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Some place between organic and digital architecture

Plasma Studio

Some place between organic and digital architecture
By Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi -
Duravit has participated in the project

Plasma Studio was founded in London by Eva Castro and Holger Kehne in 1999. In 2002, they were joined by Ulla Hell. These turn-of-the-century years were marked by the waning of the optimism of the Nineties, embodied by the architecture of Frank O. Gehry (the Bilbao Guggenheim was inaugurated in 1997), Zaha Hadid (her LFOne/Landesgartenschau in Weil am Rhein is dated 1999), Rem Koolhaas (the Floriac house was built in 1998), Daniel Libeskind (the Berlin Jewish Museum was opened in 1998), and Bernard Tschumi (the Exhibition Park and Zénith in Rouen date from 2000) and the first rumblings of the economic and ideological crisis we know today. It was also a time when much thought was being given to digital techniques and landscape architecture. On the digital front, these were the years when it was realised that software programs could do much more than just speed up traditional design processes; they were a completely new means of conceiving and shaping volumes and spaces thanks to so-called parametric design. In terms of landscape architecture, it was realised that architecture and urban planning were not separate entities, one producing individual container objects while the other concerned itself with land-use by means of zoning plans; rather, that part of architecture’s organizational task is to be explicitly concerned with the urban fabric and its re-design. This introduced the environmental dimension, delivering a central - and at times overwhelming - theme that permeates all projects today.

Plasma comes from the Greek word to shape or mould. I think there could be no better way of expressing Plasma’s optimistic, proactive attitude to form yet at the same time acknowledge their organic approach and environmental sensitivity. The group’s work can be summed up in five objectives.

First, to break down established confines, especially between public and private space. If volumes can be moulded, then the separation...

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