On the Spline

On the Spline Spline I recently published an academic paper answering the question: where do curves come from?

I started this research well over a decade ago when I was working everyday with 3D design software at Grimshaw architects in London. The research began when I gave an internal presentation to overcome the architects’ reticence about using 3D software to design their curved buildings (something the practice was already famous for). My quest to demystify curvilinear geometry by explaining its origins and mechanics was fascinating, but also challenging, as I don’t have a technical background in mathematics or computational geometry. I hope that this article will help designers and anyone interested in understanding the origins of our contemporary design language. Continue reading

A+U Magazine: Data-Driven Cities

A+U Magazine Data-Driven Cities IssueI edited the November 2014 issue of a+u (Architecture & Urbanism) magazine. The issue’s theme – Data-Driven Cities – is broad, designed to encompass a range of technological drivers reforming urbanity. It’s also a provocative title which elicited many contributors to implore that human agency, not big data, should sit firmly in the driver’s seat when harnessing computation to analyze, develop and improve cities. Continue reading

Concreteness (from Clog: Brutalism)

Concreteness Clog Brutalism
I recently contributed an article to Clog magazine’s Brutalism issue, about Japan’s long love affair with concrete. The debate surrounding Brutalism hinged upon whether the 20th-century movement was an architectural ethic or merely an aesthetic. Japan’s obsession with concrete (or what I call ‘concreteness’) might be loosely termed ‘brutalist’, but the country has shown how the material, despite architects’ ethical intentions, lends itself all too well to the aesthetics of consumerism.

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