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- Published on Amazon.com
Contributing to the discussion on the role of digital and emerging technology in the discipline of architecture, Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques documents a series of recent projects with an integral relationship between the act of designing and the act of making. Iwamoto organizes these works in a manner that draws commonalities between their material, tectonic, and spatial innovations, presenting these independent projects as a coherent collective that is innovating architectural thinking, teaching, making, and designing. This curation captures the vanguard spirit of the 1:1 experiments by focusing on smaller-scale projects (fabricated within the past five years, and by relatively young, small firms or even students,) as their prescribed restrictions (the availability of space, budget, materials, and/or tools) promotes innovating standard, accessible materials and machinery to achieve a new, unanticipated affect.
Throughout Digital Fabrications, the emphasis is design + fabrication. Iwamoto excludes purely tectonic projects, as well as unbuilt designs, as the true ethos of these experiments in architectural design/fabrication is how the two processes integrate and inform each other. The projects included are in continuous contact with material and fabrication techniques during the various stages of development. The design (and designer) works in congruence with the computer, as well as the tools and methods of fabrication, to conceive and realize their work. The included projects exemplify how open, synchronous communication between design and manufacturing can, and has been, expanding spatial, material, and tectonic possibilities within the discipline.
Written for "anyone who wants to know how digital fabrication works, why architects use it, and how it promotes innovative design" Iwamoto documents the design process, as well as the material and fabricating techniques used, in order to disseminate these concepts. The structuring of the book, the categorization of projects by their means of their fabrication reinforces the idea that tooling and material techniques are an integral process of the final design. Each of the five parts (sectioning, tessellating, folding, contouring, and forming,) begins with a brief definition of the operation, its historical precedents, its most useful application, as well as its more innovative applications. It is here where Iwamoto takes the opportunity to cite built larger and smaller scale projects, putting the featured projects into a larger context of work while also emphasizing their ingenuity and inventiveness.
The projects featured in Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques are eliminating the boundary between conception and actualization, and are innovating solutions to recurring architectural problems. The digitization of the fabrication process has challenged designers to not only redefine the uses of traditional building materials, but to also redefine the limits of space, and redefine their role in the life of the design.