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Elegance represents an important watershed in architectural design. Since the onset of computer-driven technologies, innovative designers have, almost exclusively, been preoccupied with the pursuit of digital techniques. This issue of AD extrapolates current design tendencies and brings them together to present a new type of architecture, one that is seamlessly trying processes, space, structure and material together with beauty. ‘Elegance’ here is cast with a new contemporary meaning as it is applied to work that is effortlessly complex. It is analogous to an elegant algorithm that uses a small amount of initiative code to great effect. In a structure elegance may be expressed by a complex surface that retains its continuity and integrity even when punctured. In many ways, Elegance marks a coming of age for, ‘digital architecture’, as architects become more adept at producing complexity and integrating digital design technologies, production and assembly systems producing elegant solutions. It is the potent finesse that is often associated with the work of Zaha Hadid Architects and other featured architects, such as Mark Goulthorpe of Decoi and Hani Rashid of Asymptote.
Elegance in the Age of DigitalTechnique (Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle).
Lightness and Fluidity: Remarks Concerning the Aesthetics of Elegance (David Goldblatt).
Material Elegance (Manuel DeLanda).
Frozen Void: The Elegant Affect of the Evolved Object (Kivi Sotamaa).
Arguing for Elegance (Patrik Schumacher).
Surface Continuity: An Elegant Integration (Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle).
Everything is Curved: The Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos).
Elegance, Attenuation, Geometry: Herta and Paul Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Preston Scott Cohen).
Beyond the Structural Skin Zaha Hadid Architects: Marsa Dubai Residential Tower (Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle).
The Economies of Elegance Migrating Coastlines: Residential Tower, Dubai (Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle).
Performing Elegance (Hani Rashid).
Deus Ex Machina: From Semiology to the Elegance of Aesthetics (Mark Foster Gage).
(K)not a Loop (Meejin Yoon).
Notes on Designing Surficial Elegance (Benjamin H Bratton and Hernan Diaz Alonso).
Fabricating Elegance: Digital Architecture’s Coming of Age (Joseph Rosa).
Epic Proportions of Gilgamesh (Howard Watson).
Weiss/Manfredi Architects (Jayne Merkel).
Orchard Building, Bedales School (Jeremy Melvin).
New River Village (Bruce Stewart).
McLean’s Nuggets (Will McLean).
Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (Sean Stanwick).