Prosumer Revolution

New avenues in computerized architecture.

Noam Dvir
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Noam Dvir

Last night the exhibit "Parameter: Digital Collaborative Design" opened in the ZeZeZe Architectural Gallery in the Tel Aviv port. The exhibit is the product of collaboration between the department of interior design in the academic track of the College of Management and the Institute for Advanced Architecture in Catalonia, and it presents the work of students and professors from both. It was created by Ariel Blonder, Guy Austern and Mushit Fidelman.

Digital architecture is the bon-ton of contemporary professional discourse the world over. Everyone wants to take part in the computerized celebration and the innovative and complex aesthetic that it is capable of creating - works by architects such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are examples of that.

'CCloud,' an exercise in contemporary art, at the 'Parameter: Digital Collaborative Design' exhibit at the ZeZeZe Architectural Gallery.

But too frequently it seems that the discussion of digital architecture is limited to complicated lines of code, gimmicks of shape and three-dimensional printers. Can computers contribute more than advanced design and production capabilities?

"In our era of intensive sharing of information, Internet users are both consumers of content and creators of content, they have become prosumers [producers plus consumers]," explains Areti Markopoulou, a Greek architect and professor in the Institute for Advanced Architecture in Catalonia. "Information sharing leads to cooperation and opens opportunities to manage design content as in Wikipedia - in a democratic manner, and by all the users simultaneously."

As an example she describes a work called "CCloud" in the exhibit, a kind of three-dimensional puzzle composed of similar but different pieces. A computerized interface enables users from all over the world to design and produce one piece of the puzzle. The various pieces were produced in the end in various cities all over the world and sent to Tel Aviv.

An Internet blog documented the daily experiences of the users. "This is an open code initiative that encourages information sharing," says Markopoulou. "Every user from everywhere in the world has equal rights in the process of planning and production, this is a new model for architectural activity."

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