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Office dA - Nader Tehrani in USA

Office dA

Office dA - Nader Tehrani in USA
By Conrad-Bercah -

Time and again over the course of the 20th century, architects embarked on that most bizarre of research exercises: the attempt to identify scientific elements, data or architectural forms that would serve as an antidote against all accusations of formalism. One such example was the endeavour to formulate architecture as a classifiable, and hence transmissible, body of knowledge. In similar vein are the attempts to theorize architecture as an expression of a particular zeitgeist, or to interpret a stylistic strategy - like minimalism or the poetic fragment - as signifiers of social and economic changes driving cultural developments. The same mindset is behind the importance attributed to numbers as a means of holding in check the many and varied extravagances of the individual. Today this striving for happiness, or at any rate, for momentary relief from our mental turmoil appears as an attempt to harness realism and idealism to prove a cause-and-effect principle is at work between preliminary analysis and end product. Which is tantamount to saying that an architecture is automatically the product of site, programme or some other general tangible set of data. A similar process can be seen today when architects of the 21st century try to resonate with a society that seems governed by communications on the one hand and greenwashing on the other. This return to nature, however, turns architecture into a series of natural forms. As a result, the concept of the creative designer is supplanted by an ethical agenda underpinned by environmental sustainability. Being a creative individual today is a problem. Most architects now seem reluctant to exhibit any of the natural egoism of the individual creator, preferring that their work be perceived as the upshot of a wider set of circumstances. Yet, in our contemporary wasteland, architects could chose to be more than simple technocrats put upon by a plethora of experts - marketing, shopping mall, curatorial, and museum pundits...

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