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Referential structures in digital representation and those structures that have established contemporary canons have been progressively negated. As a result of this tendency, post-structuralism, as a pendulous reactionary force against structuralism, broke away from deconstruction?s conceptual premise: to produce a full decomposition of any assumed disciplinary fundamentals. Therefore, rather than focusing on a syntax based on structural logics, current digital architecture tendencies hide deep conceptual structures in favor of superficial perceptual structures, relying on the media-based spectacular semiotic effect of the visual that has exhausted its capacity to be critical.
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Quynh T. Nguyen
Axel Schmitzberger
Axel Schmitzberger, Antonio MartÍnez, Ice Lee (starsh-prime.com)
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2010934911
Life in:formation, On Responsive Information and Variations in Architecture, ed. Aaron Sprecher, Shai Yeshayahu and Pablo
Lorenzo-Eiroa, ACADIA, New York 2010. 8.5x10” 500 copies
Printed in the United States of America.
ISBN 978-1-4507-3471-4
title:
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LIFE in:formation
On Responsive Information and Variations in Architecture
Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of Association for Computer
Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA
Aaron Sprecher
Shai Yeshayahu
Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa
Aaron Sprecher , McGill University, Montreal
Shai Yeshayahu, Southern Illinois University
Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, e Cooper Union, New York
Chandler Ahrens, Founding Partner Open Source Architecture
Axel Schmitzberger, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Michael Wen-Sen Su, Pratt Institute
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Introductions
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| forewordsIn:forming a Critical Digital Architecture Autonomy into Life
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Referential structures in digital representation and those
structures that have established contemporary canons have
been progressively negated. As a result of this tendency,
post-structuralism, as a pendulous reactionary force
against structuralism, broke away from deconstruction’s
conceptual premise: to produce a full decomposition of any
assumed disciplinary fundamentals. erefore, rather than
focusing on a syntax based on structural logics, current
digital architecture tendencies hide deep conceptual
structures in favor of supercial perceptual structures,
relying on the media-based spectacular semiotic effect of
the visual that has exhausted its capacity to be critical.
Codes that cipher data and reference identity are bringing
back the relevance of structures, displacing the visual
paradigm of previous postmodern decades. Moreover,
this process is related to the articial man-made bit of
information, as the design of codes reference Kantian
logical cognitive structures, presenting an alternative to
the simple Hegelian mirroring of biomorphic tendencies
in digital architecture.
Each year, digital-architecture discussions bring the
latest technological advances in computation, and by
informing the discipline, they are expected to renew it.
Scientific and technological advances stimulate extrinsic
motivations that may internalize transformations in
architecture, but their incorporation has to be resolved
within intrinsic disciplinary fundamentals. The value
of critical theory in art is relative to a pendulous
movement that has to be continuously actualized, and
this differentiates architecture from science, which can
accumulate knowledge (Wölfin, 1888).
e aim of this publication, and particularly this essay,
is to map the potential of architecture to qualify digital
space from new internal relationships that identify and
displace hidden structures that repress the digital from its
potential, holding it back to a naive representational role.
1 Information, Representation, and Performance
in Computation
ere are several problems in the relationship between
information, the processing of this information, the
interfaces involved, and their output that are important to
develop in the context of this argument and how they are
structured in this publication.
1.1 Information Structures
First, is the role of structures that organize and categorize
information. e relevance of structural thought in relation
to cognition as dened by Kant (Kant, 1781), was attacked
by Derrida (Derrida, 1976). While Derrida’s critique is in favor
of the dissemination of categorical thought, it has also
induced certain formalisms in algorithms, what Deleuze
calls difference without concept (Deleuze, 1994) and a
problem that is emerging through infoxication–information
intoxication. For this reason, structuralist thought classies
types that emerge from changes which ultimately acquire
more stability, as it occurs with the sedimented stable
structures that become disciplinary canons. What becomes
problematic is that deep structures remain untouched unless
they are brought to the foreground and become available to
work with, so that their homogenization can be resisted.
Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa
Conference Chair ACADIA 2010 LIFE in:formation
United States
In:forming a Critical Digital Architecture
Autonomy into Life
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Within this background presents in regards to the
classication of information, is the unavoidable reduction in
computation of mathematical binary codes that represent
extrinsic information as content. Since information does
not exist independent from representation, this brings a
problem inherent to structuralism that is the reduction to
categories. Although against this reduction is the historical
example of Cartesian predetermination contrasted by
Leibniz’s differential and innitesimal calculus that
allowed analysis situs. Interestingly poststructuralist
concepts such as mapping, suspend reductive reasoning
voided from cultural presumptions. ese concepts, based
on the indeterminacy of topographies and heterotopias,
are currently entering computation through topology and
non-linear computational systems.
1.2 Information Interfaces
e second question is of the interfaces involved and their
striation in the transferring of information. Panofsky
described perspective as the system that striated modern
space (Panofsky, 1924). Furthermore Derrida’s concept of
parergon (Derrida, 1978) questions the context in which
it is dened, its interface, as the work is activated
and determined by the frame-interface questioning
any extrinsic origin. Consequently, if the mediums of
representation have such a power to regulate the work,
then interfaces are frames and spaces of differentiation
that can activate a performative aspect in the work.
is problem triggers a formal generative capacity of
differentiation in interfaces that originates a continuous
loop of responsive and interactive feedback (Figure. 1).
1.3 Information Processing and Formal Autonomy
ird, is the relative autonomy that architecture form
acquires as a result of this processing of information, a
logic that is against the linear resemblance between the
indexing of information and the constitution of form.
Disciplinary autonomy never entered digital architecture,
since current post-criticality is based on a reaction
against previous decades’ asphyxiating disciplinary
fundamentals which consequently provoked an expansion,
of the now indeterminate, limits of architecture. In favor
of such expansion, Bateson’s studies on systemic theories
derived from self regulatory mechanisms induced the
interdisciplinary, focusing on the reciprocity and feedback
of external associations (Bateson, 1979). Although current
automated formalisms disregard the self-regulatory
quality of systems and aim for a difference that does
not recognize multiple levels of change, consequently
outputting further homogeneity. e problem is that such
difference is not based on a systemic structural change, as
are, for instance, computer viruses.
Panofsky’s work may be seen as an effort across artistic
disciplines that dene its autonomy and relevance to other
disciplines. Also, Aristotle’s conception was that art had
logic of its own, as it was the implicit syntax in formal logic
systems. And Michelangelo has pointed out the possibility
of a metaphysics intrinsic to art, as for him, through art,
matter may acquire a life of its own (Argan, 1971). ese
problems present aesthetic and logic questions, the
consolidation of a formal logic intrinsic to the conformation
of the architecture of the project as a whole.
Information visualization, as mapping, indexing,
and processing of information, relates also to the
predetermination of structures. e latest work of Ben
Fry concerned with responsive non-linear models and
interactive graphics strategies, remain structurally constant
with differing subject matter, conveying a functional
relationship between content and form (Fry, 2007). When
form is not given an autonomy, it works merely indexing
quantitative information without qualitative relevance,
which would eventually induce further relationships.
e information available over the Internet has been
striated by Google Inc. as the apparently formless ow
of data is structured through its interface-algorithm. If
meaning is relative to categories, then the structuring of
data sets and its interaction induces content, as it happens,
through crowdsourcing. What’s inherent to such striation of
Figure 1. Perspective diagram: generative and
responsive interaction in interfaces.
| forewordsIn:forming a Critical Digital Architecture Autonomy into Life
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the world may relate to Prigogine’s critique of networked
societies, where he denotes the advantages of bifurcation,
but warns about potential homogenization (Prigogine,
2000). As an example of this indexing of information
and the relative autonomy of form, the city continuously
indexes information, a process related to the abstract ux
of capital forces in the autonomous eld of communicative
experiences (Tafuri, 1973). But once these forces sediment,
they acquire an independent formal quality that induces
other architectures, opening up interactions that displace
the previous indexed information (Figure 2).
In regards to the visual interpretation of information,
several architects study scientific advances inferring
translations into architecture. These speculations
may present interesting innovation, but activate
representational problems as they rely on an analogous
visual resemblance that can imply rather structural
differences. The visual provides access to a formal logic,
but without questioning our senses, we may only produce
difference without concept.
