Upgrading Participation Through Computational Thinking in Architecture

Albayrak de Brito Colaço, Canan
Mennan, Zeynep
Advances in socio-technologies have contributed to a cultural shift towards active participation in society and eventually gave rise to a participatory culture. In the design context, the distinction between pseudo- and genuine participation comes into prominence. This paper traces the intersection and convergence of design participation and design computation in architecture. The starting point of this research is an inquiry into the thread of user participation in architectural design grounded in the design methods movement as an alliance between participation and computation. For the purpose of studying relationships between participatory design and computational design, this paper revisits the premises of the 1971 Design Participation Conference together with early examples of architectural participation projects from the 70s (Lewisham Houses of Walter Segal, and Supports of John Habraken) and the computational realizations of these early participatory models (John Frazer’s computational model of Segal Method, and MIT’s Open Source Building Alliance’s computational model of Supports). This exploration suggests that computational design thinking can be addressed to open and extend architectural design to a wider range of participants, upgrading the first participatory paradigm. The design of norm/objectile/genotype by the architect and that of form/object/phenotype by the user is studied to support this argument.


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Citation Formats
C. Albayrak de Brito Colaço and Z. Mennan, Upgrading Participation Through Computational Thinking in Architecture. 2021, p. 90.