Architecture in the Making
Architecture as a Making Discipline
and Material Practice


The Strange Case of Parametric Architecture, ca 1989–2008

Slávik, Andrej

Project Contact: andrej.slavik@chalmers.se
Project Type: Postdoc
Project Period: 201207–201412

Description

At the point of intersection between history and anthropology, this project attempts to chart the history of parametric architecture as an instance of digitization in contemporary culture, resulting in a peculiarly two-faced portrait. On the one hand, the application of complex conceptual schemes, cutting-edge material technologies and the latest in digital simulation, modeling and visualization software makes parametric architecture the most recent advance in high-tech construction. On the other hand, its weirdly undulating forms are almost invariably organic in inspiration, indirectly referring to and sometimes relying directly on biological rather than technological models.

In this respect, parametric architecture is arguably reminiscent of another “strange case”, namely, that of Jekyll and Hyde. On the one hand, a man of science, well educated, highly civilized and outwardly respectable; on the other, a wild, disfigured brute possessed by elemental energies. Still, for all its arresting quality, the comparison with Jekyll and Hyde remains a caricature, one-sided in spite of being two-faced and accurate only by virtue of its inaccuracy. To procure a more precise depiction of parametric architecture, the project will try to disentangle the two sides of its split personality – and perhaps even discover how they could be reconciled.

Bio(s)

Andrej Slávik is a historian. He earned his PhD in the history of ideas with a dissertation on the aesthetic theories of the Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001). Among his research interests are post-war intellectual culture, the theory of historical practice, and aesthetics in the broadest possible sense.

Output

  2014 (1)
Architecture, Photography and the Contemporary Past. Caldenby, C.; Slávik, A.; Tedroff, J.; and Farran-Lee, M. Art and Theory Publishing, 2014.
Architecture, Photography and the Contemporary Past [link]Paper   bibtex   abstract   buy   1 download
  2013 (1)
Substance and (Digital) Function. The Case of Parametric Architecture. Slávik, A. In Anders Burman, Rebecka Lettevall & Sven-Eric Liedman (red.), Löftet om lycka. Estetik, musik, bildning. Till Sten Dahlstedt, volume s. 333-348. Anders Burman, Rebecka Lettevall & Sven-Eric Liedman (red.), Löftet om lycka. Estetik, musik, bildning. Till Sten Dahlstedt, 2013.
Substance and (Digital) Function. The Case of Parametric Architecture [link]Paper   bibtex   buy   3 downloads


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