Weaving together intellectual, social, cultural, and material histories, Theodora Vardouli
and Olga Touloumi
's book Computer Architectures: Constructing the Common Ground
(Routledge, 2019) paints the landscape that brought computing into the imagination, production, and management of the built environment, whilst foregrounding the impact of architecture in shaping technological development.
The book is organized into sections corresponding to the classic von Neumann diagram for computer architecture: program (control unit), storage (memory), input/output and computation (arithmetic/logic unit), each acting as a quasi- material category for parsing debates among architects, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists. Collectively, authors bring forth the striking homologies between a computer program and an architectural program, a wall and an interface, computer memory and storage architectures, structures of mathematics and structures of things. The collection initiates new histories of knowledge and technology production that turn an eye toward disciplinary fusions and their institutional and intellectual drives.
Theodora Vardouli is Assistant Professor at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, Canada.
Olga Touloumi is Assistant Professor of Architectural History at Bard College, USA.