Saturday, May 2, 2009

What's new?


Some thoughts on innovation. Architects now crave for WOWs. They will do whatever to shock people, and call that innovation. It seems to me most of the wow factors are just being different. "Wow that's new! It's never been done before!" But does this "new" thing make any sense at all?

Innovations, by definition, are positive changes. They should make things easier and better, not just different. Think about 3D printing a cube, or CNC routing a square piece of plywood. Yes, those are new ways of making things, but do they improve efficiency? Productivity? Perhaps not even quality since the powder may come off and the plywood may get cracked by the bit. I do appreciate the value of asking "why not," but asking WHY is of equal importance, if not more.

1 comment:

e66u said...

Architects continually strive for the new partially because they [typically] don't have a metric to gauge what they're doing. It's not space shuttle design where an increase in weight is bad, means more fuel, etc. Architecture can be almost anything and it "works." Maybe it's just time we actually figure out a rigorous metric... (not thinking leed here...)