Let me first say that this was a challenging read. I’m still not completely sure what Kahn is saying but we’re going to give it a shot anyway.
Gershenfeld’s class at MIT uses knowledge and information as a material in which to build ideas. It is a material that melds into what it knows, which then allows the idea of customization to come into play. One machine that knows one thing, and another with a different knowledge are going to produce to entirely different items. Gershenfeld emphasizes creating with what you already know, which in itself is unique, being that we all know different things to different degrees.
Kahn on the other hand focuses on this uniqueness in architecture. He give the example of light in architecture as, when it is manipulated in different ways, it can give a space a completely different focus or atmosphere. Kahn’s ideas about architecture state that the building comes from the mind first before the first structural foundations are laid. That ideas are art and art is what makes things unique, with endless possibilities.
While both ideas and knowledge are endless pools from which things can be created. Kahn and Gershenfeld have different ideas about where the designed world comes from. Is it the complexity of knowledge that allows precision customization from person to person, or the flexibility of art and ideas that produce a better work? Both are critical on creating. The knowledge in our minds must be paired with the ideas we possess in order to efficiently create new and better works.