- September 20, 2021
The critical gaze of the “Moment Before” is that it questions essential aspects in architectural creation; the timeline of a project, the phases, the stages, the edges, the boundaries, and the process. In a society that favors the specialization of knowledge and fragmentation, the “Moment Before” seeks to identify Ariadne’s thread in the labyrinth of contemporary architectural production. It belongs to a series of rising movements that inaugurate a new era of the architectural discourse in the generation to come; an era with changes in the perception of architecture, where the process becomes the main point of interest in architectural creation.
This inclination to the process of making architecture possibly originates from a series of realizations in architecture today. First, the accessibility to a considerable quantity of information channels, images, ready-made solutions, and the total freedom in the choice of their strategies was not enough to form the architectural identity of our times. And second, the myth of the architect magician that effortlessly creates miracles collapses, as specialization in architecture completely disconnects the profession from its holistic nature. It seems nowadays that the instant moment of the built artifact struggles in defining the relevance of architecture in the wider milieu. Perhaps the final artifact is dying, and there is no time for lamentations.
Instead of criticizing (or being inspired by) every photoshopped image on the web, there is an opportunity to look for a common ground able to offer coherency in the architectural discussion. In this transition, the term synthesis, as the process of combining elements to form a connected whole, is reemerging at the surface of contemporary architectural discourse. As a procedure that is at the same time an act of anticipation and discovery. A series of actions described by constant doubt and restlessness; An effortful process in which the protagonist is the continuous and dynamic search of ideas and not only the aesthetics of a finalized outcome. At the same time that the finalized artifact operates as a monologue, the communication and unraveling of architectural Synthesis could serve as a collaborative dialogue that questions various phases of the creative procedure: the formal gestures, the decisions, the neglections, the reason, the specific character of the project, and its universal values.
In this perception of the creative process, the “final” artifact is never a conclusion but just an instance in a sequence of circumstantial but ordered choices. This frozen moment of the compositional process underlines something more significant - the idea that Synthesis never ends. It continues to evolve for every creator, as a constant doubt of the outcome and as something that is subconsciously and perpetually reshaped, rethought, and rewritten. Thus the “final” project paradoxically works as a “Moment before”; an end that heralds a new beginning enhancing the feeling that something is always waiting to be revealed.