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CYBERSPACE, CYBER-TECHNOLOGY AND ARCHITECTURE

27 July, 1996 - From Usenet group Alt.Architecture

In article <4ta5o2$ad6@raffles.technet.sg>, yangli@po.pacific.net.sg (yangli) wrote:

I am having some problems with my dissertation.

I quote from "Anyplace" Edited by Cynthia C. Davidson, an article on "Architecture/Information" by Sylvia Lavin ".....architecture is either obsolete or, with some minor modifications and improvements, will remain fundamentally unchanged."

For architecture to be obsolete, it would have to serve no useful purpose for society. Clearly, architecture is as important and necessary today as it has been for millennia.

Between this virtual realm and our physical realm is an obscure semi realm which technology until not may not be advanced enough to create a change. That implies that cyberspace does not affect or has little effects on architectural space?

"Cyberspace" (or as I'm using it here in the sense of computer aided design) is a very valuable tool for design in that the designer can more easily visualize the full implications of a 3-d environment being designed. Before computers enabled 3-d modeling, I used to always model my designs with foam-core or strathmore, etc. The computer has enabled a far higher resolution in "experiencing" space and moving through it that is far better than models can provide. This, however, is just another tool in creating architecture - not a replacement for it. When the mayline (parallel rule) was invented, this was also an advancement in design technology - clearly not a replacement of architecture.

Although the result is claimed that "....it is not the death of architecture, but its revitalization." The problem now which I am looking into is how?

The computer is an incredible visualization tool for both architects and clients. That is all. However, I believe we are on the verge of the advent of a new art form - virtual spaces. Clearly, VRML presents an incredible opportunity in exploring spatial environments without the constraints of budget or gravity.

Some how, it is like the Modernist movement with Corbu's much-quoted aphorism: The house is a machine for living. Using technology as a generator for architecture, I relate it to this cyber-architecture movement or techno movement now. Another problem is so what is the break-through? Is the break through in technology only and not in architecture?

The breakthrough is the incredible tool the computer provides. Hopefully, with the aid of this incredible tool, architects will be able to achieve higher levels of integration in their designs than ever before.

Frederick C. Gibson

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1995-2010 by Frederick Gibson + Associates Architecture, San Francisco, California
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