Computational tools continue to transform the way architects work and how they are being educated. Arch 521 is a media lecture course that focuses on post-orthographic BIM (Building Information Modeling) processes and their effects on the production of architecture. These effects are problematized by studying the role of workflows – reflective methods of intellectual and physical production. Arch 521 meets once a week for 2 hours. Media is what architects work through. It is a fundamental way of seeing and speculating about architecture. The work from this media course is framed by the relationship among three areas of study:

a. History / b. Tools / c. Contemporary Practice

The link between methods of production and reflection is the conceptual thread that highlights the relationship among the areas of study listed above.

There is a disciplinary path in which technical aptitude (technology) and theoretical aptitude (technics) continue to be driven further and further apart. The confusion between these two paths has led many architects to misinterpret user’s manuals and statistical analysis as novel theories – referring to them as workflows. Shifts in “labor time” (graphical and construction) associated with the production of architecture has made it clear that the speed of the medium is decisive within any technical system. The goal of this course is to articulate that the speed of the medium affects contemplation and the development of technical knowledge. To move workflows away from the legacy of scientific management ― the modernist pursuit of efficiency ― it is necessary to think of technical contemplation as an intellectual act. Otherwise, workflows will continue to be a list of commands used to produce and manage predictable outcomes.