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Parametric Design: Why the Controversy

Apr 30 '13 47 Last Comment
mmax
Apr 30, 13 9:14 pm

Hey everybody. This shall be my first post (not concerning university)! (Woo hoo it's good to post about things other than which school will make you a starchitect).

Anyways I'm a high school senior entering Pratt institute fall as architecture major and have noticed that parametric design has become a popular (and sometimes contentious) topic amongst those on archinect. On a personal level the parametric designs that I have seen (both built and unbuilt) have been awe inspiring and truly have been one of the factors that has motivated me to pursue a career in architecture.  On a theoretical level it seems to be a rather innovative approach to design as it incorporates the beauty of geometry as well as the efficiency and relative ease (parametric equations and coding are still pretty challenging) of the computer. Despite these possible benefits I've seen alot of architects scoff at this new way of design and haven't seen much new construction that has employed parametric design. 

Can any architects out there reveal the practical realities (benefits and drawbacks) of parametric design and its potential future in the field of architecture?

Thanks!

Mayer Chalom

http://www.mayermaxphotography.com

 

design
Apr 30, 13 9:26 pm

Ah, not again.
Here come the luddites.

In principle, your head is in the right place.

observant
Apr 30, 13 9:31 pm

I believe the Crystal Palace was done in 1851, so we're past "ludditism."

Two reasons:

- less is more

- it harkens to those cute folder paper snowflakes you would make in early grammar school except that, in addition to the nuns, for those of us who regrettably had them, the who's who of the architectural world is now embracing it

But, hey, as far as your schooling, like they say: "When in Rome ... "

design
Apr 30, 13 9:36 pm

Luddism persists. Your brain-dead analysis proof.

observant
Apr 30, 13 9:48 pm

Luddism

Well, I learned a new word and the right way to "conjugate" it.

accesskb
Apr 30, 13 10:23 pm

If you suck at designing in general, no amount of parametric or coding will make you a good designer.  I think its just a tool that could assist you in designing..  Its like buying a $2 paint brush or a $100 brush.. If you suck at painting, you're not going to become Picasso by buying a $100 brush or the cheaper one.

That said... Some old-school architects just hate it and everything to do with parametric design because they can't relate to it. 

Many young architecture students jump straight into parametric design or using that fancy software.  There are other areas in architecture one should first master before jumping into parametric design I think.

Again, it will depend on who you talk to.  Some architects are purely about experimenting, pushing the profession beyond its boundaries and think any idiot can learn to draw a drywall detail and build a house.  To them, experimentation is more important and it doesn't matter how ridiculous or aloof their design might be.

mmax
Apr 30, 13 11:05 pm

Understood. I currently work as a freelance photographer and constantly see people believing that the camera is the cause of the quality of their photos when it is often just a tool just like the computer a tool to an end goal.

Also "Accesskb" what are some of the other areas of architecture that you believe one should first master as you referenced above. 

curtkram
May 1, 13 10:34 am

here's my humble opinion on this matter as i understand it.  and i don't understand it.

the practice of architecture should be focused on designing buildings that can be built.  the mental masturbation and ego crap that has nothing to do with designing a building that can be built shouldn't be encouraged and harms the profession as a whole.  let's look at 'firmness, commodity, and delight.'  regarding the last, which tends the be the sole focus of students (at the expense of the first two), i think you should approach your personal opinion with some humility.  most people may not agree with what you think is cool.  if all you have to stand on is a form for a building that you think looks neat, then you don't have much to stand on and, as far as architecture is concerned, you're doing it wrong.

define what 'parametric design' is in a clear and concise manner.  is it something that actually helps achieve an architectural solution that encompasses 'firmness, commodity, and delight' (all three)?  are you really helping solve programmatic problems and meeting the needs of the client/community/etc.?  if so, it may be worth pursing.  is it a means to an end where you create a blobby form that you think looks neat?  probably not worth pursing.  are you going to post-rationalize your process and pretend that your intent was something other than glorification of you own ego?  be honest with yourself and assume your attempts will be transparent.

it is my opinion that architects should not be focused on their own glorification like eisenmann, rather we're closer to servants of the public.  that's just an opinion, and some may disagree.

