Grasshopper

algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Well, novel to me at least. Being in close proximity to (without having a direct influence on) a lot of computational architecture I have over time developed, I hope, a reasonably critical view of software-as-part-of-the-design-process. There are excellent arguments to be made both for and against the use of simulation/computation as a design tool, but here's one that didn't occur to me before:

"Mastering this craft [drawing and drafting by hand] has been an important stage in becoming an architect and provided a significant part of the architect's professional identity. Skill in drawing has been the hallmark of the profession and contributed in no small degree to the authority and respect accorded it by clients and builders. In a well-made set of working drawings, builders can see the work of a master craftsman, analogous to the mastery they have achieved in their own crafts. The craft of drawing has thus provided a link between architects and builders and provided the critical nexus that unites the building industry."

David Ross Scheer

Above paragraph came from The Death of Drawing (blog, amazon) which admittedly is more concerned with CAD and BIM than algorithmics.

Food for thought.

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How true.

Keep in mind that regardless the claims (and the propaganda) ... on site (were things actually happen) explanations and additional "aspects" of the topic of interest are more important than the drawings/3DPDF/3D data/virtual reality/etc available. Why? because drawings/data are "occasionally" ...er... a bit optimistic (or borrowed from another "similar" project). 

Meaning: A4 and a pencil beats any computer hands down.

I am not sure about the argument it is a little bit like: "ahh the good old times". I don't see a difference between hand drawings and computer drawings both can be beautiful / ugly, skilled / unskilled, useful/ useless,....

I am not sure where it was but back in the days with the first CAD Software and pen printers, Professors wouldn't accept CAD drawings for presentation because they couldn't transport the feeling, the emotion of hand drawings. So what did students do, they simply loosened the pen a bit so that it wouldn't make perfect straight lines and everything was fine.

A good drawing is a good drawing no matter if it was done through an algorithm or by hand.

 

yes, i remember that. we also used fine lined cad prints to hand draw over widths, details, shadows etc so there you go Prof. hand drawings.

A good drawing is a good drawing no matter if it was done through an algorithm or by hand.

Is that a personal sentiment, or one you expect is shared by everyone? Because the argument is that good drawings -as perceived by clients and builders- form the only reliable mechanism by which the skill of the architect is judged.

Although I suspect Scheer is sympathetic to this view, he is careful to formulate the argument in emotional rather than rational terms.

I would say it is my personal opinion, sentiment is what I would like to speak against. I would even say the argument quated by Scheer, even so it might be argued rational, is very sentimental. There might be a difference in meaning between German and English in the meaning of this word.

When it comes to the skill of an architect I would argue (again personal view) that this can be judged how fare she / he can push limits within their daily practice, with their clients, with their builders. The mastering of drawing (any form of drawing) as a technique is a necessity and not a sign of quality. 

It sounds like an is-ought fallacy though. I'm sure every architect in the world will agree that judgement ought to hinge on genuine accomplishment and skill rather than the proxy of drawings, but that doesn't mean it actually is that way.

And as logically unfair as it is, what would the long term costs be of the relationship between builders and architects souring because one loses respect for the profession of the other?

Agree with the first part, disagree withe second part which reduce drawing on the limited meaning of working drawing.

architectural drawings are the multi-dimensional representation of all design aspects wandering on the mind of a designer and not only the construction aspects. 

A Drawing is usually mapped with ideas about functionality, beauty, experience of users, lights and culture. this why it shows the level of mastering the craftsmanship.

working drawing is part of all that, but it cant be the most important, unless its able to contribute to the innovation of architecture technology, for example: the original drawing of first glass facade, or the blueprints of an old 50 meters wide brick dome,when it was considered impossible.

sorry i am writing with onscreen keyboard.

Sorry I reject this idea of a drawing it mystifies it. Yes it is a representation mapped with ideas but if someone else can't read it, who cares?

Again it (drawing) is a necessity to represent ideas. The technique chosen to produce drawings is irrelevant if the idea is transported. I am not limiting this on construction drawings but all form of representation.

Following your logic a simple computer simulation wouldn't be an architectural drawing that would represent and communicate spatial ideas of the drawing?

Maybe I miss formulated, I differ pushing limits and genuine accomplishment can be two different things. Someone can push limits and never accomplish anything. But again accomplishment is subjective to the viewer I guess.

However could you elaborate a little more on the loses of respect? are you saying the profession of the architect is the drawing? And if so where is the loss of respect.

Oh I'm not really saying anything, since I haven't made up my mind yet. I was just trying to make sure that Scheer's argument was at least understood, seeing as how he's not here to argue his case.

I've only just started the book, the quoted paragraph is actually from the introduction, where it is customary to put controversial rhetoric.

Nice post!

Hand drawing is coding... only with gesture added for meaning.

This assumes the client even has the capacity to appreciate a drawing, something I would not take for granted these days among the general public.

I'm more interested in the decline of drawing as the initial design instrument when tools like GH are available. Granted, some generative structures are almost impossible to predict, much less draw, before the computer spits them out but that tactile link between sketching and imagination is lost when the designer is reduced to being an aesthetic editor, deciding which slider settings provide the most pleasing outcome.

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