Most architectural books written by practising architects fall into two categories: theoretical texts, or monographs that describe and illustrate the author's projects. This book combines both, as it explores and illustrates the methodological journey required to translate a concept to a drawing and a drawing to a building. While the term 'methodological' might imply an Aristotelian logic, there is no attempt here to rationalise the process of conception, but instead an acknowledgement of an experimental approach that presupposes a subtle knowledge of the projects. It shows the architect's fascination with the 'opaque' and the 'not said' and illustrates how architecture works through agreement and contradiction (e.g. the built and the un-built, material and immaterial). Organised into three essays Urban Collage, Ground Surface, Shadows and Lines, the book examines how conceptual threads begin to compose a specific architectural design 'language' and how they interweave from one direction to another. Importantly, the projects that illustrate the text also demonstrate how imperative or marginal the original ideas become and, to an extent they demonstrate the design process: its successes, illogicality and failures. The essays also discuss the importance of iteration through time where ideas may occasionally be developed as a linear process, but more often emerge through a series of creative digressions. Although the essays and the projects have dominant themes, these should not be regarded as autonomous, as throughout the development of both drawings and buildings, ideas inevitably segue from one domain to another. Ideas have both fluidity and the ability to transform.
’Recently in many architectural schools efforts intensified to further develop architectural research. Exciting new avenues are being explored, relying upon the design skills of architects and urban designers, combining them with intellectual rigor and in-depth thinking, in order to imagine new spatialities and to unfold hitherto unknown spatial experiences. This series highlights the innovative results of these explorations, opening up a new world of path-breaking research.’ Hilde Heynen, University of Leuven, Belgium
Contents: Preface; Urban collage; Ground surface; Shadows and lines; Bibliography; Index.
Bridging a range of positions between practice and academia, this series seeks out the best proponents of architectural design research from around the world. These texts will be varied in tone and structure, and will discuss aspects including design method, visual representation, textual analysis, social processes, and strategies for action. The series is to be deliberately inclusive in order to encourage a novel and vibrant kind of approach for architectural research. Each of the books will contain a large amount of serious and innovative historical or theoretical research, combined with creative propositions realized through a mixture of drawings, models and textual analysis. It is the essential symbiotic interplay between these components which creates the framework for design research in architecture.
The precise working of the interplay of text and project in architectural design research remains a much debated and relatively unformed issue, and this is of course symptomatic of the conditions facing any newly emerging subject area. The broader questions and theoretical structures of design research have formed the basis of discussions in international refereed journals such as The Journal of Architecture, and there is undoubtedly more intellectual work to be done in such areas. But there is also the need to form knowledge and method through actual propositions, with these studies enabling their authors not just to explore, propose and reflect on their specific subject-at-hand, but also on the wider nature of design research in general. It is for this express reason that this series aims to publish as widely as possible a number of the very best outputs in the field of design research, to allow others to use them as exemplars or to take issue with them through reasoned critique. It is a fertile time for design research and this book series will act at the heart of these investigations and discussions.