Lostritto publishes about drawing, computing and the role of representation in architecture. Representation tends not to garner much enthusiasm by either artists, designers or architects these days. Still, representation, when considered not as traditional or vocational, but as open-ended space for research, can implicate methods of making with theory, history and disciplinary cultures.
In Issue 02 of See/Saw, this essay unpacks the often-misused term, "post-digital" using three fictional elements of architecture that are inseparable from the media used to represent them. Issue 2 is themed "difference," a term that describes a quality that many would claim typical post-digital projects lack. Indeed, if the post-digital is merely a collage aesthetic rendered with vibrant pastel color palette, criticism of what ammounds to nothing more than a passing trend is warranted. The essay argues, on the contrary, that the post-digital as defined by John Maeda captures not an aesthetic, but an earnest and optimistic future for computational design that looks deep into the domain of the digital to find an abundance of difference—if and only if our contribution goes beyond being digital (or looking non-digital).
This essay in Drawing Futures, published by UCL Press, defines contemporary architectural drawing outside the scope of digital media by focusing on a particular technology—the pen plotter. The cultural connections between two early computer art pioneers, Charles Jeffrey Bangert and Colette Stuebe Bangert, and today's computational architects are examined with an emphasis on specific types of ambiguity and deceptively simple algorithms.
In much of contemporary architectural practice and education, representation is a story of dichotomies: the pixel versus the vector; the direct versus the generative; the digital versus the material; and the two-dimensional drawing versus the three-dimensional model. Among the many varieties of architectural lines, the “hatch” garners little scholarly attention. This essay, published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Architectural Education (Volume 70, issue 1) uses seven original drawings as the basis for such attention. Hatching disrupts the dichotomies that stifle the design of new conventions. Hatching can produce a drawing that is also a rendering, a record that is also a projection, or a material code that is also a material effect.
Published in Fast Company: Design, Evid3nce: What the science has to say about design, creativity, innovation, and visual culture.
Ask a designer or artist if any aspect of their process is random. The answer will likely reveal a complex relationship between human cognition, digital media, authorship, and even conceptions of reality and the divine. For those of us who work in computational media to make art, the question can be even more focused: When and why do you use a "random()" function when you write code? Even in pre-Newtonian 17th-century discourse relating chance, cause, and necessity, a distinction was made between events which appeared to be random—but were merely unpredictable—and events which were truly random.
This essay was written for the first issue of Mole Magazine, Cute Little Things, Edited by Iggy So. It first considers if such a thing is even possible? “Drawing” and “little” don’t usually go together. Drawings are naturally big. The precision and control that distinguishes them from sketches (which are almost always little) tends to require a certain size. There's also the matter of density. The phrase, “Cute drawings,” also verges into tantalizingly oxymoronic territory. If drawings are about having an experience or reading “into” lines to convey space, it would seem illogical, even handicapping, to anthropomorphize them.
This essay, published in Computational Design, DOSYA Issue 29, explores the implications resultant from a consideration of computing and drawing together. Conceptual arguments are presented alongside a computing drawing project, which entails the activation of a vintage pen-plotter. In this project, the pen plotter is controlled directly with the Python programming language. With and around these drawings, a critique is offered of the prevalence of the digital model and the fixation on “tool-making” in computational design discourse.
This paper, co-authored with Theodora Vardouli and published in the proceedings of the 2011 Spatial Cognition for Architectural Design Symposium, discusses the critical, functional and conceptual implications of a method for evaluating the spatial potential of generative computational drawing as perceived by designers.
This paper, published in the proceedings of the 2010 Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural, documents the implications of using physical media to teach digital design concepts, techniques, and values. With the pedagogy and work of a seminar and studio across two Universities as test cases, this research seeks to prove that a parametric and algorithmic approach to architecture is most fruitfully understood as the connection between logic, mathematics and aesthetics.
This paper, published in the proceedings of the 2009 Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, argues for the foregrounding of animation in parametric discourse and practice.
This paper, co-authored with Michael Ambrose and published in the proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, aims to wrestle the medium back from the clutches of visualization and into the realm of open-ended representation.