Post Parametric: Futures of Computing + Design

Visual Studies

Spring 2013

David Benjamin, instructor

In February 2011, following six years of cutting-edge research on artificial intelligence at IBM, a computing system named Watson defeated two human champions in the game show Jeopardy. In May 2010, after thirty years of steady growth in algorithmic trading, hundreds of unnamed computers ordered a flurry of trades without human input and caused the United States stock market to lose 9% of its value in five minutes.

Autonomous algorithms have steadily expanded their reach in the past ten years and they now influence numerous aspects of our lives, including architecture and our built environment. At the same time, recent developments in other advanced algorithms—such as those for cloud computing, directable simulation, self-modeling buildings, evolving robots, personal supercomputing, open source visual programming, real-time adaptation to sensor data, computer vision, predictive analytics and bio-computing—are forging new paths for our buildings and our cities.

In this context, Post Parametric aimed to question, broaden and re-frame the way we think about computing and design. It looked beyond the current moment and its ambiguous buzzwords—but not so far ahead as science fiction—and it explored how we might be using algorithms in the design of buildings ten years from now.

Damon Lau, Hank Byron, David Hehct, Brian Lee + Chao Lun Wang A
Carson Russell, Yusef Dennis, Matthew Miller + Rustem Baishev B