Saturday, December 23, 2006

Why we need to learn Rhinoscript: A manifesto of sorts

Scripting in architecture, also known as computational design seems to be the current trend. So what's the big deal and why should we be a part of it?

In answering this question I'd like for us to come up with a new relevance for scripting in architecture, one that goes beyond form generation, or unique structure as we see at Sciarc. Already the division between scripting, parametric modeling, and B.I.M. software is going away to where they are all being connected into one big organizational software such as Generative Components, or Digital Project. This is very exciting in that never before has the designer played as much of a role as the designing software as they are now. Through scripting we are able to create the tools we want to use rather than picking from what the available software has to offer.

This is all good and as architects it will be necessary for us to know this stuff. My real beef is with what the prominent architects are doing with this new freedom. Around school what I see is a leaning toward complexity, complexity far beyond the capabilities of construction. What this means is that designs are visionary at best, mental masturbation at worst. You be the judge but it's safe to say that most of the projects proposed at Sciarc cannot be built tomorrow. This in as of itself is not a problem and I love to think in these big terms, but as a practical measure I want to also pursue scripting in terms of what it takes to get the job done. For those of you that saw the lecture by Roberto in 4A you know what I mean. Using scripting as a tool to simplify and automate the process. In the practicing environment this economy of speed and labour results in real savings, a way for us to actually make lots of money with our knowledge. This makes people that can script, i.e. us, a major component of any design & construction process.

I'd like to hear from those of you in Evan Douglas' studio to see your take on this stuff.

Here are several links to people already thinking about this.

The Yale Symposium <-- this is very interesting

The Gehry Method
A lecture that introduces concepts of BIM and Parametric Design