04 - Evidence of the Absent


Within the city in transformation we find a wide range of real-scale representations, simulations and projections, that ar used to announce and debate future developments on-site. They are temporary - tangible - infrastructures, that appear on-site when the process of design is done and the first step towards building starts.

Some of these real-scale outlines or moulds don’t reveal the whole appearance of the development to come, they only suggest it by giving a material presence to one certain aspect, e.g. materiality, surface, contour. 

Balancing between visible and invisible, they become a new experiential dimension of architecture in which we can recognise, imagine and create multiple interpretations of the new whole and to imagine its potential impact within the existing environment.

Following the research of last year we classified three categories of ‘materialisation of intentions’: three simulation tools on a scale 1:1 that are initially used on-site in different stages of the construction process: printed textiles or ‘replicas’, mock-ups and baugespann or ‘contour’. All three of these categories contain a different level of detail.

Through a series of site visits, drawings (abstractions of lines, surfaces, colors and shadows) and round table sessions, we analysed how we perceive, understand and experience them, and dissected them in order to understand their differences and similarities. We created multiple interpretations of what is to come, by reacting on the surrounding context as well as by considering the simulations more solitary.

We have addressed various topics/concept a.o. volume - void, body - scale - space, imagination - fragmented experience, and experimented with ways of coinciding, colliding and connecting present and future.

The (results of the) research leads us to ask wether we can use (characteristics of) these simulations and the scale 1:1 as tools for design: the use and combination offers possibilities to imagine and test a future building in relation to the present surroundings. Using them in a much earlier stage of the process, not only to announce, but to debate, design and collectively imagine, can turn them into better tools for everybody involved; architects, city planners, developers and citizens. We will explore this idea further in 2020. 

Exhibitions and open studios

Exhibition Event 1: Rotation and Relations
Exhibition Event 2: Cut, Add, Play @Lucía de Mosteyrín
Exhibition Event 2: Cut, Add, Play
Exhibition Event 4: Marking Transformation
Exhibition Event 5: Continuum
Open Studio Event 6: Inside Outside
Open Studio Event 7: Shadows
Exhibition Event 8: Sound of Transformation + Final Exhibition

We have been invited for a residency at Kulturfolger in Zürich during the entire year ‘19 to develop and present our project. This residency became a context for experiment, inclusive debate and critical reflection.

Through eight events that combined exhibitions round table sessions and performances by invited guests, we presented the development of our research to a new, curious and engaged audience. The different formats of dialogues include eight public events, a series of five round table sessions, two open studios and six tête-à-tête dialogues with invited guests from different fields and cities. 

Inside the gallery we gave our thoughts and questions a physical presence, by translating them into eight distinct exhibitions/spatial installations. This made them experiencable to the audience, that thereby also experienced the space of the gallery in eight different ways.

Outside we selected specific sites where we found accurate examples for further exploration, together with the invited guests, through their specific - performative - approaches.

The events started on Friday evening with a presentation of the topic, the specific questions and the exhibition/spatial installation. We followed with the performance of the invited guest and used the rest of the evening for open and informal conversations with the visitors.

The day after, on Saturday afternoon, we moderate a series of open round table sessions, in order to continue the dialogue with the community. 

Round Tables series

Performances on-site with guests

During 2019 we invited the following six guests from other disciplines to go on site with us: 
The first was Pavle Stamenovic, Architect, PhD. an researcher from Belgrade, who did a performance in the third event.

The second guest was Emma Hoette, dancer and storyteller based in London, who performed during the fourth event.

Ravian van den Hil, Performance curator from Rotterdam, was the third guest and did a reading during the fifth event.

Elettra Carnelli, architect and researcher based in Zürich, did a series of interviews as the fourth guest during event 7.
The last two guests were musicians Ramon Landolt & David Meier based in Zürich who did a sound installation during the last event in December.

Looking through the eyes of our invited guests, as well of that of a new and open audience, helped us to tackle specific - e.g. theoretical, empirical, social, political, artistic - parts of our topic, to expand the research through different approaches and knowledge and to create and di scover a more elaborate understanding of the topic.


Series of three books: ‘Drawings on-site’, Dialogues ‘19’ and ‘Imagine the volume’

Series of three books: ‘Drawings on-site’, ‘Dialogues ‘19’ and ‘Imagine the volume’

Our practice as architects requires us to question the way architecture and city planning are done today. Therefore, in december 2017, we initiated a project on this topic, that has developed in four ‘editions’. By combining an experimental and phenomenological approach with open dialogues and critical reflection, we search for new ways to experience, understand and debate the transformation of our built environment* and aim to involve a wider audience than the architectural community, as well as to create a more elaborate understanding together with other related disciplines.
This project is both about content as well as methodology. We experimented with various forms of (interdisciplinary and international) dialogues: digital and physical, inside and outside, in the private and the public domain, with invited experts, residents, friends and strangers, as tête-à-tête, in duos and collectively.

*A palimpsest of past, present and future and changes in value, meaning and form.
**We focus foremost on parallels and contradictions, taking time and context as the main parameters.

01 - The Image of Promises 2017
02 - Simultaneity in Cities 2017
03 - Urban Transformation as Event 2018
04 - Materialisation of Intentions: Evidence of the Absent 2019