Adaptability is paramount in modern business according to the folks in this recent Fast Company issue. Several of the individuals interviewed discuss the idea that passion is an equally important component, and that the two go hand in hand. Which makes sense, given that most of us have a wide range of interests and passions.
I would place adaptability at the core of the work we do, and at the core of the studio ethos. The ‘robots’ in our portfolio are literal, physical manifestations of structures that can mutate to accommodate a variety of environments, while many of our other (non-robotic) designs are examples of how static materials can adapt to dynamic site conditions. But something less visible than a completed project is the process and methodology at work. Flexibility can be demonstrated in the study of a site, and the multiple design iterations that transform according to discoveries about occupants, site conditions, and the priorities of the client. This extends into the media employed and the disciplines consulted. There is no single solution to a problem, but multiple permutations that develop into a built form, which will ultimately continue to develop and transform over time.
Below are a few images that begin to describe our process on a recent design project in West Oakland. You can see that we work in an array of media, from digital and physical models, to sketches and tracings, through various 2 and 3 dimensional drawings. We also cycle through a number of iterations, making modifications based on feedback and new discoveries. These efforts were completed in collaboration with our client, Dogtown Development.
Of course none of this is to say that we have found a fixed method. My interest is to continue to adapt to new ways of doing, through whatever we may discover in new technology, in other disciplines, in new collaborative relationships and through the experiments of process itself.