The disregard in the intermediation of interfaces
becomes more evident in the automated linear
translation to the physical in digital fabrication, which
generates an unmediated image of an image, a linearity
that Nader Tehrani resisted in his installations. Greg
Lynn instigated an architectural specificity related
to computer space and representation. Also, Karl Chu
attempts a philosophy inherent to computation by
means of a genetic morphogenesis in the architecture
of systems. This reasoning attempts to construct a logic
that avoids confusions among different topological
levels of thought (Bateson, 1973), questioning Derrida’s
critique on the artificial boundaries among disciplines.
But there might be a synthesis between abstract
information and form as opposites, which resides in the
structuring of codes that are common to both realms,
enabling a vectorial diagram. There is a deeper common
metaphysical project, implicit since the renaissance in
architecture, that computation is part of. The floor plan
constituted the logos of space, an organizational matrix
that is not visual, as it may only be experienced. Within
digital representation, the shift from the horizontal
plateau of the drafting table to the vertical computer
screen displaced the tectonics of the floor plan,
activating a picture plane relationship that assimilated
architecture with the tectonics of cinema where depth
and not the vertical defines space. This promoted the
exchanging of a structural logic for a perceptive logic.
Figure 2. Analog and digital interfaces:
Infrastructure that affect environmental
forces using instability to induce landscape
opportunities in an ecology of natural
feedback exchanging information and energy.
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Codes and algorithms may be associated with what
ensures a structural continuity in the underlying logic
of control that organizes Palladio’s floor plans. He
bases his structural reasoning in mathematics and
proportions. But algorithms do not allow for specific
relative topological displacements that in the case of
Palladio’s Palazzo Chiericati, transform the departing
type from an original centralized nine square grid into
the same displaced organization becoming a layered
space, critiquing the departing scheme in an intrinsic
to architecture operation (Figure 3). What this reading
resolves is an implicit logic in variation series forging
changes that are able to transcend the departing
structure (Lorenzo-Eiroa, 2008).
Algorithms are based on tree-like structures: the
computation of solutions to a pre-given set of problems
that if no attempt is made to question their source
structure, fail to develop a specific consistent logic and
to resist linearity in the relationships that they array. As
a matter of fact, recent neurosciences research estipulate
that the human brain calculates known solutions to
given problems evolved from successful experiences
that are determined from external adaptive responses
and internal recorded memories. Consequently this
processing may be related to certain structuralism that
emerges as a limit in reasoning that if not recognized,
constrains specificity, non-linearity, and ideas.
2. Anticipating Cartopological Space
e outlined questions and the ones in this publication
provide a context to the development of an architecture
specicity within the digital.
The autonomy of the vectorial surface acquired by the
dissembling of the object towards the expanded field
was resolved in the canonical thickening of the ground
as an inhabitable surface that recently provoked spatial
warping (Vidler, 2000). Yet, current models assumed
too promptly the presence of a different type of space
derived from such expansion, a “topological” space
dominated by continuity, non-Euclidean geometry, and
increasing ranges of indeterminacy driven by the logos
of the site, which conceptually negated referential
structures and Cartesian space.
As a solution, the mathematically striated computer
logos and its visual translation as measured perspectival
space, is first brought to the foreground and then
confronted through the topology and layering of
parametric surfaces (Figure 4).
is proposition considers surface-matrices as interfaces
among software in which transformations are encrypted
and accumulated in a layered process, distinguishing
degree change from conceptual difference (Figure 5). is
process forces a formal disjunction between information
and its visual translation, resolved in an autonomous
formal conguration that is subsequently considered
conceptually independent to that previous informational
moment, resisting automatic predetermination.
Figure 3. Andrea Palladio’s Palazzo Chiericati, diagram. Wittkower’s
eleven Palladio schemes (Wittkower R. 1949) develop only a differential
change of degree and not such conceptual typological change.
Figure 4. Topological surface-space parameterized
against its referential dynamic Cartesian space.