Thecyclist
May 1, 13 10:44 am

It seems parametric modeling has yet to make a permanent move past the idea of the parametric facade.

jla-x
May 1, 13 11:19 am

I think this explains my view of most (not all, but most) parametric applications...

observant
May 1, 13 12:05 pm

So, about this parametric design, assume you've already graduated from a-school and you are OPEN MINDED to learning it, whatever it may be.  It's not like I see it on the course catalogs at the local community college.  Then what?

toasteroven
May 1, 13 2:34 pm

there's the problem with this whole group of people who conflate "parametric design" with their own signature pseudo-biomorphic styles (whenever you hear "parametricism" it's these folks) - and really just use software to make their forms "build-able."

 

"Parametric Design" - has, in fact, been around for centuries (baroque, classical, islamic arch - all examples of "parametric" design)- it's just that the tools have gotten more powerful in the past decade or so which has opened up many more opportunities for exploration.  The thing I personally dislike is this continual fascination with processes/operations that produce buildings that look like wet turds covered in spiderwebs - I'd rather see more pushing of "pure" or "mildly influenced" geometries with these techniques (the kinds of forms and patterns that us humans tend to be drawn to - and things that are easier to build without having to do a bunch of custom fabrication).

 

on the flip side - I'm also wary of people who trust the algorithms a bit too much... especially when it comes to inputting data that deals with human behavior.

observant
May 1, 13 2:42 pm

"Parametric Design" - has, in fact, been around for centuries (baroque, classical, islamic arch - all examples of "parametric" design)- it's just that the tools have gotten more powerful in the past decade or so which has opened up many more opportunities for exploration.

Good point.  And I go ape shit over Baroque, be it Italian, Tyrolian/Austrian, Bavarian, or Portuguese ... all different renditions, and all exquisitely crafted.  I guess I'm a fan of parametric, then.

dia
May 1, 13 11:10 pm

I have no issue with parametric design. I think it is relevant, powerful and interesting. My issue is with the information source input and its validity. There should be as much rigour as possible in the development of the parametric machine at the front end. And there is opportunity to move beyond simple data sets or behaviour models as source materials.

t a m m u z
May 2, 13 2:20 am

in my opinion, the concern with 'parametric architecture' is an innate tendency to exhibit its coded formal continuity, transitions and transformations pedantically. for instance, zaha hadid's parametricist (long way from suprematist, huh?) urban design models  clearly exhibit this. at a micro scale, one would be overwhelmed by the redundant and anynonymous self-similarity anonymity  and at a macro scale, one is underwhelmed by the simplistic reductive and reduced system/s that bind the whole urban proposals.

 if not tempered (whether one sees this tempering happening from within the logic of parametricism or in a conventional authorial top-bottom manner) by an extra-parametric framework of mind that recognizes that people experience the built environment and anything else for that matter in a non-parametric manner, then it is bound to be a solipsistic essay in its own internal logic . but even at the authorial designerly  level (something that might be frowned upon by these posturing as abstract animal-robot architects), it is stingy and hypocritical  to rule out the role of an omni-present fervent imagination that bonds elements in a most remarkable and non-contiguous/parametric manner. it is like denying a sexual appetite; its energy eventually surfaces in pathological and fanatic guises.

boy in a well
May 2, 13 2:38 am

awwww, cute.

Lee RobertLee Robert
May 2, 13 9:49 am

I have no issues with "good" parametric design, as long as one of the parameters used to design the object or space relates to the construction techniques that will be used to build it.

I feel like it goes terribly wrong when these objects are conceived of in a strictly formal sense, without anything to ground them in reality and with no thought into how they could be efficiently constructed. 

