Lazy Computing

ARC480H1 F
Instructor: TBC
Meeting Section: L0101
Winter 2023

If our current design software has enabled a transformative re-allocation of an architect’s labor, it has also resulted in a posture of disciplinary nonchalance. In efforts to consolidate repetitive inputs through the integration of constraints, object properties and “families”, today’s automata have made the production of architectural form incredibly easy. The ability for walls to stand up straight without falling over, for objects to float in electronic space or collide without impact are all representational behaviors of stillness we have engrained into our software for our convenient use as practitioners. However, difficulties arise when the suspension of materiality and physical forces are ignored when translating the simulative object into the physical realm.

In response to the embedded constraints that define contemporary digital practice, the focus of this course leans toward inconvenient motion made easy – utilizing the tension between an object’s physicality and digital simulation to become a new working method. In this course, we will examine the implications of our commands, constraints, and OS interactions towards adjacent disciplinary polemics. Students will be asked to develop their digital skill sets through the production of architectural animations, mixed-reality models, and unconventional usages of everyday computational platforms. To compliment the application of these skills, students will be asked to work in teams in the presentation of weekly readings, and in driving student-led debates based on conflicting positions in digital discourse.

Through a series of computational exercises that fit within a broader contextual framework, students will explore the rapidly shrinking gap between the digital abstraction of form, its resolution and eventual production into the built environment.