Cine poate fi mai potrivit pentru a-l prezenta pe unul dintre cei mai curtati ingineri din lume, decat Charles Jencks, asa cum o face in prefata la cartea publicata in 2002 de insusi Cecil Balmond cu titlul INFORMAL la editura Prestel.

„Whenever there is a revolution, or fact, in architecture professional barriers break down as specialists exchange roles. Architects become sculptors, engineers become designers, artists turn into architects, and all these job descriptions become fuzzy. This happened in Early Renaissance, during the building of the dome for Florence Cathedral, when Gilberti and Brunelleschi switched professions from goldsmith to sculptor and artist to architect. It happened coungtless times in the 19th and 20th centuries when the avant-garde was reconstituted again and again. It happened with Eiffel and Tatlin, with Duchamp and Le Corbusier, and indeed it is one good measure of an avant-garde. If professionals do not give up their job barriers, no radical creativity. The work of Cecil Balmond again proves this rule. Engineer, designer, architect, thinker with numbers, speculative mathematician, writer: what is he if not all these things. Why ? Because he is part of the creative edge that is moving architecture. Architectural movements, as the metaphor suggests, move the boundaries of the discipline and they characteristically do this by challenging assumptions, the conceptual framework behind the profession.”


The informal is opportunistic, an approach to design that seizes local moment and makes something of it.

Ignoring preconception or formal layering and repetitive rhythm, the informal keeps one guessing. Ideas are not based on principles of rigid hierarchy but on an intense exploration of the immediate.

It is not ad-hocism, which is collage, but a methodology of evolving start points that, by emergence, creates its own series of orders.

When we attempt to trap chaos and convert it to our preconceptions, Order becomes an enormous effort. We try to eliminate fault or error. We try hard but the effort turns to dullness and the heavy Formal.

The more subtle approach is to seek the notion that chaos is a mix of several states of order. What is an improvisation is in fact a kernel of stability, which in turn sets sequences that reach equilibrium.

Several equilibriums coexist. Simultaneity matters; not hierarchy.

The informal has three principal characteristics: local, hybrid and juxtaposition. They are active ingredients of an animate geometry that embrace the linear and non-linear. Both Cartesian and post Einsteinian geometry are encompassed by it.

The informal gives rise to ambiguity. This means interpretation and experiment as a natural course of events.

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