Form

Spline - David Kesler watercolor - 1997

We seek completion. Yet we remain unresolved. The big bang, as it were, keeps the trajectory going in one direction. We tragically seek love, and tie our hopes to the illusory.

This desire for completion is one of many factors that continue to push technology and culture forward. The iPhone is not the end. We all know this. Technology may over-promise - we know this too! Yet the promise of technology seems to be always within our grasp.

So as architects, the best of us, it seems to me, want to find our own means in our own time to create the killer app.

Mostly, competitions provide some grounding for this compulsion. It takes a rare client indeed to allow the architect to explore form.

Form, in this sense, is the space of being in our time in this place. Its not the cube, or the box, or the prosaic or the normative. Its everything that isn't that.

To make a living we architects are often trapped inside the rectilinear, inside the box. Yet the greatest innovations lies outside the box. There is no outside to innovation.

If the world of the prosaic lies within the Platonic solids, then formal innovation has, perhaps, a more Aristotelian basis. A basis that is rooted in the emulation of nature and the phenomenon and the processes associated with the natural world.

Mankind initially created religion to explain what could not be understood. As experimentation and science began to erode the immutability of religion, architecture evolved out of or perhaps through the box.

Architecture began with the emulation of nature. The first Doric temples are abstractions and enhancements of the forests. Over the centuries we stripped out the decorative elements of the box as well as the fear of gravity. This left us with points and lines and planes explored through cantilever and the defiance of structure. The mutation of the box is infinite. Yet innovation has pushed us further.

When we left the comfort of the box, we entered a new world of the unknown. A world open to all. Yet we still retain the fundamental compulsion to make order and sense of the world. Science has provided the map to create a new form of order, which can include the euclidean, but which has expanded far beyond the orthogonal to encompass the full breadth of nature. This new world of Form and the experimental is the door to the future that is only starting to be filled with a new architecture.

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