The parametric user

12 May 2009

Professor Winy Maas was asked to give a lecture on the topic ‘The User’ for the international design seminar ‘Indesem 09’ in Delft.

How can we handle the collective responsibility, versus individual desires? Parameterization is an essential part of the practice of MVRDV and Prof. Maas stated that everything, including desires and emotions can in fact be parameterized. He showed various projects where general public and users were given a voice within a system, ranging from small buildings to software. “We [architects] should not be afraid, we should team up with software engineers.” He discussed examples such as the ‘Citymaker’: a dream to make an environment you can direct and ‘Space fighter’: a game and simulation to understand and influence the evolution of a city.
Final question from the audience was “What about the future?” where Prof. Maas concluded; “Parameterization I showed is one way. The Why Factory will explore the future cities and find new methods.”