The object as solid, having three dimensions, is not just a different formal trend, but a paradigm shift; a reconceiving of how the architectural object is produced and experienced, changing the very concept of objectivity and meaning of architecture. This book celebrates the potential of the strange object, which finds its origin in the proto-space—the moment between the becoming of the idea and the ultimate shape it takes; the state of the still obscure and ‘uninhibited’ object outside the established framework of signification. As seen through an examination of 10 projects by Archi-Tectonics, this strange object is proof of the very capacity of the object to generate new habits and meanings.
For close to a century, modernism was the norm, presented to culturally aware citizens as the expression of modern life. It arrived hand in hand with medical advances, mass standardization, and a shared ideal of what the ease and speed of the modern lifestyle could offer. Only in the early years of the 21st century did our widespread allegiance begin to shift away from modernism and towards a new social realm. The digital revolution introduced online societies, niche cultures, and digital design. Digital manufacturing facilitated opportunities of surface patterning and the fabrication of one-off special building components, removing the constraints of standardization in the construction industry and celebrating the experimental. Testing designs through prototypes allows for a much more informed decision-making process. The focus is on precise, rigorous research and development, rather than representational models.
Now, after nearly two decades of implementing digital tools, we have reached a new platform where digital design and robotic production are the norm, and by extension, digital craft and integral design are as the future. This has been particularly important in the rethinking of advanced digital design processes. As showcased and examined in Strange Objects, New Solids and Massive Forms, from the earliest projects and regardless of scale, Archi-Tectonics has valued performance over form, design intelligence over style. Through prototypes and mock-ups, process documentation and testimonials, the book presents 10 current and recent projects that celebrate the particular and singular over the ideal and universal.
With Contributions of Manuel DeLanda, Jonathan Jackson