Jenny Wu, a partner at Oyler Wu Collaborative, documents the process from design through fabrication of their latest installation, Screenplay, to be featured at the upcoming Dwell on Design 2012. Part 3: The Big Reveal. A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist. —Buckminster Fuller. When we first started our practice eight years ago, we had just moved from New York to Los Angeles. With no clients, no portfolio of built projects, and virtually no income, we realized quickly that in order to build a body of work that is unconventional and unique we would have to rethink how we practice. We came to two conclusions: (1) we would need to go out and find the right clients (even if they were my own parents!) and (2) we would have to learn to build the work ourselves, because we simply couldn’t afford to hire a contractor. We have always been of the mindset that sometimes as architects you have to take on responsibilities that fall outside of the conventional skill set, such as fabrication and installation, in order to realize work that is experimental in nature and complex in its construction. While fabricating our own design started as a necessity in order to control cost, we have continued to do it as a way of extending the research of our practice in terms of material and structural experimentation.
April 18, 2012