The Generator 2.0

Sam Joyce, John Harding

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

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It has been over 30 years since the original conception of the ‘Generator’ by Cedric Price. A project that in his own words was “little to do with problem solving, rather creating the desirable conditions and opportunities hitherto thought impossible” (Price 1984). The building aimed to develop a dialogue with its users, by acting as a living working prototype continually reconfiguring in a dynamic conversation, in complete contrast to architecture as monument. The
Generator was to be a truly complex adaptive machine, with local system rules and initial condition established but with no fixed global goals and requirements over time.

This paper postulates that the ideas behind the generator as a ‘thinking’ adaptive building are important and worth investigating and progressing. To begin, we introduce the original design and then go on to highlight the conceptual divide between the desired system and its actual real capability. From this study, two particular areas of development for a ‘Generator 2.0’ project are identified: distributed learning and temporal responsiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Prototyping
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Generative Design
  • Cedric Price

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