Shifting Lines to Surfaces (FA07)

“The diagram is no longer an auditory or visual archive but a map, a cartography that is coextensive with the whole social field. It is an abstract machine. It is defined by its informal functions and matter and in terms of form makes no distinction between content and expression. It is a machine that is almost blind and mute, even though it makes others see and speak. […] It never functions in order to represent a persisting world but produces a new kind of reality, a new model of truth.”

Gilles Deleuze

“Complexity thus does not consist in the One that is said in many ways, but rather in the fact that each thing may always diverge, or fold, onto others, as in the ever-forking paths in Borges’s fabled garden”

John Rajchman

Aim of this class was to introduce the students to a ‘diagrammatic’ way of thinking, according to which, any given ‘field’ can be mapped in such a way that will transform it into something new. The function of the diagram, as understood in the context of this class, is not to interpret or represent, but rather to invent.

Starting material for the class were four scenes from four different films, detached from their original context. Those scenes were mapped by the students that produced 2dimentional diagrams. The output of this process was used as the input for a new set of diagrams that this time were aiming at the invention or discovery of a system. The process was repeated again, in three dimensions, creating this way a series of transformations that produced each time a new diagram or map. As said above, the scope of those diagrams is not to interpret the original film or to represent what is already there, but to discover or invent systems that are not obvious in the images that we initially perceive.

Computer tools were used in order for the above process to take place. CAD/CAM technology was employed in order to construct physical models of the diagrams created in the computer.

instructor:Dimitris Gourdoukis
TA:Matt MacRaild
institution:Washington University in St. Louis, School of Architecture
publications:— Algorithmic Design, Tokyo: Kajuma Publishing Co., 2009
exhibitions:— “Shifting Lines to Surfaces / Virtual to Empirical” Givens Hall, Washington Univeristy in St. Louis, School of Architecture, Mar 2007.
Shifting Lines to Surfaces (FA07)Dimitris Gourdoukis