MORPHOSIS

DESIGN INTENT AND DIGITAL ITERATION

PEROT MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE

Morphosis is a highly regarded interdisciplinary practice that has been actively producing celebrated works of architecture for over 30 years. The practice, originally based in Santa Monica but now in Culver City, also maintains a New York office, to handle the firm’s ever-growing body of international work. Morphosis, which was an early adopter of digital technology, characterises these tools as being both project and goal specific. Their work remains largely driven by the design agenda of founder and Design Director Thom Mayne. This is a very important distinction because the practice does not use digital tools to dictate design, nor do the geometries and aesthetics come about because of their use. Under Mayne’s direction, the design intent – formal geometries and spatial characteristics of a building – comes first, and then digital tools become the means by which the firm brings resolution to that design intent.

Typically, a project is set up with Mayne and a senior designer defining intent, and a small team of junior designers working closely with them. As the firm has come to rely heavily on parametric design, digital fabrication and building information modelling, it has recently assigned Cory Brugger as Director of Technology at Morphosis. Brugger works with the individual project teams to deploy and create the basic organisation of the design and building information models, setting out strategies ...

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