Issue's articles | The Plan Journal
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CRITICISM
Essay

Vernacular Architecture on Display: From Exhibited Artifact to Operative Discourse

by: Stamatina Kousidi VOLUME 9/2024 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 22 published: 2024-06-11

This article sets out to interrogate the exhibition as an essential form of critical discourse in architecture, looking at how it has engendered new conceptual and operative approaches to the vernacular notion. Focusing on the late 20th century, it explores how the exhibition space contributed to the praise of the vernacular as a valid design reference, by creating a platform for its renewed, consistent, and systematic reinterpretation. This praise did not entail the recovery of history but the redefinition of the relation between tradition and concepts of modernity, building and pre-existent context. The exhibition space thus served as a catalyst to the return of the vernacular model; it enabled new connections between project, travel, and theoretical discourse, engaging ever more international audiences. In recent exhibitions such a model manifests itself again through full-scale models, mock-ups, and pavilions that prioritize issues of materiality, construction, and experience. The article, ultimately, explores the vernacular as a cogent theme which may hold the key for a more inclusive, culturally-rooted, and holistic approach to the design of the built environment and its interpretation.

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TECTONICS
Article

Architectural Details and Materiality in the Era of Digital Representations

by: Eleni Vlachonasiou VOLUME 9/2024 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 18 published: 2024-06-12

Digital representations of architectural details and their linking with digital fabrication processes were initially expected to form a seamless transition from design to construction. In order to investigate this transition, this paper initially discusses the nature and types of representations of details, both as tools of thinking about materials and construction and as means of communication throughout the process from design to construction. It traces their evolution through history and looks for changes, new concepts and procedures of detailing that have arisen from the adoption of digital tools of design and fabrication. The relation of digital images of details with decisions on issues of materiality and building construction is discussed as well as new concepts and prospects for a tighter connection between design and construction. 

 Open Access
CRITICISM
Opinion

Interview with Kenneth Frampton

by: Kenneth Frampton , Yehuda Safran , Daniel Sherer VOLUME 9/2024 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 25 published: 2024-02-06
 Open Access
Editorial

A New Era

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 205 - 206 published: 2024-02-23
 Open Access
Position Paper

AI Time, Timing, and Timelessness

by: Bernstein Phil VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 207 - 213 published: 2024-01-12
 Open Access
Essay

Jarvis, Hal, or AlphaZero? Looking Beyond Conventional Narratives Concerning AI and Architecture

by: Cem S. Kayatekin , June Aoun , Yusuf Sühan Bozkurt , Daphné Fournel VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 217 - 236 published: 2024-01-18

Since early 2021, the discourse concerning the potential and impacts of artificial intelligence on architecture has radically expanded. Discussions have largely focused on the heightened levels of productivity or efficiency that can be achieved within the existing ecology of architectural production processes, as well as the potential disruptions that may arise through human–AI co-authorship of the built world. What this paper asserts is that these dominant narratives appear to be extensions of quite conventional storylines which either frame artificial intelligence as a hyper-computational prosthetic for the enhancement of the architect or architectural office or as a critically disruptive force that will trigger micro- to macro-scale reconfigurations of the domain of built- environmental authorship. The dilemma is that we appear to be thinking of AI on old models of brute-force computation (i.e., Deep Blue) or dystopian conceptions of AI systems that can readily cross-pollinate with and radically disrupt existing societal configurations and dynamics (i.e., HAL-9000). What we have not quite considered are the real capacities and limits exhibited by artificial neural networks anchored around self-play reinforcement learning models (i.e., AlphaZero). 

 Open Access
Article

Exploring the Role of AI in Urban Design Research: A Comparative Analysis of Analogical and Machine Learning Approaches

by: Carla Brisotto , Jeff Carney , Forough Foroutan , Karla Saldana Ochoa , Whittaker Schroder VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 237 - 264 published: 2024-02-07

We conducted an experiment to explore how Machine Learning (ML) can be utilized as a tool in urban studies research. The current study aims to compare two methodologies to identify urban indicators of the residents’ well-being focusing on three transects across two local watersheds in Jacksonville. The study is framed within the theory of transect analysis. The goal of this experiment was to compare an analogical transect analysis method (AT) to Machine Learning one (MLT) to understand (1) what kind of contribution the latter approach can provide to the development of transect analysis methodologies, and (2) if and how it can connect digitally generated site analysis to local knowledge.The experiment’s findings highlight the ability of the ML algorithms to find noticeable patterns of built environment from aerial imagery. However, local knowledge is indispensable to interpret results in a meaningful way. The combination of the two approaches emphasizes the complementary nature of them and shows how ML methods can be a tool at the service of communities.