Jean Nouvel
May 2, 13 10:09 am

The key issues that avant-garde architecture and urbanism should be addressing can be summarized in the slogan: organizing and articulating the increased complexity of post-fordist society. The task is to develop an architectural and urban repertoire that is geared up to create complex, polycentric urban and architectural fields which are densely layered and continuously differentiated.

To hold on to the new principles in the face of difficulties is crucial for the chance of eventual success. This tenacity  - abundantly evident within the contemporary avant-garde -  might at times appear as dogmatic obstinacy. For instance, the obstinate insistence of solving everything with a folding single surface  - project upon project, slowly wrenching the plausible from the implausible – might be compared to the Newtonian insistence to explain everything from planets to bullets to atoms in terms of the same principles.

The fundamental desire that has come to the fore in this tendency had already been formulated at the beginning of the 1990s with the key slogan of “continuous differentiation”6. Since then there has been both a widespread, even hegemonic dissemination of this tendency as well as a cumulative build up of virtuosity, resolution and refinement within it.

The shared concepts, computational techniques, formal repertoires, and tectonic logics that characterize this work are crystallizing into a solid new hegemonic paradigm for architecture.

curtkram
May 2, 13 10:22 am

i see you are suggesting there is a complex and polycentric urban context of some sort.  i find that it's not that complex, or if it is perhaps it doesn't have to be.  you also speak of difficulties.  it sort of seems to me maybe you're talking about an architecturual theory of sort that introduces complication and difficulty for no good reason and no real gain.  this is why modernism is a good thing.  they try to keep things simple, while still thinking through their concepts to their conclusion. 

newtonian insistence to explain everything in a single set of principles is not to complicate things; it's an avenue to arrive at the more simple truth.  it's just that sometimes it's difficult to find the simple answer.  i like simple.  simple is good.

observant
May 2, 13 11:44 am

if not tempered (whether one sees this tempering happening from within the logic of parametricism or in a conventional authorial top-bottom manner) by an extra-parametric framework of mind that recognizes that people experience the built environment and anything else for that matter in a non-parametric manner, then it is bound to be a solipsistic essay in its own internal logic . but even at the authorial designerly  level (something that might be frowned upon by these posturing as abstract animal-robot architects), it is stingy and hypocritical  to rule out the role of an omni-present fervent imagination that bonds elements in a most remarkable and non-contiguous/parametric manner. it is like denying a sexual appetite; its energy eventually surfaces in pathological and fanatic guises.

Can you learn to speak English, that is, a brand of English that people who still have higher than average IQs can understand?  Wait, you're in the UK, right, where pomposity is celebrated, so being highbrow and afternoon tea is part and parcel of the deal.  Dial it back a notch ... and try this again.

jla-x
May 2, 13 11:56 am

^yup!  physics envy...

we had this discussion before..

The problem I have with parametric thinking is that it is often hailed as an "ism" when in fact it is just a tool or method.  It tells you how but not why.  If you ignore the question of why then the work is often trivial.  As a tool, parametric design has much potential in many instances, but only if its the right tool for the job. 

I think parametric design has the most potential in the more scientific aspects of architecture.  (passive heating and cooling, structures, etc) 

design
May 2, 13 9:21 pm

we had this discussion before..

And you got spanked while tammuz proved to be a far cry from an authority on parametrics. Aside from that, most users on this forum are not not qualified to talk about this subject.

It's better if for most if they are left in the dark, unaware.. crying "oh it's just biomorphics."

 

Broke-ass architects never learn, it's the dumbness envy, LOL

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 2, 13 11:30 pm

^ Kind of hard to be smugly superior when you're utterly devoid of information.

As you're the self-professed authority on the matter, why don't you be magnanimous with those of us who are "not qualified to talk about this subject" and explain it for us?

curtkram
May 3, 13 7:21 am

mmax, .com's post is why there is no point in learning about 'parametric design.'

this is just a bunch of kids who are probably fairly adept with current technology who want be smug, exude self-satisfaction, and pretend they are better than everyone else.  at least that has been my impression.  those characteristics do not help produce buildings that can be built.

