The design ethos brought about by the digital turn triggered some key shifts in architecture over the past twenty years. The far-reaching effects and consequences of this phenomenon are hard to spell out - and perhaps still too recent to be fully theorized (despite many attempts to do so). However, I think that some of the main shifts that occurred in our field can be summarized as follows:

  1. Representation to simulation
  2. Composition to systems
  3. Collage to pixelation
  4. Geometry to image
  5. Close reading to virtuosity
  6. Details to close ups
  7. New coherencies

There has been an ongoing interest in all of these themes in architecture, but for the purpose of this studio I want to explore the last four a bit more carefully. This is mainly because I see them as framing, and in a sense implying, the other four themes on the list.


This studio proposes a new self-camouflaging malware propagation system, to explore the nature of flesh, reflections and glossiness, an architecture that overcomes shortcomings in the current generation of metamorphic formalism and specially to produce non-phenomenological ethereal masses of architecture. Specifically, although mutants produced by current state-of-the art metamorphic engines are diverse; they still contain many characteristic binary features that reliably distinguish them from benign architecture.

The anti-mass or blurred mass as a formal code forgoes the concept of a Metamorphic body and instead creates mutants by stitching together parts from opaque effects that have been classified as benign by local conditions. The studio is interested in exploring potential architectural expressions of a contemporary neo-formal mass butchery. The symptoms are many and don’t point to any single condition or cause, and we’re working with just a few that interest us in particular.

What is the formal project today in relation to the tissue of the city and what could it be? The conflicts of Modernity, from laboratory-assisted reproduction to European monotony, revolve to a significant degree around the transformation or conservation of particular bio-sociological arrangements, of obsolete architecture types. The globalization of Western design forms has also meant a globalization of glass formal infrastructure originated for a historically contingent type of accumulation. We argue that the mismatches between architectural conventions for the space and the multiplicity of biosociologial realities are severe. This studio will explore other possibilities by attempting to accommodate one particular, highly idiosyncratic formal tissue condition that would be entirely unsuited to a conventional exhibition space. The studio will explore, through very precise digital techniques, multiple ontologies through the stitching of architecture pieces.

Distorted reflections, animations, renderings, and biosynthetic replacements will serve as an Aesthetic technique catalogue for the production of architectural design. We will absorb both the optimistic and progressive as well as the menacing and dystopian, and for this studio, will liberally apply precedents from all of these.

The aspiration of the work is to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity trough the understanding of rituals of butchery, carving, and re-assembly following the notion of the forms. Most butchery techniques had the capacity to combine the power of raw mutilations with highly sophisticated formal understanding of organization, as well as a saturated and excessive ornament in the instruments of rituals. There is another history and evolution of rituals in relation to the bodies and their mutilations, for humans and animals alike. These MISFITS produced some of the most contradictory conditions of beauty and horror.


The studio proposes to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity. In the context of these conditions, the studio focuses on the generation and production of artificial manipulation of “formless” or edgeless masses.

The studio will explore the predominant effect of this ‘isomorphism’ being the aggregation of diverse forms of design intelligence into an almost universal condition of image production. Perhaps some might see this as a triumph of superficiality over depth, but it’s certainly also an intensification of the conjectural and fictive logics of design. We see this as a real and complex demand that global network culture makes on producers of architectural content.


In the end to the studio will focus on the idea of Architectural Speculation as Cultural Advancement. Architecture underwent a major transformation through the shift brought about by the digital revolution. Its aesthetics, as well as its building, fabrication, and design principles were equally affected.

The virtually unlimited range of possibilities engendered by this shift, as I mentioned, forced architects to rethink the philosophical as well as ethical motivations of their endeavors. In this milieu, idealistic or even utopian goals are replaced by a revived curiosity for and unapologetic interest in progress, often pursued for its own sake. A new commitment to the “useless,” to a body of work and to projects in which cultural advancement and technological refinement are at the center, emerges. But as we know architecture is never capable of true newness, innovation at best. In many ways we can argue that the main contribution of computational architecture is the possibility of “New Coherencies,” ornamental architecture at the end of the 19th century in Vienna, Otto Wagner and others, were exploring the possibility of romanticisms through floral surfaces; we will offer our contribution trough meat masses. The Re-Do, will respect the same amount of square feet and exactly the same amount of objects and program.

This is a not a cloning operation; this is a mutant evolution operation.


Basic butchery tools and equipment in ancient times: stone tools were used to eviscerate an animal and then divide it into its primal cuts. As humans evolved, they developed metal tools to do these tasks. Today, we find tools in the meat industry that enable tasks to be done rapidly and with minimal waste. The list of equipment available and all of their intended uses is too extensive to list here; therefore, only the more basic equipment used for simple butchery is included. What knives do you need to fabricate meat? There are many available knives and some of them are for specific cutting techniques. Meat fabrication knives:

  1. Boning knife: Available in lengths from five to six inches and a variety of flexes, from completely stiff to very flexible. For general meat cutting, a semi-flexible, six-inch boning knife will perform well. There are straight and angled blades available. The handle of a boning knife needs to fit the user’s hand properly and some texture on the handle may be helpful to reduce slippage. Different boning knives are suggested for a variety of tasks; for instance, boning a pork loin requires a knife with some flex to be able to flatten out while boning and increase the surface area. If boning a straight-line bone, such as a shank or femur, a non-flexible or stiff boning knife will be more stable.
  2. Scimitar: Available in lengths from 10 to 16 inches. This non- flexing knife is curved to allow for smooth trimming of large meat cuts and portion cutting of steaks, cutlets, stew or cubes. Due to its curved edge, it is not typically used for mincing or chopping.
  3. Chef’s knife: A non-flexible, eight- to ten-inch knife can be used for trimming large cuts, portion cutting, mincing and chopping. However, it can be a little cumbersome due to its width.
  4. Slicer: A 12-inch knife that is available in flexible, semi-flexible, or stiff models. It is thinner than the chef’s knife and, unlike the scimitar, has a straight edge. It is good for trimming large cuts and portion cutting.
  5. Clam knife: A clam knife may come in handy when frenching racks of lamb or veal. It is used to scrape the membranes off the bones.
  6. Meat cleaver: Cleavers are available in a variety of weights and sizes. A meat cleaver is used primarily for cutting chops and needs to be relatively heavy to break through chine bones. A meat cleaver can only be used on a butcher block so as not to damage other cutting boards. The butcher block has a natural grain that absorbs the shock of the cleaver. A small cleaver may be used to help fabricate poultry or cooked bone-in roasts.
  7. Handsaw: Cutting through bone structure can be a challenge and demands nearly as much accuracy as a knife. A quality handsaw can greatly increase the options available to the butcher. Be sure the saw is intended for food use.
  8. Band saw: A band saw, although expensive, enables the fabrication of an enormous variety of cuts, such as bone-in steaks, chops, various bone-in roasts, osso buco, stews, and bones for soup. Extreme caution must be used when operating a band saw. Proper cleaning and maintenance is necessary.
  9. Meat grinder: A grinder has a wide range of uses, including in-house burgers, sausages, and forcemeats. Meat grinders are available in a variety of sizes and power ranges. However, rather than buy a separate machine, grinding attachments for other kitchen machinery, such as a mixer or chopper, are an inexpensive alternative. Larger tabletop or floor models offer more horsepower and decrease time required to grind larger quantities.

All Semesters

Spring 2017
Advanced Design Studio: A Sustainable Museum Dedicated to Sake
Patrick Bellew, Andy Bow, Timothy Newton
Spring 2016
Advanced Design Studio: Home is a Four Letter Word
Pier Vittorio Aureli, Emily Abruzzo