What are appropriate digital tools for architects? What is the relationship between art and architecture? Would architects be satisfied with a design role as digital feedback moderator?

These and other questions came to mind as Muge Belek and Frederico Fialho Teixeira of [f] FLAT presented an open ended invitation to consider their recent collaborations under the intriguingly titled: TransArchitecture.

Following historical examples of revolutionary innovations applied to solve technological problems, [f] FLAT summarised the theoretical framework that supported their understanding of how individuals or teams might collaborate in inter/ intra-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary teams, and the possibility for unplanned outcomes from unexpected ‘trans’ sources.

[f] FLAT explored this framework using parametric design and digital coding algorithmic tools to create audial and visual experiments where actions and outcomes were directed by external inputs not necessarily under the control of the designers. Examples included using sounds and or random movements from participants interacting with installations or computer models. The resulting mesmerising presentations appeared to display almost organically evolving outcomes that could be described as prototype demonstrations of 3D possibilities.

…results presented appeared more closely related to art than architecture…

In many aspects the results presented appeared more closely related to art than architecture, a point noted during the subsequent questions and answer session. It was not easy to imagine where prosaic issues like toilets or fire escapes could be located. TransArchitecture, as presented, could be characterised as an interesting art exercise in search of architectural issues to address.

Finally, a significant proportion of the audience included architecture students. Diagrams presented by [f] FLAT indicated a proposed role for the designer as a feedback moderator. Would first or second year architecture students find this an exciting option? Do I find that role a tempting architectural future?

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