Median Space: Architecture and the Informed Environment

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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White Out, Indianapolis Art Museum, Open Source Architecture (photo credit-Chandler Ahrens)

White Out, Indianapolis Art Museum, Open Source Architecture (photo credit-Chandler Ahrens)

This lecture is part of the Master of Architecture II Lecture Series. 

With the development of information theories and related technologies in the postwar period, the notion of design performance became inherently associated with the ability of a given system to exchange information with its environment. Such a perception of design marked a shift from a mere representation of reality to the development of systems that would ensure the conditions for its emergence. With the increasing integration of information technologies in the design laboratory, this condition has triggered numerous projects and researches that aimed at developing environments where information would be considered as the common currency for all the constituents of the world―being organic or non-organic, living or inert, physical or virtual.

Aaron Sprecher is Associate Professor at the McGill University School of Architecture in Montreal. He is co-founder and partner of Open Source Architecture (, a collaborative research group that brings together international researchers in the fields of design, engineering, media research, history, and theory. Graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, his research and design work focuses on the synergy between information technologies, computational languages, and digital fabrication systems, examining the way in which technology informs and generates innovative approaches to design processes. Aaron Sprecher is co-curator and co-editor of the exhibition and catalogue The Gen(H)ome Project (MAK Center, Los Angeles, 2006), exhibition designer of Performalism (Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, 2008), and Evolutive Means (Pratt Institute, New York, 2010). He is co-editor of the recent book Architecture in Formation—On the Nature of Information in Digital Architecture (2013, London: Routledge/Taylor and Francis). Aaron Sprecher is the recipient of prestigious research grants including the Canada Foundation for Innovation grant in 2010, SSHRC Insight Development grant in 2011, and SSHRC Partnership Development grant in 2012. These grants  support his research activity at the Laboratory for Integrated Prototyping and Hybrid Environments (LIPHE, McGill University School of Architecture). His research and development activity at the LIPHE gathers a multidisciplinary team of researchers in engineering, architectural design, and computer science that seek innovative manufacturing processes ( Regularly invited to organize workshops at international academic institutions, Aaron Sprecher leads the Creative Maker Space program at the new school Confluence in Lyon. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT, Montreal).

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

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  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.