Digital X Workshop 2018 – Public Debates

16 January 2018

The first Norman Foster Foundation Digital X Workshop explored the kinship of Architecture and the Digital World in a week-long event hosted in the Madrid headquarters of the Norman Foster Foundation.

The Digital X Public Debates were divided into three panel conversations, preceded by a keynote introduction by Nicholas Negroponte, where he made an immersion into what he deems ‘Visits to the Future’.

The first conversation, chaired by Ricky Burdett, included Hugh Herr and Kent Larson, who lead two of the main initiatives at the MIT Media Lab, both building bridges between humanity and technology, yet following two different approaches. Both MIT professors agreed on the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration for any centre for innovation.

Luis Fernández-Galiano introduced the second speakers as two distinct perspectives on the use of digital tools in architecture: Greg Lynn, an architect immersed in the future, and Benedetta Tagliabue, almost a craftsman from the past.

To close the discussions, Jonathan Glancey moderated a debate between Norman Foster and Amanda Levete, where Glancey enquired about the impact the digital revolution has had on the work of both architects.

Questions were raised about the transformative power of technology as a means to social ends. Foster reflected on the potential of digital tools in the foreseeable short-term to totally transform the nature of human beings for good.

Participants: Ricky Burdett, Luis Fernández-Galiano, Norman Foster, Jonathan Glancey, Hugh Herr, Kent Larson, Amanda Levete, Nicholas Negroponte and Benedetta Tagliabue.