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Scholarship of Design
Designing by Decoding:
Exposing Environments Mediated by “Cultural Software”
Luke Caspar Pearson
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This article considers the manipulation of physical environments by what Lev Manovich terms “cultural software,” computer programs we use to generate culture. Utilizing case studies from teaching workshops, I examine methods for interrogating the logic underpinning the software of global imaging, virtual construction, and video games to understand their effect upon physical environments. These are proposed as ways for architects to engage with the layered condition of what “environment” constitutes today. I conclude that the logics we carry from design software into reality must be scrutinized so that we do not fail to see the ideology our digital tools transported into physical conditions.

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