Publication

  • The Form of Form
    André Tavares and Diogo Seixas Lopes
    Authors
    Lars Müller Publishers, 2016
  • GRANTEE
    Lisbon Architecture Triennale
    GRANT YEAR
    2015

Banco Pinto & Sottomayor, 1971-1974, Oliveira de Azeméis, Portugal. Courtesy of Álvaro Siza Archive.

Architects transform the world with architecture, and whatever bias adopted to discuss such transformations goes back to the forms they are able to produce or preserve. Since Sullivan's famous dictum, "form follows function," which became the touchstone for many architects, there has been considerable discussion surrounding this idea. Despite the historical significance of form in architecture, the published sources about the subject frequently fall short of being clear or accessible to a wider audience. The innovative character of this book is the relationship of these positions to not only aesthetic and technological approaches but also to certain social and political positions. The contents underline the cultural and technical relevance of the professional practice to society. The book condenses debates taking place on the occasion of the 4th Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2016). It is not merely a catalogue of the exhibitions and events, but instead an autonomous object that presents an array of additional issues and content. The Form of Form unfolds according to three major episodes: one regarding authorship and form (“The Form of Form”), one focusing on processes and the making of forms (“Building Site”), and one on cities and the complex analytical practice behind their urban forms (“The World in Our Eyes”). Two complementary episodes (“The Ruins of the Apocalypse” and “The Limits of Landscape”) connect the threads in between the major events and form a coherent narrative that shapes the book. This aims to open new possibilities for reflection and experimentation on the different roles and effects of form in contemporary architecture and society.

Since 2006, André Tavares has run Dafne Editora, exploring publishing as a form of cultural and architectural practice. He holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, where in 2009 he completed his dissertation on the presence of reinforced concrete in architects' design strategies
 in the early-twentieth century. Resulting from his research in Mendrisio, Paris, and Sao Paulo, Tavares has published several books addressing the international circulation of knowledge among Portuguese-speaking architects, including Arquitectura Antituberculose (FAUP-publicações, 2005), Os fantasmas de Serralves (Dafne, 2007), Novela Bufa do Ufanismo em Concreto (Dafne, 2009), and Duas obras de Januário Godinho (Dafne, 2012). His Graham-supported book, The Anatomy of the Architectural Book (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015), explores the connections between book culture and architectural practice.

Diogo Seixas Lopes (1972–2016) obtained his diploma in architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon and his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich. He was a guest professor at both the University of Coimbra and Carleton University in Ottawa, and was deputy director of the magazine Jornal Arquitectos. Lopes published the book Melancholy and Architecture. On Aldo Rossi (Park Books, 2015). He founded the studio Barbas Lopes Arquitectos with Patrícia Barbas. Together with Gonçalo Byrne, they concluded the reconversion of the Thalia Theatre in Lisbon. Among other projects, the firm is developing a seventeen story building in the center of Lisbon. Their work was nominated for the Icon Awards (2012), Designs of the Year (2013), and Mies van der Rohe Award (2013).

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale is a non-profit association whose mission is to research, foster, and promote architectural thinking and practice. Founded in 2006, it holds a major forum every three years for debate, discussion, and dissemination of architecture across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. From its headquarters, an eighteenth-century palace undergoing refurbishment, the Triennale's creative hub organizes Intervalo, a program between each main edition. Since 2013, it has been awarded Public Interest Status from the Portuguese Government.