Tim Durfee introduces William Mitchell, stressing his significance as the dean of the school of architecture and planning at MIT, and how Mitchell’s writing reconnects the discourse of architecture and digital technology back to issues of society and urbanism. Durfee praises City of Bits, Mitchell’s book on urbanism and technology.
Mitchell characterizes his recent research on digital technology and it’s effects on the city. He discusses the formation of new infrastructures along with new systems of telecommunications. He argues for a”Recombinant Architecture,” which he describes as a reconfiguration of fragments of familiar architectural features. Mitchell compares the spatial organization of traditional bookstores with Amazon.com.
Mitchell discusses the impact of new digital technology on design studios and offices. He predicts a process of geographical distribution, citing a transition of work from the design studio to the Internet. Mitchell identifies a series of new technologies that will realize this vision of geographical distribution. Mitchell concludes with a discussion of three processes: simulation, rapid prototyping and technology-supported collaboration.