Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Design and construction
In the Machine Age, architectural revolution started with new materials and new construction technologies. The Crystal Palace and the Eiffel Tower showed the world new possibilities of glass and metal. And then came the reinvention of ferroconcrete. Architects of the time - Corb, Mies, Groupius, to name a few - reacted to these new ways of construction and redefined the types and aesthetics of architecture, moving away from the heaviness and rigidity of stone construction and adopting a system of lightness and freedom. In this case, design innovations were originated from reality.
The integrated circuit has led us into the Computer Age. The change, if you refuse to use the term revolution, in architecture in the last decade had its origins from technology as well. But this time, it's not new construction methods but new mediums of design and representation. With the help of digital design tools, architects can explore whatever weird forms they want and create dazzling realistic images to show them. Unlike the situations in the early 20th century, construction techniques of our time struggle to catch up. What dominates the scene now becomes a wild collection of images of hollow funny shapes, and their clumsy realizations.
This is sort of a continued thought from the previous post. I am not sure where this comparison leads. I just feel it's something worth writing down...