Episode 034 - Patrik Schumacher

Brian scores an interview with Patrik Schumacher, Partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, via a joke tweet. To everyone's surprise, he agreed to sit down and have a conversation. Enjoy!


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Show Notes:

  1. Patrik Schumacher is Partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, where he'll continue Zaha Hadid’s legacy

  2. Parametricism 2.0, edited by Schumacher, was recently launched with an AA symposium on the subject

  3. A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate intelligent conversation

  4. Microsoft’s Tay was taken offline after becoming a “Hitler-loving sex robot” within 24 hours

  5. Not everyone agrees with Schumacher, and have called his theory of Parametricism into question

  6. ZHA maintains a computational design research group (CODE) led by Nils Fischer and Shajay Bhooshan

  7. Schumacher is active in academia and teaches at the AADRL, Vienna, Yale, and Harvard (the latter w/Marc Fornes)

  8. Zaha Hadid’s transition from drawing to computing is perhaps best described in Schumacher’s Digital Hadid

  9. Early digital tools include Wavefront, Alias, FormZ, Softimage, and Maya.

    1. Computation was layered into the modeling process via tools such as MELscript, RhinoScript, Generative Components, and Grasshopper

  10. One advantage of computation is it allows for performative analysis to become embedded into the model, e.g. FEA, fluid dynamics, and fabrication logic

  11. BMW Central Building by ZHA

  12. Heydar Aliyev Center by ZHA

  13. Agent-based models (ABM) are computational models for the simulation of actions of, and interactions between, autonomous agents with a view to assess the agents’ effects on the system as a whole

  14. Google North Bayshore by BIG and Heatherwick

  15. For an excellent continuation of the evolutionary theory of natural selection check out Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett

  16. The Human Genome Project (HGP) is the wold’s largest collaborative biological prpoject, which successfully sought to map the over three billion nucleotides contained within a human haploid reference genome and is now seeking to interpret and analyze this data to advance medicine and biotech

    1. The sequences can be searched on this public database

  17. Algo-trading is automated trading programmed to follow a defined set of procedures for placing trades to generate profit at a speed and frequency impossible for a human trader

    1. Algo-trading is facing new regulations by monetary institutions across the globe who are struggling to cope with the pace of change

  18. Post-fordism is the dominant mode of economic production in industrialized nations since the late 20th century and is distinguished by small-batch production which allows for mass-customization in response to differentiated consumer lifestyles


Lightning round:

  1. What book(s) are you reading right now?

    1. I am reading the works of philosopher Daniel Dennett, i.e. The Intentional Stance, Consciousness Explained, Freedom Evolves, Breaking the Spell. Brilliant work.

  2. What music are you listening to right now?

    1. I am listening mostly to early 20th century classical music.

  3. What’s your favorite sci-fi film?

    1. I enjoyed Ex Machina.

  4. What’s your favorite retro-game?

    1. I am not into games.

  5. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon?

    1. I used to enjoy the Peanuts.

  6. If you could have a tea party with any three people, from the past or from the present, who would they be?

    1. Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall, Jeanne Moreau, or: Trotsky, Hayek, Luhmann

  7. Describe your productivity ritual.

    1. Feet up and head down on BA flight from London Heathrow to JFK.

  8. What’s something that you think is a critical issue in technology that’s currently being overlooked?

    1. The crafting of neatly calibrated stimulating drugs.

  9. What’s something that recently blew your mind?

    1. That Columbia University has been involved in empirical research testing the efficacy of prayer.

  10. What is the most irritating part of your day? The most enjoyable?

    1. Breakfast and TV in bed are most enjoyable.

  11. What piece of advice would you give to someone studying architecture?

    1. Read my books!

  12. How likely is it that we live in a simulation?

    1. 0%

  13. WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE???!!! In one sentence.

    1. Architecture orders society via a system of spatial framings and parametricism does this most effectively today.
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Zach Downey

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