Doreen Bernath – Curves in Design and Pictures: Digital and Longing for the Uncopiable – Part 4

Lecture date: 2012-02-06

Architecture and Education Series organised by Mark Cousins

The élan of the trajectory of design across the 20th century much resembles the metamorphosis of lines into curves. Analogy can also be found in the longing to escape from the copiable to the uncopiable. The conception and physiognomy of curves are increasingly disengaged from descriptive geometry, desiring instead towards the infinitely variable, free hand, free fall, free form. The new parable of curves is juggling unpredictably in motion, growth, topological field, animate force, algorithm and chaos. The talk traces the story of curves, in 2D pictures and 3D forms, abandoning that which can be captured by Descartes’ curve-drawing devices or vectorial curve extraction, and the impetus of the digital longing for the aura of a curve that cannot be repeated, as jittery as the bulging back of an animal and as evanescent as outlines of deluge.

Doreen Bernath completed her PhD at the AA with the award of the LKE Ozolins scholarship from RIBA. Her thesis was shortlisted for the RIBA President’s Research Award 2011. Her initial architectural training was at the University of Cambridge, followed by several years of professional practice as an architect in London, Shanghai and Taipei. Her special field of research encompasses representation, visual culture, architectural production and transcultural studies. She has taught histories and theories, design studio, summer schools and published in numerous universities across the world.



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