From Kevin R. Klinger’s point of view, the future of architecture is an exciting prospect where the digital and physical join to formulate a productive environment, and industry is involved at all scales of intervention. Klinger will share that point of view as one of the four co-chairs of "Foundations and Futures," the 2016 inaugural symposium of Exhibit Columbus. He has curated the session entitled The Architecture + Industry in the Future → of Cities on October 1, featuring presentations by Mark Burry, Matthias Kohler and Fabio Gramazio, William Kreysler, Jennifer Rumsey and L. William Zahner.
Klinger is director of the Institute for Digital Fabrication ( www.i-m-a-d-e.org) and associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University. He has served as a two-term president of the Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) and as a trustee for the Beverly Willis Foundation of Architecture. Klinger is also author and co-editor of the influential book Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture, developed in collaboration with Branko Kolarevic.
At Ball State, Professor Klinger encourages explorations in digitally-driven design, deploying techniques of total design-through-production. The Institute for Digital Fabrication is devoted to project-based collaborations that result from the intersection of emerging technology with students, industry, community, and research partners. The Institute operates with an ethic to “connect globally, and make locally.” The digital exchange of information demands new forms of collaboration with industry, so that designers and makers are much more engaged in this total design-through-production process. Klinger says, “Digital fabrication allows for interdisciplinary design and research, enhancing the design process.” He envisions a future for architecture, design, and industry where increasingly sophisticated modeling facilitates collaboration, innovation, and an active relation with human engagement and the natural world.
From Klinger’s perspective, Columbus has a “Foundation” in its modern architectural landmarks, and is ripe to embrace the “Futures” he envisions with his students. Klinger explains, “digital fabrication has the potential to elevate design.” Through Exhibit Columbus, designers will have the opportunity to surpass current expectations and imagine what the future holds. The architects who have worked in Columbus in the past challenged traditional form and philosophy in architecture. With the help of leading technologies like digital modeling, robotics, CNC, composites, and new construction techniques, designers once again have the chance to rethink architecture. Kevin Klinger is a leader in this new territory, making him an ideal guide for exploring that terrain in his session of “Foundations and Futures.”
The Architecture + Industry in the Future → of Cities session explores possible futures for cities like Columbus, where design matters to the general population. In order to address how such cities build on their significant architectural heritage, Klinger says, “I look to new technologies and techniques, for a total design-through-production approach. Architecture has always had a close relationship with the cutting edge of technology, and incorporating digital fabrication is the logical evolution in this relationship.” The presenters of Architecture + Industry in the Future → of Cities share this mode of thinking, drawing upon new technologies and applying them to the field of architecture. By fostering new designers through initiatives like Exhibit Columbus, this city can continue to play a role in architecture’s future.