Payette Fabrication Manager Parke MacDowell, AIA contributed to the ArchitectureBoston Spring 2018 Letters to the Magazine giving his perspective on the “Material Witnesses” article published in the Winter 2017 issue.
The five profiles in “Material witnesses” offer insight into people who know their craft — and perhaps more important, know how to work with others. Although the essays focused on individuals and their specific materials of interest (stone, glass, etc.), their work is most compelling when integrated within the complexities of broader building systems. The most challenging and interesting architectural moments emerge at the inevitable intersections of different materials. How do materials with distinct properties and associations interface? These encounters have the potential to be moments of crisis (when the logic of monolithic materiality is compromised and collapses) or, instead, vignettes of tectonic poetry.
It’s the work of visionaries like those profiled here that continues to inspire our fabrication research at firms that are pushing the boundaries of architectural practice. Exploring geometric and material relationships by prototyping full-scale architectural elements helps us to produce better design work and communicate it more effectively to our clients, our collaborators, and ourselves.
Read the letter.