Susannah Hagan boldly discusses the fraught relationship between key dominating areas of architectural discourse - digital design, environmental design, and avant-garde design.
Digitalia firstly demonstrates that drawing such firm lines between architectural spheres is damaging and foolish, particularly as both environmental and avant-garde practices are experimenting with the digital, and secondly remonstrates with an avant-garde that has repudiated the social/ethical agenda of the modernist avant-garde because it failed the first time round. It is environmental architecture that has picked up the social/ethical ball and is running with it, using the digital to very different, and more far-reaching, ends.
As the debates rage, this book is a key read for all who are involved or intrigued.
Introduction 1. Deep Background Binary Opposites. Binary Dependencies. New Dependencies. Melds 2. The Avant-Garde: Autonomous or Engaged? The Avant-Garde's Dilemma. Manfredo Tafuri. Theodor Adorno. An Avant-Garde Now 3. The Autonomous Avant-Garde and the Digital: From Formalism to Nature. Procedural Innovation: Practice. Procedural Innovation: The Academy. The Parametric Past: Structuralism. Christopher Alexander and Generative Rules. The Dissenters. In Pursuit of Novelty. Nature Restored 4. The Engaged Avant-Garde and the Digital: From Nature to Environmental Design. Closing the Loop. Modelling Built Behaviours. Productive Form-Finding. Constructible Parametrics 5. The Avant-Garde: Meeting in the City. The Groningen Experiment. EnGen. Conclusion