There are two ways to explore innovate research: either by pushing existing technologies forward, or by looking backward to do preliminary research on the questions that those technologies ask.
For example, how can a vehicle cross hard terrain?
One answer may be, with the versatile truck (fig A: Wheel as tire). This is an example of pushing known technologies forward. Already familiar tires are stacked together to create a hybrid tractor-truck. At some point, the result becomes an awkward stack of ideas that do not fit.
An alternative approach to answering this question results in the “Amphirol” from 1966 (fig B: Wheel as screw). This method looks backward to do preliminary research on the question: what is a wheel? As a result, the technology of the wheel is transmuted into a long screw that allows the machine to move across any landscape.
In the first approach, the intellectual weight of existing technologies is used to move ideas forward. At some point, the collective weight of the existing ideas will weigh down the possibility of any new inventions.
With the second method, progress is achieved by looking backward. Preliminary research on the ideas behind existing technologies allows one to rethink answers to questions that may be taken for granted.
We attempt to apply the second method to contemporary architecture and urbanism. We challenge ourselves not to take any idea for granted, but to pause on what architecture is in order to do preliminary research on what a building can be.
如何穿越未知地形，是一项很有意思的挑战。一种方式是通过技术的堆积，1931年制造的这款全地形车设计(fig A)，诞生虽早，却在这种思路上登峰造极。另一种方式则是通过回归原点，拿出重新设计’轮子'的勇气，而这就是1966年诞生的Amphiroll的迷人之处(fig B)。在审视当代的建筑与城市之后，通过对于重新定义的 ‘基础‘ 的积累，来产生深远的质变，这就是我们给予自己的新的冒险。