Philippe Morel: Working with the Intrinsic

Cornell in Rome - Spring 2018 Lecture Series

Philippe Morel is an architect and theorist, cofounder of EZCT Architecture and Design Research (2000), and, more recently, cofounder and CEO of the large-scale, 3D-printing corporation XtreeE (2015). He is currently an associate professor at the ENSA Paris-Malaquais, where he leads the digital knowledge program that he cofounded with Christian Girard. He is also the head of the scientific and pedagogical committee of the Advanced Master in Computational Design, Digital Manufacturing, and Building Technologies Program at the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. Previously, Morel was an invited research cluster and M.Arch. diploma unit master at The Bartlett, University College London. Prior to The Bartlett, he taught at the Berlage Institute (seminar and studio) and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (history and theory studies seminar and Architectural Association Design Research Lab studio).

Morel's long-lasting interest in the elaboration of the theory of computational architecture is well expressed by some of his first published essays including "The Integral Capitalism" (2000–02), "Research On the Biocapitalist Landscape" (2002), "Notes on Algorithmic Design" (2003), "Notes on Computational Architecture" (2004), "A Few Precisions on Architecture and Mathematics" (Mathematica Day, Henri Poincare Institute, Paris, January 2004), and "Forms of Formal Languages: Introduction to Algorithmics and Bezier Geometry" (with Mathematica, 2005). Morel has lectured in various places including MIT's Department of Architecture and the Architectural Association.

In February 2007, Morel curated the exhibition Architecture beyond Forms: The Computational Turn of Architecture at the Maison de l’architecture et de la ville PACA in Marseille. Explicitly departing from Eisenman's dissertation, The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture (1963,) the exhibition addressed both historically and theoretically the linguistic and computational turns in architectural design. Morel's book, Empiricism and Objectivity: Architectural Investigations with Mathematica (2003-2004), subtitled A Coded Theory for Computational Architecture, exhibited at ScriptedByPurpose (Philadelphia, 2007), is to be considered the first architectural theory book entirely written in code. EZCT work, present in the FRAC Centre and Centre Pompidou permanent collections as well as in private collections, has been presented recently in the exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

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