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id cdc2008_137
authors Cardoso, Daniel
year 2008
title Certain assumptions in Digital Design Culture: Design and the Automated Utopia
source First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)? - 18-19 April 2008, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge (USA), pp. 137-148
summary Much of the research efforts in computational design for Architecture today aim to automate or bypass the production of construction documents as a means of freeing designers from the sticky and inconvenient contingencies of physical matter. This approach has yielded promising questions and applications, but is based on two related assumptions that often go unnoticed and that I wish to confront: 1. Designers are more creative if the simulations they rely on engage only with the superficial aspects of the objects they design (rather than with their structural and material-specific behaviors) and 2. The symbolic 3-D environments available in current design software are the ideal media for design because of their free nature as modeling spaces. These two assumptions are discussed both as cultural traits and in their relation to digital design technologies. The work presented is a step towards the far-sighted goal of answering the question: how can computation enable new kinds of dialogue between designer, design media and construction in a design process? In concrete, this paper proposes a critical framework for discussing contemporary digital design practices as a continuity –rather than as a rupture- of a long-standing tradition in architecture of separating design and construction.
email dcardoso@mit.edu
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