UN Studio: Manifesto #17

UN Studio philosophy of architecture
We live in an image-driven culture, and architecture too is subject to an obsession with images. Many clients request landmark or icon buildings. Today, from the moment you begin to practice as an architect you are aware that your work must “communicate”, must present and convey the right imagery. Rather than deny this, what is needed is for architects to plan and strategise the images generated by their work, just as they do other aspects of design, to bring them in line with a conscious, overarching ambition, rather than manoeuvre more or less following opportunity and intuition.

Our choice is to do away with the dominance of the planned, heavily published architectural image, sign and message, and replace it with specific forms of intensity designed to generate ideas, illusions, emotions, associations and other mental constructs. Literally, the after image refers to the lingering visual impression that is caused by intense or prolonged stimulation of the visual retina. To us, the after image means something slightly different; we use the notion to include the entire scale of sensations and perceptions caused by intense impressions.

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007


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