Maria Flores (2016)

The Fourth Revolution: The Digital Era

This essay/article was written for a Theories II class with professor Neil Leach. The essay talks about how we are in this new era of architectural design where the technology around us has been helping us so much in the actual design of projects. Parametricism is a new way of finding a code in nature and actually finding information for it to create a completely new design. It is very interesting in the fact that this new revolution we are in will completely change our notions of cities and buildings and actually connect us more as people.

Utopia For Sale

The idea that good design matters seems so pervasive as to be a near-truism. One would be hard pressed to find materials - books, magazines, podcasts, et cetera - that do not bemoan a lack of good design. But what is meant by the term good design? Is it an objective term describing an object's particular qualities, or is it a function of a user's subjectivities? Enter the leagues of design experts, writers, and consultants willing to provide guidance and polemics. Consider, for example, a 2001 roundtable discussion from Wired called A Conversation About the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Featuring a diverse body of designers and thinkers, the piece appears as a series of infinitely quotable morsels that dissect previously held misconceptions about the value of design while at the same time offering a bit of prognostication tinged with some historical reflection. At one point, Paola Antonelli, a senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at New York%u2019s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), claims that People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It's not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. When compared along with everything else said during the discussion, this statement appears as a moment of untrammeled clarity, a provocation aimed to steer everyone away from a potentially meandering conversation about design. But it is also important to consider the rest of Antonelli's quote, especially when she claims that 'Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn't know it was missing'.


Architectors: Specific architectural competencies

PhD dissertation by Katrine Lotz from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts' School of Architecture, 2008. What strategies are evoked to obtain architecture, and how are they achieved? How do competencies, power and interests performed in the processes of architectural ‘be-comings’ work? This dissertation examines different concepts of competence, and discuss their relevance when studying architectural practices. The dissertation presents a variety of empirical accounts and analysis. In these, architectural be-coming is investigated in a double and interrelated sense: the be-coming of architecture, and the be-coming of architects.


15 Rules for Rebuilding the World

When architect Christopher Alexander released his 1977 manifesto A Pattern Language, he argued that good architecture is simply a matter of applying core principles. The book garnered a small but fanatical following and inspired a movement in software: Programmers, tired of reinventing the wheel, began compiling libraries of solutions for common coding problems. In recent years, the pattern method has influenced interface designers, usability engineers, and game developers like Will Wright. Now Alexander, 67, has a new treatise. Written over the course of three decades, The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (Center for Environmental Structure) is polemical, ambitious, and contrarian. "I didn't set out to write a book about the universe," he says. "I just wanted to heal architecture." The four-volume set outlines the properties that Alexander believes underlie beauty in art, nature, and great buildings. Because his ideas fill 2,150 pages, here's the abridged version.

Studio Wikitecture: Opening Architecture

mproving Architecture and City Planning by Harnessing the Ideas behind Mass Collaboration, Social Networking, Wikis, Folksonomies, Open Source, Prosumers, Networked Intelligence, Crowd Sourcing, Crowd Wisdom, Smart Mobs, Peer Production, Lightweight Collaboration, Emergent Intelligence, Social Production, Self-Organized Communities, Collective Genius, Loose Networks of Peers, Collaborative Infrastructures, Open platforms, Wiki Workplace, Open Innovation, Horizontal Networks, Collective Intelligence, Global Innovation Networks, Swarm Intelligence, Decentralized Collaboration, Participatory Culture, Web 2.0...and the like.

Heretical Tent

In the south of France is a house whose tent-like form follows the contours of the land and mimics the curvature of a nearby ancient stone wall. It is an example of "architecture by stealth." Not only does its green fabric covering blend into the natural environment, but the structure is nearly invisible to building officials.