[ISEA2017] Panel: Aaron Brakke — Evolved Architectural Representation: From Orthographic Drawings to Corporal Mapping and Swarm Behaviour

Panel Statement

Panel: Cinematic Experiences and Bio Visualization 

Keywords: Anthropocentric Design, Motion Capture, Computational Design Thinking, Morphogenesis, Architecture

Traditionally architecture has employed a limited oeuvre of drawings and two-dimensional representations to communicate what a design is. Sketches have served as a means to share preliminary ideas. The development of a project then resorts to orthographic projections that include scaled versions of the plans, sections and elevations. Axonometric, isometric and perspective drawings are also commonly utilized. Computers were adopted by architects at the end of the twentieth century to aid in the creation of these drawings. The desktop computer is still predominantly used for computer aided drawing (computerization which is representational) and to improve efficiency. However, this posture undermines the use of computation (algorithmic processes that require the definition of variables and actions) which is laden with potential for much more powerful operations that may deduce fitness and effectiveness which help to achieve greater levels of performance. “Systematic, adaptive variation, continuous differentiation, and dynamic, parametric figuration concerns all design tasks from urbanism to the level of tectonic detail.” (Schumacher, 2008) This shift towards computational design thinking is occurring and requires designers to shift the focus of design operations towards iterative processes. Furthermore, morphogenetic design processes, inspired be Goethe’s work on natural morphology, mark a turn from the predetermined end-product of form towards formation. On one level biology has inspired designers towards an evolutionary paradigm that seeks emergence order from chaos. (Frazer 1995, Holland 2000). At another level, design inspired by nature and biomimetic practices have led to a questioning of the degree to which an architect can engage with living matter. This paper highlights some of this development in relation to science (biology) and visualization. The text is illustrated with the work of the author and his students

  • Aaron Brakke is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (USA) and a licensed architect in Colombia. He holds undergraduate degrees in environmental design and in architecture and a post-professional Master of Architecture from Ball State University. He participated in the Ecosa Institute’s Regenerative Design Program at Arcosanti. He has worked with Joseph Giovannini and at Architectonics (Winka Dubbeldam) in New York. Brakke spent a decade in the city of Bogotá, Colombia where he founded Whiteknee and was a Professor of Architecture at the Universidad Piloto de Colombia. At this institution, he founded and directed the Center of Innovation which blends digital fabrication machinery with tools for Simulation and Visualization (VR and Augmented Reality). His primary research interest is situated in understanding how the evolution of technology has impacted the construction practices and the vernacular epistemology of indigenous communities located in the Andes mountain range.

Full text (PDF) p. 712-715