This advanced graduate studio explores emerging design methods that supplant traditional models of design, and suggest a an entirely new model characterized by the deferred authorship endemic to working with complex systems and the distributed agency offered by co-authored works. The theme of work and play guides the investigations, both on methodological and programmatic levels. These investigations include the analysis and design of existing structures of gaming, the hybridization of games with precedent works of architecture that present idealized models of work, and the production of a co-authored parametric design system that utilizes crowd-sourcing technologies.
This studio aspires to provide a context for the exploration of alternative models of authorship implicit in emerging approaches to design based upon parametric and algorithmic processes. In the first part of the semester students do so through the collision of multiple, often seemingly unrelated, activities:
In the second part they seek to apply what they have learned to the design of a space of work. A thread that ties these disparate activities together is the idea of deferred authorship, the act of designing through systems, which stands in contrast with direct authorship, the traditional compositional model of design.
In the final project of the studio, students sought to bring this idea to bear on the design of a space of work for a program and at a scale of their choosing and selected from a list of possible scenarios.
Game-like media function as an allegory for our times, and the digital game will come to be seen as the emblematic cultural form of of the 21st century. In this project, students seek to develop their gaming literacy through a graphic analysis of a board game. These drawings explore multiple 'optimizations' of play - from various points of view and with various aims in mind - and speculate on a 'perfect' instance of gameplay.
In this project, an existing work of architecture is analyzed through the conceptual structure of a board game. Games are an ancient kind of interactive system. If we accept that the dominant structure of the 21st century is the complex dynamic system, and that engagement with interactive media can help foster 'systems thinking', an essential new literacy in this new century that complements, rather than displaces older forms of literacy including visual, textual, and oral literacies, then the conceptual structure of the game might become a useful instrument for understanding many aspects of our contemporary world.