If you are a designer of any kind at all (even if you design toilets…) I hope that you have at least heard of the architecture firm REX Architecture P.C. Joshua Prince-Ramus, the firm’s founding principal, gave an enlightening lecture to NewSchool of Architecture + Design entitled “Slow Architecture”, where he describes the process in which he believes design should be carried out. Prince-Ramus states:
“We are at a time when architecture should slow down and let ideas gestate and that means that architecture can actually be doing things. It’s not so much about form vs. functionality. Rather, it’s about doing both and doing them a lot and doing them well—and that’s how we should be talking about architecture.”
I find this a very profound statement. Architects seem to struggle constantly with form vs. function, but I never understood why they have to oppose each other. Architecture has evolved past this divide. We have now had several years of post-structuralist and post-urban design, where technology finally caught up to our imaginations. It was fun while it lasted; sort of like testing out your new power drill on Christmas morning by driving several screws into a scrap 2×4. The experiment is over. Now it is time for architecture to do things again.
We need to begin creating spatial solutions that perform. This is what I believe Prince-Ramus is driving toward. The architecture that emerges from the Rex office is performance driven to the point that a “typical” solution could never achieve a better alternative. There should be no such thing as a form vs. function debate. It should instead be function is form.
I encourage all designers to research Rex Architecture P.C. and what they are doing for the cause of contemporary architecture.
*All images were gathered from www.rex-ny.com