SYNC  © 2004

Author: J.W. van Kuilenburg
Year: 1999-2004


A survey into the first five years of Monolab projects 1999-2004.

Through this publication we tried to unveil definitions and strategic mindsets that might help us to reflect and design projects that can handle urgent, contemporary and confronting issues.

How to design projects that can support our accelerating culture and upcoming generations?
Which state of mind will reveal the urgent potentials of urban and architectural projects?

During the 70’s the Dutch lost the experience to deal with disparities. After that decade a levelling society emerged: equality became the magic word. This has been disastrous for urbanism and architecture and for the physical world that surrounds us. Since that decade most realised architectural projects lack the ambition to mediate, to sync. We live in the aftermath of a considerable spilling of latent opportunities.

Our environment clearly stays behind our contemporary behaviour in space and time. Programmatic confrontations are repeatedly being avoided.
Conventional CIAM-inspired ways of thinking don’t fit our society any more as these are mainly focusing onto divisions and problems-that-have-to-be-solved. This definitely means the end of the ‘classic modern project’, in which strategies of autonomy and separation played key roles.

We live in an era of interlace. In our present society life patterns are becoming increasingly dynamic. Living, working and recreation are blended more and more which requires flexibility from everything and everybody. To facilitate this dynamism we need to sync the facilitating world with its people.

As architects we can simply no longer continue to separate complicated matters that require intense contact. Our state of mind requires an attitude of curiosity instead of fear.

In 2004 Monolab was invited by ABC Architecture Center in Haarlem to make a summer exhibit of our projects. We selected projects from our portfolio of the first five years, between 1999 and 2004, through which we tried to look ahead. We probed six themes to discover mindsets and techniques for syncing: density, voids, infra-structures, links, parallelism and contact. These themes clearly originate from the pre credit crisis decade. Along the six themes we made strings of images. Within these strings the confrontations between content of different projects reveal embedded information.

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