Digital Fabrications in the Living Room: Reflection and Projection in Design Software

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A collage an interior living space occupied by colorful furniture, decorative objects, human figures, and house plants.

Software is a nascent site for self-reflection and expression. It operates as a kind of canvas on which we project images of ourselves not just as "selfies" but also as objects, drawings, images, and other cultural work we produce on screens. Looking at the interface in this way, we can see that it operates similar to painting and the tradition of the self-portrait. Both design software and the painting studio can be considered sites for expressing our deep desires and reflecting on our values. In the living room, we'll consider this dimension of digital interfaces and examine how these tools are shifting our design consciousness. 

Galo Cañizares is a designer, writer, and a 2019–20 Christos Yessios Visiting Professor at the Knowlton School, where he was also the school’s 2016–17 Howard E. LeFevre '29 Emerging Practitioner Fellow. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2014, Galo founded office ca, a research and design collaborative that investigates alternate methods for architectural practice. Some recurring themes of the practice include absurdity, genre fiction, conspiracy theories, world-making, storytelling, simulation, and most recently, the parafictional. His writings have been published in PLAT Journal, Log, eVolo Magazine, POOL Magazine, Thresholds, and Journal of Architectural Education.

Martin Miller is primarily concerned with how the digital onslaught will define our future realities, both physical and virtual. He is the cofounder of the design office AntiStatics Architecture based in Beijing and New York City. Defining a mantra which is ever adaptive to emerging technologies, AntiStatics' work seeks to find a balance between our convergent existences. Recent works include MaoHaus, a thin-shell concrete facade with hidden embedded imagery; Pussy Hut, an inhabitable pussy hat that's a tribute and monument to the Women's Rights movement; and Catenaries, a responsive installation provoking the impact of air as a driver for spatial definition. Miller received his Master's of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania after receiving a B.F.A. in sculpture with a minor in mathematics. He is currently an Assistant Professor of the Practice at Cornell AAP, where he teaches graduate studios as well as seminars focused on the implementation of computational design techniques including artificial intelligence, simulation, and robotic fabrication.

For more information, email, or visit The Living Room on Instagram at @thelivingroomaap and Facebook at The Living Room AAP.


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