What Mario Carpo defines as “the second digital turn” represents, for creative disciplines as architecture, an irreversible process. Nowadays, digital tools are a powerful ecosystem meant to progressively change the traditional paradigms of architectural design. Without upgrading his methods, education in architecture turns out to be inappropriate for future scenarios. From the beginnings of CAD to the current tools for computational design, the main effect of digital-based teaching methods is the displacement of design practice into virtual environments. After more than three decades since the introduction of digital tools in architecture learning programs, a question arises: does working in virtual environments stimulate creativity or does it separate student from reality, pushing him at “thinking in silos”? There is a wide range of literature supporting the negative effects of virtual realities on cognitive processes. Digital-native students are indeed very familiar with the world of virtuality but often they are not able to “face” physical reality, while architecture belongs to it. In the digital realm, digital fabrication is a vast ecosystem of techniques and devices. Digital fabrication is a design and manufacturing workflow where digital data directly drives manufacturing equipment. This data most often comes from CAD (computer-aided design), which is then transferred to CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software. The output of CAM software is data that directs a specific additive and subtractive manufacturing tool, such as a 3D printer or CNC milling machine. Digital fabrication is usually intended as a production process. Indeed, it is employed in many advanced industrial productions. Nevertheless, it can be also seen as a creative design process. In this meaning, designer can quickly and repeatedly “prototype” small-scale samples of the project (or its parts), shifting from the “virtuality” of Cad environment to the “materiality” of physical samples at every stage of the project. This method allows the designer to carry out a “phygital” (according to a recent neologism ) design experience, based on the continuous interaction between the “digital” and “physical” world. The paper presents the result of an experimental teaching program developed at the School of Architecture and Design “Eduardo Vittoria” (SAAD) of the University of Camerino that focuses on: a) digital fabrication and prototyping as innovative teaching methods in architectural design; b) the “fab lab” (a collaborative space equipped with devices for digital fabrication) as a challenging environment where experiencing phygital teaching experiences.

Education in future tense. A “phigital” experience in the field of architecture

Roberto Ruggiero
2023-01-01

Abstract

What Mario Carpo defines as “the second digital turn” represents, for creative disciplines as architecture, an irreversible process. Nowadays, digital tools are a powerful ecosystem meant to progressively change the traditional paradigms of architectural design. Without upgrading his methods, education in architecture turns out to be inappropriate for future scenarios. From the beginnings of CAD to the current tools for computational design, the main effect of digital-based teaching methods is the displacement of design practice into virtual environments. After more than three decades since the introduction of digital tools in architecture learning programs, a question arises: does working in virtual environments stimulate creativity or does it separate student from reality, pushing him at “thinking in silos”? There is a wide range of literature supporting the negative effects of virtual realities on cognitive processes. Digital-native students are indeed very familiar with the world of virtuality but often they are not able to “face” physical reality, while architecture belongs to it. In the digital realm, digital fabrication is a vast ecosystem of techniques and devices. Digital fabrication is a design and manufacturing workflow where digital data directly drives manufacturing equipment. This data most often comes from CAD (computer-aided design), which is then transferred to CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software. The output of CAM software is data that directs a specific additive and subtractive manufacturing tool, such as a 3D printer or CNC milling machine. Digital fabrication is usually intended as a production process. Indeed, it is employed in many advanced industrial productions. Nevertheless, it can be also seen as a creative design process. In this meaning, designer can quickly and repeatedly “prototype” small-scale samples of the project (or its parts), shifting from the “virtuality” of Cad environment to the “materiality” of physical samples at every stage of the project. This method allows the designer to carry out a “phygital” (according to a recent neologism ) design experience, based on the continuous interaction between the “digital” and “physical” world. The paper presents the result of an experimental teaching program developed at the School of Architecture and Design “Eduardo Vittoria” (SAAD) of the University of Camerino that focuses on: a) digital fabrication and prototyping as innovative teaching methods in architectural design; b) the “fab lab” (a collaborative space equipped with devices for digital fabrication) as a challenging environment where experiencing phygital teaching experiences.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/471786
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