Design Modelling Symposium Berlin 2011

Complexity and Responsibility
Computational Processes and the Physical Production of Space

Part I - Workshops   08.10. – 09.10. 2011
Part II - Conference 10.10. – 12.10. 2011 

In its third edition the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin constitutes a platform for dialogue on experimental practice and research within the field of computationally informed architectural design.

Contemporary architectural production employs an increasing number of computational tools that undergo continuous proliferation of function and changing allocations within the design process. CAD/CAM technologies have matured into applications with increasingly user-friendly programme structures and an efficient exchange between various analytical tools. Computational geometry allows the design and manufacturing of complex surface configurations, beyond the repertoire of analogue architectural practices constrained by the boundaries of descriptive geometry. Part of a well-known production sequence in other industries, the broader bandwidth of CAM technologies could now be beneficially assessed for novel architectural expression through control over its digitally describable content. 

Besides these innovative developments that have changed the workflow and conceptual apprehension of a wide range of contemporary architectural practices and academia, limitations in strategies and medially presented designs have become apparent. The relationship between tool and developed design often seems reversed, which provokes a reading of computationally designed buildings as a reductionist materialisation of the available software possibilities that shaped them. Design solutions for complex building programmes, within a moderate financial frame and with a rich conceptual approach that ventures beyond established theoretical paradigms of computational practice, are rarely encountered.

On the basis of these observations a need for a novel and critical evaluation of the relationships between tool, concept and final materialisation appears valuable. The promise of architecture designed through computational processes lies in the manifold solutions that exceed human calculative capacities. One good example is the integration of FEM-based analysis procedures and generative form-finding methods. However, these processes depend strongly on boundary conditions induced in problem se-tup defined by the architect or engineer. Each optimisation - be it structural or environmental - therefore represents only an optimisation state under given momentary conditions, and in no way represents a final solution or even an indication for changing the design conceptually. The complexity of the interconnected and often competing information required to shape a building - be it explicitly describable or not - still remains a challenge for contemporary computational processes. A future architectural practice needs to cultivate a critical awareness of such limitations in order to develop successful future strategies for design interaction and implementation of computational possibilities.

This critical dialogue aims to expand the findings of computational processes within the field of architecture to develop a broader and less exotic building practice that bears more subtle but powerful traces of the complex tool set and approaches we have developed and studied over recent years.

With this symposium, thus we would like to promote discussion on new strategies for a reasonable and innovative implementation of digital potential in truly innovative and radical design guided by both responsibility towards processes and the consequences they initiate.

Important Dates
Call for abstracts    01.12.2010
Deadline for abstracts    14.02.2011
Notification about abstracts    03.04.2011
Deadline for full papers    13.06.2011
Notification about papers    18.07.2011

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