J. James R.J. James R.
May 3, 13 11:47 am

 

 

 

 

My first parametric project— an urban squab (pigeon) farm.

gual
May 3, 13 12:12 pm

Do we even have a definition for what parametric design is?

From what I know about  parametric design (not that much, I will admit) isn't it just a blanket term for passing off some of the design "work" to algorithms/computer programs? In which case it's more of an approach to getting things done than an actual "final product"?

I know that in practice what people seem to be referring to when they say "parametric design" is these weird, bloopy futuristic-looking facades... In which case I think people have beef with the "style" rather than the "approach." Correct me if I'm wrong though.

No reason why you can't write a script that would aid you in designing something that _looks_ more modernist/classical... Also, no reason why you can't draw a loopy "building" that looks like crocodile skin stretched over a pile of twigs without the aid of a computer program. It would seem you guys have a problem with the result, not the methodology.

Seriously though, tell me if I'm wrong or I'm missing something here. I would love to have a precise conversation about this stuff, seems like most things I read about parametric design are impenetrable, which worries me.

J. James R.J. James R.
May 3, 13 12:26 pm

parametric design
parametric
paramet-
parameter

curtkram
May 3, 13 12:29 pm

perhaps how  you define 'parametric architecture' says a lot about what kind of architect you are or could be?

t a m m u z
May 3, 13 2:36 pm

don't you agree that there is a radical difference between a parametricism whose logic largely dictates the resultant architecture and an architecture whose logic/s dictates the usage of parametricism?

do you think the logic of parametricism is not too far removed from a tangible human logic?

i'm thinking of gaudi's architecture. there is a correpondence between physical laws and his mode of design operation so that the architecture is perhaps twice removed from these physical laws. but the arrangement of spaces and elements is not dictated by this, obviously as he had choices to make.

on its own,architectural parametricism does not correspond to physical laws. but it does correspond to an analogical association with the physical sciences . in that manner, if solely self espousing, it does so at as a pseudo-scientific practice. it becomes a sort of cult even.

however, i don't know about you, but i see less parametric work recently. i sometimes see the pseudo-scientists coming apart at the seams - cracks in their cryptic language showing how complicit they are with the trivial follies of our world.

but to be fair, i dont blame them solely for this. there are many others. i don't think that zumthor's architecture is not cryptic, solipsistic...i think if he were practicing at the time of hitler, we would by now be vilifying this inhumane fetishism of materiality instead of vilifying grandiose scale and speer's work. there is no joy, no humour in zumthor's architecture. there is not even reverence. there is no religiosity and no atheism. there is a beautiful worldliness that refers to nothing but itself (allusionary transfiguration is ultilitarian, the imagination is an instrument and not a field, there is no direction, it is aaaaallll isotropic). its a very protestant-capitalist ethics/practice of an agnostic architecture; an inventful catalogue of material allusions that, in principle, doesn't differ from a kohler catalogue except its easier to overlook a faucet.  that too is alien. but, it depends on one's background.

wait, that wasnt the topic..

observant
May 3, 13 2:45 pm

^

allusionary transfiguration is ultilitarian

OMG. How do you come up with these highbrow diatribes?  The only thing I was able to capture from the first one is that pent-up sexual frustration seeks outlets.  What normal, red-blooded human being doesn't know THAT?  Perhaps it's a selective perception issue on my part ... or the more vocational approach I took during my schooling.  It makes me thank my lucky stars for being more shallow and trying, and I mean trying, to be a bon vivant.

curtkram
May 3, 13 3:11 pm

i believe tammuz took a different path towards learning the english language than most of us americans.

as per your questions tammuz, my thought would be that that's different for everyone.  some people may see parametric design as an extension of human logic, some may see it as a replacement for human logic.  whatever.  if your logic is defined by parametricism and results in architecture, that might brand you as a certain type of architect.  if your logic starts as a more human or imaginative interpretation of architecture and parametricism is used to develop that logic, maybe your a different sort of architect.  or just don't parametricize stuff.

