Start your review of Algorithmic Architecture Write a review Jan 05, Johnjbrantley rated it really liked it I am about halfway through this book and am betting that the best is to come. The author seems to have a good grasp of computational and design thinking and how to integrate the two. So far, he has offered some pretty solid and common sense advice on how to go about it. Maybe I like this book because I have similar opinions and interests as the author. It is refreshing to hear an informed argument about computers in design. We all used them in school, but there seemed to be a lack of theoretical I am about halfway through this book and am betting that the best is to come.
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Though this presents a false-fork, it does caricature two sides of an imbalanced debate…a debate that Algorithmic Architecture enters into in an odd way. Algorithmic Architecture is a strange book.
I want to be clear: I am not opposed to strange books. Flatland is a strange book. All three books are riddled with paradox and contradiction. However, whereas the later two classic works of fiction approach abstraction in a lively and poetic manner — sometimes morphing contradiction into fleeting insight — Algorithmic Architecture contradicts itself in much more confounding fashion… Let me first say that the structure of Algorithmic Architecture is truly eclectic.
At the outset, he presents many structural supports on which to frame his argument, but little actual architecture. In this chapter, the author explains the basics of MEL Maya Embedded Language scripting, and gives numerous code examples pages and pages worth. This chapter is almost completely different in tone and pitch: with a few minor exceptions, it is a clear and concise introduction to many abstract computational constructions, giving sample code to illustrate each.
For some readers, this might be new territory; to anyone who has already done any programming whatsoever, having variables, arrays and for loops explained again is unnecessary and a little comic wedged in the middle of a theoretical treatise on the role of computation in architecture.
The book ends with an epi multi logue discussion of the concepts presented in the book and a number of interesting departures, contradictions and refutations. The implication of this position for design is that the computer or the algorithm ought not to be seen as an extension of man, but as a completely different intentional entity with which one collaborates.
Terzidis is not clear on this point. If, as Terzidis holds, humans today have become capable of exceeding their own intellect pg. On the one hand, if you accept his claim that the computer can handle a mode of thought completely foreign and inaccessible to humans, you must dispense to a certain degree with the notion of purely human agency within the design process.
However, Terzidis also seems to claim and disclaim? Most of this philosophical and linguistic exploration is contained in the first two chapters of the book. Though there are some hints that algorithmic design may someday be the dominant paradigm of dealing with spatial and formal complexity, I wanted a more plausible picture of such a future.
Early algorithmic buildings will probably be spectacular failures, and it is up to Terzidis to convince me otherwise. Perhaps it is appropriate that this book reads like a series of fragments, rather than a cohesive whole…for fragments are all that remains of the works of the pre-Socratic philosophy Kostas Terzidis takes as his point of departure.
Where do the limits of the human mind lie? How does ambiguity enter the deterministic world of computation? Who was Parmenides and why is his philosophy still puzzling today? This unique volume challenges the reader to tackle all these complex questions and more. Algorithmic Architecture is not a typical theory-based architectural book; it is not a computer programming or language tutorial book either. It contains a series of provocative design projects, and yet it is not just a design or graphic art book per se.