We are self-constituted members of a postdigital generation. Our design education was defined by the development of computational prowess. It was an educational environment characterized by disciplinary polarization and fraught with anxieties about our allegiances. In the frenzied academic context of the digital project during the early part of the last decade, it seemed to us that the trajectories of the varied architectural agendas of our neo-avant-garde predecessors were crudely bundled into two groups: those whose work aligned with the ambitions of the digital project, and those whose work did not. The former developed an affinity for all things digital, pursuing formal continuity, geometric complexity, and intricacy, while the latter developed an aversion to it, pursuing static, stark, and iconic form.
We have resisted the lure to categorize our work singly, opting instead to hold out for hybrid, heterogeneous characterizations. We are comfortable with the idea that we have not built impenetrable, life-long theses for practice, but rather are working with less rigid hypotheses that provide us with adequate governance. We prefer to build up a culturally-, historically-, and intellectually-charged center of gravity that is at once potent enough to offer stability, but weak enough to be affected by greater, ever-changing spheres of influence.
Having witnessed the collective exhaustion of a phase of the digital project that was monopolized by aesthetic concerns, we are now motivated by the potential of a deeper, more thorough incorporation of computation and digital fabrication into our practice. As computation and digital fabrication become inextricably engrained in process, they have been resituated as fundamental rather than novel. This transition enables us to direct our attention elsewhere, allowing the emergence of new architectural agendas likely to produce more nuanced work with multiple allegiances. Projects can now be described in pairs of terms that until recently might have read as contradictory, as implausibly aligned with two oppositional groups: parametric and primitive, systemic and idiosyncratic, differentiated-repetitive and graphic, malleable and thick, rule-based and authored. As architectural motivations for the postdigital generation, these couplings are not only plausible, but thrilling.
A version of this text was published in Log 26.
A related video of a lecture for The Architectural League of New York