Contact & Route





Fashion Foundation

New York, USA

Fashion Methods is a research-by-design project into the architectural potentials of fashion, a fascinatingly imaginative art form. Projected in Manhattan, the high-rise for the FaMe Fashion Foundation illustratesa new design method in three stages.

The first stage was an analysis of techniques used for producing fashion articles. These techniques were then translated in the second stage into architectural models and techniques. For instance Issey Miyake's 'A-poc' technique was investigated as an organizational model whereas Junya Watanabe's 'Moving Back' was tested as a structural principle. Lastly, these techniques were deployed in the third stage as design instruments. Thus, for example, the facade has a steel structure in the form of a helix that has been deformed to accommodate the changing geometry and floor heights of the tower.

It is likely that 'lending' and transforming techniques from the world of fashion design has had fundamental consequences for my design proposal. By working with countless physical models, by doing highly specific research into materials, by subjecting components of the building to many material tests, by continually testing the effects of design decisions - in short, by making architecture with a fashion designer's eye, the tactility of the materials, the reflection of the complex facade geometry and the ambiences of the internal spaces have become highly developed and extremely specific. All the while, the relationship between unbending planning preconditions, personal design decisions and the end-result was held up to scrutiny.

The above method has resulted in an architecture where feeling is just as important as looking, where the spaces are almost palpable and the components are spatial. This architecture and the design decisions that produced it are the final outcome of a process that assesses the quantity and complexity of effects. This, as we see it now, is what we as architects have learned from fashion and from applying fashion techniques to designing architecture.