Alisa Andrasek is an experimental practitioner and research based educator of architecture and computational processes in design. In 2001 she founded biothing, a cross-disciplinary laboratory that focuses on the generative potential of computational systems for design. In 2005 she initiated CONTINUUM, an interdisciplinary research collective focusing on advanced computational geometry and software development. Andrasek graduated from the University of Zagreb, and holds a Masters in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. She teaches architecture studios and theory seminars at the Architectural Association in London (AA DRL) and has taught at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, RMIT Melbourne and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has lectured at architecture schools worldwide. Andrasek was co-winner of the Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition, 2005 and received the FEIDAD Design Merit Award, 2004. Recent exhibitions of biothing’s work include: Permanent Collection Centre Pompidou Paris 2009; FRAC Collection in Orleans 2009; Transitory Objects TB-A21 in Vienna 2009; Synathroisis in Athens Greece 2008; Scripted by Purpose at the F.U.E.L. gallery in Philadelphia 2007; Seroussi pavilion at the Maison Rouge gallery in Paris 2007; Ars Mathematica in Paris 2007; the 2003 Prague Biennale; the 2004 Sydney Biennial; Architectural Biennial Beijing 2004, 2006 and 2008; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2005. She curated the East Coast section for the “Emergent Talent Emergent Technologies” exhibition for the Beijing Biennial 2006 and for the “(Im)material Processes: New Digital Techniques for Architecture” for the Beijing Biennial 2008.
biothing/CONTINUUM research is exploring the shift from the technique-based approach that dominated generative practices within architecture in the recent past towards the more explicit computational approach by engaging with scripting directly in an open source manner _ addressing a growing culture of collective computational knowledge emerging within a discipline. At the core of the work is an accumulative library of scripts and methods for their transcoding, applicable to the constraints of materials, structure, fabrication and assembly. Evolving algorithmic infrastructure allows a designer to work at the scale of information linked to various forms of materialization. Computational patterns are understood as deep in terms of their potential to produce expressions at various scales.
Not unlike a genetic engineer, the designer writes code sequences in the generation of immaterial forms of intelligence, which are than linked to specific constraints within different scales of social and material production. Beyond the combinatory evaluations biothing is engaging into less-deterministic process of design search _ interlacing constellations of constraints as a positive input for computational infrastructure. Within this accumulative ecology of relations, design becomes a mode of composure (and less a composition) _ search for coherent behaviors out of a texture of collective constitution. Highly affective outcomes and the use of algorithmic scripting as the primary generative mode are frequently inseparable. Additionally scripting toolsets act as a kind of connective tissue between traditionally separate fields of expertise towards new knowledge unifications. Biothing/CONTINUUM collaborates with specialists from other fields of expertise such as mathematics, programming, robotics, cultural theory, structural engineering and software development.