In an age where the design focus is placed on the over-articulation of the individual hair strands, the awareness of the haircut can be lost on the designers themselves. Jason Payne's Raspberry Fields (2010) might be a perfect example about overly articulated parts with no vision for wholes. In Raspberry Fields, a highly-customized, individually weather-curled cedar shingle is used to compose a pitched-roof. The logic of this approach is described by Payne as a 'hair problem.' In this case, the scale of the strand (part) is the design problem, not the hairstyle (whole). This design approach is symptomatic of the early digital era, where the lasercut bed or the CNC machine becomes the space to design special bricks, instead of designing at the scale of the full composition. Raspberry Fields is almost literally splitting hair—it is a hair project that disregards the haircut, defaulting the decision of the overall haircut toward a slightly morphed postmodern vernacular pitched-roof house that the designer did not intend to produce. [CAO3] Being too invested in the details results in projects that cannot see the forest for the trees. The first decade in the 21st century has brought with it a field of over-articulated trees with hardly any understanding of a forest—or, a "difficult parts with no wholes" problem.
Opposed to Payne's project, the House of the Suicide by John Hejduk has no hair and only the haircut. The scale from which Hejduk conceived of this project is at the architectural scale, and not at the scale of the brick. This project spends no effort on the articulation of the "how" of each component, instead
just focusing on the "what," or the full object. The shape of the hairdo is the only graphic to read. The materiality of the hair has no traces of the individual follicle. Whereas Payne's Raspberry Fields resembles the high-resolution of the 2019 Lion King, the House of the Suicide is the low-resolution 1994 cartoon. At the architectural scale, buildings are shapes that make up a city's skyline. They lose all hair once they start reading as the silhouettes of haircuts. As Robert E. Somol writes in his article, "12 Reasons to Get Back into Shape," the idea of shape is expendable, adaptable, fit, empty, arbitrary, intensive, buoyant, projective, and illicit. "Shape" he writes, "eliminates information, is often low resolution, and is in this sense a 'cool' medium." Most importantly, shape is easy,"avoiding the rhetorical excess of geometric form or expressive mass, shape exhibits the immediacy of the graphic."
CODA's Party Wall (2013) might be the beginning of a different story about the digital transformation of architecture. While also conceived as an aggregation project using CNC-fabricated parts, Party Wall does not revolve around the mass-customization of individual components. Instead, the pavilion's parts came from the off-cuts of industry-standard skateboards transformed to achieve a dual legibility of array and surface. In other words, CODA found 'bricks' that had already been produced. Put simply, Party Wall is both hair and hairdo—a wall guided by a raster logic that makes a new composition out of found objects. The use of the digitally