Synthesizing the Gaseous State The Role of Applied Programming on Theory

In: Chiselled Horizons: A Multi-Cultural Approach to Visual Literacy

Computer aided design has become the base standard for the creative industries in order to accelerate and expand their production pipelines. And while these computation clusters enable a plethora of technical and practical endeavors, more profound concerns pertaining to theory of the constructed environment remain on a second plane. This is due in large part to the reliance of methodologies for processing theory on Seventeenth-Century deductive & inductive reasoning. These processes are seldom adept at managing the massive amounts of data that basic phenomena such as population behavior, migration, poverty, nature input processing, and economic exchanges, among others, are dependent upon. In an effort to expand our capacity to synthesize large amounts of data related to these topics, we chose to revisit theoretical writings on the possibilities of autonomous computation units, such as those of Alan Turing, Stephen Wolfram and John Frazer, to expand their applicability from numeric data, to word-based data. We hold that the methodologies for processing data in Programming Paradigms such as Procedural, Object-Oriented, and Symbolic Programming can serve as philosophical building blocks for redefining the ways in which we create theory of architecture. Algorithms for sorting and managing information developed by giants such as Google seem unnoticed in architecture or urban theory. However, they offer a powerful framework for processing and drawing conclusions from large amounts of input in any field. Algorithmic processes, can not only support design, but can actively aid in generating understanding from a wide variety of sources and synthesizing varied perspectives of thought. This paper seeks to explore possible algorithms, outcomes, and implications for the role of these tools within theoretical synthesis with the purpose of expanding the means by which we create architecture and urban theory.


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