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Context :: Concept :: Prefabrication :: Digital Fabrication :: Evolution Architecture is defined by place and concept. Architecture is about life occupying its spaces. Without these elements, the potential of architecture to influence and inspire yields to the forces of sufficiency. Place is more than mere geographic location; it determines interaction or separation of individuals and in turn shapes architecture. When architecture fails to respond to its place, it loses identity and lacks concept. As with other disciplines, architecture is evolving. However, as compared to the automotive, aircraft, and shipbuilding industries the building industry is evolving very slowly. This is due to a strong fragmentation between the design and building processes. Traditionally, architecture is the product of a union between architect and engineer, each having a firm grasp of their craft. There was a short gap between design and fabrication, which was evident in the final product. With the introduction of digital technologies this gap has grown significantly and the understanding of craft has been lost. CAD/CAM technologies have become commonplace and as a result has given architects and engineers a false sense of participation in the design process without the understanding of technique. Reproduction has replaced contextualization as architecture has become mainstream. Engineering firms, retail giants, and franchise operations are fazing the architect out of the design process. Architects need to regain their role and realize the technical and poetic properties inherent in the design process used in these emerging technologies. By doing so, their view of craft will be redirected to a perception of craft as a process based on precision and increased control. 40


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