Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ACADIA Conference

The 2009 ACADIA Conference was recently hosted by the Art Institute in Chicago. While I did not attend, I am fortunate to have a borrowed copy of the conference proceedings. Thus far, it seems that the compilation seems to include a broad review of parametric design methodologies, with applications ranging from mixed media to construction processes. What is most substantial however, is its inclusion of digital theory.

As members of Gen Y, we are exposed to a much larger architectural tool kit than those before us. Technology allows for increasingly complex and variant formal methods, using generative components and mathematical algorithms. The work of the Deconstructionists (Novak, Lynn, etc) has added phrases like 'gravitational field', 'attractor geometry', and 'fuzzy logic' to the architectural vocabulary. The totality of this new toolkit forms the genesis of what Patrick Schumacher calls 'Parametricism.' While Schumacher claims that this new style is 'mature', I disagree.

The parametric movement is still young, and has not yet matured to the extend of outright theory. For many of us, Parametricism is still an issue of method, not theory. This may account for the perceived thoughtlessness of some digital architectures. I argue that while we are not thoughtless, our work is not as thoughtful as it could be. So, as Gen Y, how will we create the future of Parametricism? Will it remain simply an evolution of method, of tools? Will it develop into something more meaningful? Something substantial?  Perhaps the greatest challenge we will face in our careers is the synthesis of method and theory within this new paradigm.

The ACADIA Conference proceedings acknowledges this issue, and provide a great foray into some contemporary resolutions. Further, it is not a 'show-book', rather it provides detailed accounts of parametric design processes, and the critical thinking associated with them. Perhaps after the price drops ($80 at the conference) It would be a wise professional investment.


Anonymous said...

pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!