Joshua Prince-Ramus, of REX Architects, gave this talk in 2009 at TEDxSMU in Dallas.
The talk is centered on the extraordinary Wyly Theatre, a design conceived as a giant “theatrical machine” that can reconfigure itself at the touch of a button.
He uses this project to explain his belief that architects need to re-evaluate their design process and place more focus on guiding a project all the way through to fruition (despite the extra risk it entails).
This approach is also described in the following quotes from the firms manifesto:
“We challenge and advance typologies.
REX feels it’s time for Architecture to do things again, not just represent things.”
“We embrace responsibility in order to implement vision.
The implementation of good ideas demands as much, if not more, creativity than their conceptualization. Increasingly reluctant to assume liability, architects have retreated from the accountability (and productivity) of Master Builders to the safety (and impotence) of stylists. To execute vision and retain the insight that facilitates architectural invention, REX re-engages responsibility. Processes, including contractual relationships, project schedules, and procurement strategies, are the things with which we design.”