SCI-Arc EDGE, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, will be graduating its first students at the end of this summer. All four postgraduate programs are currently in the final semester of the three-semester sequence and students are busy wrapping up their final projects.
SCI-Arc EDGE is a new platform for advanced studies in architecture. Its innovative postgraduate degree programs are designed to test the theoretical and practical limits of architectural innovation in order to launch new architectural careers for the twenty-first century. David Ruy, the Chair of Postgraduate Programs at SCI-Arc explains, “Though architecture is an old discipline, the idea of the architect has dramatically evolved over its impressive history. Given how much the idea of the architect has already changed, I think we can safely conclude that we haven’t seen the final version of the architect yet. Most schools today are stuck in old models of career building. I think it is dangerous to assume that the future will continue to look like the present (it has never turned out to be true). I think the most important jobs in the future will be the ones that don’t even exist yet. SCI-Arc EDGE is the place where you prepare for that future.”
Each of the four programs—Architectural Technologies, Fiction and Entertainment, Design of Cities, and Design Theory and Pedagogy—identify a distinct territory in the emerging milieus of the contemporary world and empower students to become active stakeholders in building the future. Ruy continues, “More than any other field, architecture has a profound effect on what we think the world is. I would like our students to accept the responsibility of defining the world rather than accepting what other people say it is. Everything that you think is real started out as someone’s crazy idea.”
Led by Marcelo Spina, the Architectural Technologies program has been investigating machine vision, artificial intelligence, and the impact that these two emerging technologies are having on architecture. One of the conclusions of their research agenda is that machine automation is not simply a problem of fabrication technologies anymore. Because these new technologies affect the very vision and intelligence of the designer, machine vision and artificial intelligence are transforming the architectural imagination itself. As machines become more than passive tools and start to become active collaborators in the design process, what architectural innovations will we see?