On Authorship in the Age of Generative Architectural Design

Arch‭. ‬Des Fagan‭, ‬Lancaster University‭ (‬UK‭)‬

Abstract‭: ‬A comprehensive analysis‭ / ‬review of key case studies relating to Authorship in the context of generative or computer‭ ‬automated architectural design‭, ‬structured as narrative‭, ‬setting the historical‭, ‬contemporary and future context of ownership and intellectual property‭. ‬The work will feature as a central focus the importance that pattern identification has had in the development of the architect’s skillset including medieval‭, ‬gothic and modernist styles‭ (‬Salingros‭, ‬1999‭); ‬and compare these to the evolution of computing in‭ ‬methods of the same‭ (‬Harding and Shepard‭, ‬2004‭). ‬The talk will go on to refer to modern and developing areas of research interest in the areas of machine learning and GAN methods for automated design‭.‬

The talk references a series of existing case studies to provoke debate on authenticity and intellectual property in design‭, ‬including‭:‬

•‭ ‬Bernard Cache’s Table Objectile‭ ‬‮—‬‭ ‬An‭ ‬experiment into mass customisation by computing to incrementally iterate table design to provide multiple‭ ‬‘originals’‭;‬

•‭ ‬Greg Lynn’s series of 99‭ ‬teapots for Alessi‭, ‬a reflection on cost and numerical rarity‭;‬

•‭ ‬Rubin and Riehl’s musical algorithm software‭, ‬capable of generating 300,000‭ ‬melodies each second‭, ‬creating a catalogue of 68‭ ‬billion 8-note melodies then copyrighted and released into the public domain in the hope of stifling litigious musicians‭;‬

•‭ ‬Stanislas Chaillou’s work on generative floor plans and the impact of intellectual property on the dataset‭.‬

Short CV‭: ‬Des Fegan is Head of Architecture‭ ‬at Lancaster University‭. ‬He has lectured extensively on optimisation in architecture and on inter-disciplinary approaches to community and business engagement‭. ‬He has worked with multiple special interest groups in diverse communities of people‭, ‬on projects that focus on the means of improving people’s lives through human-centered automated projects‭. ‬He has achieved this by directing his career towards the critical engagement‭ ‬between academia‭, ‬practice and community groups‭. ‬He is the UK Lead‭ ‬for academic processes of prescription‭ ‬in his position as the Advisor to the Architects Registration Board‭. ‬In this role‭, ‬he is the authority on academic procedures and policies for all institutions of Architecture‭, ‬and the main link in the UK between industry and education‭. ‬He has grown a valued network of academic and business partners throughout his career‭. ‬Des was the lead architect for international award-winning‭ ‬practices prior to working in academia‭; ‬most recently as the Project Architect for the Olympic Village Scheme for London 2012‭ ‬at‭ ‬Glenn Howells Architects‭, ‬and as Lead Architect at Zaha Hadid Architects for the Glasgow Transport Museum‭ – ‬winner of the 2013‭ ‬European Museum of the Year‭.‬