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Essay

Navigating AI-Enabled Modalities of Representation and Materialization in Architecture: Visual Tropes, Verbal Biases, and Geo-Specificity

by: Asma Mehan , Sina Mostafavi VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 267 - 282 published: 2023-12-01

This research delves into the potential of implementing artificial intelligence in architecture. It specifically provides a critical assessment of AI-enabled workflows, encompassing creative ideation, representation, materiality, and critical thinking, facilitated by prompt-based generative processes. In this context, the paper provides an examination of the concept of hybrid human–machine intelligence. In an era characterized by pervasive data bias and engineered injustices, the concept of hybrid intelligence emerges as a critical tool, enabling the transcendence of preconceived stereotypes, clichés, and linguistic prejudices. This paper not only explores the applied and generative capacities of AI-enabled workflows but also suggests fundamental approaches that can enhance the creative process and confront the embedded biases and injustices within data-driven systems.

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Article

Architecture’s “Recording Deluge”: The Nexus Between Architectural Design, AI, and Data Harvesting

by: Giuseppe Canestrino VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 283 - 301 published: 2023-12-01

As contemporary artificial intelligence (AI) tools are showing the ability to decipher intricate systems through the identification of correlations within vast datasets, the capacity to record, store, and utilize this data nowadays takes a central position in the cultural debate of an increasing number of disciplines. Architectural scholars, however, seem more interested in the explicit expression of AI, such as the development of new tools, rather than in how AI can challenge the ontology and epistemology of architectural design. Discussion of the research of scholars like Maurizio Ferraris, or Shoshanna Zuboff who investigates the societal consequences of data-harvesting practices, may reveal an ongoing change in the accumulation, preservation, and exploitation processes of architectural knowledge. This research intends to explore how one of the raw materials on which AI is nurtured, namely the abundance of data, has the potential to shape and guide forthcoming developments in architectural design.

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Essay

Site and AI: A Paradigm Shift

by: Genevieve Baudoin , Bruce A. Johnson VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 319 - 333 published: 2023-12-01

AI’s potential is in its ability to sift through vast amounts of contextual data that can drive design decisions. It offers the opportunity to process information about a virtually limitless number of subjects, at a conscious or unconscious level. This has created what Thom Mayne describes as a “paradigm shift” in our perception of site. The architect can now curate, directing results based on AI to restore specificity to projects that, through the distance created between the real site and the computer model, we have lost along the way. We rely on technological workarounds to fix many designable issues in our buildings – an over-reliance on climate control, a willingness to place buildings directly in harm’s way (i.e., building on flood plains), and an ignorance of the context of a site (from archeology to gentrification). This paper offers a provocation: AI can create a return to site and construction sensibilities by harnessing layered data sets such as orientation, topography, climate, or even social fabric. Can AI chart a course towards less reliance on technological band-aids in the production of building?

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Essay

AI and Design Synthesis: Hybridity and Hybrid Form

by: Karim W. F. Youssef VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 335 - 348 published: 2023-12-01

AI, as a gamechanger, is revolutionizing the architectural and urban scenes so drastically that the way our buildings and cities will look like and be experienced will fundamentally change. The overarching purpose of the paper is to take a modest step towards understanding the paradigmatic role of AI in changing the form of our built environments. The paper conceptualizes AI’s role in the design process as essentially the suggestion of hybrid solutions, transforming the nature of the built environment to a hybrid between its static and non-static, real and virtual forms. The basic question to pose is the role of AI technology in assisting the design process, gearing it towards the creation of hybrid forms that redefine the relationship between humans and their built environment in a meaningful way and that also address the complex problems of our contemporary society which hinge upon the resilience of the architecture and urban form of the space we inhabit. AI technology is being increasingly embedded into our inhabited environment affecting the built expression of architecture as well as the process and practice of designing architecture. 

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Article

AI as a Facility for Sustainability: Digital Design Studio Education’s Prospects and Challenges

by: Anas Lila , Sigita Zigure VOLUME 8/2023 - Issue 2 , Pages: 349 - 368 published: 2023-12-01

This research presents the implementation of AI-driven design approaches for final-year architectural design students, aiming to enhance environmental decision-making in their projects. It explores motivations, challenges, and outcomes of integrating AI tools into architectural practice. The use of AI facilitated evidence-based design and increased design exploration. Students showed a strong interest in quantitative environmental design. The research highlights the need for adapting architectural education to incorporate AI and sustainability, aligning with recent reforms in the field. It offers valuable insights for educational bodies, practitioners, and program administrators, emphasizing the importance of AI in training future architectural professionals.

 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

An Urgent Task Ahead

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 2/2017 - Issue 2 [RESILIENT EDGES], Pages: 157 - 159 published: 2018-02-08
 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2019]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2019-09-05
 Open Access
Editorial

From Question to Right

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 2 [The Right to Housing], Pages: 265 - 267 published: 2023-02-07
 Open Access
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2021]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2021-06-21
 Open Access
EDITORIAL
Editorial

Beyond What Is Right

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 2 [GENDER MATTERS], Pages: 269 - 271 published: 2020-02-07
 Open Access
Position Paper

The Right to Housing: A Holistic Perspective. From Concept to Advocacy, Policy, and Practice

by: Ron Shiffman VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 2 [The Right to Housing], Pages: 269 - 267 published: 2023-01-10
 Open Access
Editorial

