Formlessfinder escapes the certainties of form and pushes architecture beyond its limits
Form has always dominated architecture; from the ancient orders to Renaissance systems of proportion or 19th century theories of tectonics, it dictated everything from architecture's cultural symbolism to its programmatic arrangement and structural and material composition.
Today, form's role in the architectural discipline is no less pervasive, if less explicit and so all the more insidious. Despite their revolutionary promise, the implementation of new digital technologies has been limited by an obsession with novel forms and more and more elaborate simulation and representation.
In the face of an urgent need for architecture to consume energy and resources more responsibly, its engagement with ecology and environment has been delayed by the tendency of so called "green design" to reduce sustainability to a symbolic formal language. Making an unprecedented architecture requires unprecedented methods.
formlessfinder is grounded in an exploration of processes - physical and material, but also conceptual - that can escape the certainties of form and so push architecture beyond its normal limits. The studio operates more like a search engine than a traditional design firm, fluidly analysing a wide range of information and producing diverse outputs (buildings, pictures, videos, models, texts, products, data, and software).
In this new way of working, unexpected collaborations emerge and traditional understandings of and distinctions between media disappear: video becomes a form of drawing, software a kind of theoretical discourse, and conversation the output of a design process. To resist form's dominance, to rethink its role, is thus not only to engage some of the fundamental problems facing the discipline today, but to build a practice that is less a break with the past than a fresh contribution to a continuous historical and theoretical dialogue.
Their formless is not an attack on architecture; neither anti- nor post-, it simultaneously looks back to recover architecture's latent possibilities and forward to reimagine architecture's future.