The Design And Production Of Artifacts

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Neri Oxman Introduction Over the long trajectory of architectural design history, the design and production of artifacts has been characterized by the growing separation of form-making from its natural foundations in material conditions. In contradistinction to craft production (Sennett 2008) in which material and form are naturally intertwined into a tradition of making, modern design and production have historically evolved away from this integration towards the compartmentalization of form-making as a process independent of its sources in material knowledge. At least since the Renaissance, with the emergence of architectural theories, form-making, as the production of form inspired by theory, has become an autonomous body of knowledge.…show more content…
Eventually, this non-material approach to the design and the automation of construction were to be reinforced under the command of computer aided design. The digital revolution, which marked the change from analog to digital technology, has transformed the designer?s drafting board into a digital canvas. Form, it seemed, was now divorced completely from the physical reality of its manifestation. Granted, these new design spaces afforded much liberation in terms of formal expression, but it has also broadened the gap between form and matter and made the hierarchical and sequential separation of modeling, analysis and fabrication processes infinitely more pronounced. The implementation and broad absorption of enhanced computational design tools in architectural practice has, since the early nineties, motivated a renaissance of the formalist project in architecture; geometrically complex shapes became emblems of creativity in digital design environments and supported the design mastery of complex geometries in form generation. This formal and geometric design orientation has also addressed ?free form? design and architecture along with their enabling technologies as part of the larger design phenomenon of the ?mass customization? of ?non-standard? form. Today, perhaps under
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