authorship and agency: graham harman  +  manuel delanda

TARP is a student-led group within the Pratt GAUD interviewing visiting architects, designers, philosophers, theorists, historians, and educators in conjunction with the GAUD’s ongoing lecture series. 

In the Spring of 2019, four peers and myself within TARP had the opportunity to interview Graham Harman and Manuel DeLanda and collabortively write about the theme of the interview: authorship and agency with machine learning and AI.

“On November 15th, members of the Tarp digital team conducted individual interviews with Graham Harman and Manuel DeLanda. Both interviews focused on the use of Artificial Intelligence as a means to produce architectural drawings. We chose this subject for its relevance to the broader topic of this semester’s Tarp interviews (the state of drawing in contemporary architecture practices), and for its relevance to the expertise of the two philosophers we interviewed. Manuel teaches a GAUD elective that focuses on the integration of neural nets and AutoCad. Specifically, our conversation focused on the Ontology of scripted drawings and was driven by the following inquiries: how does the use of AI complicate the question of authorship, should scripted and human produced drawings be evaluated by an identical code of values, and what is at stake for architects employing AI in their work?

To supplement our conversation, we presented Manuel and Graham with selected work from Karel Klein’s directed research studio. Students in Klein’s studio are using a Conditional Neural Network, designed by Mark Klein (Principal Research Scientist at MIT), to create architectural drawings and objects. There are three specific images that we chose for our conversation: two plan drawings that served as inputs for the neural network, and the resultant output as a third drawing. The first plan is from John Hejduk’s 1967 Diamond Museum C project. The second is a drawing by Amir Ashtiani, a third-year student in Klein’s studio.”

Read the full article here.

bottom images left to right: (1) Plan drawing by Amir Ashtiani (2) Diamond Museum C by John Hejduk
(3) Combination of the two images by a conditional neural network