I have spent plenty of time lately on my COFA Courses. Having lively discussions is pretty essential to making online courses live and breath I think. I am not sure that a handful of discussion threads is really enough to do this for me. If I want to really engage with a topic then it looks like I am taking over. There needs to be a way for the back-and-forth to occur much like in chat and IM without flooding the medium.
Anyhow, my work in Contemporary Aesthetics in Digital Architecture has me delving into not only current trends in architecture and the words/phrases used to articulate it, but also the relationship to the modernism of the 20th Century. There is certainly alot written and plenty to learn.
In one of the lectures there was as section on Intelligent Design and for some reason I debated with myself as to whether I should really make a statement here about the validity of that. So I did, but made a reasoned statement I think. This is one of the areas where further to-and-fro discussion would have been great.
One of the papers I have used extensively is one from the Arup Journal. CDO: Computational design + optimisation in building practice by Chris Luebkeman and Kristina Shea. This nifty little piece covers Arup's work on several projects and shows how they are using computer models (even then) to create simply staggering numbers of design options/iterations. I will have to explore more of the Arup Journal now...
[some images from the article]
Visualising the Past sees us building data sets and thinking through interpretation which is fascinating actually - is a fun course so far.