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The Politics of Parametricism


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction Matthew Poole, Freelance Curator/Writer, UK and Manuel Shvartzberg, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 2. The Historical Pertinence of Parametricism and the Prospect of a Free Market Urban Order Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects, UK 3. On Numbers, More or Less Reinhold Martin, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 4. There is No Such Thing as a Political Architecture; There is No Such Thing as Digital Architecture Neil Leach, USC School of Architecture, USA 5. Parametricist Architecture Would be a Good Idea Benjamin Bratton, University of California, San Diego, USA 6. 'Play Turtle, Do It Yourself': Flocks, Swarms, Schools, and the Political-Architectural Imaginary Manuel Shvartzberg, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 7. Breeding Ideology: Parametricism and Biological Architecture Christina Cogdell, University of California, Davis, USA 8. Speculation, Presumption and Assumption: The Ideology of Algebraic-to-Parametric Workspace Matthew Poole, Freelance Curator/Writer, UK 9. Undelete: Recreating Uncensored Archives Laura Kurgan & Dan Taeyoung, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA 10. Architecture as Disputing Calculations: Notes for a Pragmatic Reframing of Parametricism and Architecture Andres Jaque, Andres Jaque Architects: Office for Political Innovation, Spain 11. Parametric Schizophrenia Peggy Deamer, Yale School of Architecture, USA 12. The Architecture of Neoliberalism Teddy Cruz, University of California, San Diego, USA 13. Parameter Value Phillip G. Bernstein, Autodesk, USA 14. Spinoza's Geometric and Ecological Ratios Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, UK Index

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Explores the social and political consequences of the rise of parametric digital design as both a style and a working process in architecture and urbanism.

About the Author

Matthew Poole is a curator of contemporary art and a curatorial theorist. He currently works at California State University San Bernardino, where he is the Chair of the Department of Art. Manuel Shvartzberg is an architect and researcher. He is currently based in New York City where he is a Researcher at The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, GSAPP and a Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, both at Columbia University, USA.


The Politics of Parametricism is the book I have been waiting for; it stands alone as the best attempt yet to comprehensively understand this 'movement for the 21st century'. Most importantly, it is the first book to critically contextualise Patrik Schumacher's contributions to architectural theory, and to seriously respond to his claims ... Politics engages and explores Parametricism with great care ... [and] has done much to untangle the mess of misconceptions and misinformation surrounding the architect's frequently controversial positions. -- Jack Self * The Architectural Review *
Parametricism is the best and most comprehensive definition of the new technical object of the digital age. Is there a politics of parametricism? Is it different from the politics of the technical object of the industrial age? The answer is yes, of course. The essays in this book also prove without doubt that, in the age of parametricism, politics itself is different from what it was before the digital turn. -- Mario Carpo, Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory, The Bartlett, UCL, UK
Patrik Schumacher writes here that in parametricism participation in political controversy must be taboo. Against this prohibition, the other contributors to The Politics of Parametricism skillfully prise open his argument to reveal the controversial politics - of control, power and the market, of representation, calculation, and simulation - within. A significant and timely intervention, this collection reaffirms the power, potential and necessity of architectural critique. -- Douglas Spencer, Architectural Association School of Architecture, UK

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