i think if the architect is focused on the end product of a buildable building, then their methodology may be worth pursing, or is at least justifiable as a legitimate architectural process.  if not, then not so much.  personally i do not derive logic from parametricism, but maybe someday i will as long it works to develop the goal of designing a buildable building.

also, i can crticize and not like buildings whether they are or are not defined as parametricistic. 

caryatid
May 3, 13 3:32 pm

@t a m m u z

don't you agree that there is a radical difference between a parametricism whose logic largely dictates the resultant architecture and an architecture whose logic/s dictates the usage of parametricism?

 

This precisely - as J. James R. demonstrated, parametric design can be nothing more than manipulating the width/height ratio or capital (parameters) to generate different columns. In the modern context, with our available software, we don't have to manually reconstruct each column, we just link it to its parameters and when the parameter is changed, every object to which it applies also changes.

Obviously this process is generative - it's the degree to which, and the manner in which, that generative aspect is applied to a building's concept that determines how 'parametric' it looks. There's the Parthenon (sure, you can use parametrics to tweak the spacing and tilt of the columns) and then there's Frank Gehry. The utility of parametric design is unquestionable. The architect just needs to make sure that s/he is the designer and parametrics is the tool - not the other way around.

Jean Nouvel
May 3, 13 6:21 pm

Modernism was founded on the concept of space. Parametricism differentiates fields. Fields are full, as if filled with a fluid medium. We might think of liquids in motion, structured by radiating waves, laminal flows, and spiraling eddies. Swarms have also served as paradigmatic analogues for the field-concept. We would like to think of swarms of buildings that drift across the landscape. Or we might think of large continuous interiors like open office landscapes or big exhibition halls of the kind used for trade fairs. Such interiors are visually infinitely deep and contain various swarms of furniture coalescing with the dynamic swarms of human bodies. There are no platonic, discrete figures with sharp outlines. Within fields only the global and regional field qualities matter: biases, drifts, gradients, and perhaps even conspicuous singularities like radiating centres. Deformation does no longer spell the breakdown of order but the lawful inscription of information. Orientation in a complex, lawfully differentiated field affords navigation along vectors of transformation .The contemporary condition of arriving in a metropolis for the first time, without prior hotel arrangements, without a map, might instigate this kind of field-navigation. Imagine there are no more landmarks to hold on, no axis to follow and no more boundaries to cross. Contemporary architecture aims to construct new logics – the logic of fields – that gear up to organize and articulate the new level of dynamism and complexity of contemporary society.

toasteroven
May 4, 13 12:00 am

human behavior is not really "swarms" or "fluid dynamics."  maybe if you zoom way way out into outer space and speed up time (as in years become minutes), but individual experiences of space and our social behavior within the built environment is not like designing a fucking HVAC and Plumbing system.  In reality things move at a much more glacial pace - there's politics - there's property ownership - there's the actual act of construction.  it's slow.

 

in the amount of time it took you to type that nonsense, were you stationary - or were you swarming with other human bodies in a vast interior junkspace?

 

I'd really like to see a "parametricist" bathroom.  Swarms of human bodies while you're trying to take a shit.  That's what I like thinking about - the shear number of people who also sat on that toilet speeded way up into a constant flow of shitting and flushing.

Jean Nouvel
May 4, 13 1:26 am

Both texts I posted above (italicized) were copied verbatim from Patrik Schumacher's Parametricist Manifesto.

A Gold Star to toasteroven (in the amount of time it took you to type that nonsense, were you stationary - or were you swarming with other human bodies in a vast interior junkspace?) and for  visualization of a "parametricist" bathroom.

A Silver Star to curtkram (it sort of seems to me maybe you're talking about an architecturual theory of sort that introduces complication and difficulty for no good reason and no real gain) for pointing out how smelly this crap is.

And a Bronze Star to gual for finding the impenetrable problematic.

