Architecture, Technology and Process
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This new selection of essays follows Chris Abel's previous best selling collection, Architecture and Identity. Drawing upon a wide range of knowledge and disciplines, the author argues that, underlying technological changes in the process of architectural production are fundamental changes in the way we think about machines and the world we live in.
Key topics include: new patterns of urbanism in the fast growing cities of asia pacific; metaphorical extensions of mind and body in cyberspace; the divergent European and North American values shaping Sir Norman Foster's and Frank Gehry's work, and the collaborative work methods and technologies creating the adaptable design pratices of today.
way, but it is not a sufficient reason for not taking action to prevent events which clearly have such self-destructive consequences. Paradoxically, the root cause of this and similar environmental disasters is more likely to be found in the cosy alliance between state patronage and private interests which typifies business patterns in Asia Pacific and which has been generally credited with the region’s economic success. Often linked by regional leaders with ‘Asian values’, the same centralized
needs of their inhabitants’, are all metaphors borrowed from common urbanists’ parlance, with a definite leaning toward conventional Western spatial concepts and systems of order. Neither is Mitchell alone in using baroque concepts in trying to represent cyberspace. At the height of Net fever and in the same year as Mitchell published his City of Bits, Time magazine ran a special issue, ‘Welcome to Cyberspace’,6 the front cover of which depicted a series of computer chips with ‘doorways’ cut into
extent, but in a different way. The difference may be stated by saying that these feelings are not watched in themselves but that I watch something else by keeping aware of them. I know the feelings in the palm of my hand by relying on them for attending to the hammer hitting the nail. I may say that I have a subsidiary awareness of the feelings in my hand which is merged into my focal awareness of my driving the nail.41 (Polanyi and Prosch, 1975, p. 33) Similar examples of everyday skills
we are finally abandoning the Cartesian notion of a division of mind and body, we are embarking on an adventure of creating a world that is the precise embodiment of that division.50 (Novak, 1995, p. 241) However, not all the blame can be laid on Descartes’ doorstep. If cybernauts’ fantasies are shaped by good old fashioned Cartesian dualism, they are just as much a product of the persistent idea – call it the ‘clean sweep’ theory of innovation – that every major innovation, whether technological
Modernism’s roots.9 ᭤ 4.25 Carre d’Art, Nimes, France. View from portico of Roman temple opposite. Norman Foster, 1984–93. Photo: Tim Soar. Alis-Ch04.qxd 5/8/04 11:39 AM Page 112 112 ARCHITECTURE, TECHNOLOGY AND PROCESS Sculptural architecture Meanwhile, back in California, in the mid-1980s Gehry was also entering a new phase in his career, and had begun to experiment with a curvaceous, overtly sculptural language of form, making endless models until he felt he had it just right – an