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Code, Form, Space

Dates: 2009 Feb. 3-7

Algorithmic processes, harnessed through the medium of code, allow creators to generate complex forms and organic structures by the application of elementary but carefully-tuned sets of rules. Digital fabrication systems, such as computer-controlled laser cutters, 3D printers, and machining systems, offer a nearly instantaneous way of exploring ideas in new spatial and material formats. The combination of these two approaches represents an extreme but growing position in art and design, wherein the traditions of hand-craft are exchanged almost entirely for the unprecedented possibilities made possible through a demanding new form of mind-craft.

In this mini-symposium, we present four practitioners  Casey Reas, Marius Watz, Ben Pell, and MOS Architects (directed by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample)  who are refiguring the material world through rule systems and digital fabrication tools. Their work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture, and engineering; the objectives of provocation, of utility, and of pure aesthetic delight; and the realms of bits, atoms, and ideas. All of these practitioners have singularly rigorous personal aesthetics and sensitive understandings of how the arts can transform the way we live. In their contrasting approaches at the limits of digital craft we can catch a glimpse of a new humanism in our increasingly computer-articulated environments.

The Code, Form, Space mini-symposium, directed by Professors Jeremy Ficca and Golan Levin, is a collaborative venture of the Digital Fabrication Laboratory (dFAB) in the CMU School of Architecture and the CMU School of Art Lecture Series. We are grateful to the following sponsors for making this event possible:

The Enkeboll foundation; the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, School of Art, and School of Design; the Offices of the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Vice President of Research, Vice-Provost for Education, and Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon; Bitforms Gallery, NYC; and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

C.E.B. Reas_ Design / Media Arts, UCLA
Marius Watz_ Oslo School of Architecture, Oslo National  Academy of the Arts
Ben Pell_ PellOverton + Yale University
Hilary Sample & Michael Meredith_ MOS + Yale and Harvard Universities

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