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051-0733-16L  CAAD Practice: Bots, Characters & Architecture

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersL. Hovestadt
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractComputers and computer networks provide today a new kind of mobile and instant operability; a user's reach of action increases dramatically by having access to a computer online. Computer networks emit, receive, store and process information at the speed of light, in vast quantities, and regardless of the content.
ObjectiveBroadly, the aim of this course is to program 'computational objects' capable to operate data-streams in order to challenge different notions of information, model, computation, design, complexity, authorship, analysis, synthesis, ontology, causality, or semantics, i.a., that are arguably relevant to the field of architecture.
ContentYou have probably noticed how Spotify is able to programmatically put together a weekly list with songs that you most probably will like; or how Netflix endlessly suggests you interesting tv shows to watch. This phenomenon is increasingly around us, instantaneous and accurate suggestions of natural things. But what happens if we want to compare things from different natures? Could we ask, for instance, for indexes to literature, music or food based on our preferences for certain architecture?

This CAAD Tutorial will speculate about what Swiss architectural büro would be the best-fit to work for a fictitious character from a tv-series, like Mr. White, Sansa Stark or Elliot Anderson. For this purpose, we will first build a custom-made bot to source and index the contents of swiss-architects.com, an online platform where the community of architects of Switzerland is profiled. Similarly, we will source some relevant quotes from different fictitious characters from a number of tv-series. The comparison between these two different natures will be on the level of text analysis, we will find symmetries between the way each büro articulates its work vs. the way each character articulates his/her life. The goal is to put together a program to compute a best-matching list between Swiss architects and fictitious but recognizable characters from tv.

Throughout this tutorial we will learn to code in Python and further learn to put together a number of custom-made and open source algorithms in order to operate the web programmatically.
Lecture noteshttp://www.caad.arch.ethz.ch
Literaturehttp://www.caad.arch.ethz.ch