At the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, Barcelona’s Flores & Prats architecture studio built a 1:1 scale partial replica of the Sala Beckett Theater and Drama Center in Barcelona. The installation also included all the preliminary drawings, working models and other materials made during project development. Concentrating on the physical aspects of design gives the architect’s work a certain order, free of chance, commission or conditions, claim Flores & Prats.
This design journey, which is full of adventure, where every project can be seen as an experiment, is very interesting to us. We want to explore the process used by architects who still nowadays feel the need to continuously check their designs by making physical models at different scales—from 3D idea sketches, exact moldings and 1:1 mock-ups, to actually assembling building parts where the design is tested in actual size, with real materials, structures and detailing.
We will take you on this journey by means of projects, buildings and interviews. Among others we talked to Momoyo Kaijima during her visit to Prague, where she gave a lecture on architectural ethnography at the Faculty of Architecture CTU. We’ll also present several student design-build projects, as an exemplary application of the method where the design process culminates with the architect building their own design. As Renzo Piano said: “Idea actually isn’t a singular touch of genius or a whisper of the muse. It’s a synthesis of all the effort put into research and experiment. Ideas emerge from the process so naturally it’s often hard to recognize the exact moment they come.”
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