As for .com, the emperor has no clothes.

t a m m u z
May 4, 13 2:10 am

yes toasteroven, what i was thinkng here: "on its own,architectural parametricism does not correspond to physical laws. but it does correspond to an analogical association with the physical sciences . in that manner, if solely self espousing, it does so at as a pseudo-scientific practice."

this reminds me of the so called Sokal affiar. except no one has come out as a jokster.

assuming that its all in good faith, this desire to produce an architecture that complies, out of necessity and consequentiality, with the tenets of the physical and mathematical world, there are some questions.

 what purpose does a human emergent architecture serve?does it respond to a basic tangible need/requirement that we have as a species? i ask this because it (its proponents) puts itself forward, ideologiaclly,  as an architecture of purpose and even of necessity. this is if functional.

or...by (wanting to) resonate with the emergence observed within natural systems abound, does a generative  form-based parametricism rise from an innate desire to represent to ourselves this need to visibly conform -within our limits of observation- to these foundational emergent currents? this is if aesthetic.

in other words, why parametricist architecture?

there is a paradox at the heart of this matter. emergent/autonomous parametricism assumes a innate necessity that fatalistically binds the history and nature of a species from past to its decline. the species need not represent emergence to itself; it is a subliminal force that can only be seen, as a whole, and represented external to the species itself - in tandem with toasteroven's post. so, if this were the case, then 1- either, our architectures have always responded successfully to these emergent forces -in which case,the case for  generative parametricist architecture as a necessary architecture is a weak one or 2- our production of architecture has never been emergent i.e. as a species, we do not build or need to build "emergently"...in which case, ,the case for  generative parametricist architecture as a necessary architecture is, again, a weak one.

 

 

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 4, 13 6:52 pm

^ Translation:

Architecture is functional or aesthetic. Either way parametricism is crap.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

observant
May 4, 13 8:32 pm

Parametric design - retro, manual drafting version - there's even a funky Volvo out in front.

http://preservation.lacity.org/files/images/Pacific-Cinerama-7_0.jpg

caryatid
May 4, 13 10:06 pm

This is a bit of a tangent, but there are instances of large-scale 'flow' analysis that have resulted in a better understanding of how individuals act and interact within a spatial network, such as the urban street grid. UCL Bartlett has a team that quantitatively demonstrated that people often pick the path with the least angular deviation, and not the shortest metric path, between two points - this was done by modeling actual cities, using different measures of distance, and then comparing the model to real data and assessing for fit. Yes, this model is postdictive and not predictive, but it does demonstrate how the 'network/flow' approach can sometimes yield significant insight into how people interact with their environments on the individual level.

caryatid
May 4, 13 10:14 pm

If anyone is interested, Bill Hillier's The Social Logic of Space and Space is the Machine make for quirky reads.

mmax
May 4, 13 11:32 pm

Guys! Enough with the esoteric language (I haven't even entered Architecture school yet lol!)

As someone who has not yet assimilated into the architectural profession this is my take. The business of Architecture relies on aesthetics and the ability to create structures that are built efficiently, cost effectively and are sustainable. Regardless of whether or not this contemporary style of design is truly "progressive" wouldn't it still have a great amount of potential to sell simply because it is different from much of the current landscape? Additionally, as long as there are clients that appreciate and buy into this new style then what is the harm? Architecture is indeed a service based industry! 

accesskb
May 5, 13 1:23 am

^ welcome to architecture school.  Clients are there to make money, in most cases. Not many clients are willing to fork out that money to build parametric buildings. ;P

design
May 5, 13 1:56 am

Short answer is yes.
Calamist's comments on parametrics is decent.
This however, from someone else, human behavior is not really "swarms" or "fluid dynamics."

eeeee, wrong.

 

Parametrics today, is like what the arch was when it was invented. It is not exclusive to architecture.

But the haters...
On the internet, the haters (ye old-timey luddite emperors), aren't "in the know."
They usually do these:
react like old farts, recite post-modern babble, make references to defecation, or cling to analogies of social systems as unknowable religious phenomena. And they do this on repeat, congratulating each other for playing their part in what has come to be known as dumb and broke architects.

