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The Nineties started angular and ended curvilinear. In architecture, they started deconstructivist and ended topological. Seldom has a new trend in architecture encountered such a meteoric rise and fall: it is now generally surmised that the new, smooth and curving forms that characterized the end of the millennium were driven by new computer technologies, and the appeal of digital architecture has already declined alongside the declining fortunes of what was once called the IT revolution.
Folding in Architecture, edited by Greg Lynn and first published as an issue of Architectural Design in 1993, is already a classic. A catalyst for the wave of change that was already in the air at the beginning of the decade, it anticipated and ushered in many distinctive features of architecture in the first digital age. This is a facsimile of that seminal issue, reprinted identically and unabridged, with the addition of new introductory essays by Mario Carpo, Head of the Study Centre at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and Greg Lynn.
Situated in what can now be aptly defined as its historical context, this reprint offers to contemporary readers a privileged insight into the early steps of a revolution in the making. It will also help to reconstruct the cultural environment that preceded and prompted the mass diffusion of digital technologies in architectural design, and the ambitions and ferments that eventually shaped and inspired the rise of computer-based design and manufacturing.
Greg Lynn is an architect with practices in Los Angeles (FORM) and New York (United Architects). He is also a Professor at the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University (2004) and Studio Professor at UCLA.
Mario Carpo is Head of the Study Centre at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History at Williams College (2004); and Associate Professor of Architectural History at the School of Architecture of Saint-Etienne, France (on leave).