explicit and scripted processes within design

DORA / Peter Macapia


Pavillon Seroussi

Peter Macapia established DORA in 1999 as an office for design and advanced research.  In addition to participating in national and international competitions the office is involved with computational and mathematical research, questions of urban density, philosophy and the ontology of architecture.  The current research involves two problems. The first is analytical and generative computation.  For the past three years the office has focused primarily on uses and transformations of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA), tools traditionally associated with engineering, and which provide systems of information development. The second is forms of scripting and algorithm, which are generative, but have no internal features of analysis.  The interest in the office is to find innovative intersections between these two operations, but at the same time, engage them in problems of architectural generation.  Models are generally made from an intense set of processes by which we examine patterns of organization specific to categories of architectural production.  These very models, however, also introduce important questions about computational techniques, so the office is able to work between computational and material/analytical procedures. The second problem is the geometry of matter/energy relations.  Any piece of architecture is a form of organizing relations between matter and energy.  The premise of DORA, in its collaboration with engineers and mathematicians, is that architecture is a collection of techniques and what we call “innovation” is a formal manifestation of the way in which one generates a new space of operations with those techniques as they affect architecture’s ontology.  To this extent the two aspects of our research, computation and the problem of matter/energy relations, are intended to develop not as synthetic partners, per se, but more like antagonistic practices or beliefs that constantly question one another.  The more recent work has been developed around the need to produce our own tools, which has been the contribution of Frank Bitonti, Dave Pigram, Brad Rothenberg, and Max Turnheim.




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