VENICE BIENNALE 2012 : ARCHITECTURE AND ITS AFFECT DESIGN BY FARSHID MOUSSAVI
Continuing our coverage of the Venice Biennale, London-based Farshid Moussavi’s installation at the Arsenale explored different experiences within everyday life and culture that are the result of architecture accepting certain “common grounds.” Entitled ‘Architecture and its Affects’, viewers were surrounded by changing projections of textures and patterns, structural configurations and facades, which were organized in such a manner as to highlight their affects, rather than their chronological existence or historical references.
The affects provide the “ground” condition through which architecture engages with life and culture. Rather than divulging in the historical search for understanding the meaning of such a “ground” condition, Moussavi’s installation is more interested in the affects resulting from people’s aesthetic perceptions. “Whereas meanings are dependent on an individual’s biographical background, affects are pre-personal intensities of built forms. They are solely the consequence of how built forms are assembled: the systems and technology used, where and for what purpose,” explained Moussavi.
“Though built forms incorporate different material and intellectual contents, these meld together into novel sensory forms which, once created, are what they are. They have no cognitive content in their actuality. They are just formal and their ‘meaning’ depends on their affects and each individual’s perception of them. Affects are therefore the aspect of forms through which architects influence – without determining and limiting – people’s experience,” explained the architect.
FARSHID MOUSSAVI ARCHITECTURE
Farshid Moussavi Architecture is a London - based international practice founded by Farshid Moussavi in 2011 to provide full masterplanning, architecture and interior design services to both the public and the private sectors. Moussavi was previously a founding partner of the award – winning Forign Office Architects ( FOA ). At FOA, Moussavi co – authored the design for the award – winning Yokohama International Ferry Terminal in Japan (( which was subject to an international competition in 1995 ) and was part of the United Architects team who were finalists in the Ground Zero competition. She also completed a wide range of international projects including the John Lewis complex in Leicester, England and the Meydan retail complex in Istanbul,Turkey.
FMA believes in an architecture rooted in life: as an integral part of everyday life, a crucial part of environmental and cultural life and an ongoing process of material life of growth and decay. Since high quality architecture responds specifically to the extraordinary diversity and change of living processes, our design process is drawn from analysis of specificities-the urban conditions, cultural processes and contemporary architectural technologies which are the milieus where architecture grows.
Active integration of user, clients and specialists is a vital part of our process of breeding architecture. Constraints and economies are integral to life forms and we enthusiastically embrace them as generative forces. Through a process of abstraction of this diversity of inputs FMA aims to establish a seamless material consistency across them, and to distil the diverse sculptural and evocative forms that constitute the main quality of our work.
FMA is built on a consistent philosophy and set of values, producing projects which are situation – specific rather than deploying a signature style. It treats rigorous craftmanship as raw conceptual material and strives to cultivate a seamless mix of technical expertise and refined design craft to maximise the potential of particular situations and actively pursue the seamless merging of service provision and creative thinking. FMA ‘s best skills lie precisely in this capacity to grow ideas out of constraints.
FMA is exploring a diversity of conditions within a wide range of geographis locations ( UK, Spain, the Middle east and the USA ) and architectural commissions ranging from masterplanning to architectural design, and even furniture. This range provides FMA with invaluable experience and perspective of urban and architectural solutions beyond the borders of any single culture, scale or building type.
Headed by Farshid Moussavi, FMA benefits from links to the academic and research field of architecture. Farshid Moussavi is a Proffessor in Practice of Architecture at Harward University, USA where she has published two highly acclaimed books, ‘’ The Function of Ornament ‘’ and ‘’’ The Function of Form ‘’. Moussavi has previously been a visiting professor at UCLA, Columbia and Princeton, and head of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. As well as serving on numerous international design juries, she is currently a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and Architecture Foundation in London, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.