EURAU 2016, European Symposium on Research in Architecture and Urban Design

SELF-SCALING as a design methodology in OMA

The European Symposium on Research in Architecture and Urban Design  (EURAU) 2016 has chosen for this year an inspiring theme: “In between scales”. We take this opportunity to research on methodological strategies related to the concept of scale and uncertainty as design materials. We focus in a process developed by OMA in 1998 that we have called “Self Scaling” and describes the transformation of a project for the “Y2K House” into the “Casa da Musica” in Porto by an incredibly simple scaling process.

The success of this strategy took by surprise everyone in the office, as they were sceptical about such a “cynical” approach. So we put into consideration if this is a brilliant act or just opportunism.

What we find more interesting about this case is the research on graphic tools as the trigger for new processes. We can compare this phenomena with the “scaling” used by de-constructivist architects such as Peter Eisenman in the seventies.

Departing from almost an anecdote, an strategic game, we immerse ourselves in a research on the graphic possibilities of breaking reality into pieces to create a new scenario or decontextualize any of the parameters of the drawing, such as “scale” to generate a new reality or as we have recalled: “self-scaling”.

Co-authors: B. Butragueño, J. Raposo and M. Salgado.

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Monday July 4th, 2016