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

PDF papers
id ascaad2014_010
authors Stevens, James and Ralph Nelson
year 2014
title Digital Vernacular: Practicing architectural making
source Digital Crafting [7th International Conference Proceedings of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD 2014 / ISBN 978-603-90142-5-6], Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), 31 March - 3 April 2014, pp. 137-147
summary Prior to the Industrial Age, most architecture was created by the master craftsman or within the vernacular trades where “design” and “making” were aligned. The Industrial Age, and most recently the Information Age, shifted the role of the architect away from that of the “master craftsman” to the professional “knowledge worker.” As a result, a divide between design and making in the practice of architecture occurred.  This shift impacted an essential part of the architect’s process by degrading the symbiotic relationship between mind and hand and limiting the immediate design consequences that only making can provide. But recent technological developments have changed the economic model of design and making in architectural practice and re-established this lost connection. Most importantly, it has provided new opportunities for craft, design, and architectural practice to align. The purpose of this paper is to examine these new opportunities and define what constitutes the digital vernacular. The paper will seek to define the digital vernacular by evaluating each of the following variables: materials, knowledge, and tools. Using normative practice as a control, the paper will conduct a comparative analysis of these variables by examining economic viability (cost-to-wage ratios), logistical feasibility (training & facilities), and skillset availability within the domain of architecture (insourced versus outsourced). Using this data, and resulting guidelines, the paper will demonstrate the successes and failures of a practice using the digital vernacular as its primary project delivery methodology. The focus of this research is not to build an inventory of equipment and methods; rather it is to develop a higher understanding of what constitutes vernacular practice within the digital age. Exploring the digital vernacular is not intended to seek new form-making, but to improve and inform understanding of traditional vernacular methods and to enable a new generation of master craftsmen. This clarity is imperative as to ensure the quality of design and making with emerging technologies and help to prevent high-volume, low-quality results.
series ASCAAD
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