Chris Hardy and Erin Hinton

A Critical Analysis of Data as it Relates to the Digital Design Process


“… cultural categories and concepts are substituted, on the level of meaning and/or the language, by new ones which derive from computer’s ontology, epistemology and pragmatics” [Manovich, The Language of New Media, pg.64]

The proliferation of innovative and adept digital technologies is shaping our physical and cultural environments. Designers across all fields are faced with the need to develop progressive mechanisms capable of managing the dynamic and increasingly complex societal condition. As a result we see architects and designers embracing the digital paradigm for form finding, for representational agendas, or as a means by which to imbue an artefact with meaning. The narrative of the resultant work largely oscillates from the readily legible to the exclusively opaque. The question here becomes one of the digital process as a promoter or oppressor of the end needs of the user and/or the greater social programme.
To explore this question, this paper examines exemplars of digital architecture and design, and critically analyses the raw output of the digital or parametric process, with particular regard to the ‘function’ of the resultant artefact. Issues relating to the evolving role of the designer/architect as interpreter or ‘bridge’ in this process will be explored.

Download A Critical Analysis of Data as it Relates to the Digital Design Process (146.66 KB)

Chris Hardy and Erin Hinton:

Erin Hinton is an engaged and enthusiastic graduate architect with a commitment to the design profession across many different platforms including education, professional practice, governance and policy, and volunteer work. Erin currently holds a full time academic position at the University of Canberra where she lectures in both the Architecture and Interior Architecture degrees. In addition to the establishment of the inaugural Interior Architecture Course at the University of Canberra in 2010, Erin has recently restructured the inter-disciplinary design studio foundation unit, which now attracts over 200 students annually. Erin’s academic position has allowed her the opportunity to develop significant theories within the broad fields of urban transformation and the ‘interiority’ of the city. Erin is currently undertaking her PhD in urban reformation. In addition to her academic career, Erin is currently working on a diverse range of architectural, urban design and planning projects including large scale mixed use redevelopment projects, retail and hospitality establishments and numerous private houses.

Erin is currently an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects (ACT Chapter Council and Education Committee), the Property Council of Australia (UC Representative), and the Gallery of Australian Design (GAD) Exhibitions and Advisory Group.


Chris Hardy is an Associate Lecturer of Industrial Design in the Faculty of Arts and Design teaching across a range of fields associated with contemporary industrial design practice. His field of research focuses on how designed objects can have implications regarding the human affective system. To this end Chris is currently pursuing PhD candidature in Environmental Design concerned with light delivery in the context of Design and Emotion.

Chris was a member of the Management Committee of CraftACT from early 2008 to early 2012 ( and joined in the Management Committee of the recently established Gallery of Australian Design (

Chris also leads a multi-tiered practice, specialising in product, furniture and lighting design. He has extensive experience in design research and development, and providing expert design consulting services.