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Coding Shaping Making

Research Open House 2023

A book cover featuring text in a computer generated style over various images of graphs, abstract gray-scale shapes, and patterns in muted tones and colors.
Haresh Lalvani,
Center for Experimental Structures

Coding, Shaping, Making combines inspiration from architecture, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and computation to look toward the future of architecture, design, and art. It presents ongoing experiments in the search for fundamental principles of form and form-making in nature so that we can better inform our own built environment.

In the coming decades, matter will become encoded with shape information so that it shapes itself, as happens in biology. Physical objects, shaped by forces as well, will begin to design themselves based on information encoded in matter they are made of. This knowledge will be scaled and trickled up to architecture. Consequently, architecture will begin to design itself and the role of the architect will need redefining. This heavily illustrated book highlights Haresh Lalvani’s efforts toward this speculative future through experiments in form and form-making, including his work in developing a new approach to shape‐coding, exploring higher‐dimensional geometry for designing physical structures, and organizing form in higher-dimensional diagrams. Taking an in-depth look at Lalvani’s pioneering experiments of mass customization in industrial products in architecture, combined with his idea of a form continuum, this book argues for the need for integration of coding, shaping, and making in future technologies into one seamless process.

Drawing together decades of research, this book will be a thought-provoking read for architecture professionals and students, especially those interested in the future of the discipline as it relates to mathematics, science, technology, and art. It will also interest those in the latter fields for its broader implications.