05/17/2007
          Verb Natures Albert Ferre, Irene Hwang, Tomoko Sakamoto, and Anna Tetas
          Review by Mario Cipresso

        • Fifth in the Actar 'boogazine' series, Verb Natures is a search for the natural or the organic in architecture. The selected works are as varied as the approaches or design methodologies demonstrated. Certain projects strive for that 'simple' complexity that is often found in genuine natural conditions. Manuel Gausa's 'Land-Arch' project, for instance, explores the ease in which natural systems lend themselves to shifting between scales. Gausa shows the flexibility inherent in natural systems by extending their influence to general program organization and envelope articulation. In contrast is Hitoshi Abe's AIP French Restaurant that choses to simulate nature through the use of imagery and modern fabrication processes. With a thoughtfully articulated screen, Abe manages to create a natural sensibility as it relates to a quality of light rather than structure.

          The 'natural' in architecture, as frequently depicted in this book, seems largely informed by mathematical processes. Various algorithms or mathematical expressions are created or utilized as generators of form or structure. The goal often appears to be auto-generative architecture with the intention of removing the influence or 'hand' of the designer. Arguably, this isn't easily accomplished as one has to make certain decisions related to the creation, manipulation and implementation of such processes.

          The occasional interviews with the designers are quite interesting and provide excellent insight into the ideas driving each project. This is another well-crafted Actar publication with generous photos, drawings and text.

          Actar

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