Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
concern for profitability and universality. Innovation, however, is not the
same as architecture. One might point out that certain generations of architectural
modernism fall into the same trap of mechanistic and homogenised mass solutions, yet
this is certainly not the central thrust of architectural training, which offers
something very different to replicable product design. Architects are meant to
design for a particular client, paying detailed attention to the specifics of a site
modernism. Computers would, it was argued, allow the design capabilities and expertise of
professionals to be transferred to the popular masses ( Turner, 2006 ).
In the mid 1970s, the architect Nicholas Negroponte 11 sought to eliminate professional privilege by facilitating public
participation and ownership of the architectural design process through computer programming.
The intention was to create ‘soft architectural machines’ that could translate
human imperfections, anxieties and emotions into the rich architectural designs of a ‘new