106th ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, The Ethical Imperative

Soft Materials: Assessing Architects’ Roles as Ethical Producers of Digital Technology

Annual Meeting Proceedings

Author(s): Maya Przybylski

This paper exposes the ethical implications of custom computational components embedded in architectural projects. It argues that these components, identified as soft materials, constitute part of a project’s material assembly and should  be subjected to similar ethical considerations targeted at other, more physical, project aspects. This, in turn, necessitates an expansion of knowledge and methods and, to this end, we present work on building capacity for richer engagement with the socio-cultural dimensions of projects’ computational components. We focus on data as a key component and present methods with which designer scan develop a more sophisticated understanding of the data used in their work. These methods guide an exercise in unpacking a specific project’s data components along dimensions, such as objectivity and accuracy, which have inextricable links to ethical concerns, such as inclusion and access.


Volume Editors
Amir Ameri & Rebecca O'Neal Dagg