WIT Press

Practically Digital


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WIT Press


D. Briscoe


In the recent article \“Digital Complex”, Stan Allen observes a shift from virtual experiments in continuous surfaces and complex biomorphic forms to a more pragmatic interest in integrating the digital and the analogue, the real and the virtual, or the everyday and the fantastic. This paper presents design processes that utilize computers, small rapid prototyping devices in conjunction with traditional sketch ideation to fabricate realistic and creative form. This paper posits that the observations made in Allen’s article are currently reinforced pedagogically in that digital processes are moving away from the preoccupation with the virtual world and its representations; emphasizing instead the means of practical methods of digital fabrication and assemblage of the real. Undoubtedly, design education shows promise of reinforcing the strategic and operative potentials of the computer. Similarly, the observations characterize the existing design methodologies of architect Frank Gehry as I experienced during my time working in his office. His process does, in fact, rely as much on the analogue as it does on the digital. The research currently aims to define and demonstrate the benefits of using a combination of selected digital processes and analogue techniques in use with the design of a single-family, residential project. Again, rather than placing importance on the formal expression that digital design promotes, this paper argues for a new form of creative practice that digital technology enables. Keywords: digital fabrication, digital design, digital/analogue processes. 1 Introduction Between the idea and the building there is always a process by which a project is informed, explored and brought to life. Conventionally, this process starts with a series of sketches that evolve into a presentation model and/or hand documents that presumably describe the architecture of the building. As the computer


digital fabrication, digital design, digital/analogue processes.