Digital Fabrications is a collection of essays and half-true stories about design software and hardware. Each piece expands on emerging trends, devices, foibles, and phenomena engendered by an increased reliance on interactions with interfaces in the discipline. The essays ask, how do we characterize our post-digital design labor? What are the politics of design software? How is architecture adapting to a world largely dependent on platforms and scripts? What are the spatial mechanisms of the internet and VR? Using storytelling techniques, this book accepts that software is everywhere, and narrows in on a few ways it has taken command of our cultural products.
From the perspective of architectural design, a field traditionally associated with sketching and its own myths of creativity, computers are an essential workplace tool. Projects rely on a wide assortment of software packages and standalone applications, but rarely do architects reflect on the structure of those programs or how they have infiltrated our disciplinary conventions. PDFs and JPGs are as much a part of our vocabulary as plans, sections, and elevations. A drawing today might refer to a rendering, a CAD document, a proprietary BIM file, or anything that describes a project visually. While one way of examining this disciplinary shift might be to re-imagine how these formal conventions are shifting thanks to digital technologies, this collection of essays puts forth another way: to look at the behaviors, collective trends, and oddities emerging as a result of global software proliferation. These stories, featuring Twitter bots, drawing apps, artists, architects, mobile devices, and Martians, reflect on the vital role interfaces play in all aspects of design, and ask what it means to design in the age of software.