Cage, Chance, and Architecture: Distancing the Formalizing Agent

Center for Architecture and Design, The University of Texas at Austin
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Center 18: Music in Architecture - Architecture in Music, 2014, First, pp. 124 - 131
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From a Cagean perspective, this paper is an outcome. How it will be received by its audience is disassociated from how it was produced. Ye, at the same time, it is intended as a lens in the sense that the subject matter of the paper-John Cage's chance techniques in composing music-provides a means of thinking about chance techniques in designing architecture. This paper begins with a simple proposition: namely, that the use of digital techniques within architectural design has increasingly been directed not simply towards form generation but, more specifically, towards processes that actively distance the formalising agent-the designer-from such generation. By this I mean to suggest, without necessarily agreeing with the claim, that creatively in respect to form generation is perceived to be enhanced by removing from the design process thats et of likes and dislikes, preferences and prejudices, assumptions and desires, experience, knowledge, and commitments that inescapably constitute a part of the designer's makeup.
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