Via sevensixfive I discovered this interview by C-Lab. In which Jeffrey Inaba, Justin Fowler and Leah Whitman-Salkin discuss simulation, space architecture, utopia, and HUD with Nicholas de Monchaux , author of the forthcoming book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo.
Early on Nicholas says;
“Simulation as a tool in design, one that helps master the realities of ecologies, landscapes, and cities, is one of the major intellectual legacies of the space race.”
Later on Jeffrey Inaba asks Nicholas to “restate the hard-soft thesis as it applies not only to the suit but also the shortcomings of larger systems thinking?…It seems like what you’re saying in the article and in the book is that a faith in the rigor of scientific hard systems was a way of thinking that potentially had shortcomings compared to ones that thought about scientific systems or ones that were analogous to ecosystems—a hybrid of determinable, objective facts and unpredictable activity.“
In response Nicholas explains that “A fascination with technology, with coding, and parametric operations is often cloaked or garbed in preconceptions about how codes and forms operate in nature: we “evolve” solutions; we create “morphogenetic systems.” Against this tendency, we can read the space race as more accurate proto-parametric systems design. For the creation of ICBM in the 1950s, a range of characters like the Air Force’s Bernhard Schriver, or Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge of what became TRW, invented the first modern process in which objects were created by systems versus by a designer. So instead of blueprints you had a series of systems relationships operating on each other“