For Dagmar Richter, computer assisted design and fabrication is an “unavoidable necessity for fully contemporary architectural production.” By controlling the computational processes, Richter has been able to implement flexible spatial planning. As early as the 1980s, she developed an approach that takes into account the memory of events that have occurred in a place, a memory which then becomes the raw material of the project. In fact, her early research developed the idea of the territory as a place of architectural “inscription” and urban organization. The permanent change and fluidity that define our cities provide the basis for a series of studies that refuse to recognize the objective authority of maps in favor of different levels of reading that fashion a data matrix, which is the opposite of the two-dimensional Euclidian grid (The Vessel; Berlin III). With The Wave (2001), Richter undertook a typological approach to the conception of architecture that allowed her to intertwine, using animated maps, various data, considered as productive dynamics. More recently, her thinking has been focused on the surface as a source of information and rules. Far more than the mass, it is the surface that we perceive through our senses, educated as they have become to read forms modeled on computer screens. It is the extruded, twisted or folded surface that creates the architectural space. Richter speaks of an “armed surface,” a concept she develops in her book, Armed Surfaces, published in 2003. It is in this way, for example, that the Dom-In(f)o project enabled her to rethink the surface based on the digital transformation of Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino house.
Dagmar Richter (1955) divides her time between Los Angeles, Berlin and Stuttgart. She studied engineering at the University of Stuttgart and at the Royal Art Academy School of Architecture in Copenhagen, and in 1987, founded the DRD_Studio in Los Angeles. Three years later, she opened the DR_D Office in Berlin. She participates in many international competitions and dedicates a great deal of her time to research, notably working in the DR_D LAB, Design Research Development Laboratory, which she set up in 2002. Her work has been shown throughout Europe (in Copenhagen, in the exhibition entitled Architectures non standard, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2003-2004, etc.) and in the U.S. In parallel, she has developed an international career as a teacher in the U.S and in Germany. In July 2009, she was appointed to a professorship at the department of architecture at Cornell University.