesis. Since evolutionary simulations give rise to new forms rather than design them, architects should now be artists and operators of both Inventive and Systematic design. Inventive design: The digital media should bring about poiesis (poetry). Digital spaces reveal and visualize the unconscious desires of urban spaces and bring forth new dreamscapes, mysterious and surreal. This implies a Freudian spatial unconscious, which can be subjected to analysis and interpretation. “Space may be the projection or the extension of the physical apparatus”, Freud noted1. Space is never universal, but subjective. A space would be a result of introjection or projection – which is to say, a product of the thinking and sensing subject as opposed to the universal and stable entity envisaged since the Enlighten. There is a spatial unconscious, susceptible to analysis and interpretation. Systematic Design: Digital media should bring about an autopoiesis. This approach calls into question traditional methods of architectural design – which replace the hierarchical processes of production known as “cause and effect” - and proposes a design process where the architect becomes a constructor of formal systems. Will the evolutionary simulation replace design? Is metric space dead? Is it replaced by the new definition of space, that of topology? The new algorithmic evolutionary conditions give architecture an autopoiesis, similar to biological dynamics. The use of algorithms in design and fabrication has shifted the role of the architect from design to programming. Parametric design has introduced another dimension: that of variation and topological evolution, breaking the authentic into the reused. Architecture now is about topology than typology, variation than authenticity, it is mimetic than original, uncanny and subconscious than merely generic. In a parallel universe, which is both algorithmic and metaphysical, the modeling machine creates a new abstraction, the morphogenesis of the “new hybrid condition”. The emphasis of the exploration is on morphological complexity. Architecture may become – paradoxically - rigorous yet more uncanny and introverted.
series ASCAAD
email gkatodrytis@aus.edu
full text file.pdf (913,796 bytes)
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