Bea Martin |
Dip. Arch, MSc. Urban Planning, M. Arch,
RIBA, ARB, OASRS
I am the owner of Archilibs, an experimental design lab exploring the visual construct in architecture. I am an architect and urbanist by trade but I engage the world as a visual theorist, exploring the graphic theoria, praxis, and poiesis of architectural verbalisation.
As a practicing architect, I believe that architecture research should ultimately lead to built form but it does not necessarily begin there. The physical embodiment of theory is the central aim of my architecture. An actionable theory grounded in contemporary issues and discourse and accordingly requiring a process capable of accommodating its far-reaching possibilities. This process engages the complexity and latent conditions inherent in each enquiry to discover emerging patterns and operational logics. It is fundamental to shape the process in a multidisciplinary team in response to each new investigation and emphasise strong research and experimentation.
My scholar exposure has made clear that my motivation lies in the academic engagement of architecture and critical thinking. Whilst at Berkeley I became extremely interested in the limits imposed by community, urbanism and society; and the potential manifestation of architecture at its borderline condition.
My Master’s thesis entitled Limitlessness – Defying Capacities and Tectonic Boundaries, investigates design techniques for the production of urban and architectural constructs. Exploring approaches for future transformation and their associated architectural typologies and tectonics, with an emphasis on the prototyping of infrastructure and building systems. It considers alternative typologies, by means of formal information of the City’s existing urban fabric, varying dimensional parameters of size, shape, topology, density, intensity, ‘mixity’, proximity, orientation, etc. A confrontation of the life cycles of existing buildings and the architectural consequences of the operating planning norms, the speculation on matters of relative duration and mechanisms of incremental urban growth, the capacity to adapt to current and future contingencies leads to an idea of Borderlinestructure— that explores the potential ground beyond Big Buildings. Ultimately, the argument is that, by looking at cities as the medium to effectively address the pressing environmental problems of our time, and where high-density urban scenarios should be explored. Articulating a new aesthetic and cultural understanding of the city in response to current social and environmental problems, and to critically reimagining cities to address the current and future needs of a sustainable society.
In the end, my concern rests in that architecture should develop an understanding of the complex relationship between form, space, structure, and materiality. By operating these techniques and methodologies of the architectural object with the performance of materiality. I believe in an academic approach that comprehends a disciplinary attention in the new technology of analysis, processing and production. However, more than the dominant discourse of programmatic freedom and the alleged over-determination of pure form-making, my attention lays on architecture’s ongoing critical return to form. Using feedback from all relevant inputs and processes-especially the particularities of environmental analysis and simulation—searching for new and optimized manifestation of the sustainable city.