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January 02, 2006

Transforming Digital Architecture from Virtual to Neuro:

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An Interview with Brian Massumi

"The introduction of digital techniques into architecture, and the preoccupation with the virtual that came with it, brought up some very old questions with a new intensity. The change came at a time when the idea of "virtual reality" was very current in popular culture and had a major presence in the mass media. "Virtual reality" was used as a synonym for "artificial reality." There was something of an apocalyptic tone to many commentaries, to the effect that the new generation of digital technology was creating a technological cocoon around human beings that would separate them from any direct access to the world, and would denature human relations.

...Digital techniques in architecture added a new twist that changed the terms in which this question could be asked. This is because the software put into use by innovative architects such as Greg Lynn was evolutionary rather than representational. Rather than using traditional CAD software, where basic geometrical forms are reproduced and then modified or rearranged, architects employed special effects software...So you begin by programming forces rather than forms...[B]ecause of the complexity of the system, you can't predict exactly what the outcome will be." -- Brian Massumi, Transforming Digital Architecture from Virtual to Neuro: An Interview with Brian Massumi by Thomas Markussen & Thomas Birch, Intelligent Agent, Vol 5 #2.

Posted by jo at January 2, 2006 04:25 PM

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