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Kevin Klinger: The Total Process of Architecture

"Exchange globally and make locally" is the motto within Ball State's Institute for Digital Fabrication, under the direction of Kevin Klinger, associate professor of architecture. There's an unprecedented global sharing of information today as a result of the Internet and other emerging media, he notes, and "I think it’s part of our responsibility as a society to translate those global ideas into local conditions and to work with the people and things around us." 

So, in addition to teaching classes or co-leading design studios such as the one resulting in a proposed new museum building for the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Klinger also can frequently be found leading conversations among local fabricators and material suppliers, working with software and collaboratively developing projects such as SmartScrap, which digitally scans, catalogues, and recycles limestone scraps from local stonecutters into configurations that can be used as building components. The technology isn't limited to limestone, however, but also has utility in many other manufacturing applications. 

A related concept known as rapid prototyping is the speedy creation of prototypes of new products, and in the ever-competitive world of manufacturing, anything that helps push products to market faster is critical to success. 

"Our goal is to share collaborative design and production practices based on innovative and experimental processes of material exploration," says Klinger, former president of the Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), the international organization devoted to studying advances in architecture resulting from influences of digital technology. 

"The digital exchange of information taking place in this inventive process is leading to new forms of architectural production that bring designers deeper into the complexities of making, assembly, and material formulation," he says. "These techniques encourage new forms of collaboration with industry, challenge conventional methodologies and suggest a future in which designers are much more engaged in the total process of architecture." 

View Kevin Klinger’s profile page for his e-mail address or call him at 765-285-1912. For a publication-quality photo, contact Ball State Photo Services.