Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Question 2: the tools

2. Given the perimeter, what are the most important tools for the
architect? Are there new tools, or are we mutating the usual ones?

In my view, it is better to discuss medium than tools. Merely performing a process does not imply that one has a tool. The medium in question is certainly software, but that is a broad range. Geometric modeling is difficult and time-consuming; GIS is geeky; but photoshop and illustrator let even a beginner fill up screens and walls.

Or one could ask about representational genres. By whatever name, it is DIAGRAMMING that has risen to the forefront, both in schools and in practice. This is a much more information-intensive form of diagramming than the circle-and-arrows versions used by architects in the mid 20th century. Its mastery raises the stakes in INFORMATION DESIGN, or at least a subset of that larger and newer field.

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