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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Digital Designing

As the field trips come to a close, the lecture series in Rome started again last week with a presentation by Brendan Macfarlane of Jakob+Macfarlane Architects based in Paris. Students gathered in our lecture hall to hear this up and coming architect speak of his current projects, design strategies, and views on architecture.

Students at Lecture
Students at Lecture

Photo: Julio Torres


Macfarlane talked about his interest in using “what is at hand” to aid his designs. For Macfarlane, it is digital technologies that allow him to create futuristic architecture that would be nearly impossible to realize without such technology. In addition, he is interested in modern materials such as plastics with long life spans and resistance to fading, which he uses to “wrap” his buildings.

Herold Apartments
Herold Apartments

Image from: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/paris/herold_apartments.htm

Students questioned Macfarlane about his use of digital designing techniques and their validity. Is something lost when you are able to create an object or building too quickly? What are the limitations of digital design? What is the next phase of digital design?

Docks de Paris
Docks de Paris

Image from: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/paris/docks_de_paris.htm

Cornell students too have to question how they want to use digital technologies in their designs. Architecture firms are increasingly interested in students who know as many programs as possible to help them make beautiful renderings and digital models of their buildings, yet Cornell still has a tradition of hand drawing and drafting that has for so long been a core design principle and technique. It will be interesting to see how we continue to move in the digital direction, I for one think that we should take it slowly.

For more, visit:

http://www.jakobmacfarlane.com/



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