"Provisional profiles nine of the United States' most exciting architectural practices.
They all share a pragmatic, `roll-up your sleeves' approach that seeks opportunities to redefine the role of craft in architectural practice.
Enlightening interviews together with a selection of drawings, diagrams, models, renderings, and building process photographs reveal a shared commitment to experimentation and learning-by-doing." --Dexigner
"So maybe before you think of starting up on your own office - take a look into this book." --anArchitecture
Provisional features interviews with nine firms practicing architecture in the United States: Front, Gehry Technologies, Chris Hoxie, LTL Architects, MY Studio, nARCHITECTS, Servo, SHoP and George Yu Architects. A few are consultants and many produce buildings of their own design, but none of them resemble traditional architectural firms. These offices can be seen as architecture firms of the not-too-distant future, on the forefront of production and building design in the profession. Naturally technology and its incorporation into design and practice plays a large role, as does research, diversity of work and other approaches. It's not hard to find consistencies among the nine practices in these areas, but it's difficult to find commonalities in design; each office is idiosyncratic, arising from the human interaction with technology, among other things.
The interviews do a very good job in expressing the focus of each firm and how their working processes follow from them. Interspersed among the nine interviews are images of completed projects, diagrams, mock-ups and renderings, construction documents, and construction photos. Essays by participating architects and others bookend the whole package. (At the end are some kind words by Neil Denari on the late George Yu.) The book's structure mimics online hyperlinks, with text and images keyed to each other like an index to an atlas, gridded coordinates and all, an unnecessary extra that leads to errors arising from lack of coordination. Nevertheless the grouped images extend the reach of the interviews, and they help greatly in sections like onsite photos where the two L's from LTL actually construct some of their interior designs. The book ultimately finds a common denominator in technology's application to architectural practice, though the diversity of its use is refreshing, pointing to even more potential with other individuals and firms. A potential homogenization of design and practice arising from the computer appears here to be unfounded. Or as the authors find, `a unifying theory is not what's called for, but rather the capacity to navigate a multivalent and expending network of approaches that generates a relevant architecture now.' --Archidose
"Provisional documents the work of nine American architecture firms, exploring each one's methodology and the influence of new technologies on its practice. The book is separated into alternating sections of essays, images, and interviews with partners from firms like Gehry Technolgies, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, and SHoP. Generally, the interviews deal more with the evolution of each firm than the ways digital technologies can alter design practice on a fundamental level. (That subject, which could be at the book's heart, tends to elicit a frustrating tautology: computers redefine the design process by redefining the design process.) Still, the interviewees have interesting things to say about their process, and they point to trends among the most creative firms in the industry. Mostly, these have to do with the increasing interconnectedness between architecture and fields like engineering and technology-consulting, and with the variety of the products that result from those collaborations. Computer renderings and diagrams, and photographs taken at various stages of project completion, help make the connection between the early stages of software-aided renderings, actual building construction, and finished designs." --Metropolis Magazine
"Provisional offers a window on how 21st- century architects are redefining their profession. Insightful interviews and a wealth of drawings, renderings, and photographs bring into focus a cross section of young architects thoroughly comfortable with new technologies." --Architectural Record, January 2011