Robot-gestures-011 Poto credits:

Case Sudy_Toward a Theory of Architecture Machines_Nicholas Negroponte Negroponte’s article ” Toward a Theory of Architecture Machines”, published back in 1969. when the technology has not yet been developed to such an extent, represented very revolutionary not proposal but a big vision of a futuristic architecture machine. This text introduces the idea of “Evolutionary machine“-  self-improving machine which, beside designers step-by-step instructions, would be capable of creating its own method of solution and would liberate the designer allowing him to do what he really enjoys. Rising the aforementioned machine to a higher level, Nicholas explains the “Learning machine” mechanism which actually presents the union of five very complex subassemblies: 1) a heuristic mechanism which strategy is based on solving certain problem by comparing it to similar ones; 2) a rote apparatus that acts when similar situation encountered, by storing the event and interconnecting it with a response; 3) a conditioning mechanism grounded on the idea that simple repetitious responses after certain time become habits; 4) a reward selector which operates when teacher exhibit happiness or disappointment and 5) a forgetting convenience  or “exponential forgetting” that basically has the ability of forgetting less significant things. The whole system works exclusively  in cooperation with designers. The final point “Seeing machine” is setting an idea of interface or interaction between a machine and the “information environment”. Processors would have capability of communicating with a humans. In order to make this possible in terms that machine has an image of a designer, 3 performances which together form the interface are required: an event (that can be visual, auditory or extrasensory); a manifestation (measures the event according to parameters like friquency, luminance etc. are) and final  a representation. Personally, I experienced this text as an union of the 3 explained “machines” into one futuristic machine, into one robot that would be innovative in many aspects, especially in terms of designing principles according to which it would have ability to machine itself  brings some conclusions, but never completely  independent of man. In my opinion, the author doesn’t give a “project” of the future machine but he only theoretically investigates  how it might look in the future. As long as the authorship of a certain project is primarily attributed to a man, not to machine, we should not be scared of the technology and of the impact it has nowadays on creativity. As long as machines are only tools under the influence of humans, architecture as well as other branches can only become more interesting, leaving a wide margin for innovation and creativity. On the other hand, we have all witnessed how today’s technology is advancing fast, and that in many cases the machines are completely replacing man’s role. As a topic for personal research i find this uncontrolled technological growth very interesting. I wounder what we can expact in the nearist future and how things will change in terms of understanding architecture through available technology. Is it going to help our creativity, to open some new windows, new features or is going to close our touch with reality?