Architecture, Form, and Energy is a documentary series featuring 6 interviews with architects and intellectuals from the United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, and Mexico. The series seeks to disseminate information that inspires contemporary architectural evolution, from the impact of climate on a place, finding inspiration in nature, the relationship between form and energy, selecting the right materials, and appropriate technological application.
In the 1920s, Dutch-born artist Piet Mondrian began painting his iconic black grids populated with shifting planes of primary colors. By moving beyond references to the world around him, his simplified language of lines and rectangles known as Neo Plasticism explored the dynamics of movement through color and form alone. Though his red, yellow and blue color-blocked canvases were important elements of the De Stijl movement in the early 1900s, almost a century later Mondrian’s abstractions still inspire architects across the globe.
But, what is it about these spatial explorations that have captivated artists and designers for so long?
Dutch journalist Peter Veenendaal has completed a website that features all 136 built works by modernist Willem Marinus Dudok. Dudok, who was formally trained as an engineer, has been hailed as one of the Netherlands’ most influential architects, boasting a prolific career beginning with military barracks and encompassing numerous municipal buildings throughout Europe. Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, Dudok is remembered for his form-driven modernism, leaving his legacy in the work of later architects from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Veenendaal has dedicated a substantial portion of his career to documenting Dudok’s work, including a documentary of his most significant projects entitled “City of Light.” Continue on to Veenendaal’s new website here to explore Dudok’s full portfolio.
BEE / HOUSE / LAB, is an international design competition open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and other related fields. The competition calls for a design of a bee house prototype that can be fabricated and deployed for field testing. Up to ten designs selected by the Design Jury will be fabricated (30 prototypes per design) and deployed (300 houses), to study their space-form-habitat performances.
Founded in 1989, Asymptote Architecture is one of those rare practices that gained their initial notoriety despite the fact that in the early years of their practice most of their designs went unbuilt. As a result, only in the last decade or so have the practice's futuristic and parametric forms truly been tested as physical architecture, with projects such as the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi. In this installment of his “City of Ideas” column,Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Asymptote founders Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture about their inspirations, the creation of space and whether architecture can ever be thought of as solving problems.
Vladimir Belogolovsky: I noticed little arrows at your reception saying, “Administration” to the left, “Picabia” to the left, “Studio 2” to the left, “Duchamp” to the right…What are these things?
Hani Rashid: These are the names we have attributed to our meeting spaces using the names of the influences that are acting on us, our cultural ghosts. For example, the room we are now in is “Constant” referring to the great visionary Constant Nieuwenhuys but also a play on “constant” as a verb meaning something is always happening here. [Laughs.] And this naming system also serves to remind us that the work that we do here is not only about the “business” of designing buildings but more importantly, it has to do with the nature of our thinking and a shared passion in this office for developing new and insightful ideas.
LocationKiev, Kyiv city, Ukraine
Architects in ChargeVictoriia Shkliar, Olga Antontseva
Formlessfinder of New York City has a vision "to liberate architecture from the constraints of form." Samuel Medina of Metropolis Magazine recently interviewed the Princeton duo on contemporary architectural practice - fittingly naming them "Formal Renegades."
“We like architecture,” says Garrett Ricciardi, with real sincerity. “We want to save architecture.” But from what? Ricciardi is one half of New York–based formlessfinder, the experimental—you might say radical—architecture firm he founded with Julian Rose in 2011, just after the pair completed a joint thesis at Princeton University. Their project, which laid out the blueprint for Ricciardi and Rose’s subsequent collaborations, advanced a daring proposition: to liberate architecture from the constraints of form.
“The basic idea of the formless is about freeing up architecture to make it about what we want it to be about,” Rose says. “The idea is that form has sort of gotten in the way,” he adds, before checking off a laundry list of offenders: parametricism, digital fabrication, blobs, minimalism. Where form has “always served to limit and control,” the formless, as the architects have come to define it, is subversive by nature. It’s an operation rife with uncertainty, producing “messy, equivocal, and, most importantly, generative” results.