Curating complexity: the role of sentience in parametric design
thesisposted on 2021-05-24, 07:14 authored by Antonio Cunha
In De Architectura, Vitruvius makes note of three criteria that define architecture; firmitas (durability), utilitas (function) and venustas (delight). These ideals form the philosophical foundations of virtually all modern architectural theory. With the advent of computational tools, many advocates, commonly armed with staggering statistics, frame these methods as a means of increasing efficiency in collaboration, construction and performance - muting the critical role of a sentient designer in architectural discourse of the digital age. The role of the parti has eroded in favour of computational strategies that constrain utilitas to a measure of quantifiable “fitness”. The research herein unveils and reflects upon the mutating role of the architect in computational design, advocating for the importance of qualitative reasoning in a parametric process. Where the current paradigm is negligent, the project aims to illuminate and reinforce the role of today’s sentient designer nested in a cultural milieu of computation.