Mobilities of Technical Practices
The Design Methods Network Database (2023), CoDEx, McGill University, Eliza Pertigkiozoglou, Saumya Gogte, Max Leblanc, Theodora Vardouli
9 am - 1 pm
Technical University of Darmstadt | Department for Architecture | Seminar Room 437

Workshop (for members only)

Mobilities of Technical Practices

Theodora Vardouli

This workshop will explore digital history methods for examining an informal archive of early activity in “rational design methods.” Together with the workshop participants Theodora Vardouli will discuss the construction of the Design Methods Network database based on entries from the Design Methods Group Newsletter; a periodical that circulated for six years starting in 1966 with the aim to connect researchers working on systematic approaches to design. Vardouli will also present quantitative text analysis methods such as topic modelling as ways to identify key narratives and discursive tropes in the newsletter. Workshop participants will explore the database to identify areas of interest and will experiment with analysis and visualization techniques. This workshop will immerse participants in a rich archive of cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional transactions, tentative computer experiments, technical languages, controversies, and trends, offering a unique view into an agile intellectual ecology of connections and exchanges in the second half of the 1960s.

Theodora Vardouli is an Assistant Professor at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University. Her research examines algorithmic techniques of describing, generating, and simulating architectural form and performance – their histories, cultural meanings, and operational implications for creative design. Vardouli is the founder and principal of CoDEx (Computational Design Exploratory), a research group linking social and material histories of design and computation with critical design, with the aim to expose the inner workings of digital tools in their social, ethical, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. Vardouli holds a PhD and a SMArchS in Design and Computation from MIT, and a Master of Science in Design-Space-Culture from the National Technical University of Athens. Her in-progress monograph tentatively titled Graph Vision: Digital Architecture’s Skeletons (under contract with the MIT Press) offers a pre-history of digital architecture by focusing on the symbolic and physical prevalence of the mathematical object of the graph.