Symposium on Architecture: Organization or Design? Organized by Mariana Ibañez, with Pierre Bélanger, Ciro Najle, Andrew Witt, and others

From cybernetics to systems theory to present-day parametricism, organization has haunted the architectural imagination. Today, many debates about design practice center on data. Given the pervasiveness of information in the material, spatial, formal, and programmatic forms of organization that today’s designer must confront—in objects, networks, and genealogies—the obsession with data is hardly surprising. But data has no intrinsic bearing on the architectural process or its products. It is; how data is organized—acquired, quantified, represented, processed, and manipulated—is what differentiates design outcomes.

Design techniques connect theory and practice; organization exposes operative frameworks and figures an inner rift between the scientific and cultural aspects of architectural practice. What is design, if it relies on systematic processes and scientific methods, to those who value subjectivity and creativity? This symposium investigates how theories and systems of organization are conceived and enacted and considers their outcomes and disciplinary implications. Moderated by Mariana Ibañez, with Pierre Bélanger, Chuck Hoberman, Lluis Ortega, Ciro Najle, Andrew Witt, and others.

Supported by the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

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Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.