Web Article
Democratizing =(?) Innovating

[Opinion Article for the SpainLab Academic Platform, at the 2012 Venice Biennale: http://spain-lab.net/blog/author/vardouli/ ] In response to the SpainLab “Innovation in Architecture” provocation I inquire into the implications of the evangelistic tautology of democratization and innovation, which is re-emerging in the “Open Source Architecture” rhetoric. The goal of my intervention is to stimulate a discussion around the role of computation and information technology in engendering new programmatic agendas in architectural design, “opening” it to the general public and to problematize the conceptual biases of the platforms supporting the participatory techno-utopias of today. In the first part of my response I weave together programmatic declarations and visions around the concept of design democratization from the past and the present in order to advocate both for the cultural relevance and the persistence of the enterprise of democratization in architectural discourse, as offering the prospect of innovative design processes. Having mapped the territory of the visions and promises accompanying the “opening” of design to users and collectivities,I proceed to an inquiry into the platforms and protocols which can enable the programmatic agenda of democratization and deliver its proclamation to unleash the users’ creative energy. The purpose of this question is to critique preconceived notions about participatory processes in design and initiate a discussion on alternative agendas which can promote collective creativity and innovation in Architecture.

Title
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsVardouli T
PublisherSpain Lab - Academic
Abstract

[Opinion Article for the SpainLab Academic Platform, at the 2012 Venice Biennale: http://spain-lab.net/blog/author/vardouli/ ] In response to the SpainLab “Innovation in Architecture” provocation I inquire into the implications of the evangelistic tautology of democratization and innovation, which is re-emerging in the “Open Source Architecture” rhetoric. The goal of my intervention is to stimulate a discussion around the role of computation and information technology in engendering new programmatic agendas in architectural design, “opening” it to the general public and to problematize the conceptual biases of the platforms supporting the participatory techno-utopias of today. In the first part of my response I weave together programmatic declarations and visions around the concept of design democratization from the past and the present in order to advocate both for the cultural relevance and the persistence of the enterprise of democratization in architectural discourse, as offering the prospect of innovative design processes. Having mapped the territory of the visions and promises accompanying the “opening” of design to users and collectivities,I proceed to an inquiry into the platforms and protocols which can enable the programmatic agenda of democratization and deliver its proclamation to unleash the users’ creative energy. The purpose of this question is to critique preconceived notions about participatory processes in design and initiate a discussion on alternative agendas which can promote collective creativity and innovation in Architecture.