Essay: Navigating the Computational Turn

The Parameters Platform published an essay, ‘Navigating the Computational Turn’, in Architectural Design, Compuation Works.

Below is the abstract for the article. The full issue can be found on the AD website.

At UNStudio we see design models as packages of organisational or compositional principles. The thinking underlying our design process is now enabled by advancements in software, allowing a parametric thinking process to evolve into a computational working process. In much the same way that iteration is central to the design process, so is abstraction is at the heart of the computational design process. Computational investigation instantiates a new level of responsibility for the architect; one that requires a discerning stance on the process of design. This manifests itself in the form of control over the development of the process, thus generating new techniques which act within both the geometric and the non-geometric realms.

At the inception of a design process computation does not replace the inspiration of ideas, nor the operation of diagrams and design models. It is moreover a further projection of what these enabling concepts could not have been on their own. As it spans the design process, computation provides control of increasingly actual parameters. During the latter phases of the design process, computation offers the ability to control geometric and non-geometric data as it is actualised into an improved version of itself in the built world.



UNStudio Team: Ben van Berkel and the Parameters Platform 2012: Rob Henderson, Marc Hoppermann, Garett Hwang, Fillipo Lodi with input from Nuno Almeida, Arjan Dingste, Hannes Pfau, Astrid Piber, Christian Veddeler and the project teams of Burnham Pavilion, Arnhem Transfer Hall and Raffles City Hangzhou.

Bibliographic Reference: 2013 (In Press) Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought, Brady Peters and Xavier DeKestelier, Editors. Architectural Design (AD) Journal. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.