Interferences is a project of projects conducted under the auspices of the Christos Yessios Professorship at the Knowlton School of Architecture (The Ohio State University).

The professorship provides a residency to investigate a specific project related to emerging digital fabrication tools and related technologies in architecture. For the 2018-19 term, Visiting Assistant Professors Viola Ago and Galo Canizares, will conduct two independent research projects that seek to expand discourses of computation in architectural design. Interferences refers to the various means through which the projects might weave, reframe, or disrupt contemporary modes of digital design. Over the course of the year, the Knowlton School will host workshops and public programs around Ago’s and Canizares’s specific research themes:

A Third Possibility

It goes without saying that technological progress is paramount to the field of architecture. Over the last 30 years, the evolution of digital tools have contributed to that advancement in unprecedented proportions. During the last decade however, the emergent fields of digital design and fabrication have become increasingly introverted and hermetic; practically forging themselves as autonomous disciplines. Digital-for-the-sake-of-digital oriented practices lack critical pushback, productive theoretical dialogue, and meaningful exchange with larger visual, formal, and cultural issues. This is an important moment for us as a collective, as we question the digital, the post-digital, optimization methods, and fabrication (as an end unto itself) in an ever-expanding definition of the practice. It is in this context that A Third Possibility (a term borrowed from Bruno Latour’s essay A Collective of Humans and Nonhumans) will explore a new middle ground where design ambitions and technological investigations are considered as equal players in a larger conceptual project.

Viola Ago is an architectural designer, educator and practitioner. Ago earned her Master of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University in Toronto. Ago was the recipient of the 2016-2017 William Muschenheim Design Fellowship at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. She is also a lecturer in architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Ago worked as a lead designer in the Advanced Technology Team at Morphosis Architects and was involved in international design and construction projects.

Digital Fabrications

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, yet 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 and elevations. A drawing today might refer to a rendering, CAD document, an Autodesk Revit file, or anything that describes a project visually. This project puts forth a way of examining this disciplinary shift: to look at the behaviors, phenomena, collective trends, and oddities emerging as a result of global software proliferation. Digital Fabrications is ongoing research on the psychosocial effects of softwarization in design disciplines. Because software today plays a crucial role in the creative process, interfaces and applications should be scrutinized to expose their biases, intricacies, and oddities. This project attempts to confront the fictions often used to describe software’s passiveness and reveal the various ways it is actively affecting our consciousness.

Galo Cañizares was the Knowlton School's 2016-17 Howard E. LeFevre ’29 Emerging Practitioner Fellow. He holds a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before joining the Knowlton School, he taught at Syracuse University School of Architecture. Cañizares founded office ca, a research and design collaborative that investigates alternate methods for architectural practice.