The conversation series "Histories of Digitization" explores the cultural, historical, and material dimensions of contemporary digitization in architecture and urbanism.
"Histories of Digitization" is a cooperation of the Chair of Theory and History of Architecture, Art and Design and the Chair of Architectural Informatics. Organized by Visiting Professor Nathalie Bredella and Nick Förster.
In the first event – "Gestalt vs. Cybernetics" – Daniel Cardoso Llach and Margarete Pratschke will examine the development of graphical user interfaces in the context of postwar U.S. computer research, which, they argue, ultimately united the controversial discussions between Gestalt psychologists and cyberneticists.
Daniel Cardoso Llach is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, where he chairs the Master of Science in Computational Design and co-directs CodeLab. His research examines questions of automation in design, the politics of representation and participation in software, and the development of new methods to understand design as a socio-technical phenomenon. He is the author of the book “Builders of the Vision: Software and the Imagination of Design” (Routledge 2015), and of numerous articles in journals including Design Issues, Architectural Research Quarterly (ARQ), and Thresholds, among others, and in edited collections including The Active Image: Architecture and Engineering in the Age of Modeling (Springer 2017) and DigitalSTS: A Handbook and a Fieldguide (Princeton 2019). His research has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Canada Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Pennsylvania Agency for Economic Development, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, and a PhD and MS (with honors) in Architecture: Design and Computation from MIT. He has also been a research fellow at Leuphana (MECS), Germany, and a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Margarete Pratschke is a visiting professor of Theory and History at Kunsthochschule Weißensee and has taught as a visiting professor at the Humboldt University zu Berlin. She studied Art History, Modern History and Journalism & Communication Studies in Berlin. From 2004 to 2010 she was a Research Associate in »The Technical Image«, a department of the Hermann von Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and a member of the editorial team for »Image Worlds of Knowledge: Art History Yearbook of Image Criticism«. She also served as a member of staff in the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam from 2008 to 2009. She completed her thesis »Windows as a Tableau. On the Visual History of Graphical User Interfaces« in 2011. She served as Assistant to the Chair for Science Studies at ETH Zurich from 2010 to 2017, and was promoted to Senior Assistant in 2016. From 2010 to 2013 she was a staff member at »eikones«, NCCR Iconic Criticism (University of Basel/ ETH Zurich), where she worked in the module »Perception, Implicit Pictorial Knowledge and Cognition«. She has been an Associated Member of the History of Knowledge Centre in Zurich since 2015. From October 2013 to January 2014 she served as a Fellow in the Excellence Cluster »Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory« at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She has been working on the research project »Looking at Pictures. Ways of Understanding Images and Perception in Psychology and Art History« since February 2014. Her monograph on gestalt experiments with images at the Psychological Institute in the Berlin Palace and the avant-garde (»Gestaltexperimente unterm Bilderhimmel. Das Psychologische Institut im Berliner Stadtschloss und die Avantgarde«) appeared in 2016. She was awarded the Caroline von Humboldt Prize in 2016.