MONDAY  |  FEB 27 |  4:00 PM | AB100

Patrick Danahy will present  a project publication titled “Machined Assemblies: Parts, Patches, and the Relations of Things,” in AB 100 at 4 p.m. Feb. 27. His lecture is part of the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning’s 2022-23 lecture series.

Danahy is an assistant research professor of architecture and the design innovation fellow at Ball State. He holds a BA in Architecture from Clemson University, where he received the graduating faculty award and the Peter Lee and Kenneth Russo Award for Design Excellence. He later graduated with a Master’s of Architecture from University of Pennsylvania where he received numerous awards.

A description of the work to be discussed follows:

Clusters, patches, and pixels are all existing language within a computational space. These terms draw associations to the degree of discretization, where increasing the relative unit size substitutes continuity of the whole for assemblages of interconnected units. To avoid replication of reference in machine learning a few things are necessary: how these things see, or their operative back-end architectures, their semantic resolution, and their relations of parts.

Constructing an operably discrete sample space from the semantically continuous one of models, like neural style models, forces the emergence of parts from input clusters and features. This draws borders that force an ecology of parts where the proportional weighting of parts matters. Each removal of part makes each remaining part take a non-uniformly distributed additional load of the overall compositional whole.

It is not enough to destroy the legibility of the thing, instead we need to allow it to develop new relations, draw out new borders and construct assemblies. The daisy-chained metaphor, as Ian Bogost suggests in ‘Alien Phenomenology: Or What It’s Like to be a Thing,’ is an operative tool where ‘one metaphor clarifies a single relation, but when it becomes overloaded with the metaphor used to describe another relation its clarity clouds, resulting in distortion and confusion.’ (Bogost, 2012)

Operating through a perceptual similarity model, Machined Assemblies, a daisy-chained metaphorical device operating in multi-dimensional arrays, opens opportunities for material scaling without semantic associations, where the emphasis is on the syntagmatic relations of parts rather than paradigmatic ones.

This lecture explores the machine’s interpretation of parts and its impact on the human viewer as we draw our own boundaries around figures or features present within the work.

Valerio Olgiati and Markus Breitschmidt have made a claim this year that we require ‘Non-referential’ architecture to fit within the polyvalent and multifarious world that we currently live within. Instead, I will argue that it is a ‘Non-Semantic’ architecture that defeats the singularity of symbolism while still allowing for what Jane Bennett often describes as a vague referential frame.

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