Carl Lostritto

Carl Lostritto conducts research and teaches in the area of computational design, with an emphasis on drawing and media within the discipline of architecture. He also cofounded and operates the RISD Code Studio, an interdisciplinary group of RISD/Brown faculty and students devoted to the critical, conceptual and technical opportunities surrounding the craft of computing. Lostritto practices as an artist and designer. He regularly exhibits drawings and conceptual works of architecture. Parameters of Time: Computing & Drawing Slowly was on view at the University of Maryland through September 2014. He also consults in design computation with artists, architects and publishers on projects ranging in type and scale to include buildings, websites, objects, maps and drawings.

Before joining the RISD faculty, Lostritto taught architecture and design at The Boston Architectural College, The Catholic University of America, The University of Maryland and MIT. He studied in a post-professional research program at MIT within the Design and Computation Group. His professional architecture degree was earned at the University of Maryland, where he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal Thesis Prize and was recognized by the Center for Teaching Excellence. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and graduated summa cum laude.

Academic research/ areas of interest

Carl Lostritto’s broad scholarly agenda involves framing computation conceptually. He focuses on representation as an essential territory of architectural thought and discourse. His modus operandi in practice and pedagogy involves writing software that controls machines and extends the role of the human author in the design process. He has written hundreds of programs and scripts that control vintage pen plotters and indexes, catalogues and writes about the resulting drawings with the goal of generating and addressing questions such as: What does an artificial intelligence engine that plays Connect Four look like? What are the aesthetic implications of a geometric algorithm that gives mass to line? What if abstracted geological forces and particle physics were misused to make a storm cloud form in the world of a drawing? What is the simplest algorithm that produces the most complex spatial condition? How many types of ambiguity are there? Why do architects draw? And, what would Sol LeWitt do? Some of his recent publications on these topics include the essays “How to make sure that time, force and flaws don’t disappear, despite the computer” in The Draftery: Figure 03 (Athanasiou Geolas and Jesen Tanadi, Editors, 2013) and “The Definition, Necessity and Potential of Drawing Computation” in Dosya 29, Computational Design (Onur Yüce Gün, Editor, 2012).