Static Cartesian frame + topological möbius strip surface indexing
spatial warping = integrated in a synthetic composition.
| forewordsIn:forming a Critical Digital Architecture Autonomy into Life
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Relative forces through topological bi-continuous
and rheotomic mathematical surface-space intend
to displace the referential absolute, stable Cartesian
frame-space of its own representational system. The
enfolding of contemporary canons to revisit architecture
limits proposes the institution of a state of suspension
that demands the recognition of a hybrid transitory
space—therefore a space suspended between a potential
topological surface-space and its referential Cartesian
coordinate system, a space defined as Cartopological
(Figure 6). This formulation is the base for a manifesto
to suspend the continuous state of pendulum revolution
in architecture history: a non-dialectical, a-historical
synthesis that is able to attack a long lasting
metaphysical project.
Figure 5. Analog surface-matrix algorithm that computes
digital strategies among interfaces as it indexes information
in multiple topological and typological levels.
Figure 6. House I, Cartopological space-diagram by
Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, Buenos Aires, 2009.
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References
Wölfin H. (1964; orig. 1888). Renaissance and Baroque. New York: Cornell U. Press.
Derrida J. (1978). La vérité en peinture. París : Flammarion.
Kant, I. (1951, orig. 1781 ). Chapter III: “e architectonics of Pure Reason”. In e Critique of Pure Reason. William Benton Publishers.
Derrida, J. (1976). Of Grammatology, Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition. e Athlone Press Limited.
Panofsky, E. (1991. orig. 1924-1925). Perspective as Symbolic Form. New York: Zone Books.
Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature. A Necessary Unit. New York: Dutton. And other writings.
Fry, B. (2007). Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment, O’Reilly.
Prigogine, I. (2000). “e Networked Society”. In Journal of World-Systems Research. Volume IV, Number 3.
Tafuri, M. (1973). Progetto e utopia: Architettura e sviluppo capitalistico. Bari: Laterza.
Bateson, G. (1973). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. London: Paladin Books.
Lorenzo-Eiroa, P. (2008). Instalaciones: Sobre el Trabajo de Peter Eisenman. Buenos Aires: DLO/RE.
Wittkower, R. (1971, orig. 1949). Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism. New York: Norton & Co.
Vidler, A. (2000). Warped Space. MIT press.
Credits
Figure 1. Perspective diagram by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, New York, 2007.
Figure 2. Mississippi River Delta, Arch 177, e Cooper Union and diagrams by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, New York, 2006.
Figure 3. Palazzo Chiericati diagram by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, New York, 2008.
Figure 4. Topological surface and Möbius surface enfolding, diagram by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, New York, 2010.
Figure 5. Surface-matrix interfaces by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, New York, 2008-2010.
Figure 6. House I, project diagram by Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, Buenos Aires, 2009.
ACADIA2010
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Prigogine outlines the areas of conceptual overlap between chaos/complexity theory and world-systems analysis/theory.
Article
By the term Architectonic I mean the art of constructing a system. Without systematic unity, our knowledge cannot become a science. Thus, Architectonic is the doctrine of the scientific in cognition, and therefore necessarily forms part of our methodology. Our purpose at present is merely to sketch the plan of the Architectonic of all cognition given by pure reason; and we begin from the point where the main root of human knowledge divides into two, one of which is reason. By reason I understand here the whole higher faculty of cognition, the rational being placed in contradistinction to the empirical. In view of the complete systematic unity of reason, there can only be one ultimate end of all the operations of the mind. To this all other aims are subordinate, and nothing more than means for its attainment. Thus ultimate end is the destination of man, and the philosophy which relates to it is termed Moral Philosophy. But as pure Moral Philosophy properly forms a part of this system of cognition, we must allow it to retain the name of Metaphysic. This chapter concludes with a detailed discussion of the metaphysics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
La vérité en peinture. París : Flammarion
  • J Derrida
Derrida J. (1978). La vérité en peinture. París : Flammarion.
Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment
  • G Bateson
Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature. A Necessary Unit. New York: Dutton. And other writings. Fry, B. (2007). Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment, O'Reilly.
  • I Prigogine
Prigogine, I. (2000). "The Networked Society". In Journal of World-Systems Research. Volume IV, Number 3.