第3期为您奉上的是Oyler Wu Collaborative。
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gooood Interview NO.3 introduces Oyler Wu Collaborative.
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gooood x Oyler Wu
WORDS BY Yaohua Wang
说到Oyler Wu Collaborative，就不得不说说Design-Build。
Design-Build对于建筑师来说是一种将设计和建造结合的状态，是一种回馈性的工作方法。建筑师从概念，到设计，到建造，亲力亲为。通过这种亲力亲，建筑师对最终成品的质量有了自己的把握，而不是局限于承包商或是施工队的水平；同时这种亲力亲为的经验，会回馈在日后的设计上。我感觉这种状态很像中国古代的匠人，在作品和设计师之间存在了一种亲密的关系，对于设计师来说是一种缓慢而直观的积累。同时Design-Build也是一种精神，一种不害怕把自己的手弄脏的精神。Build要求大量的体力投入，承担犯错和受伤的风险。这种精神的前提是设计师对于自己作品的热爱和信心。也只有这种热爱和信心，才能让一个接受了至少7年象牙塔教育的人(在Oyler Wu Collaborative的例子里，Dwayne Oyler和Jenny Wu都是Harvard GSD毕业), 脱下自己的西服，投入在在建设场所的风吹日晒中。Design-Build在美国的产生与美国建筑市场规模普遍偏小的特点有分不开的关系，每一个机会都来之不易，所以面对机会，建筑师也就格外珍惜。但是同时这种缓慢的小规模的实践，对于建筑师来说就像是一个修行的过程，面对大规模的设计时，建造经验的回馈也就带来了不同味道的作品。Oyler Wu Collaborative是在美国Design-Build的杰出代表，他们的每一个作品，都生动的反映着美学，构造，和设计风格之间的紧密关系，他们的实践让Design-Build变的格外的生动，Design-Build也让他们的作品变的格外的有趣。
Can you guys introduce yourself and your firm to our audience to our audience?
My name is Dwayne Oyler, one of the partners of Olyer Wu Collaborative, and my name is Jenny Wu and Dwayne and I found it, Oyler Wu Collaborative, in 2004, in Los Angeles.
I feel like line and Density is a very important part to you guys design approach, so why is this so important to you guys and what is the idea behind it?
Well line and density is something we been interested in for, since the time we were students really, and we interested in a particular kind of line and density, especially a type of line that has a three dimensionality to it. We never been so interested in it as 2 dimensional graphic, although certainly the kind of drawings that we do are showing it that way. The type that we have been interested in is always spatial, it has depth to it, we liked it for a few reasons and we try to break it down. One of those is the ability of it to allow for experience that is always moving back and forth between foreground and background. So on one hand you can reach out and touch a piece of line and at the same time in an instant you could then refocus and then it becomes infinite, it has infinite depth.
Another idea we have always been interested in probably obvious from alot of projects is that we been interested in it as a structural idea. We are interested in that because it if you look on alot of the work the structural principles behind it are not always super clear, while they all doing structural work, they are doing it in small amounts and some pieces are doing to more than others and tracing the structural logic is not always straight forward. So we like the idea that the work in its structural performance have to be experience over a long period of time to truly be understood and that extended experience , we thought would make the work richer.
And I just want to add that line as geometry is pure and there is something about how we take something so simple and build complexity out of it. And I think that is something we have been very interested in and even we are looking back on our own work from our thesis projects at Harvard, it had to do with about lines and trajectories. So I think I feel this is a topic that I feel about that, even though it is such a simple geometry, it has so much richness both conceptually. Both materially and geometrically that I think this is something that we can explore for a long time.
And from that, the material is an interesting part of you guys practice, there is certain material showing in your projects like wood in the early period and more recently more like steel and rope so why choose this kind of material and how this is connects back to your design approach?
