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  • Masterclass in Digital Arch.: The Speculative Object

    Drawing courtesy of Stephanie MEDEL.
    new york NEW YORK

    Modernism has had recurrent trouble with the aesthetic problem of realism. The avant-garde tactics of the past century established a critical discourse directed against the naïve realism of traditional pictorial resemblance.

    workshop: “Masterclass in Digital Architecture: The Speculative Object.”
    07/07–08/01 // The Cooper Union
    41 Cooper Square
    New York, NY 10003

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    This was done by and large through an attack exposing latent assumptions and conventions regarding the relations between reality and representation. As important as many of these projects were, they ultimately all become projects that undermined reality in favor of a focused attention to the specificity of a medium through abstraction.

    A shift in these aesthetic questions has been underway in recent years due to an assortment of contemporary intellectual positions that seek to speculate directly on and with the objects of reality. As a loosely collected ensemble of philosophical, literary and art discourse; Speculative Realism, Object Oriented Ontology, Parafiction, and Counterfactual History all direct attention to an aesthetic engagement with realism that does not assume that all resemblance is naive, nor that resistance lies only through critical exposé, but that at a fundamental level, realism is inherently strange.

    This discussion is of great importance for contemporary architecture and design. Architecture directly intervenes in the real world, yet the architect acts at a removed distance through mediations. The past two decades have seen a shift in the technologies of design mediation, producing a different set of representational problems for architecture. To draw attention to three pertinent issues: one, the creation and manipulation of a digital model as variable virtual object; two, the rethinking of material assemblies through digital fabrication; and three, the image produced through photorealistic rendering and composite artistry.

    The Masterclass will consist of three one-week studio sessions focused on specific topics. The 4th week will be spent tying together all the work into a single project. During the workshop there will be lectures, roundtable discussions, pin-up reviews, guest presentations, and field-trips throughout New York City.

    The workshop will take place at The Cooper Union in the heart of New York City. All students will have studio space in which the production, discussion, presentation, and review of the work will take place. All students will have access to the digital studio, which includes all necessary software and hardware, both PC and Mac, output including Laser printers and Plotters, 3-D Printers and Lasercutters, and the full shop of The Cooper Union for wood and metal working.

    Masterclass Leaders
    Kutan Ayata (Pratt, Young & Ayata)
    Ferda Kolatan (Penn, su11)
    Jason Payne (UCLA, Hirsuta)
    Rhett Russo (NJIT, Specific Objects)
    David Ruy (Pratt, Ruy Klein)
    Michael Young (Cooper Union, Young & Ayata)

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