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PDF papers
authors Meurant, Robert C.
year 1988
title Some Metaphysical Considerations Raised by the Computer-Generated Electronic Environment
source Computing in Design Education [ACADIA Conference Proceedings] Ann Arbor (Michigan / USA) 28-30 October 1988, pp. 59-70
summary The effects of the computer on the designer are profound, and affect design methodology and habitation. The computer-aided designer experiences within the electronic environment a freedom from certain important constraints of real-world modelling of physical reality. Electronic configurations are not bound by the constructional, material, or structural constraints operating in the physical world. This freedom is liberating, in that the imagination is given a powerful tool with which to develop external representations of ideal environments. But there is also the potential of destructive tendencies. Is the increasing sophistication of external tools of the imagination at the expense of the ability of the individual to master the internal imagination - are we externalizing at the price of inner vision? There is also the possibility of greater alienation from the physical world. We loose the tactile sensitivity, and the spatial and structural intuition with which we draw and make physical models. These are essential parts of the design of the physical environment.

We are left on the horns of a dilemma. The rapid response and exciting images of the computergenerated video environment suggest we are entering an era when architecture itself becomes electronic. The physical built-form recedes in importance, and may even become redundant. But we must also ask: Are we entering a post-computer age? Will we realize the potential profundity of our innate human biocomputers - to the point where we renounce the hard technology of the material for the soft technology of consciousness?

series ACADIA
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