Neil Leach Master class on the MAA program

Today Neil Leach gave us a Theory Concept class on the MAA program in IAAC, exploring in two different parts the issues of the New Materialism and the Digital Tectonics, which are two of the main concepts in the relationship between the contemporary architecture and phylosophy.

During the first part of the class, Neil provided a theoretical background to the development of computational theory through the emerging new cultural paradigm of New Materialism. The development of this new paradigm will be charted against the backdrop of various intellectual traditions of the C20th – Modernism, Phenomenology, Structuralism, Poststructuralism and Postmodernism – from its origins in the work of French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, through to its dissemination in the writings and lectures of Mexican ‘street philosopher’, Manuel DeLanda.

The second part of the class considered the development of digital design from its early manifestation in science fictional representations in the 1990s to the emergence of new techniques of understanding process and material behaviour in the early 2000s, to its integration within all aspects of the building industry in the early 2010s. The class showed how – in contrast to its early opposition between the digital and the tectonic – the digital is being used increasingly to understand tectonic behaviour, so that a new era of ‘digital tectonics’ has been initiated.

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