Designing Complexity. Remarks about Design Modelling Symposium. Out on Digimag #69

The article I wrote with Sabina Barcucci about the Design Modelling Symposium in Berlin is out on Digimag #69.


The Canadian psychologist, Laurence J. Peter, once wrote: “Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them”.

Contemporary Design perfectly fits this definition: the consequences of Information Technology for big architectural systems have to cross huge amounts of digital data with new design methodologies and revolutionary techniques of material production. The third edition of Design Modelling Symposium, held in Berlin at the Universität der Künste Berlin (UDK) from 7th to 12th October, turned into a privileged observatory of the challenge that researchers and designers from disparate fields are facing in the attempt to control these complex systems.

During these two days of workshops, lectures and master classes the participants – led by leading representatives of institutions, firms and research groups as Autodesk, Buro Happold, Live Architecture Network, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Princeton University, Evolute GmbH could experience some of the most state-of-the-art methodologies of Digital Design at first hand. In the next three days of very full lectures, we saw a string of many of the main theorists and designers of Parametric Design, such as Robert Aish (Autodesk), Enrico Dini (D-Shape), Neil Katz (SOM), Arnold Walz (Design to Production), David Rutten (Mc Neel).

Joannis Zonitsas, one of the symposium’s curator along with Christoph Gengnagel and Norbert Palz, invited us as observers. We had been discussing for a long time how to structure this article, and finally we agreed to write a dialogue. According to us, a classic report wouldn’t make much sense, since it wouldn’t be able to depict the complexity arisen from almost forty meetings held during the symposium. In order to write an article for Digimag, we preferred stressing some of the main subjects of the Symposium, by interpreting them from a not necessarily expert’s point of view, and by putting the difference between Bertram’s view (sociologist who deals with the social implications of Digital Technologies) and Sabina’s one (designer who’s devoting herself to a mapping of Digital Design methodologies) to good use.

(read the rest on Digimag)


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