As a species, human is perhaps obsessed with seeking patterns, analysing every detail to unearth an underlying connection to make sense of our world. Especially in contemporary times, the massive amount of sensory data we receive can be quite overwhelming. In such a complex scenario, we look for patterns as a basic, instinctive mechanism to understand, predict and navigate our surroundings. This process helps us adapt to rapid changes, and the unpredictable variables. Thus, in a sense, seeking patterns enhances our adaptiveness. One can argue, therefore, that our most primary adaptive advantage is, quite literally, our adaptiveness!
This pattern-seeking obsession also extends to architecture, and how we perceive work emerging from different practices. Perhaps as a means to recognise and connect an architect’s body of work over the years, we look for a signature style. But do architects consciously impose their ‘style’ on their works? Is continuing their style-trajectory a key consideration while designing? If so, then it is not a reductive, restrictive approach? While these questions are perhaps apt for a larger conversation in the architectural discourse, it is quite evident that as end-users, we are prone to trying to fit architectural works into ‘types’ and ‘styles’.
Take one of the most prominent, global practices in recent times, Zaha Hadid Architects, for instance. Over the years, they’ve produced fascinating works that that, in an almost unanimous public opinion, explore ‘fragmentation, flotation, and liberation from gravity’. And we quickly made the connection to words like new-age, outer s