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Cyberarchitecture: the virtualisation of architecture beyond representation towards interactivity

Baltazar dos Santos, A.P.; (2009) Cyberarchitecture: the virtualisation of architecture beyond representation towards interactivity. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Architects usually design finished buildings and users are subjected to conform their actions to an anticipated functionality. This results from the traditional design process based on representation clearly separating design, building and use. Such a process is welcome in capitalism as design guarantees the commodity value of works of architecture. However, those best able to decide on the use of spaces are their users. So, instead of emphasising exchange value and predicting use in a finished design that obstructs people, as architects do, it is more desirable that spaces enable free and unanticipated uses, emphasising use value. The use of computers in architecture, associated with the 'virtual', reproduces the traditional design process without questioning it. Nevertheless, in this thesis 'virtual' means something that exists but has not happened yet, waiting people's interaction to manifest as an event. This might be digital or not and is related to process, not product. This thesis proposes the 'virtualisation' of the design process and architecture. The former implies the critique of representation, which, by means of drawings, fixes the final form and meaning of buildings before they are built and used, and emphasises the visually perceived over the lived spatial qualities of buildings. The latter implies the critique of finished buildings subjecting users to external constraints imposed by architects. This thesis asks architects to stop designing ends (drawings of finished buildings) and start devising means ('interfaces' such as procedures and software) with which people can engage in non-habitual and autonomous ways to negotiate the production of their own spaces. However, it proposes no particular procedure or software, as architects are not supposed to solve people's problems for them, but work towards the virtual. 'Interfaces' are possible 'virtual' products and 'cyberarchitecture' the spaces that emerge when people interact with such interfaces.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Cyberarchitecture: the virtualisation of architecture beyond representation towards interactivity
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture

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