Simulated Paradoxes at the ACSA Fall Conference

Simulating Paradoxes Front Page

Professor Ford and I just presented “Simulating Paradoxes” at the ACSA Fall Conference. I am very proud of what we wrote. I am equally proud of the discussion we encouraged amoung our lovely peers.

It was a stimulating conference, and there were some very impressive ideas presented. Folks traveled from architecture schools in Michigan, California, Washington, Texas — all over — to hear what was being discussed and contribute to the dialogue.

Our paper focused on the increasingly important role of simulation in architectural design. Our thrust is that simulations’ importance still relies on a grand tradition of representational conventions, but also expands the possibilities for what designers can accomplish. Here’s the Thesis Paragraph:

For the last four hundred years, the architectural design process used drawings and physical models, where calculation and communication were combined, in a paradigm of Representation.5 This paper points to an emerging design process, where architectural ideas – through sketches, drawings, and physical models – are inserted into a digital environment that simulates built-medium phenomena. This paper presents evidence to signal a shift to an adjusted way of thinking about architecture: the paradigm of Simulation. This new paradigm features compositional ideas first interrogated in simulations, and communicated in representations.

Both Prof. Ford and I hold special pride in the conclusion, entitled “Drawing is not Dead.” We feel that the 2012 Yale Symposium “Is Drawing Dead?” did not answer that important question for architects. It should have. As educators, we think it is the academy’s role to provide a theoretical framework for how drawing will hold a primary place among the new architectural tools introduced every year. We hope this discussion will continue when we present the paper at an NYIT SoA+D lecture this winter.