Control. Code. Construct. 2019

  • 20-22 June 2019
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Call for Abstracts - Deadline: 04 March 2019


Big Data. Machine Learning. Robotics. Artificial Intelligence. Algorithms. Data. Industry 4.0. Digitalisation. Democratisation. Surveillance. Smartness. Interaction.

Criticality. Challenge. Provocation. Paradigm. Dogma. Avantgarde.

Control. Code. Construct. addresses the implications of these different aspects of tech culture for the applied world of architecture, construction and design. Control. Code. Construct. will serve as a platform to initiate a discussion and debate with the notion of control at its centre. We wish to explore the different dimensions of control for designers, architects and engineers — from controlling material, form and code to controlling processes and start-ups.

Control. Code. Construct. explores the relationship between the adequacy of code, computation and the machine —computer, robot, drone etc.— and tacit knowledge, the type of knowledge that craftsmen or makers hold, accumulated through years of experience and which is hard to transfer into verbal communication, let alone code. Where does the boundary lie between implicit and explicit knowledge, in terms of architecture, construction and design? This question can be also transferred to other domains such as big data, artificial intelligence and smartness — where does computational decision making stop and where does human, soft decision making begin?

Control. Code. Construct. addresses these complexities of making by describing, advancing and ultimately interrogating technical realities in relation to formulated strategies related to material, geometry, structure, data, evaluation, simulation and the used machines.

Computation and construction are closely related to the notion of the designer’s control over process. We wish to investigate the various forms and shapes control can take in the disciplines of architecture, design and engineering. Going beyond theoretical discourses, we intend to explore the realities of making and construction of the creative industries.

The relationship between knowledge and technical realities is best expressed by Frei Otto — “to build means to make architecture real on the borders of knowledge.” What are today’s borders of knowledge and what could the new operational models of architecture, design and engineering look like? In which direction is the design Avantgarde moving and how could the new interdisciplinary design agendas look like? What does control and control of process really mean and how is it formulated when it comes to digital techniques and methodologies? What logics will code and control follow to also facilitate material logics? How do we measure and asses performance within these emerging digital ecologies of making, designing and constructing?

We invite architects, engineers, designers, practitioners, researchers and students to contribute to these discussions, to go beyond theory and to address these questions related to the technical rationalities and realities of the creative industries, to challenge the status quo and to explore different methodologies, agendas, techniques and strategies in relation to code, control and the constructing of process.

The conference focuses on the following 6 areas of interest:

  • Area I: Interaction Design
  • Area II: Additive Manufacturing
  • Area III: Robotic Fabrication & Machine-Learning Algorithms
  • Area IV: Drone Supported Practices
  • Area V: Hacking Infrastructures
  • Area VI: Entrepreneurship