paradigms of architectural research and the finding of new land

Isaac Mathew
3 min readApr 5, 2024

Four generations are using the internet today. If the World Wide Web were one extensive library, how we would use it is subject to how we know how to access information in the physical world. Books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and conversations mould the physical world. Our access is also relatively subject to our knowledge access requirements. It is possible, therefore, that the way we see the world is subject to the information bubbles we are in — a sum of our {media} and {social media} feeds.

The problem statement at large is how an architect uses the internet. How is it different from the architectural library, the ones we have had access to while at school or those we may have assembled on our own? The architectural internet is a technology within the disciplinary framework that is understood as such. As new technologies get introduced over weeks, months, and years, we either change how we consume or create what we practice architecture as or stick to our corners of occupancy. Like checking out the new book acquisition shelves, knowing how the algorithms are shifting our view of reality is a task to get to intermittently.

What the parts of the post-pandemic internet and how it unpacks from an architectural point of view is a structured mapping to get to, but for now, if broadly, the library is a place of architectural research, how does it a space construct? If architectural research in the distant past began by building a collection, its evolution reflected on a found information landscape. Then came its development as form-finding, which subsequently developed into urban area development. These days, we are stuck somewhere between multi-disciplinary engagements and computational design.

The writing of architecture, too, has changed. Manifestos, theories, critical histories, planning guidelines, policy documents, research papers and code. All these distinct information streams are made possible by technology. In the past, architecture was only manifested on Earth and dictated by gravity. Code engineers new land. Virtual realities in the past, augmented present on the internet and space, are experienced by images beamed down to us from the very many satellites. Information feeds have changed our imagination of what land is and what is built on it.

As architectural writing and architectural research transform the land on which we traditionally imagined, architecture is transitioning into many realms. There was a retroactive manifesto about the past. The present has had so many that we’ve got bored of them. No one has come up with anything significant for the internet and the metaverse. Then, we have space as lands beyond the clouds, which is only a glimpse of what we have seen for now. If there is one technology that began this re-imagination, it is Google Earth. The site becomes the city, which has now extended into space, both virtual and physical.

the present
the past
the internet
in space

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Isaac Mathew

i think #architecture #art #planning #design #engineering