There are two ways to explore innovate in research: using existing technologies in a forward manner, or going backward and doing preliminary research on the questions those technologies ask.
For example, how can a vehicle cross a hard terrain?
The versatile truck (fig A: wheel as tyre) is an example of using existing technologies in a forward manner. Existing tyres are stacked together to create a hybrid truck/tractor/cart. At some point, it becomes an awkward stack of ideas that do not fit.
The opposite is the “Amphirol”from 1966 (fig B: wheels a screw). It goes backwards and pauses to do preliminary research on the question of “what is a wheel?”. Because of this, the technology of the wheel is transmuted to a long screw that lets the machine move across any landscape.
In the first, the intellectual weight of existing technologies are used to to move ideas forward. At some point, the collective weight of these old ideas will weigh down the possibility of any new inventions.
In the second, it moves forward by thinking backwards. Preliminary research on the ideas behind existing technologies let one rethink fresh answers to questions that may be taken for granted.
This second attitude is the approach we are trying to use for contemporary architecture and cities. We challenge ourselves not to take any idea for granted. To pause on what architecture is and do backward preliminary research on what a building is and could 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。