Over the last decade, 'parametricism' has been heralded as a new avant-garde in the industries of architecture, urban design, and industrial design, regarded by many as the next grand style in the history of architecture, heir to postmodernism and deconstruction. From buildings to cities, the built environment is increasingly addressed, designed and constructed using digital software based on parametric scripting platforms which claim to be able to process complex physical and social modelling alike. As more and more digital tools are developed into an apparently infinite repertoire of socio-technical functions, critical questions concerning these cultural and technological shifts are often eclipsed by the seductive aesthetic and the alluring futuristic imaginary that parametric design tools and their architectural products and discourses represent. The Politics of Parametricism addresses these issues, offering a collection of new essays written by leading international thinkers in the fields of digital design, architecture, theory and technology.
Exploring the social, political, ethical and philosophical issues at stake in the history, practice and processes of parametric architecture and urbanism, each chapter provides different vantage points to interrogate the challenges and opportunities presented by this latest mode of technological production.
Explores the social and political consequences of the rise of parametric digital design as both a style and a working process in architecture and urbanism.
1. Introduction Matthew Poole, Freelance Curator/Writer, UK and Manuel Shvartzberg, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 2. The Historical Pertinence of Parametricism and the Prospect of a Free Market Urban Order Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects, UK 3. On Numbers, More or Less Reinhold Martin, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 4. There is No Such Thing as a Political Architecture; There is No Such Thing as Digital Architecture Neil Leach, USC School of Architecture, USA 5. Parametricist Architecture Would be a Good Idea Benjamin Bratton, University of California, San Diego, USA 6. 'Play Turtle, Do It Yourself': Flocks, Swarms, Schools, and the Political-Architectural Imaginary Manuel Shvartzberg, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 7. Breeding Ideology: Parametricism and Biological Architecture Christina Cogdell, University of California, Davis, USA 8. Speculation, Presumption and Assumption: The Ideology of Algebraic-to-Parametric Workspace Matthew Poole, Freelance Curator/Writer, UK 9. Undelete: Recreating Uncensored Archives Laura Kurgan & Dan Taeyoung, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 10. Architecture as Disputing Calculations: Notes for a Pragmatic Reframing of Parametricism and Architecture Andres Jaque, Andres Jaque Architects: Office for Political Innovation, Spain 11. Parametric Schizophrenia Peggy Deamer, Yale School of Architecture, USA 12. The Architecture of Neoliberalism Teddy Cruz, University of California, San Diego, USA 13. Parameter Value Phillip G. Bernstein, Autodesk, USA 14. Spinoza's Geometric and Ecological Ratios Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, UK Index