TECTILE TECTONICS – Spuybroek

Spuybroek presents an interesting look at tooling by describing the usage or schema of the operations to be even more important than the tool itself. He goes on to describe how it is this schema that is actual the code in scripting. Through an analysis of Gothic cathedrals, Spuybroek describes how this logic of operational coding translated into form allows a design to become flexible and fit to various sites and conditions. Besides being one of the most clear and insightful analyses of scripting, the light Spuybroek sheds on the variability of an architectural design begins to address one of the conundrums of the field of architecture—namely that it is the last of the design professions holding out on primarily one-off designs in a world of mass production and brand identity. Naturally this is due to the nature of building on a site, and no site being the same, but with the logic of coding it is conceivable that a building could be coded with a catalog of prefab parts or fabrication constraints to adapt to the various conditions of a site. Parametrics also allows for working iteratively in multiplicity quickly as well as the ability to begin to generate fabrication information such as g-code and cut-sheets that update with the design. The danger of all this is that the rule set begins to limit the conceptual intuition of the designer and divination from the rule-set becomes tedious of not impossible within the frame work of the code. Thus it would be easy for designers to negligibly ignore design opportunities “because the code did not allow it”.

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