parametric design, architecture and art
Michael Najjar's High Altitude photo superposed with Dow Jones chart

Michael Najjar’s High Altitude photo superposed with Dow Jones chart

For architects design and architecture are tools to shape the world and make of it a more beautiful and more comfortable place to live in, so we think it is very important to ask ourselves : Is our world being shaped by algorithms or by us? This question arose a few days ago during an exchange between me and Gaëtan at Hugh Dutton Associates. After watching the talk below “How algorithms shape our world” by Kevin Slavin [ENGLISH with FRENCH subtitles – 15 minutes] Gaëtan asked : “Is that what we really want?”


“Looking at emergent phenomena in nature, don”t you think (traditional) design itself is against nature?”

This question arises from the presentation DESIGNING SPACE FOR EMERGENCE IS AN EMERGENCY in which we were exploring relations between design and emergent phenomena. Computational designer and researcher Andrea Graziano pointed out that we should rather think that “nature is the best designer ever” and suggested two inspiring mini-talks that I am sharing with you today. They both come from the website NextNature, a network that explores the changing relation between people, nature and technology. NEXTNATURE is asking a very simple question: “What is nature?”.

For example, do you think the image above is a photo of birds murmuring or a drawing generated by grasshopper or any other parametric design tool? Does a different kind of nature, created/designed by humans, exist?