Gilles Retsin: Bits & pieces: discrete architecture (December 5, 2018)

David Ruy introduces Gilles Retsin as part of the second wave of designers engaging digital technologies, especially focused on an aesthetics of the discontinuous and the question of automation.

Gilles Retsin begins by reducing the history of architecture to a story of a box: first architects focused on mass, then on planes and lines, which were then liquefied (parmetricism), leaving now only the points.

Retsin argues for a new approach to computational design strategies, proposing that “by re-introducing the parts we could start to capitalize on certain political possibilities of the digital.”

He discusses three early projects:
•Karosta Kube for Liepāja, Latvia (2013)
•ProtoHouse, AA-DRL thesis project (2011-2)
•Guggenheim Helsinki (2014)

Retsin continues discussing his projects in terms of historical prototypes, first Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square (1915):
•Buapest New National Gallery (2014)
•Karlsplatz museum, Vienna, versions 1 and 2 (2015)
•Blokhut private residence (2015)

Retsin discusses the Diamonds multi-family housing (2016) project in terms of Greg Lynn’s composite curve diagram (1999).

Retsin’s final set of projects are discussed in terms of Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino (1914-5), stressing constructions created out of a radically simplified array of standardized parts:
•Sucheon Art Platform, Korea (2016)
•Tallin Architecture Biennale Pavilion (2017)
•A Concert hall extension in Germany

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