Skip to main content



Digital Cities

Neil Leach (Guest Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-77300-0 June 2009 136 Pages


Guest-edited by Neil Leach

What is the impact of digital technologies on the design and analysis of cities? For the last 15 years, the profound impact of computer-aided techniques on architecture has been well charted. From the use of standard drafting packages to the more experimental use of generative design tools and parametric modelling, digital technologies have come to play a major role in architectural production. But how are they helping architects and designers to operate at the urban scale? And how might they be changing the way in which we perceive and understand our cities? 

  • Features some of the world’s leading experimental practices, such as Zaha Hadid Architects, R&Sie(n), Biothing and Xefirotarch.
  • Takes in exciting emerging practices, such as moh architects, kokkugia and THEVERYMANY, and work by students at some of the most progressive schools, such as the AA, Dessau Institute of Architecture and RMIT.
  • Contributors include: Michael Batty, Benjamin Bratton, Alain Chiaradia, Manuel DeLanda, Vicente Guallart and Peter Trummer.
Editorial (Helen Castle).

Introduction: Digital Cities (Neil Leach).

Parametricism: A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design (Patrik Schumacher).

Experiments in Associative Urbanism (Tom Verebes).

Chlorofilia, the Los Angeles Jungle (Neil Leach featuring Hernan Diaz Alonso).

I’ve Heard About … (A Flat, Fat, Growing Urban Experiment) Extract of Neighbourhood Protocols (François Roche).

A Digital Breeder for Designing Cities (Michael Batty).

The Limits of Urban Simulation: An Interview with Manuel DeLanda (Neil Leach).

Swarm Urbanism (Neil Leach).

Morphogenetic Urbanism (Peter Trummer).

Digital Towers (Neil Leach).

Spatial Design Economies (Alain Chiaradia).

Hyperhabitat: Reprogramming the World (Neil Leach featuring Vicente Guallart).

iPhone City (Benjamin H Bratton).

Jan Kaplick´y (1937–2009): Homage to an Extraordinary Life of Unfulfilled Dreams and Major Successes (Ivan Margolius).

Interior Eye.

Alice Tully Hall, New York (Jayne Merkel).

Building Profile.

The Feildbarn (David Littlefield).


Lighting Up (Valentina Croci).

Yeang’s Eco-Files.

Seawater Greenhouses and the Sahara Forest Project (Ken Yeang and Michael Pawlyn).

Unit Factor.

Parallel Indexing: Infrastructure and Space (Holger Kehne and Jeff Turko).

McLean’s Nuggets (Will McLean).

Spiller’s Bits.

Parallel Biological Futures (Neil Spiller).

Site Lines.

FREEZE: A Celebration of Design in the Modern North (Brian Carter).