Computer Aided Design software has an unfortunate tendency to suppress the rich dimensions of computational complexity in favor of a feeble representation of dimension appropriately labeled D. 3D and 4D software applications categorically manifest either the three geometric axes of Cartesian space or the four axes of Minkowskian space-time in spatial dimensions. But all that these dimensional representations can portray are geometric simulations of objects in space. Computational multi-dimensionality as expressed in the mechanisms of numeric manipulation offers designers more: a space for design parallel to that space within which architects have traditionally designed.
To begin talking about The Mistaken Dimensionality of CAD, Brian Lonsway makes it clear that he stands on the more critical side of a long-lasting issue that has been raised to the public since the first time technology was introduced to architecture: do digital algorithms benefit or hinder architects in terms of making architecture? Trying to create softwares that can show the concepts of space and time altogether has been a goal for many in the recent years, but would a flat screen really be able to give justice to these three-dimensional ideas?
One of the negative impacts that are discussed in the article is the idea of representation. People always argue that without a [physical] model, it is very hard to understand the spatial relationship that resides within a scheme. Although there are architects who would prefer plan drawings to models, for most people (especially those who are not from a similar background) it is much more clear to see a space in a physically constructed form. Another issue architects have when using the digital means is that they are restricted to what they can design. In another term, they can only design depending upon the commands they know; they can only be as creative as the digital programs allow them to be.
However, neither of these are directly responsible for why there is a mistaken approach of architecture, more particularly, in studio here at RPI. The year of 2017 is the first class that was taught how to use Rhinoceros in the first semester of its first year. This decision to change was made upon the thinking that students should familiarize themselves with what is in trend or the kind of tools they could apply to help them design. However, what is actually happening most of the time in studio is exactly what should not be happening. When compared to the year of 2016 or even upper class students, our year seems to know more about using certain modeling software and its commands, but models generated in such software rarely are designed to a higher standard, to put it in a better way, they rarely represent a student’s thought process as much as do others that take forms from pure pondering in terms of creating space. Some of our works are more like a way of showing what computers can do, and that we have somehow found a way to...