DECOi Digital Praxis (London/Paris)
Mark Goulthorpe, Oliver Dering, Arnaud Descombes, Gabriele Evangelisti
When I began working independently some ten years ago, I had a sense that there was a profound cultural change underway that would allow, or perhaps require, new forms of architecture, and perhaps of necessity, new forms of architectural practice. With hindsight, this instinct seems to have been prescient as to the impact of digital technologies, not simply on patterns of professional practice, but in its profound restructuring of cultural modes of thought in general. I would then characterise our work as exploring the possibility of architecture within this new terrain, and of attempting to chart the principles of a digital praxis.
Our position as foreigners in France has both impelled and restricted the direction of our work, doubtless shaping a quite specialized form of research-based practice. This in turn has led to a variety of experimental projects, frequently artworks, which have allowed us to explore new generative processes or fabrication methods. But the isolation has also compelled me to travel and to teach, both of which have led to a globally-networked practice affiliated with researchers in a variety of fields. Indeed, what seems almost unique about the work of dECOi is the model it offers of interdisciplinarity, which has increasingly been implicated not simply into our working practice, but into the very core of our creative initiatives. To date we have deployed mathematicians, programmers, parametric modellers and even robotic engineers as fully creative partners, and I have enjoyed the liberating exactitude of such partnerships. I certainly look forward to broadening this range of influence, particularly as we move from speculative projects to more concrete ones, eager to extending the logics of our generative processes into material effect.