To foresee. From predictability to foresight.
-First we decide how this future habitat can be lived -what it is for. Then we foresee how it will be, which conditions we need to provide to make it possible -how can we use all resources at hand-, how it will behave, what it will provoke. How can it last as much time as possible, how does it get old, how does it really work. And then, by forebuilding, we think about how it will be materialised, how it is assembled and disassembled. To foresee and open possibilities at the same time.
Planning and designing are different actions that require slightly different abilities and training.
To plan is not an exercise of imagination, not even of constructive imagination, but of foresight. It is not a mental projection, thru images or imagery, from here to there; but rather a pendular journey, from here to there, from there to here; from now to then, from then to now. It’s nothing abstract, but very concrete indeed.
When designing, on the other hand, imagination comes in handy. You can project on your mind how a building and its parts might move, bend, warp, shake, and be repaired. How its touch will feel. How it will behave during a violent rainstorm. How does it dilate and contract. How does the light get in and out.
How it gets less dirty and how it can be easily cleaned. How will it age. Will it be better as it gets older?
This part is scientific. How a building will behave can be predicted and verified. How people will feel and behave in them can also be a science, only one that is still way behind, and with some strong ethical questions as well.
Every decision has a consequence. When designing a building, tens of thousands of decisions are made. Most are implicit, mindless or taken for granted, and we (the architects) are not even aware of them.
-What do you think of when designing a building? Which are your priorities?