Several Notes about Making Architecture
Space: the most basic and abstract way of perception of our relation with the outside world, it is deep in one’s sub consciousness.
Material: the substance which provokes our sensation and gives meaning.
Construction: assembling of parts, could be deceiving and change the attention of viewers.
Mechanism: the accomplishment of modern technology which makes our body a dependent of it. It is everywhere and already becomes the base of modernity. But its artificiality could be the enemy of naturalness of life.
Architecture is the place for events, media of memory, and therefore is a carrier of culture. In the informational age, the power of architecture seems becoming weaker. The virtual experience is replacing the real body experience. Architecture seems to be very slow and awkward in this transformation. However, the power of architecture is right at its material essence. It is a real “presence” which could be touched, seen, listened and smelled, and it evokes our sense and emotion.
在中國的當下，我們處于一個迅速而大規模建筑的時代。同時，我們又處于一個強調共性與集體關系的社會環境。信息的過分傳播使大多數建筑成為追求視覺快感的拼貼。今天的數字技術及更多的人工合成材料似乎要給建筑帶來革命——如同當年鋼筋混凝土技術造就了現代主義建筑的變革，我們似乎正在從歐幾里德空間向拓樸空間過渡。然而再新奇浮華的形式也無法改變建筑中最恒久的基本關系: 內與外、輕與重、明與暗、動與靜、快與慢等等。這種恒久根源于人的身體演進的緩慢, 建筑實踐在世界逐漸趨向技術至上的變革歷程里宛如時間坐標上的橡皮筋, 一端要隨著時代前進, 而另一端固守在原點, 能否抵抗住這一張力成為對建筑師韌性的考驗。
Our Age and Context
China is no doubt in the age of development and urbanization, which features fast speed and large scale. This can only be achieved with a guarantee of mass production and standardization of technology and industry. The speed and scale makes architect work fast and think less. The making of architecture is more like a collage of images. Meanwhile, China’s social context is still heavily dominated by a collective culture and political style even it’s in the process of change towards capitalism and diversity. The pursuit for individual identity and poetry is rarely affordable in such context. The question is: what we create as an architect in such a context then? The new technology surely is a creation because it gives us some new experience. For example, the digital technology is making contributions to the transformation of our spatial experience from Euclid space to topological space. Sometimes we are having ecstasy of new fancy forms. However, architecture is not just technology and form, the most meaningful quality it brings to us is deep in the basic contrast between lightness and weight, slowness and speed, transparency and darkness, clarity and blur, stable and transience, order and chaos, inside and outside etc. The certainty of meaning in architecture is because of the condition of our body. The architectural practice is in the tension between certainty and transformation, absoluteness and relativity.
The Discovery Of Authenticity
We believe there is no absolute correctness in architecture. It is always a dialectical dialog between different values. In the reality, architecture performs the game of real and illusion, power and democracy, formal and formless, luxury and cheap, literal and abstract, honesty and deceiving, coherence and contradiction, melancholy and happiness. Architecture responds to the site, to the people who get involved, to the time. There is no certain answer. The only certain goal of our architectural practice is in the discovery of authenticity although we know that might not exist.