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Keywords

Parametric Design, Digital Fabrication, Rationality, Technology

Disciplines

Architecture | Arts and Humanities | Education | Engineering

Abstract

Nowadays, efforts are being tremendously put in order to facilitate opportunities for the fourth industrial revolution to play a real role in the destiny of architectural design and construction. Parametric design and digital fabrication are some of the tools that have been contributing in this uprising for the last two decades. The amount of solutions developed so far has, sometimes out of curiosity, been used in alternative ways that occasionally lead to highly appreciated outcomes, and sometimes immersed us in worlds of rationally controlled complexities that might be not so useful. Some of the highly sophisticated computational design processes strengths are easily capable of hallucinating us with the ridiculously marvelous forms that make us see unimaginable things and which, by the help of digital fabrication, are sometimes attainable. However, and basing oneself on some rationality keys in architecture, the question of the real need for such complexities to be the predominant scheme of our thinking strategies arises. One specific issue that is tackled in this paper is the influence of technologies in architecture from a critical perspective. With great impact on all ages of architectural history, sooner or later, technology has influenced the way in which buildings were conceived, documented, and constructed. It is to say that a great deal of effort has been put throughout time in order to innovate, understand material behavior, and to find an aesthetical balance between science and art. In this sense, the argument of the digital technologies in architecture will be set up as a not too long time frame, only a few decades long, but due to the constant progress of technology, it seems that advancements in design and fabrication are either slow or not accepted yet. The speed is an issue not due to the fact that there are not clear innovative principles, but because of its wide variety of tools being developed constantly that opens the possibility for creative exploration, to the point that the simple can become complex, the material can become immaterial, and the rational can become humanly irrational. Not because it is not geometrically or parametrically descriptive, but due to other parameters that maybe are not in need for provision right now. The paranoia comes with the idea of delivering a concept in a way that requires efforts greater than building non-standard architecture, leading to the frustration of building a challenge that requires extra determination, manpower, advanced machines, or just more money for all of that. However, this is related to the customization design philosophy that architecture in many ways was imposed to follow for many reasons. It is therefore questionable what the role of sustainable development would be among all this mess.

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