“Departure and homecoming: Tradition may constitute a point of departure for creation, but never a home to come back to.” — Kazuo Shinohara
As our name implies, we begin each process by understanding the already existing. We do this with the strategy to “design as little as possible”, by letting patterns of life frame and direct our work. We begin each process by first understanding the essential qualities of the client, space, or situation that we are working with. We work with these essential qualities with the ambition to help places feel truly alive. This aliveness often grows out of patterns of history and culture, and, in our opinion, is activated by bringing forth a universality in our work. This universality can be understood as an open-endedness in the design, but also for our praxis to have an open-ended growth: intellectually, spiritually, and aesthetically.
Production is one of the core pillars in our praxis. For us, production is the opportunity found within materials, techniques, and construction. The opportunities in production show themselves through the following:
_ Custom prefabricated components relate more closely to their final context.
_ High quality of detailing that is achieved economically, due to our closeness to the production.
_ Preoccupation with the sequence of construction, prioritizing assembly for disassembly, a route for future renovation and repurposing.
_ Exposing and critiquing the standards of material and production in order to innovate beyond the mono-culture of building.
All in all, the opportunities in production give us the tools to reduce projects to their static essentials, and to work directly with these: the construction, the materials, and the visual form of the built, which come together to constitute a unified whole. The built then becomes exactly what we see and touch, exactly what we feel beneath our feet.
We have a responsible architecture praxis, and we are defined by how our work addresses the present and its inherent challenges, or, in other words: how it stands in resonance with contemporary culture. However, by tackling the present, one is likely to plan and design according to the needs of today, and not 10 or 100 years from now. One is likely to respond to an isolated moment in time, which, in our opinion, is one of the biggest causes for the challenges that our world is facing culturally, economically, and environmentally.
Contemporary culture’s digital world is omnipresent and digital tools are in the center of navigating through the everyday. Every business must reflect on and respond to the digital. We have developed a high degree of control of digital tools – in particular, CNC milling and laser cutting, which have a direct relationship with the planning and design tools that we use in-house, particularly CAD: Rhino, Inventor, and AutoCAD. However, we are staying critical to the digital by relating the planning and the given form to what has come before, such as, traditional craft and techniques in construction. Furthermore, we are working to relate the digital tools to what the digital does not have, namely, the human aspect. The ability to reach this requires a mindful, reflective, and iterative approach that comes from achieving resonance with a particular situation.