Our relationship to the cosmos could be said to be a geometric one. Meaning that throughout history, most objective ontological research has involved vectors, positions, and the mathematics of relational systems. Thus, if one were to seek out a single truth out of the messiness of human existence, geometry might be a good place to start.
Within architecture we can assume that geometry is indispensable to the discipline. But it also has a mystical autonomy, which allows it to flutter in and out of discussions on form, shape, forces, perception, and function. Despite all its supposed veracity, geometry’s inherent mysticism often yields extremely non-objective narratives (think: Malevich’s squares or Hejduk’s diamonds). And so as architects we are tasked with revealing this burden: that orthography ≠ objectivity.
office ca is a design research collaborative led by Galo Canizares and Stephanie Sang Delgado that examines this paradox. We posit that a search for absolute truths often involves doubt and speculation, and so we exaggerate these conditions to closely examine their role in the production of cultural narratives. Our work therefore recalls at times the mythological (doubt), and other times the science-fictional (speculation). In these contexts, examining geometry is our way of reconciling human beings’ evolving relationships to virtual worlds, modes of communication/representation, and mutable objects. Some projects trap users in oversized diagrams as a means of revealing the mechanisms of virtual space. Others manifest themselves as live simulations or war-game scenarios. Regardless of the format, our objective is always to highlight hidden oddities or curiosities that constitute our daily interactions with spaces, and objects. We make material things, which we smash, inflate, knock over. We write down thoughts about fictional worlds and alternate realities/timelines/futures. We research curious objects, such as software, duct tape, mylar, and bean bags. We are fascinated by the absurdities of constraints, codes (in every sense of the word), and histories of architecture. Through the act of designing and making, we strive to continue a dialogue about physical/virtual realities, distant memories, and weird hallucinations.