Digital Culture: Architecture and Cities

The rise of digital culture has coincided with a profound change in architecture that goes beyond the spectacular forms produced with the help of the computer. Some fundamental dimensions of architecture are changing under our eyes. Scale is no longer evident. Tectonic is challenged by the new structural logic made possible by advanced computing. This seminar intends to examine more closely these shifts with the ambition to relate them to more general issues like the new importance taken by the individual in our postmodern world, or the transformation that is affecting materiality, that is the way we relate to the physical world through sensory experience. A proper understanding of this series of evolutions requires a critical assessment of the situation that goes beyond the prejudices of na??ve techno-enthusiasm or its contrary. For that purpose the seminar will mobilize both theoretical and historical references. Gille Deleuze\’s Bruno Latour\’s or Peter Sloterdijk\’s writings will provide useful keys, along with 1950s and 1960s cybernetic architecture, from Eero Saarinen\’s corporate realizations to Cedric Price Fun Palace project. Last but not least, the questions raised by digital architecture are inseparable from issues regarding public spaces and the urban experience. The seminar intends to address the urban dimension by interrogating notions such as telepresence, augmented reality, digital mapping. Beside active participation, students enrolled will give a presentation and write a final paper on a topic related to the seminar. Some themes of discussion:-Fields, gradients, emergence: what is the real for digital designers?-Experiments in forms and computation, from diagrams to algorithmics-Questioning smoothness and elegance-Towards a performative architecture-The crisis of scale and tectonic-Digital subjectivity: from the cyborg to the networked brain perspective-Surface, ornament and affect-Public space and augmented reality-Digital mapping and the contemporary city