I think the choice of material ,maybe in some ways is not so, not such a deliberate decision a lot of times the way we , what types of projects came to us kind of dictated the material, for instance when we first started the first few projects were out of wood basically it was a material that we knew how to use, and as the scale of the project and the refinement of the project is necessary we moved into working with aluminum because it was workable like wood but it had the kind of linear qualities that wood didn’t have. And also it was able to span and work structurally and then of course then we learn to weld and work with the material but I think it was important to us with any material not to do only once but to do enough iteration of it for instance with aluminum tube projects we done about four of them and its really though working through many projects that we learn how to do it well and how to really innovate within the material. So now as we are moving into larger installations, we didn’t want to weld more pieces of steel together and this where the rope came in and how do we use something that is pliable and that is long and how do we weave it together to create enclosure.
Material decisions have seem to have build on the previous projects, when we first built aluminum like Jenny said they were a lot of factors that went into the decision to use aluminum, the workability was the number one factor but as we make decisions as to whether to or how to finish it. For example, that started a whole series of other ideas for example the decision we made on the very first project was lets orbital sand all of the aluminum and we discovered particularly in the evenings that there was this amazing sparkle that came off of the aluminum and as labor intensive as it was. We tried lots of inexpensive ways to accomplish that we never found one as labor intensive as it was we felt that it brought so much to the project that we did it for several projects after that.
In each of those projects that followed something changed in the way that we working with aluminum we were no longer welding joints for example we were bending joints and eventually we were at that scale we were running out of things to do with aluminum. Now we still have some ideas for much bigger work, but in the recent projects we have moved to steel. And there is something about the material itself doesn’t want to behave the same way it doesn’t want to have a sparkle, it doesn’t have a natural sparkle now we are looking some the steel work has been painted, and we looking at getting different effects of getting out of that by using color that we haven’t been using with previous projects.
So just you mentioned you guys have been doing alot of construction by yourself and I think its super unique in contemporary architecture field and this almost like one design package from one design, from concept to design you guys all in one package, so whats the reason behind getting your hands dirty and doing this by yourself?
I think as young architect especially as a young office when you open an office projects don’t come to you they don’t just suddenly come to you and so when you have alot of ideas and you don’t really have any budget or client you started to have to make them yourself.
What we decided to do is in the beginning of our office was to invest in our own labor in realizing really kind of innovative experimental projects so it really came out of the necessity of building up a portfolio and doing something that we want to be doing and instead of being hindered by construction cost and contractor who wont want to build it or cant build it at a reasonable price. So now I think we are at a point where we are using it not because of necessity but we are doing them because of the love of building, and we are also realizing that we are learning so much as to how we put things together. It’s improving our design and also we are learning so much about material research and how material behaves. And its also feeding back into the design so we are finding that the construction process is becoming so important in our design process as well.
Yea we, just another thing we have gotten out of it is that we learn that, we found that the work is better as result of having built it and its not just that we put more energy into it, its because we were putting more energy into to it, there was a much more intimate engagement that made think about what the kinds of design decisions ere happening and it allowed us to make those changes in ways that just wouldn’t have come had we not been so intimately involved. Now its an interesting thing to note that we are now at the point where work is happening where we longer, we just absolutely cant continue to build. And it’s a scale that requiring larger crews and expertise we don’t have, and so we are really having to work in order to ensure that intimacy with the project still happens in a different way.
You mention couple of times about the scale, which bring up my question , you guys do a lot different scale project like small project to big project, from installation to very big towers to very big complex projects , I feel that is similarity in terms of concept but at the same time there is some difference between small projects and big projects so do you guys approach your design in front of different scale of the project with the scale in affecting the design?
We been doing these of projects mostly in Taipei for the last three almost four years and when we first started doing them there was a much more direct application for things we been doing at a small scale, we always knew, we were never doing the installations as end. The idea was always to study the ideas we had for larger work and I think in the beginning there was direct application, well kind of in a good way several of them didn’t happen and I said in a good way because it has given us time to go through several different iterations to several different transformations of those ideas. And we are coming to realize that the direct translations from a small project to a big project of course it doesn’t always work.