Parametrics plays into bigger things, things that will and are getting built. But with all the comedy/desire to be lame on these threads, you won't hear much in depth talk about parametric anything, at least not on this forum.

Go somewhere without an overblown peanut gallery.

caryatid
May 5, 13 4:05 am

@toasteroven, Jean Nouvel

human behavior is not really "swarms" or "fluid dynamics."

Yes, it's true that the individual experiences of space, which are subjective, sometimes cannot be captured by fluid dynamics (especially since fluid dynamics cannot really be applied to understanding human behavior, though I've actually tried thinking of applications before. Navier-Stokes doesn't work like that, sorry). "Swarms" hit the mark much better - flocking algorithms give surprisingly accurate predictions of aggregate movement.

in the amount of time it took you to type that nonsense, were you stationary - or were you swarming with other human bodies in a vast interior junkspace?'

If you want to use experiential anecdotal evidence, why not take a look at traffic? While you're sitting on your stationary ass wishing the world were as mobile and dynamic as all them flow diagrams seem to indicate, engineers, mathematicians, and programmers are using those very same systems trying to figure out a way to get you to work more quickly. Network analysis yields commute time improvements of up to 30% per individual (I can track down the source for that if you want but it's late atm), resulting in thousands of cumulative hours saved per day, so I really suggest paying it a bit more respect. Unfortunately, population density is a relevant concern nowadays and I can't say I'd want to live in a city designed by people who deny the utility of understanding "swarms" and "fluid dynamics".

"on its own,architectural parametricism does not correspond to physical laws. but it does correspond to an analogical association with the physical sciences . in that manner, if solely self espousing, it does so at as a pseudo-scientific practice."

More or less true. But it doesn't have to be a pseudo-science. I'd say, learn a bit more about the phenomena you can't understand, and if you still can't understand it then yay, interdisciplinary practices!

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 5, 13 12:39 pm

The Shoemaker (Zaha's partner) manifesto is a lame attempt to justify "amorphouism" as an architectural style by taking a not-so-esoteric concept (that as toaster pointed out is basically a mathematical calculation process) with a slap at Gehry (the obstinate insistence of solving everything with a folding single surface) and with excessive use of hyperbolic language (hegemonic dissemination, tectonic logics, hegemonic paradigm, etc.) that is supposed to sound intelligent or be incomprehensible, which for some - like .com ("Parametrics today, is like what the arch was when it was invented.") - is apparently one and the same thing.

When thoughtfully considered for even a second, much of this stuff is utter nonsense.

The contemporary condition of arriving in a metropolis for the first time, without prior hotel arrangements, without a map, might instigate this kind of field-navigation. Imagine there are no more landmarks to hold on, no axis to follow and no more boundaries to cross.

Sounds like a bad acid trip to me. Or bad science fiction. Or Boston City Hall Plaza.

jla-x
May 5, 13 6:25 pm


The ripples and disturbances in the flow are where life happens. This is the life of the city. I like all the bumps and random happenings of a messy city.  Thats where people fall in love.....get lost.....discover new things......time wasted in your opinion..... I bet Bloomberg would love to move the swarms to and from.  More efficient movement equals more productive workers and consumers.  


jla-x
May 5, 13 6:29 pm


Also calmist, I would hate to live in any city that has been designed by anything other than evolution

vado retro
May 6, 13 1:17 am

i recognized the schumacher excerpts as i remembered the mention of post fordism. i remember asking myself when the hell has architecture and or the majority of building been done to a "fordist" agenda. its hands on. its custom. even the strip mall is custom in that it is hand made. i frankly don't care what the methods are. i just want to look at a building and not find out that the most dynamic forms of that building are housing the janitor closets, mechanical rooms and toilets. and i have seen this in many non parameterized buildings. (i'm talking to you, richard meier.) that is all.

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