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Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture, Specialization in Computer Aided Architectural Design | 065-0005/6
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt, Philipp Schaerer
Chair of CAAD, ETH Zurich

Toni Kotnik Thesis: Abstract
Algorithmic Extension of Architecture

Over the past decade an increasing amount of architects have readdressed formal issues. This development is closely related to the availability of powerful computers and software that enable the use of computational mechanisms for the exploration of formal systems. However, up to now the theoretical foundations of this new digital methods in design are still unformulated. The present work, therefore, tries to formulate an abstract conceptual framework for the evaluation of different digital approaches to architectural design. This framework is based on the Turing machine as an abstract model for the computer and it results in an algorithmic description of every task performed by the machine. As a consequence, every form generated in a digital design process is bound to an algorithmic description of its own morphogenetic process. The level of awareness of this relation is then used to formulate a conceptual framework of digital design. Furthermore, the framework is compared to a similar approach to the digital in architectural design by Oxman. Both studies show, that the digital way of designing and exploring architecture has to be seen as an extended form of expression that is interwoven with the non-digital in manifold ways. Finally, the design of a roof structure gets used to examine the algorithmic approach to architecture in more detail.

Revision r1.1 - 18 Dec 2006 - 13:17 - NDSToniKotnik
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