This seminar addresses ideas, theories, and practices relating to computation in architecture and design. The course begins with the roots of computation long before the “personal computer” was conceived. The emphasis then shifts toward the present and a study of the canonical written contributions by design computation theorists and researchers (Knight, McCullough, Mitchell, Negroponte, Stiny, and others) as well related architectural, artistic, philosophical, and epistemological positions. In addition to reading and writing, the course is peppered with computational instruction so that students can confront and explore computation as makers as well as theorists.
When, how, and why do topics, methods, and knowledge from computer science become relevant to architecture? One way to answer that question is to take an existing design process and replace parts of it with computation. Then, it would be possible to investigate the implications. This course takes a di erent approach. First, three conditions have been identi ed as requisite for design.
Opportunity for a human author to make–and not merely use–tools
Presence of surprise
Capacity for re-appropriation and productive misuse.