We think “Architecture is Relation Network Design.” As General Relative Theory of Einstein proved time and space are not separate entities but a single entity of space-time, every entity of the universe are part of organic web of relationship. Contemporary science theory believes that human consciousness came out of millions of neuron network; life came out of synchronization of primitive chemical soup. Like all these creation phenomenon of Mother Nature, network is another name of creation. Bridge connects two spaces. Door connects two spaces as well. Window is another method of connecting spaces. In return, wall disconnects space horizontally. Floor slab disconnects the space vertically. Each architectural elements cause the topological changes by deforming, cutting and pasting. The changed space creates another relation network, and the newly setup network creates new space with its own vitality. Therefore, it is so obvious that space can communicates with the human just like live entity of its own. Architecture is designing the relation network.
It is an action of inserting new relationship into the existing relation network to construct a new architecture on the site. Synergy effect of “relation network” among physical, social and psychological factors of the given site defines the success of the architecture. We want to use the ‘force of the site’ in a good way. During this process we want to use not only the positive force but also the negative force of the site as well. Sustainable design is a very important issue in our design because sustainable design is all about the relationship between architecture and nature.
We think there are three kinds of relationships which are physical, visual and psychological. Physical relationship is the one someone can see and actually reach there. Bridge is the representing architectural element creating physical relationship. Visual relationship is the one someone only can see but cannot reach there. Window is the representing architectural element creating visual relationship. Psychological relationship is the one someone can see or imagine only through his mind without physical and visual relationship. It is architecture we pursuit to design relation network by using these three kinds of relationship.
Contemporary science doesn’t know the space is the real entity or just an imaginary concept which is created by human consciousness to perceive the world. Our design is based on the hypothesis that space is information created by our consciousness and that information is made of three kinds of information; void, symbolic and activity. We made this hypothesis to explain two kinds of space we live now including physical space and cyberspace as well. Void information is most basic physical information defined by the solid mass. Void information can have a pattern that influence on human space perception. Void information can be likened to melody in music. Logically N dimensional being can fully perceive the being lower than N-1 dimension. Based on this theory, three dimensional being of human can perceive the being lower that two dimensional being. In other words, human can fully perceive images on paper, line and dots. However, we can perceive the three dimensional space in our normal life. How is it possible? According to the scientist, it is because we use short-term memory. Short-term memory enables us to exist in a different time. Therefore we became four dimensional being to perceive the three dimensional space thanks to short-term memory. Symbolic information is like a coloring on the sketch made of void information. Symbolic information can be paralleled to lyrics of music. It is based on past experience, education and cultural background of the people. Therefore symbolic information is very personal value. For example, Chinese people don’t like the chaotic signboards of Hong Kong. But, tourists from abroad who cannot read Chinese characters are fascinated by the same street signboards. For Hong Kong people their signboards are information overloaded, but for tourist those are another Art Nouveau decoration. We can find a reverse experience at the Las Vegas. All of these are caused by the different interpretation of symbolic information. Finally, activity information is information created by the human activities within physical void space. We can use sunken garden at the New York Rockefeller Center to explain this information. The garden is used as an outdoor restaurant during summer, and is used as ice-skating rink during winter. This changes of usage changes the whole meaning of the same void space. This is the third kind of information completing the spatial information. These three kinds of information are collected and constructed within our consciousness and produced the perception of “space.” We call it “infotecture”.
We pursuit the simplest design to solve complicated and twisted relationships under the condition of given site, program and other restrictive conditions by using exiting forces at the site. In science field, the simpler proof is chosen to prove a certain thesis. Like this, we believe simpler the better. We want to ‘invent’ the design like a pencil with an eraser tip, which is simple but creates synergy effect by using existing forces.
We are the kind of people to sees the two faces out of “Two Faces and a Vase” painting of Edgar Rubin. In other words, we focus on making void space instead of solid mass object. We believe the purpose of architectural space is eventually for the use of void space. Solid mass is mainly a method for defining void space. Therefore, we concentrate on designing invisible and intangible void space for communication through space by using visible and tangible solid mass.
Like man is made of spirit, soul and body, there are three kinds of levels in architecture. First, there is body level architecture to supply the functional needs. Second, there is soul level architecture representing Zeitgeist and stimulating human intelligence. Third, there is spiritual level architecture touching and healing people’s spirit. We pursuit to reach the level of creating spiritual space. We believe it doesn’t have to be religious buildings to be spiritual architecture. It could be achieved in any kinds of building type if we reach the spiritual level.
There are many kinds of relations in the world such as social relation, relations of physics, human relations, relations between God and human, relations between nature and human, and energy relations etc. Architecture is the main agent and background to solve, improve and orchestrate these kinds of relations. There are many unhealthy, discordant and disconnected relations. Sometimes, there are some relations which is not supposed to be connected. Our goal is to design the new relation network solving the discord, and improving the existing good relations.