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Informed Architecture Computational Strategies in Architectural Design

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Computation is the New Black,”the title of the seminar that has inspired this book, refers to an approach taken by Prof. Marco Hemmerling together with Prof.

 Luigi Cocchiarella to inquire further into the issue of the implementation of computation and digital technology in architecture, and the present-day education in architecture.

 The seminar was held at the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering (AUIC) of the Politecnico di Milano in January 2016, in parallel with an exhibition showing the educational results of two courses focusing on computational design and advanced fabrication, led by Prof. Marco Hemmerling, who was teaching at our School as a visiting professor.

 Given the aim of Profs. Hemmerling and Cocchiarella to elucidate the role of digital technologies in architectural education, it isfirst necessary to define a set of disciplines relevant to this topic, such as architecture and design, representation, mathematics, and geometry.

 These different disciplines will come together to collaborate in defining tools and the methods of using them in architecture and design. Our School has become very sensitive to the issue of modernizing education in architecture, in terms of not only tools and strategies but also infrastructure.

 On the first point, several committees have been at work redesigning our Bachelor’s and Master’s curricula, and the contributions of visiting professors and international experts from all over the world have been increased, in conjunction with a dense program of conference and seminars promoted and held at our headquarters.

 On the second point, we have started working on a series of projects, together with the rectorate and the departments, focusing on updating and enlarging our technical laboratories, whose contribution is now even more integrated into the daily educational activities.

 The experience which students under Prof. Marco Hemmerling have obtained from studies and research is important in testing this topic and has led to a strong debate in our School at the Politecnico di Milano.

Promoting innovation also offers an opportunity to gain benefits from research, which at the Politecnico di Milano involves several engineering and designfields strongly related to architecture. 

Nowadays, the computational approach offers a common language that can enormously ease and improve the dialog among experts, with positive effects on not only education but also research and professional practice, as well as their interaction.

 Considering the international scenario, that is, the multiplicity of backgrounds of the incoming students, and the complexity of the professional areas related to architecture, an important part of the mission of the School is also to provide adequate support for new students in order to ensure that they are sufficiently advanced to profit from attending the programs, and at the same time to enhance targeted traineeships and work experiences as a part of the educational project. 

Accordingly, the School organized a group of professors who have the goal and mission to explore in depth the topic of how to derive tools that can be given to our students in order to enhance the new approach, and to investigate how it can contribute to the present-day architecture, to the students, and to society.