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.