Every day, the built environment gets more connected. Once inert and offline, buildings are now outfitted with technologies that sense, communicate, and learn, fundamentally changing the way humans occupy space. The growing dependency of software and the built environment can be seen in airports and shipping centers, which would literally cease to function without technology. While mostly logistical in nature, such digital spatial augmentation will likely turn social. In concert with personal devices, buildings will soon use location-based technologies to suggest people and places to meet. This appification of the built environment presents an urgent and fundamental challenge for designers and architects. How do we design architecture in a world organized by algorithms? The architects of tomorrow (and increasingly today) must confront the imminent and inevitable conflation of software and space.
The course will include research, cross-disciplinary study, and design speculation. We will learn from experts across the University how software works (less the nuts and bolts of coding and more the broad structures and logics). We will study existing spaces that rely on software to function in order to better understand the imbrication of architecture and algorithms. Finally, we will design a piece of speculative software (in diagrammatic form) designated for a particular place and constituency. Though future-oriented, this exercise will be rooted in current understandings of how computers function (think a happier version of Black Mirror). Throughout, we will consider digital ethics and challenge ourselves to ensure that design contributes to a more healthful, equitable, and just world.
Class Instruction Mode: Online