In This Issue [1/2022]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 published: 2022-07-22
 Open Access
CROSS-DISCIPLINARY STUDIES
Opinion

Baukultur in a Cybernetic Age: A Conversation

by: Michael A. Arbib , Meredith Banasiak , Bob Condia , Colin Ellard , Jonathan Enns , Melissa Farling , Robert Lamb Hart , Richard Hassell , Eduardo Macagno , Harry Mallgrave , Fred Marks , Juhani Pallasmaa , Sarah Robinson VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 7 - 28 published: 2021-05-14

We received and we gladly publish this conversation among distinguished theorists and scholars on an important topic, also aligned with the cross-disciplinary mission of our journal. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The article offers a multi-author conversation charting the future of architecture in light of the apparent tension between Baukultur, which combines the culture of building and the building of this culture, and the rapid changes brought about by digital technology, embracing cybernetics and artificial intelligence. The article builds on a discussion of Baukultur to debate in what sense buildings are “machines for living in,” then examines neuromorphic architecture wherein cybernetic mechanisms help buildings sense the needs of their occupants. It closes with an example of a building complex, Kampung Admiralty, that combines cybernetic opportunities with a pioneering approach to building “community and biophilia” into our cities. This article interleaves an abridged version of Michael Arbib’s (2019) article “Baukultur in a Cybernetic Age,” 1 with extensive comments by the co-authors.

 Open Access
Position Paper

Gender Matters. The Grand Architectural Revolution

by: Dörte Kuhlmann, Guest-Editor VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 2 [GENDER MATTERS], Pages: 273 - 279 published: 2020-02-07
 Open Access
Position Paper

A Right to Housing: A Compelling Idea and an Elusive Reality

by: Rachel G. Bratt VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 2 [The Right to Housing], Pages: 287 - 297 published: 2023-01-10
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CRITICISM
Essay

Japanese Architecture Returns to Nature: Sou Fujimoto in Context

by: Botond Bognar VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 1 , Pages: 7 - 36 published: 2022-05-16

We received and we gladly publish a contribution by distinguished author Prof. Botond Bognar. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The essay introduces the development of Sou Fujimoto’s architecture as it has been influenced by various sources and experiences leading to his recently completed and highly recognized major project, the  House of Hungarian Music in Budapest. Among these influences the contemporary economic and political conditions in Japan and beyond, as well as the nature-inspired work of prominent Japanese designers are discussed. Touching upon the seminal work by Tadao Ando and Toyo Ito, the essay also highlights the contrasts and occasional similarities between the so-called “White School” and “Red School” in contemporary Japanese architecture, in referencing nature as the primary source of their designs. Today, these “schools” are best represented, respectively, by the activities of SANAA and Kengo Kuma. Although Fujimoto’s architecture is clearly derivative and part of the radically minimalist White School, the House of Hungarian Music reveals an intimacy and richness 

in articulating its relationship to the surrounding natural environment, which quality, if perhaps momentarily, points beyond the minimalism of the “Whites.”

 Open Access
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
Project

Levitas

by: Ian Ritchie , Marco Imperadori , Marco Clozza VOLUME 6/2021 - Issue 1 , Pages: 29 - 46 published: 2021-05-10

We received and we gladly publish this contribution by distinguished designer and theorist Ian Ritchie, as an example of that bridging research and practice which our journal intends to promote and disseminate. [MS]

 

ABSTRACT - The design and engineering development of two apex connected square woven flat surfaces, each constrained at ground level by three anchors and lifted to form a 3D gridshell whose theoretical geometry is modified by the small sectional profile of the rectangular members made of wood. The warp and weft of the weave are of identical section and made from Italian red oak. The process of artistic investigation is explained and then taken into theoretical designs, computed, and is then tested iteratively through choice of wood, a 33% physical model which is laser surveyed and fed back into the computer model and FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis, and finally followed by a partial full scale mock up, before realising the sculpture at the Arte Sella environmental art park.

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Essay

At Home with the Collective: Hilberseimer, Labor Unions, and the Women’s Movement

by: Alexander Eisenschmidt VOLUME 7/2022 - Issue 2 [The Right to Housing], Pages: 299 - 323 published: 2023-02-02

While housing could be described as one of the basic forms of architecture and one of its main responsibilities, if not today’s most crucial task, architecture has largely ceased to rethink established forms of living and the politics and economies that surround it. Escaping the pervasive models of profit-based home ownership in the West seems increasingly difficult when housing is dominated by neoliberal market values. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, however, some architects struggled with similar conditions within the metropolis. Ludwig Hilberseimer’s proposals for new types of living for a new kind of liberated individual are particularly instructive today as they rethought housing as a right, allied with unions in order to rethink its financial models, and learned from activists in the Women’s Movement to question the dominant narratives around heteronormative family structures and domestic labor. In our time of ballooning housing costs, stagnant wages, failed trickle-down economics, and shortages of affordable housing, these urgencies have not lost but only gained momentum.

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