Mario Carpo

  • RISE OF THE MACHINES

    ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS have been around since the end of World War II, yet for a number of reasons architects and designers did not start seriously tinkering with computer-aided design until the early 1990s. In doing so, the pioneers of architecture’s digital turn quickly stumbled on a groundbreaking realization: The computers they used to draw objects on the screen could also aid in fabricating those same objects right away. The integration of computer-aided drawing and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) became a tenet of digital design, and the machinery for numerically controlled fabrication

  • SPACE ODYSSEY: THE RISE OF 3-D TECHNOLOGY

    TODAY, IT IS almost a cliché to describe the rise of 3-D printing as a groundbreaking development. The notion that the technique represents a decisive turning point in the history of technology has gained widespread acceptance, with oh-so-grand pronouncements of its power coming from the likes of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, even Martha Stewart. And as the technology has become increasingly accessible and widely adopted in the intervening years, the vision of a 3-D-printed world seems less like science fiction than like a rapidly approaching reality. Indeed, “Mutations-Créations / Imprimer le monde

  • BREAKING THE CURVE: BIG DATA AND DESIGN

    THE DIGITAL IS ALL ABOUT VARIATION. We know from daily experience that the many digitally based media we use today, from text to images to music, are permanently in flux; their variations can be designed by one or more end users (think of a Wikipedia entry), or by machinic algorithms (think of a Google search), and may at times appear to be entirely out of control, changing in some random and inscrutable way. The same logic applies to the design of physical objects, from teaspoons to entire buildings. Since the early 1990s, the pioneers of digitally intelligent architecture have claimed that