chapter  6
Algorithmic Form
Pages 11

While many algorithms have been invented and implemented for architectural design in space allocation and planning problems,1 their implementation in aesthetics and formal theories has been, generally, limited. Most of the theories related to form pertain mainly to subjective interpretation and perception. In contrast, algorithmic logic involves a deterministic approach to form and its shaping forces; it suggests rationality, consistency, coherency, organization, and systemization. What makes algorithmic logic so problematic for architects is that they have maintained an ethos of artistic sensibility and intuitive playfulness in their practice. In contrast, because of its mechanistic nature, an algorithm is perceived as a non-human creation and therefore is considered distant and remote. Traditionally, the dominant mode for discussing creativity in architecture has always been that of intuition and talent, where stylistic ideas are pervaded by an individual, a “star,” or a group of talented partners within the practice. In contrast, an algorithm is a procedure, the result of which is not necessarily credited to its creator. Algorithms are understood as abstract and universal mathematical operations that can be applied to almost any kind or any quantity of elements. For instance, an algorithm in computational geometry is not about the person who invented it but rather about its efficiency, speed, and generality. Consequently, the use of algorithms to address formal problems is regarded suspiciously by some2 as an attempt to

overlook human sensitivity and creativity and give credit instead to an anonymous, mechanistic, and automated procedure.3