Questioning the Essence, Progress and Future Of Architecture

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Questioning the Essence, Progress and Future Of Architecture

Adrian Labaut


Ours is an utopian platform in different terms, as it conceives an everyday understanding of architecture different from the official, in the same way that cinema is other to the real life experiences.

Today the architectural body without matter has established himself firmly, as base and foundation, beyond philosophy, beyond discourse, and beyond theory. All the objects that are created are consciously dead. To say that the discipline of Architecture is going now, ‘beyond discourse’ means that it takes into account, for the purpose of creating projects, themes that are not necessary linked to architecture, and those inherently related with the profession are slowly and endlessly forgotten. This store of no-knowledge constitutes a potential threat to the discipline.

Superficiality is the obvious consequence of this situation, lightness is assuming an increasingly important role in supposedly modern societies, and 
if its role is not already preponderant it very soon will be. Superficiality’s hegemony does nor operate solely on the micro level, affecting for instance, neighbourhood scales; nor does it apply only on the ‘macro’ level, as responsible for the ordering of processes within nations or continents. On the contrary, its effects may be observed on all planes and in all interconnections between them, on all theoretical observations of the discipline.

We use these concepts in order to question the essence, progress and future of architecture using different kinds of representation techniques.


Who influences you graphically?

Graphically I’m influenced by many things that go from the old masters, as Cedric Price, Hejduk or Eisenman to movies or photography.

You talk about superficiality as inherent to architecture nowadays, how does the complexity of your images juxtapose and stand against this?

Each Architecture project needs to contribute to the critical nature of the discipline, and expand it through its value. There is a clear difference between the buildings that stand like an empty box following styles and conventions and those which challenge the ruling standards. Architecture requires the displacement of conventions. Any work we do, whether it is an illustration, an experimental project, collage or video,  by its own nature tries to be critical, and to question the modern idea of architecture, context, monuments and relations between elements. The creation in general does not repeat what is there, and architecture needs to discuss matter, representation methods and philosophical and spatial relationships all the time.

What is the effect and purpose of a monochromatic palette? To what extent does this hint to an element of nostalgia? 

Nostalgia is always present, as trying to recall a past time that was ‘more interesting’. But as Eisenman sais: Architecture should not just be something that follows up on events but be a leader of events. This idea specifically is related with the projects we do, when questioning realities and challenging methods and concepts, the discipline is actually creating a background for a new group of interpretations and manifestations in all kinds of art. Architecture has the capacity of acting as a didactical tool in the different levels of the profession and that’s very useful. The chromatic palette is not especially important.

On what basis and foundations do you form your archive of imagery?

The images are part of an idea, and are chosen after defining the final goal of the project.

What is your process for the construction of an image?

Basically the whole development of the work takes part in to different steps. The first one is completely conceptual, inspirational and abstract, here the goal is to develop the basic ‘spiritual’ basis for the rest of the experience; the other step is the one that will end up with the materialization or simple visualization of the project, in this one the work is mostly intellectual, analytical and concrete. The most difficult part is the beginning.

What is your take on the medium of collage? To what extent do you agree with architecture as being the uppermost form of collaging of past present, context and content etc? 

Collages are a fast and easy way to represent and idea that can be very complex if developed, some are good, some not. In any case, this technic is very useful. Collages have always a meaning when are created based on strong conceptual work, the project is there, a body of matter, showing itself immortal, personal, superior because if its inner qualities.  And are a great medium for the construction of new realities and the questioning of the future. Many young students and professionals all around the world are creating and sharing now a very wide and interesting amount of images, some of them very inspiring.

Adrian Labaut_Samsa MuseumAdrian Labaut_Perpetuum MobileAdrian Labaut_Parthenon, ArcheologyAdrian Labaut_Moscow CityAdrian Labaut_J.Caesar's Cenotaph in RomeAdrian Labaut_Aesthetic


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