“Non-Standard Architectures”

On the TV series Star Trek, whenever people are hungry, they walk to a terminal and say the word “cake,” and within seconds the object of desire materializes out of thin air. “Non-Standard Architectures” would be a Trekkie’s wet dream: Order a house or chair, and a design will go straight from a hard drive into the automated controls of a factory, where the desired object will then be pumped out according to the infallible laws of the algorithm. No more clumsy maquettes, no more stockpiles of prefab components, no more standardization (since all will be made-to-order)—but also no more architects. They will all have become programmers.

Of course, neither the exhibition’s curators, Frédéric Migayrou (chief curator of architecture and design at the Musée National d’Art Moderne) and architect Zeynep Mennan, nor any of the twelve exhibiting teams really hope to see architects become obsolete.

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