rotative research: Simultaneity in Cities (2017)

rotative research: Simultaneity in Cities
‘An interchangeable and unrecognisable built environment’
rotative research
‘rotate and change the perspective’

Since the beginning of rotative studio we reflect and react on contemporary issues and personal fascinations, in parallel to our design practice. It is our way to explore a selected topic from various perspectives, to develop experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to architecture (our architectural and urban practice) and to stimulate a fresh and critical attitude to our role as architects today.
In each rotative research project we focus on both topic as well as method. Findings are accumulated and transferred from one project to another. Dialogues play a central role: always departing a project from a dialogue between the two of us, we extend it by engaging emerging and distinct voices from multidisciplinary groups, and stimulate the involvement of a wider audience than the architectural community.

Simultaneity in Cities (2017)

With ‘Simultaneity in Cities’ we focussed on contextually conflicting transformations, where we find discontinuities, contradictions, paradoxes and dualities. Specific moments in the city where past, present and future meet; moments where the layers are encountering (or conflicting). This was very much attached to the topics of materiality, material trade and global formalisation of architecture, and questioning what if we continue to build like this, similar buildings and architectural styles in all our cities.

What does it mean to have a homogeneous reality? What part of the identity gets lost in these projects? What kind of values remain? How do we recognise our cities?

We wrote four scenarios on the topic and experimented with different forms of dialogues.

The project was set-up as an exercise, a pilot for collective research, a dialogue with ten people in different ways.

We invited eight people from different cities and disciplines a.o. graphic design, social anthropology and philosophy for a dialogue based on photography and short paragraphs.

Besides the topic, we explored the method of dialogues in different rounds: one round where everybody reacted on the scenarios, one round where one person reacted on the contribution of another one, and so forth. 

Scenario 1 ‘Urban transformation as event*’

To observe a building being made, to experience (de)construction, to remember what was there when something is removed, the character of old and new materials, past and future identities. We have a special interest in contextually conflicting transformations, where we find discontinuities, contradictions, paradoxes and/or dualities.  *event: 1) the consequence of anything 2) that which happens

Scenario 2 ‘Materiality’
To recognise something that doesn’t exist anymore in the same way as before. Replacements, traces, overlappings, change of value, change of use.

Scenario 3 “An object tossed from one country to another” (Lawrence Weiner)
If we look at a building we unconsciously believe that its materiality belongs to the place where it has been built. But what we might not have imagined, is that each different part has been released in different parts of the world.

Scenario 4 ‘Simulation of transformation’
We would like to focus on the simulation of transformation. It refers to all the ways and media needed to help public envisage of one development. How can people understand/imagine the impact of this transformation? How are the intentions for the development being communicated?

Research (self-initiated)


Dialogues with
Lidija Burcak (London), Noortje De Leij (Amsterdam), Ramon Landolt (Zürich), Eulalia Martin (Barcelona), Hannes Rutenfranz (Zürich), Pavle Stamenovic (Belgrade), Ljuba Slavkovic (Belgrade), Simone Trum (Rotterdam), rotative studio (Zürich, Rotterdam)

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin,  Milano, Maastricht, Noto, Palermo, Rome, Rotterdam, Seoul, Tokyo, Zürich and more