New Book Explores Automatic Architecture

Book examines how systematic methods would closely connect architecture with mathematics and science



By Jennifer Clement
New Book Explores Automatic Architecture

Sean Keller, associate dean of research and associate professor at Illinois Tech’s College of Architecture, published a new book, Automatic Architecture, Motivating Form After Modernism.

Keller, who coined the term automatic architecture, says, “In the last 30 years computers have completely changed the way that architects work, how they think about what they do, and how things are created.”

The book examines the enthusiasm for autonomic design methods in the 1960s and 1970s. By focusing on design methods and examining evidence at a range of scale—from institutions to individual buildings—Keller offers an alternative narrative of postwar architecture, as well as an analysis of the contemporary condition, suggesting future paths for architectural practice that work beyond the merely automatic.

Keller is a historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture, with a focus on the relationship of architecture and technology after 1945. He is a frequent contributor to Artforum, has written for numerous anthologies and journals, and has a second book forthcoming. Keller is an invited speaker throughout the United States and Europe and is a trustee of the Graham Foundation.