Elegance represents an important watershed in architectural design. Since the onset of computer-driven technologies, innovative designers have, almost exclusively, been preoccupied with the pursuit of digital techniques. This issue of AD extrapolates current design tendencies and brings them together to present a new type of architecture, one that is seamlessly trying processes, space, structure and material together with beauty. ‘Elegance’ here is cast with a new contemporary meaning as it is applied to work that is effortlessly complex. It is analogous to an elegant algorithm that uses a small amount of initiative code to great effect. In a structure elegance may be expressed by a complex surface that retains its continuity and integrity even when punctured. In many ways, Elegance marks a coming of age for, ‘digital architecture’, as architects become more adept at producing complexity and integrating digital design technologies, production and assembly systems producing elegant solutions. It is the potent finesse that is often associated with the work of Zaha Hadid Architects and other featured architects, such as Mark Goulthorpe of Decoi and Hani Rashid of Asymptote.
Focusing on the intersections between textiles and architectural design, this title communicates the full range of possibilities for a multidisciplinary design hybrid. It examines the generative concepts, forms, patterns, materials, processes, technologies and practices that are driving this cross-fertilisation in contemporary urban and architectural design. Architextiles represent a transition stage in the reorientation of spatial design towards a more networked, dynamic, interactive, communicative and multifunctional state. The paradigms of fashion and textile design, with their unique, accelerated aesthetics and ability to embody a burgeoning, composite and complex range of properties such as lightness, flow, flexibility, surface, complexity and movement have a natural affinity with architecture's shifts towards a more liquid state. The preoccupation with textiles in architecture challenges traditional perceptions and practices in interior, architectural, urban, textile and fashion design. Interweaving new designs and speculative projects for the future, Architextiles, brings together architects, designers, engineers, technologists, theorists and materials researchers to unravel these new methodologies of fabricating space.
Exploring how today’s most compelling architecture is emerging from new forms of collaborative practice, this title of AD engages three predominant phenomena: architecture’s relationship with digital and telecommunication technology; the media; and economies of globalisation. The articles in the issue explore the relationship between these readings and examine, for the first time, the implications of these phenomena upon forms of architectural invention and production. While much attention has been focused upon the influence of digital media on architectural form and technique, little has examined its far broader implications for forms of architectural practice. Yet, as with modernism and the professionalization of architecture at the end of the 19th century and the rise of architectural corporations in the mid-20th century, the future of architectural design will inevitably depend upon reconfigurations of architectural authorship.