Is the crAft g0nE?

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities. But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era.

The fourth chapter of this documentary, titled ‘The Craft is Gone’, bemoans the role of technology in creating an expectation amongst young musicians of immediate and sterile perfection at the expense of human performance. 

PJ Brunet agrees that distributing art is easier now with the Internet but as far as “easy tools” he disagree with the assumption that "the craft is gone". The graphic design craft evolved so much, where you really need to know HTML, CSS, PHP, and on and on, now you can’t just press the “On” button and expect results. Because the work is more challenging, there’s fewer people who can do it. Less supply, more demand. So graphic designers make more than ever, even though the software is more affordable than ever, mostly free!

These days we live in a world where computers and technology have redefined what it is to be an artist. The digital revolution has most certainly opened the door to new possibilities to a broader scope of people.
Architecturally, things are not that different. Design process is being heavily influenced by the use of computers. But Kostas Terzidis in his 2006 book “Algorithmic Architecture” makes an important distinction between Computation and Computerization:
"Computation is a term that differs from, but is often confused with, computerization. While computation is the procedure of calculating, i.e. determining something by mathematical or logical methods, computerization is the act of entering, processing, or storing information in a computer or a computer system. Computerization is about automation, mechanization, digitization, and conversion. Generally, it involves the digitization of entities or processes that are preconceived, predetermined, and well defined. In contrast, computation is about the exploration of indeterminate, vague, unclear, and often ill-defined processes; because of its exploratory nature, computation aims at emulating or extending the human intellect. It is about rationalization, reasoning, logic, algorithm, deduction, induction, extrapolation, exploration, and estimation. In its manifold implications, it involves problem solving, mental structures, cognition, simulation, and rule-based intelligence, to name a few."
Tuğrul Yazar stersses that the definition of such dualities clear our path of thought. Yet he draws our attention that very close relationships between “a computerized thing” and “a computational thing”, still remains. Some might even say that a computerized design is the reason of computational design; or vice versa.

One thing is for sure, the craft is not gone, but a new craft is being born!

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The people from the barrio built the city twice: during the day we built the houses of the well-off. At night and at weekends, with solidarity, we built our own homes, our barrio.

  —Andrés Antillano, resident of Caracas, April 15, 2004