Algorithmic Design

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Tom
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Algorithmic Design

Post by Tom »


Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4311
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Tom,
Thanks for posting this article. Very interesting.

I heard several years ago that someone had come up with software
that could design Prairie Style buildings.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10126
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The significant adjective in the definition of algorithm is "unambiguous," which is to say that, like all things computer-driven, everything that comes out is already within. The quality that individual architects contribute to design is the ambiguous. I doubt there is a computer on Earth that is wired like Frank Lloyd Wright's brain.

SDR
Posts: 19303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

One positive attribute of such a program is that it can present many different solutions to a given architectural or planning problem, potentially speeding up the process of making decisions on the part of the designer.

No one is suggesting that a machine can duplicate the artist's decision-making skills and talents---as I read it.

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10126
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

There is confusion in the article, which suggests that design considerations can become automatic. I am no Luddite, but I sometimes think the computer is not used with care. It is just another tool. It hastens the process, but does not necessarily improve it in the long run.

SDR
Posts: 19303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

...making it much like any other tool. Substitute Wright's word, "machine," for "computer," and your sentence reads equally well---doesn't it ?

S

Matt2
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Post by Matt2 »

Not sure about an algorithm, but I've always thought there was an if-then process to Wright's design. It started with a big decision...maybe the module he chose...and that led to subsequent decisions. For example, that module decision eventually leads to the shape and placement of overhead lights. This could also be seen as part of an organic "total design" philosophy.

Tom
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

I've become a Luddite,
or at least a good candidate for one.

SDR
Posts: 19303
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The architect must simultaneously solve for multiple problems---client brief and site condition, for a start---while applying his own aesthetic preferences,
including an appropriate material palette, to a chosen structural scheme. These five elements will of course affect each other in varying degrees.

Ever was it thus ?

S

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

In the early 1990’s, a book and a MAC based software disk was marketed that with some dimensional and story height inputs would generate a floor plan and elevation based on the proportions of Andrea Palladio. I bought the package and played with it, finding the results were varied making some ridiculous outcomes and some good ones. I came away finding the software a good tool for learning about the “mathematics� of Palladio’s methodology, but also the limitations of an algorithm.

The software in the article may be more of the same...it will be up to the human using the software to vet the results generated by an unthinking procedural machine. It should be noted that an architect hones his or her skill as a designer by the ACT of designing...simple selection from a menu of results will not provide the same mental exercise. Other than a “time saver� to attempt to increase profits at the expense of the architect’s individual thought and care for his or her clients, I see this as a downward spiral in the already increasingly formulaic built environment.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10126
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

DNR, ditto.

Tom
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

In addition to the above, one of the frustrations I face
as a sole practitioner with many interests, is my inability
to retain software operational skills over certain time
spans of non use.
On the other hand I've never been capable of forgetting
how to use the more intimate and less expensive pencil.

Zooming in on the drawings from the Hollyhock archives
makes me wish, in part, that I was 18 years old and that it was
sometime before 1933.

I grow old, I grow old
but I refuse to wear my
"trousers rolled."

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Ditto, ditto... One questionable contribution of technology to architecture has been an innate alteration of the profession itself. The "amount" of architecture today is mind boggling. Yet many "practicing" today most likely in the past would not have had any particular interest, and more pointedly, would not have "made the grade" without CAD, BIM, Sketchup, etc, etc... opening up the field to many more as a "positive" is barely relevant. There are intrinsic talents exhibited by good design that once contributed to success or failure. A sensibility has emerged that just about anything and everything is possible, and even acceptable, with technology and by just about anyone. The result has made a safe sameness of design ubiquitous and too often without the spark of human creativity, which a computer can't provide if lacking in the user.

I unsubscribed to ArchDaily, tiring of seeing this overload "daily". Of course, good and even great things are being done, but that would still be the case with only T-square's and triangles. This is not a screed against technology or it's value to progress. Only a consequence, in my opinion, of what I see and experience. No doubt this not a commonly shared view...

Tom
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Yes, there is a spiritual and/or psychological component to all this.
The "overload" phenomena is real.
I have NEVER considered myself conservative, but I have simply not been able to keep up, "spiritually," with the flow rate of time in architecture today.
I consider in part this is because architecture is always so closely connected to the reign of contemporary power.
And that contemporaneous power has completely lost it's way.

UpOnGoblinHill
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:41 pm

Post by UpOnGoblinHill »

As a young person who deeply loves architecture (and has been picturing his own house 'round a hill in the same way our beloved Frank had,) I can guarantee that the 'overload' phenomena is real for many others too JimM. Especially, I think, for young architects and architectural critics, who see a glut of content thanks to technology, but a lack of evocative design using it.

The 'Sameness' JimM talks about is very real for me especially. I think in the end that modular algorithmic design has a place in architecture, but like all new technologies, I hope a suitable application is found that does not devalue the human element.

I love that technology has made architectural design more accessible. I'd be stranded without it, but I'll still take my own line on paper over the CAD drawings I need any day.

Post Reply