“Why are you doing this?” Here is why.

On the 31st of December 2022, I put an end to an important chapter of my career as educator and professor.

In fact, after 6 years of intense dedication, I decided to step back from my position as Director of Design by Data, the Executive Master in Computational Design for Architecture I have founded at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

Quitting one of the most prestigious school of Europe while letting go a series of incredible adventures and relations with my students was not an easy decision to make, but I had important reasons to do so.

A few days ago, I published on Linked-in a post to explain and disclose the story of the Master, and also to share which projects I am focusing next: directing Volumes company to expand worldwide, bringing back Villa Buonaccorsi to the commons, and founding a startup studio for the construction industry and supporting independent education.

Below is a copy of my post – you can also find the original one here

Somewhere in 2015, while having a drink with my friends Aldo and Minh after one of our computational design workshops in Paris, Aldo declared it was time to stop running workshops and to launch a master program in computational design, the first of its kind in France.

When Aldo Sollazzo says something, you’d better execute it.

Continue reading “Why are you doing this?” Here is why.

ONE BILLION TIMES : drawing the shape of time, space and growth

As I wrote in my previous post, ONE BILLION TIMES is an attempt to create a unique representation of time and space.

The project consists of a device ( D ) that continuously captures photos of a target landscape ( T ) and a screen ( R ) that displays an animated picture. Each pixel of the resulting image has an RGB value updated in real time defined by calculating the average of all the previous RGB values of that pixel.

The inspiration behind the project is the obsessive desire to synthesise the story of the world and reduce it to one word, one image, one thought..

In this way, ONE BILLIONS TIMES paradoxically pretends to reproduce by digital visual media the ability of human brain to summarise and to see the big picture of things.

ONE BILLION TIMES Continue reading ONE BILLION TIMES : drawing the shape of time, space and growth

Parametric VS Computational Design

There is big trend about parametric approach and computation in design and architecture. In the last months, I’ve repeatedly been involved in discussions about if it would be more exact to call what we do as designers “computational design” or “parametric design”. It is not a useful discussion, I have to say.

I have the feeling that computational design is more trendy and parametric design is more nineties, would you agree with that ? As Aldo from Noumena Architecture said during our last workshop : “Don’t say parametric design!”.

But what is the difference between “parametric design” and “computational design” ?

I don’t know. “Computational design” refers to the use of computers and mathematical approach to the generation of geometries, objects and architecture. “Parametric design” is about using parameters to design things. It means that if parameters changes, the result change. Regardless of which expression is the best, what interests me the most is the idea of focusing on design process instead of designed objects.

Parametric VS Computation design

The process is everything

The process is everything (Mies would say that “God is in the process”) and that’s why I think that “parametric design” is still an interesting way to explain our approach. Parameters is about changing conditions and adaptability to user needs. We need to design process instead of objects.

François Roche recently published on his blog our emails exchanges about these topics. If you know him a bit, you would not be surprised to see that he’s not very polite. If you don’t speak French, try to google translate the post.

François Roche says that “computation is a good think, not parametric design…it’s like confusing science with the power of science”.

I answered “Personally, I’m more interested in action than language.” Continue reading Parametric VS Computational Design

coworking as an architect

Jennifer from Cowork Penticton asked me a few questions about how coworking is for an architect. An architectural firm in her own town is considering coworking, but they would like to hear comments from others before committing and she is looking for some feedbacks. As an architect it is very interesting for me, as I’m noticing that while coworking is something normal for graphic designers, social entrepreneurs and web developers, it’s not the same for architects. For instance, at mutinerie coworking, one of the place where I cowork, I am one of the few architects of the community (and maybe the only one). Continue reading coworking as an architect