Architecture as a device of     speculation   
Lecture Series Research Methods      
Positioning paper     
Verasu Saetae     
Tutor: Prof. Piero Medici (during draft session)     
 Q1 2016-2017     
Delft University of Technology

MVRDV Project Berlin Voids in 1991
Mirador MVRDV 2001-2005 and The Why factory Ego City in 2014.
(Texts from page 10)
MVRDV has been experimenting with their very first concept of customisation in architecture from the Berlin voids dated back in 1991. Finally, this concept was realised in 2001 in the project, Mirador, a 22 story residential building in Madrid Spain. It is a mini continuation of their concept of customization and combination of different types of residential clusters in more subtle action.

Manifesto :
“architecture is a device... architecture is now able to move into the development of devices that can combine top-down, large-scale issues with bottom-up, individualised input: a combination of analyses of proposals.”11

11 Dean, P., & Joseph, V. (2005). MVRDV KM3, p.45


Architecture has always been continuously progressing and evolving by itself. It has been developed from the legacy of the past architectural history. In the mid-twentieth century, due to the trauma of World War II, many cities had to rebuilt, people urgently needed hospitality. Architecture responded to this situation; by stripped down ornaments and decorations of buildings, keeping only essential parts of living. Through their reduction and simplification in architectural design, they allowed architects to mass-produce building components as well as construct taller and bigger buildings. This modular construction system led to the globalisation and urbanisation in architecture. Today architecture has situated itself in the middle of the chaos of theories and context. Hence, this is the legacy of the twentieth century that we are currently built upon.

In general, today we are facing with issues of globalisation, economic crisis, political conflicts, ecological and cultural problems. The growing of complexity in today program requirements and constraints in architectural design has affected the role of architects, the episteme of designing, and the performance quality of buildings. In this research, the selected projects and design methodology of three architectural firms, namely: The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), MVRDV and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will be the president studies of this research.

These three offices are interesting because they are an incremental development of one another. First, OMA’s works during its early establishment from 1978-1989, marked the period when Rem Koolhaas, one of the OMA founders, fully took a role as an architect, instead of a writer or a researcher. In many of the early projects, the firm demonstrated an approach of borrowing typology from classical architecture in their design proposal. However, later on, OMA had started to adapt their design methodology by inventing a new architectural typology by merging programs together. This innovation has influenced the next generation of architects, such as MVRDV and BIG. Both firms were branching out from OMA, Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs, the founders of MVRDV, were working at OMA during its second decade, from 1989 to 1993, before established their firm later in 1993. On the other hand, BIG is the third generation branching out of OMA, Bjarke Ingels worked with OMA from 1998 to 2001. Then, he founded his firm in 2005. Lastly, these offices operate based on a research-based approach in the field of architecture, urbanism and landscape. They use architecture as a tool of speculation providing them for generating an optimised design solution. Their projects are often challenging the concept of typology in architecture, by articulating, transforming and redefining it.