cab54.christiaanweiler.net

architecture : theory and strategy

philosophy


'cab54 architecture : theory and strategy' is the name under which i undertake my 'academic adventures'. mostly motivated by curiosity but also convinced of the necessity to think about the implications of designing the built environment in which we live. since the turn of the millenium we are beginning to see an new accelerated development in industrialised societies. this dynamic condition of todays society is at the heart of most of the thoughts.

the subtitle 'theory and strategy' summarizes the means and the goal.
theory because theoretical models enable us to step out of the daily buzz, and to exceed our limited vision. maybe better just call it experimentation. but there is a certain unrealistic complexity that comes to the experiments and so we call it theory. the experiments make it possible to investigate hypothetical futures beyond our everyday reality. for these speculations we need intelligent guesses. what makes a guess intelligent? a convincing theory!
strategy because each assignment brings along specific conditions and requires a specific approach. before designing a solution, the problem must be analised. a building's performance depends on the dynamics of its context. the historical, the present and most of all the future context are of great influence. good design needs good strategy.

cab54 reflects inside and outside the frame 'think global, act local'. big scale developments have small scale consequences, but also vice versa. this refers to global geo-political and environmental changes that will have an impact on the future we are meant to give shape. sustainability, adaptability and identity are the handles that enable to manipulate present day phenomena into desireable and credible propositions. analysis and deconstruction are followed up by synthesis and reconstruction. after a period of revolution and deep questioning everything has become theoretically possible. however when everything is possible, it is very important to ask oneself : 'what is desireable?' this can be (re)constructed by a new synthesis of the pieces of the recently disected reality. while this process might be very rational, one should not forget that poetry is indispensable. we want to have our cake AND eat it.
sustainability : the built environment is considered a permanent physical accomodation that conditions the territory for its dynamic inhabitants.
adaptability : in order to participate in this permanence one must be able to adapt. the physical tissue doesn't move, but it does change, and like anything else it seeks an equilibrium. each building is a particle in this dynamic tissue.
identity : no design can apply an identity, it can only acquire it in time. the user(s) develop(s) a relation to an environment, and this relation is the vehicle of identity. given the dynamics between the user and its environment, this identity needs time to crystalize, if it ever does.

so if identity requires time i.e. sustainability, and sustainability requires adaptability, then identity requires adaptability.
is that a paradox?
there's certainly no mathematical answer to the theorem, which is why it's so bl**dy interesting.

please consult the design page for attempts to crystalize these fluid meanderings.