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© Benjamin Benschneider
© Paul Warchol
130 West 29th Street, 12 Floor
New York, NY 10001, USA
P.: (+1) 212-760-9002
www.weissmanfredi.com
Weiss/Manfredi
Rather than giving advice, we make
suggestions by posing a series of
thoughts or issues that are important
to our work. These issues, which
crystallize around a series of words,
continuously crop up in lectures,
discussions, and conversations that
we have about our work and about
design, with colleagues, students,
and informally in our studio.
We offer these thoughts in the spirit
of a conversation. It is our hope that
these thoughts and images might act
as provocations for future work, for
ideas as yet untested, for projects as
yet unimagined.
0350
Acupuncture
A complete project can often be
designed with the lightest touch and
we look for highly specific points or
moments that, just like acupuncture,
can galvanize an entire condition with
minimum effort.
0352
Listen
Be good listeners; listen carefully
because there is usually some other
fabulous thing that you are not aware
of, and can be used to make the design
richer and stronger. Listening can be
energizing.
0351
Resilience
A design strategy must be durable and
robust to survive. We try to define a
diagram or a resilient form that is
simple enough to withstand the
inevitable changes in the program, the
obligations of multiple agendas, and
competing interests.
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© Jeff Goldberg
© Paul Warchol
0354
Wait
Postpone conclusions. Often the
question not asked can become the
driving force behind a design strategy.
Experts often talk of immediate
requirements and specific needs. Wait
to discover what is not discussed or
asked; this can become the most
important part of a project or space.
0353
Context
Context is not a given, neutral, and
immutable condition. You can never
simply read a site or simply respond
to the context, because as soon as you
intervene, the context has changed
once more.
0355
Peripheral vision
Design creativity has the capacity to
resolve competing interests and
agendas that often cannot be resolved
in a linear fashion. Be synthetic and
lateral in your thinking; design settings
that encourage offhand encounters and
peripheral vision.
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© Benjamin Benschneider
Bruce Moore
© Benjamin Benschneider
0356
The visceral
Expand your sensory repertoire beyond
the visual. A project has to operate at a
visceral as well as intellectual level.
How you experience it, how you feel
it, how your body moves through it, all
matter. Foreground haptic elements.
Architecture can transform an idea into
an immersive and sensual reality.
0357
Weight
In an effort to offset our interest in the
ephemeral and the lightness of things,
we find weight and gravity a necessary
and real counterpoint. Weight is the
friend of lightness.
0358
Topography
We imagine architecture as a
topographic condition that liberates
us from the limited conventions of
building or sites, inside or outside,
allowing us to see these as continuous
experiences. A topographic
interpretation gives privilege to
the continuity of plan and section
where surface and subsurface can
become a continuous condition.
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© Benjamin Benschneider
© Jeff Goldberg
A final thought: architecture and
design is primarily a visual art.
However, given its social dimension, it
is a social art. It is impure and its
capacity to deal with ideas and words
is compromised. It is messy,
contaminated. But because of this
it becomes a much richer and more
vital reality.
0359
The temporal
Often design is confused with control
and we are seduced into trying to
design every condition. Instead, we
hope to incorporate the ephemeral, the
temporal, and the unexpected affects,
such as the play of car lights on a metal
surface to enrich and animate a design.
0360
Choreography
Movement through space defines
architecture; we think of design as a
form of choreography. The pattern of
movements of a group, or the solitary
slalom of a wandering individual all
play off a set of surfaces. How bodies
move through space in both expected
and unexpected ways is one of
architectures great gifts.
0361
Debris
Each project generates its own debris:
model studies, material explorations,
texts, drawings and even ideas. This
debris is a precious intellectual and
creative resource that has the potential
to inform other work. The castoffs and
forgotten elements of one project can
become the generator of another.
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