Contextualizing

Contextualizing :digital fabrication methods, devices, and emergent material formations

This master course framework aims at identifying project-specifi c, theoretical
key concepts that lure behind individual approaches and scrutinize and clarify
their critical agenda within the projects’ specifi c cultural milieus of to-be-defi
ned social and environmental contexts. Our group will address projects that
have constructed their conceptual framework around the subject of digital
production. It is open to any students interested in that subject, or those who
have decided to extend their research within the (FAB)BOTS Digital Tectonics
Research Studio.
The intention of the course is to contextualize and instrumentalize fabrication
work on two levels: a) to critically refl ect on it from within theoretical notions
of architectural and cultural discourse, and b) to actualize it within concrete
geographical, social, political, and economic environments.
Digital design and fabrication tools emerged in the 1990’s and was paralleled
with the introduction of Deleuze-Guattarian philosophy in Anglo-Saxon circles
of architectural theory. Common to both is that they mark a paradigm
shift from essentialist thought (based on notions of diff erence in relation to
absolute concepts) to a thinking that embraces an understanding of diff erence
grounded within itself, within its own logic of diff erentiation.

Yet while Deleuzian ontology of becoming emerged out of a tradition of
political critique and activism, its typical appropriation in architectural
circles in what could be called the pre-crisis years of late 1990’s and early
2000’s mostly stripped off its socio-political content and focused entirely
on issues supporting productive technique rather than critical agenda.
Within today’s post-crisis context, it seems timely to re-contextualize the
fascinating cutting-edge advancements of digital fabrication within a
culturally grounded critical and theoretical agenda. For this, a theoretical
framework with texts by Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Sanford Kwinter,
Manuel De Landa, Bruno Latour and Peter Sloterdijk will be introduced
to, discussed with the participants, and instrumentalized for the development
of the individual thesis work.

Team: Olaf Gipser

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