When Is the Digital in Architecture?

When Is the Digital in Architecture?

DeTnk Bookshelf

Contributions by Stan Allen, Phil Bernstein, Nathalie Bredella, Mario Carpo, Wolfgang Ernst, Marco Frascari, Peter Galison, Orit Halpern, Greg Lynn, Antoine Picon, Molly Wright Steenson, Bernard Tschumi, Mark Wigley, Andrew Witt

When is the digital in architecture? What are the conditions that led architects to integrate digital tools into their practices? Over the course of its research program Archaeology of the Digital, the CCA has collected the archival records of twenty-five projects realized between the late 1980s and the early 2000s in order to understand this period as a point of origin for the digital. But if we take care to identify the digital as a condition that is made possible by the conceptual foundations of digital media and not necessarily by digital media itself, the boundaries of the digital moment—when it began and under what circumstances—become less clear.

There are eight million stories of the origins of the digital in architecture, and this book brings together fourteen of them. The arguments address specific changes in ways of thinking about architecture, building, and cities, as well as the shifts in technology that resulted from these changes, marking both a capstone of Archaeology of the Digital and the start of an investigation into other beginnings of the digital in architecture.

But it’s not just about articulating a variety of responses. Asking a question like “When is the digital in architecture?” can produce millions of stories in response and millions of digressions and redirections that narrow in focus and change geographies, producing a Tristram Shandy of the digital as the CCA continues to build its digital archive and make it increasingly accessible to researchers. If this novel of digressions is distributed across future research projects and extended with studies of new archival material, so much the better for the reader, in our opinion.

A French-language version of this publication is also available:
Quand le numérique marque-t-il l'architecture?
ISBN 978-1-927071-47-2

Copublished with Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
Design by Katja Gretzinger

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