Two questions first:
1. In the worlds of Physics and Architecture: If solid matter is to form as gas is to space, then what is liquid in architecture?
2. If social science is considered a mushy science and physics exact science than where does architecture fall? and can architects or will architects ever be considered scientists?
I say this because I am spending more time in the Math/Physics library at Penn than the fine arts. It also seems if I want to go deep intellectually in architecture I have to look elsewhere, just think about the whole deconstruction phase of architecture, it was all french philosophy and situationism...architects borrow soooo much from other sciences and here is my explanation why.
Form and Space are dead. (I am emulating Nietzsche here)
Forms and Algorithms is a pre-requisite to Cecil Balmonds studio. We are learning how to intuitively understand extremely complex forms through rigorous mathematical programming of geometrical shapes. For those of you who are totally out of the loop, Cecil Balmond is the head guy at the leading engineering firm in the world: Ove Arup. Does this seem odd to anyone? why are architect students learning VB and C# in the realm of SmartGeometry, Generative Components, and Rhino scripting, why so rigourous? Well its the end of this Form and Space obsession of architecture. I am sure this isn't Balmonds intention, but thanks to the rebels against the cube, Form and Space are done. Here is the quick history:
1. Modern architecture oblished ornament and abstracted the basics forms for us (Adolf Loos, De Stijl)
2. Space became free flowing (FLW, Mies)
3. Then all the straight forward basic principles failed on many levels, urban planning, meaning, etc...
4. Po-mo, Italian Rationalism but within a context of the varnacular, Michael Graves, Corb's brutalism and Ronchamp, Robert A.M. Stern historical crap, Archigrams fun overly technolical conceptions, Archizooms presentation of full force modernity as an apocalyptic situation
5. Semiotics, writing cities, etc...importing linguistics and social sciences (Henri Lefebvre, Roland Barthes, etc...) so that architecture may form a language
6. Deconstruction...importing a philosophy to deconstruct the language of architecture (Derrida, Deleuze)
7. Situationism and Events...importing hedonistic temporal duration cinematic experience architecture crap (Debord, cinematic application of Bergson)
8. Existenialism, Power, and Dwellin...Heideger, Foucalt, etc...
11. High-Tech as style and justified by Sustainability
12. Gehry Technoligies....capable of making extremely complicated forms affordable and buildable via Catia platform based Digital Project
13. Forms and Algorithms...I know you're saying how can you end it with a class you're taking. trust me its the end, and Forms and Algorithms is just another Brick in the Wall.
see the cycle. clarity via scientific analysis rebelled against via artistic concepts, just to become scientific again... you're thinking, won't architects resort to rebelling again....what do you propose? I have one answer for you...
CAS's and Emergence....complex adaptive systems and emergence, a combo of phase transititions in physics, cellular automata, economics realization that their objects of study are agents of irrational behavior. in the world of architecture this means our forms and spaces evolve themselves via genetic rules and the enviroment.
So why would Form and Space be dead?
well, emergence and CAS's exclude the designer from the design of forms and space. the designer designs the rules and lets it fly.
Conclusion: the study of form and space in itself is dead, we've covered all the bases so let us move on to more important things...please!
Form and Space should be taught like English 101: i.e. this is a cube, cubes are useful for this, this is a blob, historically applicable as this...but no need in wasting hours of studio time justify Form and Space...
with that said I love my Forms and Algorithms class, i intend to use to exclude me from design decisions unless of course I want to make one, but I really don't feel like justifing form and space anymore, its so damn elementary.