Structurally for example, the scaling up of a tube works at one scale and applying it to a facade doesn’t quite work so we are thinking about ways of transforming the idea of a line that is appropriate to scale of city. It’s appropriate to the scale of structural principles happen to larger buildings so they are different and think they come from many ways similar set of ideas, but they are requiring a pretty drastic transformation at times.
More specific could you guys give an example like how do you carry like one big project like how do you carry through the idea of line and density and you guys have some new ideas, dealing with bigger projects, an example?
Well one example of it would be that, well with the recent tower that we been doing in Taipei. There hasn’t been such a direct translation of the literal line but the project started with series of lines that moved up the facade, and those became more like a kind of more, pixilation, like a kind a series of traces that then located more rectilinear elements. That were scaled to the scale of a unit to scale of shops that were happening at the street. The lines just became a framework or armature within another simpler set of geometries were placed within. I think what we also learn is not just using one pipe to do all of the work but using folded plates, using glass, mesh other materials other surfaces. But the idea of the movement is still there, we think we using more materials to reinforce that idea.
Pretty much in an architect’s career there is one breakthrough in terms of idea and concepts. So which project you guys see as a breakthrough, and also along with all the project you guys done is there certain project you guys landmark started a new period?
I think we have to kind of divide it up lets start with the small projects and then move onto the big projects. I mean lets start with the small projects. Yeah I mean in my mind, I consider the high points the breakthroughs rather than the beginning of an idea and for us a real high point for the aluminum work was the live wire project. It tied together functional ideas the aesthetic ideas the structural ideas all into this single relatively simple small project and it was hard to imagine we did another version that was better at that scale, so that for me was a real high point, I think for both of us.
I think for bigger project I would say would be this project called IAC which is a project that we designed that has kind of a layer of this curtain mesh material that is undulating with a structural kind of a exuberance behind it and I think that’s the first project we feel like its directly related completely to previous line work of the smaller projects but I think that’s something that the inner play between surface curvature and the line work is something that is really exciting for us and that’s something that really trying to get it build for quite a few projects now so. Yeah for sure that was breakthrough moment we going to continue to work. In a way its the beginning, that’s the next beginning that something that we probably going to be working on for a very long time.
So that bring another element, which is surface as compared to just a line and density, so how do you guys see the add on the surface with the previous concept with line?
Certainly, we find a geometric relationship between the two that we continue to work on , think that now the big challenge now is the project that Jenny mentioned. What we found was a relationship between relatively flat surface it was three dimensional but wasn’t exactly spatial and I think the struggle now that was renovation we were ask to just re-skin the project. I think the struggle now is how really find spatial depth and experience within it the way we were always insisting on with the line work how we find that with the use of surface.
And I think in our most recent project this house in Spain I think we are actively trying to get the curtain idea not just exist t on facade I mean the larger project within the last few years have always been the facade projects and I think we are really trying to bringing it into the building , so I think this is the first time it feels like the skin is peeling into the space and actually actively engaging the kind of circulation space. So I think that is exciting for us.
Whats next and next move?
I think right now is a really exciting time for us, we been on the cusp of so many bigger projects hope that they will happen in the next few years and even our smaller projects. I feel like they have been, you know, also getting bigger and getting more refined. So you know a state of the office is really how to balance the small projects with large projects, maybe you can talk about the projects.
No, I will just say the next we will find ways of applying some of these things we have been working for a long time and installations. Like I said, the idea was never been important, installations was what we did, we have been collecting a lot of ideas for a while and I think its times to test them. But some will fail and some will succeed, so its what we been doing it for.
I will tell you what has been happening in the office in terms of projects, we are currently building an installation for Sci-Arc its an addition to the graduation pavilion we did last year. We are also doing a part two to the screenplay project which was another project we just finished two months ago, which was this kind of wall made of rope that’s launching in a couple of months. And it seems like our house in spain and our tower in Taipei are both happening at least it seems like its moving forward so we are looking forward to that as well.