Teaching Systems-Thinking with Algorithmic Process
This research investigates how algorithm design and scripting as pedagogy can lead to generalized design ability and understanding. Logical, systematic thinking is considered foundational in developing architectural design aptitude and is explicit when designing algorithms. The course work presented mandates the construction of process rather than product. Scripting is implemented not as a means to an end but rather a medium for exploration. More valuable than formal generator or problem-solver, these scripted designs test direct aesthetic implications. Parameterization is embedded in the exercise and in the outcome. By isolating the algorithm as topic, technique, and concept, scripting skills are extendable to further endeavors and are translatable to other design media. Algorithm design is presented as a 2-dimensional but temporal endeavor: students script a movable vector-based image. This facilitates the transition from algorithm to spatial experience while also readying students for form-based explorations. The 2-d temporal exercise is of a similar order of complexity to a 3-dimensional static condition. “Introduction to Digital Media” is a design seminar that seeks to leverage media exploration and skills teaching toward a critical approach to architectural design process. Students in the course are tasked with creating an interactive animation using the Processing programming language. Pieces of the animation structure are provided as a canvas, specifically the ability of the viewer to manually control a single parametric variable that affects the visual output through a user-interface element. The final project of the course expands upon the technique of scripting image in the design of an experience by collaging video, images and animation. Work prior to the scripting exercise introduces systems thinking indirectly through exercises and projects that translate form and space between physical and digital media. Students define rules, limits, and test outcomes of varying processes.
by Carl Lostritto in "Digitizing Architecture: Formalization & Content" ASCAAD 2009 Proceedings of The Fourth Conference of Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design 2009.