Architecture is always the product of collaboration. To realize a vision for a particular building, an architect brings together a great number of people – not only the client, who provides the economic support, but also the engineering and structural design experts and the construction company in charge of the building site and the crafts(people) – steering all thise involved toward a single destination.


The architect assumes a role more akin to that of a director or conductor, in the sense that he or she leads many people without being directly involved in creating the final product.

Quoted from Tadao Ando – Conversations with Students, Princeton Architectural Press (2012).

I would comment on the latter part that a deep unterstanding of material and craft is the base that enables conducting in the way described. The architect needs to build and needs to have built for and by themselves to acquire both insight into and empathy for the involved parties.

Here may lie the origin of ephemeral architectural (and web design) projects – cabanons and pavillons, temporary structures and ideosyncratic dwellings that get remodeled and extended, material for study as much as functional places.

Malte Müller