The Politics of Parametricism

The Politics of Parametricism: Digital Technologies in Architecture

by Matthew Poole

Matthew Poole is a British freelance curator and curatorial theorist. His curatorial projects and writing explore the contradictions of neoliberal politics and how they are transforming contemporary art, curatorial practices, the built environment and the political currencies of culture more generally. Previously, Matthew was the Director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies, in the School of Philosophy & Art History at the University of Essex, UK. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Manuel Shvartzberg

Manuel Shvartzberg is an architect and researcher. He is currently based in New York City where he is a Researcher at The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, GSAPP and a Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, both at Columbia University, USA. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4725-8166-2 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-8165-5 (paperback)

    978-1-4725-8168-6 (epdf)

    978-1-4725-8167-9 (epub)

    978-1-4742-5623-0 (online)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
The Politics of Parametricism
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Over the last decade, ‘parametricism’ has been heralded as a new avant-garde in the industries of architecture, urban design, and industrial design, regarded by many as the next grand style in the history of architecture, heir to postmodernism and deconstruction. From buildings to cities, the built environment is increasingly addressed, designed and constructed using digital software based on parametric scripting platforms which claim to be able to process complex physical and social modelling alike.

As more and more digital tools are developed into an apparently infinite repertoire of socio-technical functions, critical questions concerning these cultural and technological shifts are often eclipsed by the seductive aesthetic and the alluring futuristic imaginary that parametric design tools and their architectural products and discourses represent.

The Politics of Parametricism addresses these issues, offering a collection of new essays written by leading international thinkers in the fields of digital design, architecture, theory and technology. Exploring the social, political, ethical and philosophical issues at stake in the history, practice and processes of parametric architecture and urbanism, each chapter provides different vantage points to interrogate the challenges and opportunities presented by this latest mode of technological production.