Architects are trained to control. We work methodically and systematically to research and analyse a known site and function provided by a client. We call upon our own experiences and past successes in order to find a suitable response. We control the design process until we arrive at a rational solution that fulfils our expectations of the ideal form. However this approach can only ever lead to a limited number of possible solutions. A vast number of possibilities are instantly ignored as they are not within our own individual frame of reference and experience. This unit poses the question: what happens when we lose control? Can we ignore our own preconceptions of what we think the formal language of architecture is? Can we lose control of the design process, follow irrational or arbitrary lines of enquiry and arrive at a solution that is entirely unforeseen? Can a balance be struck between the functional and the abstract that leads you into unknown territory without descending entirely into chaos? To help us lose control we will look at digital and analogue form finding techniques to generate abstract starting points for our journey into the unknown. Over the course of the semester we will follow these lines of enquiry, deviating from a linear route by changing scale, materiality, form and function before arriving at an unforeseen destination. Students are expected to document every step on their path, work presented at the end of the semester should be as much about the journey they took as about the solution they arrived at.
George King and Mark Nixon are founding partners of emerging architecture studio, NEON. Founded in London in 2012, NEON has won a string of design competitions and received commissions from clients such as Topshop, Peroni and Bang & Olufsen with completed work in London, New York, Denmark and Portugal. George and Mark are both RIBA chartered architects having studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. They have previously worked on high profile projects for practices such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, CZWG and Make.