Designers employ a variety of tools and techniques for speculating about buildings before they are built. In their simplest form, these are personal thought experiments. However, embracing advanced computer simulations means engaging a network of specialized people and powerful machines. In this book, Yanni Alexander Loukissas demonstrates that new tools have profound implications for the social distribution of design work; computer simulations are technologies for collective imagination.
Organized around the accounts of professional designers engaged in a high-stakes competition to redefine their work for the technological moment, this book explores the emerging cultures of computer simulation in architecture. Not only architects, but acousticians, fire safety engineers, and sustainability experts see themselves as co-designers in architecture, engaging new technologies for simulation in an evolving search for the roles and relationships that can bring them both professional acceptance and greater control over design. By illustrating how practices of simulation inform the social relationships and professional distinctions that define contemporary architecture, the book examines the cultural transformations taking place in design practice today.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. Introducing the Electronic Brain 2. Cultures of Simulation 3. "Special Men" and Universal Machines 4. How Do Simulations Know? 5. Towards a Pluralistic Formalism 6. Designers in Dialog 7. Human, Machine, and Environment
Yanni Alexander Loukissas is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at MIT. He has also been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. He holds an SM and a PhD in Design and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a BArch from Cornell University.
"This book is more than a conversation starter; it is a conversation changer. A designer and an ethnographer, Loukissas provides a rare dual vision on how simulation changes how we build and think about building. Elegant. Sophisticated. A must-read across a range of fields in science and technology studies and design." – Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of theSocial Studies of Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
"One of the things that often gets missed in stories of technological change is the way that it often accompanies changes in professional relations, and that's something that Co-Designers illustrates beautifully"
Paul Dourish, professor, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Irvine, USA