Siv Helene Stangeland is partner at architectural firm Helen & Hard.
Helen & Hard has from the very beginning been occupied with the manifold and complex relations in which architecture evolves. Exploring a more co-dependent arising of spatial, material and human organization has become a core agenda.
By designing with spatial organisations which can include and adapt to feedback throughout the development process design is not merely a solution but a vehicle for an interdisciplinary, participatory processes that can lead to ecological solutions.
In this perspective our task as architects is to find a growth form of a project which can enable and unfold this potential. It means on one hand engaging creatively in the composition and timely sequencing of different modes and levels of design, methods and feedback loops. On the other hand it means exploring how the basic elements of architecture; the spatial and material organization can serve this more inclusive and collective development while still resulting in unique design qualities.
The research is investigating further into these “relational-designs and design capacities” –meaning on one side how we as architects perform to be involved in these relational design processes, and on the other side the different qualities of design which are supporting and resulting from them.
Different kinds of mapping and drawings are used to explore these aspects of Helen & Hards relational design practice and to unfold and articulate a specific contribution to an emerging ecology of architecture.
There is a first level relating to the individual architects reflective and creative process, a second level relating to conceptual frameworks which allow for more inclusive and collective design processes, and a third level referring to the systemic, organizational design of the whole practice.