A Laboratory for Design: LAVA’s Research-Based Approach for Building Innovation
LAVA architects (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) co-founders Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck of Berlin and Stuttgart describe their unique, research-based approach to architectural design, share advice on the implementation of new technologies in to practice and predictions for the future of architecture.
The office name of LAVA architects contains the word “Laboratory“. How do you span the conceptual link between architecture and research and what does it mean for you?
Tobias Wallisser: Architecture has always held a position between art and technology. Moreover, art and technology share the common ground of working in experimental ways. That is exactly what we wanted to stress by including the word “laboratory” in the name of our architectural practice, LAVA architects. Deliberately we did not include our initials but wanted to stress that we cultivate different ways of working together. In the end this also leads to fresh ways of generating projects.
Experiments are something we are very much interested in. We are equally dedicated to research just as we fulfill our clients’ needs and demands. For us, architecture is a wide ranging discipline that actively contributes to answering contemporary questions and concerns. In other words, our practice is a laboratory that conducts experiments with a very defined input and a clear research agenda.
Alexander Rieck: As a researcher in a lab you always have a clearly defined approach of analysis – assessing variations, finding conclusions and conducting the research to a final result. It is never linear but consists of parallel informed processes. That is similar to our design approach. By using different digital tools we are able to synchronize different design approaches in order to find the most ideal one.
Besides that, when entering one of our offices you are likely to encounter numerous experiments we are doing to improve our projects further. We love to do mock-ups and build prototypes ourselves in order to learn more about the process, the technology and its application.
Which of your current projects is the most innovative from the research point of view?
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