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Discrete: Reappraising the Digital in Architecture

Gilles Retsin



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John Wiley & Sons Inc
22 March 2019
Theory of architecture; 3D graphics & modelling
After two decades of experimentation with the digital, the prevalent paradigm of formal continuity is being revised and questioned by an emerging generation of architects and theorists. While the world struggles with a global housing crisis and the impact of accelerated automation on labour, digital designers' narrow focus on mere style and continuous differentiation seems increasingly out of touch.

This issue charts an emerging body of work that is based on a computational understanding of the discrete part or building block - elements that are as scalable, accessible and versatile as digital data. The discrete proposes that a new, digital understanding of assembly, based on parts, contains the greatest promise for a complex, open-ended, adaptable architecture. This approach capitalises on the digital economy and automation, with the potential of the digital to democratise production and increase access.

The digital not only has deep implications for how we design and produce architecture; it is first and foremost a new system of production with economic, social and political consequences that need to be taken into account. This issue presents a diverse body of work focused on the notion of the discrete: from design experiments and aesthetics, to urban models, tectonics, distributed robots, new material organisations and post-capitalist scenarios engaging with automation.

Contributors: Viola Ago, Mario Carpo, Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou, Mollie Claypool, Manuel Jimenez Garcia, Daniel Koehler and Rasa Navasaityte, Immanuel Koh, Neil Leach, Ryan Manning, Philippe Morel, M Casey Rehm, Jose Sanchez, Marrikka Trotter, Manja van de Worp, Maria Yablonina and Lei Zheng.

Featured Architects: Kengo Kuma, Lab-eds, Plethora Project, MadM, EZCT, Eragatory and Studio Kinch.
Guest editor:   Gilles Retsin
Imprint:   John Wiley & Sons Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 284mm,  Width: 210mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   628g
ISBN:   9781119500346
ISBN 10:   1119500346
Series:   Architectural Design
Pages:   136
Publication Date:   22 March 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gilles Retsin is Tutor at The Bartlett (UCL) and a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London. Having studied in Belgium, Chile and the UK, he worked as a project architect with Christian Kerez in Switzerland and with Kokkugia in London. He now has his own London-based practice. His work has been acquired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has exhibited internationally in museums, such as the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, Design Exchange Toronto and the Zaha Hadid Gallery in London. He has been invited professor at the Texas A&M University and has lectured and taught internationally.

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