Today, the link between architecture and digital software is so strong, it’s easy to forget that it hasn’t always been this way. Architecture’s reliance on digital design programs has lead to the spread of a homogenous ‘global-style’ architecture — buildings made from the same material, designed by the same methods, using the same software, all over the world.
Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture is a compilation of practices in contemporary architecture that invites designers to reconsider the digital in their design process. While digital programs are empowering, Inspiration establishes that they shouldn’t be relied on. Using brilliant examples from contemporary global architecture, Inspiration maintains that the best ideas are established in analogue settings, followed by digital experimentation and development. Inspiration is an excellent book with two sides: It is an extensive catalogue of contemporary approaches to design, focusing on digital techniques that are emerging in the field of architecture and illustrated by spectacular examples from all over the world. Inspiration is also an essential guide to design, and its broad themes will appeal to anyone in the creative sector.
Inspiration is a beautifully designed book that contains over 800 images and illustrations. Its glossy pages and striking photography invite deep consideration of digital processes’ impact on architecture. Written by architects Mark Mückenheim and Juliane Demel, and published by BIS Publishers, Inspiration is a product of the authors’ commitment to a diverse field of contemporary architecture. They acknowledge that cultural relevance is easily lost in contemporary architecture’s mass produced design and construction. The authors invite you to look past the homogenous appearance of global architecture and focus on the best examples: buildings with high architectural value that respond to their local context. Inspiration makes the case that good design can use digital software to achieve just that.
One way the authors show how digital processes achieve good quality, highly localized design is the ability to make communication between designers and production-facilities easy. Architects can now directly communicate with manufacturers, and can customize highly specialized building parts, enabling the reemergence of local style. Digital design also means that ornamentation is back in contemporary architecture. Gone are the days of Modernism’s rejection of decoration as frivolous and unnecessary. Now, with digital software, ornamentation can be an essential part of a structure’s design. Architects’ ability to focus on ornamentation can help define a places’ unique identity.
Readers of The Pop-Up City will be interested in Inspiration’s examination of local identity within a globalized world. Inspiration argues that today, the search for uniqueness is a central theme of architecture, and can be employed to establish a city’s identity. The principles of design are firmly rooted as the pillars of city marketing and corporate identity. Digital design methods, used properly, are an effective approach to creating unique, identity-defining and highly localized architecture.
In conclusion we can state that Inspiration is a compellingly structured book that provides an excellent overview of digital design methods, and best practices within contemporary architecture. Appealing to both students and veterans in all fields of design, we know that you will definitely be inspired after reading this book!
Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture
By Mark Mückenheim and Juliane Demel
With guest authors Moritz Fleischmann and Tobias Klein
29.5 x 23.5 cm, hardcover