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Mark Burry IAAC Lectures Series

Tuesday, 20th of February, 2024 at IAAC Lecture Series – Mark Burry

Mark Burry is a registered architect and the Founding Director for Swinburne University of Technology’s Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI). His role is to lead the development of a whole-of-university research approach to ‘urban futures’, helping ensure that our future cities anticipate and meet the needs of all – smart citizens participating in the development of smart cities.

Mark Burry is a practising architect who has published internationally on two main themes: putting theory into practice with regard to procuring ‘challenging’ architecture, and the life, work and theories of the architect Antoni Gaudí. He has been Senior Architect to the Sagrada Família Basilica Foundation since 1979, pioneering distant collaboration with his colleagues based on-site in Barcelona concluding in late 2016.

Recent publications include an edited 4-volume 1,600-page collection of papers setting out the grounds for Digital Architecture as a critical concept, including a 9,000-word introduction to the set with accompanying introductions to each volume (Routledge – Taylor & Francis, March 2020), and an edition of AD titled ‘Urban Futures – Designing the Digitalised City’ (Wiley, May-June, 2020)

After Gaudí: how might AI have helped us learn from Gaudí’s surviving model fragments for his Sagrada Família Basilica design?

Mark Burry’s talk will outline his experience in helping unpack the mysteries of Gaudí’s final design models for the Sagrada Famíilia Basilica. He will describe Gaudí’s struggles realising his projects more as sculptural undertakings than architecture, and how he shifted dimensions to bring an invisible rationality to his modus operandi. Burry will first examine Gaudí’s analogue design process, and then critically examine the role of design computation for a deep dive into Gaudí’s creative world in both the digital and post digital eras. This will lead to some general observations on the power of creativity, and both some limits as well as opportunities for AI to influence future architectural design seen through the lens of Gaudí’s extraordinary endeavour.


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