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Researcher and Ph.D. Candidate at Aalto University. My research interests include Architecture, Mathematics, Geometry, Information Theory, and Computer Science

Part II

The first part of this article looked at the Helsinki city bike system through the lens of descriptive statistics. In this article, the city bike system will be analyzed as a complex network.

For the past decades, transportation systems are commonly analyzed as networks. This abstraction allows to reduce the amount of information available and focus primarily on the internal structure of the underlying systems.


Part I

Introduction

Illustration by: pch.vector on Freepik

Helsinki City Bikes are shared bicycles available to the public in Helsinki and Espoo metropolitan areas. The main aim of the Helsinki city bike system is to address the so-called last-mile problem present in all distribution networks. The city bikes were introduced in 2016 as a pilot project with only 46 bike stations available in Helsinki. After becoming popular among the citizens, Helsinki city decided to gradually expand the bike network. In the period between 2017 and 2019, approximately one hundred stations were being added to the network each year. By 2019 the bike network reached its complete state with…


Commentary on Modern Armenian Architecture

The Critic Sees — Jasper Johns, 1961. Glass, metal, and plaster.

For the past 30 years, architectural discourse in Armenia seems to be trapped in a self-referential loop. This article will attempt to illustrate the core problems that plague architectural practice and discourse today. It will demonstrate why the architectural style that became widely celebrated during the past decade is as superficial as the old quasi-traditional architecture. Additionally, this article will try to materialise the elusive design method employed by many Armenian architects making it available for critique.

Fragmentation

The only architectural university (NUACA) is certainly at the heart of many problems that harm the field today. The primary shortcoming of the…


How Much Money Do Architectural Offices Make?

In this article, you can find a statistical cross-section of the Finnish architectural landscape. As the title suggests, this article is not going to look into the architectural qualities of different offices instead it’s going to use financial data and descriptive statistics to sense the architectural market in Finland.

What’s the point of using financial data? The economy as a social science is essentially concerned with how people interact with things of value. Knowing how much people are willing to pay for a particular service quite often (though not always) can give an approximate hint about the value it provides…


Part II

The previous reading list suggested that architecture is a body of knowledge concerned with the synthesis of orderly structures. The computational paradigm shift that occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century vastly extended the boundaries of architectural knowledge. Today computational thinking offers a new perspective on the most critical aspects of architecture as a discipline. The fundamental concepts which underline computational theory expose form as a subsidiary component of the environment, and the environment as a complex web of energies in a dynamic exchange of both regeneration and degeneration (information). The emergence of this perspective has come at…


Architecture is not about buildings. Architecture is primarily a body of knowledge concerned with the synthesis of orderly structures. Considering the large time span over which this knowledge was accumulated, it is apparent that a single person can no longer have the mental capacity or the life span to familiarize himself with all the outstanding information. However, a brief selection of texts can give a very general outline and capture the significant ideas that shaped the history of architectural discourse. What follows is a reading list targeted at someone starting their studies in the field of architecture.

Architectural movements in…


“Architectural Context” series is a collection of bite-sized excerpts from Architectural Context in the Age of Big Data. The work reflects on the developments in our understanding of architectural context throughout the 20th century and suggests that there is a need to employ the knowledge accumulated in the field of data science in architectural thinking.

Architectural Context Part 1: Order

Architectural Context Part 2: Perception

Architectural Context Part 3: Camillo Sitte

Architectural Context Part 4: Aldo Rossi

Architectural Context Part 5: Colin Rowe & Fred Koetter

Architectural Context Part 6: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown

Architectural Context Part 7: Rem…


Excerpt from: Architectural Context in the Age of Big Data

Architectural Context Part 9: Physical Context

The Digital Turn

There were several influences that collectively contributed to the emergence of the digital paradigm in architecture. One of those influences was the form of response to the fragmentation and fracture of postmodern collage systems and a movement towards continuity and the pursuit of fundamentally different part-to-whole relationships within architecture.

The conceptual basis for this continuity was found in Gilles Deleuze’s conceptual philosophy and in Rene Thom’s catastrophe diagrams (Figure Below).

Gilles Deleuze, The Baroque House. From Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 5.


Excerpt from: Architectural Context in the Age of Big Data

Architectural Context Part 8: Peter Eisenman

All case studies presented earlier although might seem distinct share a series of fundamental properties. These theories about the city are striving to discover or induce a category of order. They are intellectual constructs attempting to “measure” and describe the complex relationships occurring within the city, rendering the ambiguous relationships between architectural context and architectural form more precise. All mentioned theories employ the figure-ground principle with various degrees of abstraction, where ground and figure no longer refer to merely visual domain but rather imply…


Excerpt from: Architectural Context in the Age of Big Data

Architectural Context Part 7: Rem Koolhaas

In his work “The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture” Peter Eisenman attempted to create an alternative reading of architectural form.¹ He defined architecture as the giving of form to intent, function, structure, and technics and argued that the concept of architectural form had been commonly oscillating in the discipline without explicit attempts to define its precise conceptual meaning. Thus, he proposed a formal language where generic architectural form could be defined through its four essential properties volume, mass, surface, and movement.²

Diagram illustrating the concept of volume. From Peter Eisenman, The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture (London: Lars Mueller Publishers, 2006), 58.

Eisenman argued that…

Tigran Khachatryan

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