The Next Big Thing in Architecture is Small
If there is one thing we can learn in the evolution of storytelling [from the literary solemn novel to the serious play of one liner jokes], or the evolution of machines [from artificial intelligence to cellular automatons] is that small is the next step.
After over a decade of watching Heroic Architects become solemn, and assemble their complex big factories, the crisis has hit to let us know a new model is coming. The big problem of these heroes, was that they thought the new business was the same as the old one, except with computers. That it was about following the developers, delivering what the client requested, trusting “money generating templates”. In short, falling into templates means killing design, or what it truly means. Design is about creating value, which unlike art, cannot be achieved only through a signature, or by the highly generic or the limiting specific. Value is not about a gazillion models that are generated from the genius lines drawn by a solemn starchitect; but about analysis of multiple scenarios and techniques to achieve value through the play with the particular.
Design is not only about the spectacular, the bar has been raised for us, it is about making even the most simple thing both special and spectacular. The new social focus of architecture will come from the process of actual value as design, not charity.
Technique, intelligence and new methods of production in the world of design allow for a new model, that of us the antiheroes. Small, passionate, hungry and driven firms which are the next big thing in architecture. It is within this field that the new Forward and Avant-Garde architecture will emerge. Where architecture is again about omnipotence and impotence, not only impotence. But unlike before, we will remain small, thinking gargantually, and being serious [never solemn] in our game. Seen as socialist by the big, and as capitalist by the mediocre. Saying explicitly that we are in it for the money, the fetish of form, mere boredom, or for the experimentation of technique: but secretly with a value searching mindset that will get us to the next level: making form perform, not only garnish. We will take the fall brought upon by the big, so we can continue unattached from the misunderstanding of the new social role of architecture [cheaper, for the poor, only infrastructural], where the big will probably go. We will be able to remain small in size , precisely because we aspire towards leading a tribe, not managing a factory. Because being spoiled with so many techniques, we will stay curious, instead of crystallizing into formulas. Smart enough to address the small, because the big is gone, for now. This will bring experimentation everywhere within the spectrum, from the smallest effective difference, to the re-evaluation of all those things “unworthy” of an architect's time. Big complexity kills diversity [the real one], because instead of tightening the tribe [the natural principle of chunking], you build a higher hierarchy within the factory [the logic of the army]. I can't stress enough that we can only acquire this through a technological revolution [technique], a simpler, generative language that allows us to communicate and evaluate ideas [intelligence], and the priceless motivated group of people, beyond a crowd [the tribe and it's leader], with the ability of having a building ready to assemble in the garage [new methods of production]; which in the end delivers a myth [broadcasting].