Critical Technics in Architecture

A Cybernetic Approach


  • Zach Mellas TU Delft



In this article, I posit that for the field of architecture to come to a distinctly architectural application of computational technologies it requires the elaboration of a concept of critical technics. This is premised on a systems-view of technical development, which highlights the importance of time and situatedness for any consideration of change, genesis or becoming. In order to then construct an architectural technicity that can grapple with the external character of technical development, I argue – using the philosophy of technology of Gilbert Simondon and Stafford Beer’s management cybernetics – that what is needed for this is a radical opening-up of the architectural process in the form of a democratisation, to augment architecture’s capacity for producing alternate futurity.

Author Biography

Zach Mellas, TU Delft

Zach Mellas is a design engineer currently working in the Netherlands. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Delft University of Technology. During his Master of Science in Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences he studied and developed interactive digital systems with the aim of centring democratic design processes, starting from architectural theory and critical philosophy of technology. His research interests include cybernetics, prefabrication, design automation, organisational theory and computational design.


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