Hand versus Machine?
We use our hands to hold, move, touch and feel things. Indeed, for most of our history, we – architects – have used hands to imagine the future of our cities applying several techniques such as painting, modelling and drawing.
In our contemporary history, the machine – computer – has emerged as a dominant technique to design buildings replacing, in many cases, traditional hand-drawings (images of my hand drawings and digital models are exhibited above).
Despite the pioneering advances technology has offered, we are facing fundamental challenges. Digital models have pushed our architectural understanding forward, but we must use them in a sharper and more intelligent way. We have to make sure that ‘enough’ information is attached to models before moving to site, so we can avoid errors and minimise waste of time and cost.
So, Hand or Machine? It is rather how to use your hand and how to use your machine!
Ammar Azzouz, Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering