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(20-21) Algorithmic Vision: Architecture and Media Ecology

Algorithmic Vision: Architecture and Media Ecology

Master Dissertation studio, academic year 2020-21, Ghent

Promotor: Dr. Corneel Cannaerts
Co-promotor: Michiel Helbig

In the framework of the Fieldstation Studio: http://www.fieldstationstudio.org/STUDIO/ALGORITHMIC_VISION/

The environments in which we operate as architects are increasingly saturated with digital technologies, resulting in a planetary technological layer which has been described as the technosphere, in addition to the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Emerging technologies impact how we see ourselves and understand our environment, they produce a constantly updating plethora of images, maps and representations of our world. The media ecology these technologies give rise to are not just representing but actually producing the environment in which we operate, i.e. our world is increasingly experienced and made through digital media. How does architecture, a discipline whose practice relies heavily on the visual senses respond to these novel ways of seeing and the visual cultures these produces? Can we develop new ways of understanding and practicing architecture through the novel ways of mapping and visualising  our world and the visual cultures afforded by digital technologies?

This master dissertation addresses these questions through critical reflection on and  hands-on experimentation with digital technologies and a collection of design projects.

The output consist of a (1) fieldguide, a catalogue mapping the topic through collecting references and written reflection, documenting a series of active experiments with digital technologies and (2) a series of design projects demonstrating the architectural implications of these technologies.

Students need to have excellent design skills and have an interest in the critical and practical application digital technologies in architectural design.

This master thesis builds upon previous projects and ongoing research developed in the Fieldstation Studio:

New Eyes: Probing the Visual Cultures of the Technosphere, by Corneel Cannaerts & Michiel Helbig, for Creative Sights: Innovative Approaches for Architectural Mapping and Representation in the International Perspective, Beykent Univesity Istanbul, 2020 (forthcoming).

Image credit: Clement Valla, Postcards from Google Earth, 2012