Foreign Office Architects: Manifesto #29

I guess this is proving so difficult to do because we are actually about not doing manifestos, not making too many a priori, generic claims.  Our core interest is to breed architecture, and that is a form of practice that resists manifestos, like horse-breeding and winemaking.  We are fundamentally interested in exploiting the opportunities of every situation, acting as medium rather than as an author, evolving the status quo through a rigorous process, producing synergies between the different components and inputs.

What are we looking for as an outcome of the process? When do we know when we have achieved something? To integrate the different materials until they reach such a level of consistency that they become inseparable, becoming a prototype, a new species that brings certain parameters together in a way that exceeds the specificity of the situation.  That is the only moment when the practice acquires a generic status, akin to a manifesto, capable of being redeployed in another occasion, if appropriate.  Particular resonances between certain images and certain structures, consistencies between specific circulations and patterns of occupation… 

The only possible manifesto of the practice becomes the collection of these different species, different crystallisations of parameters, that we have grown through the years across a wide geography: FOA’s Ark.

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007

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