Sunday, August 16, 2009

Architects Sketches & Storytelling_02

As the second entry to the series 'Architects Sketches & Storytelling_02', we're posting up an all time favorite of ours... MAXWAN. Maxwan is an Architecture and Urbanism Practice based in the Netherlands. Maxwan first burst onto the international scene with it's innovative proposal for the new town Leidsche Rijn. Michael Speaks raked up a good rant about them in the A+U series 'design intelligence', and had initially brought them to light at the 'big soft orange' exhibition in 1995. Speaks heralded maxwan as a practice that refreshingly broke away from the 'aestheticized form generation that dominated architecture in the 1980s and early 1990s', and instead refocused the agenda for architecture towards 'a renewed emphasis on the analysis' of social, economic and cultural content. The catalyst that prompted maxwan to refocus on such content, emerged as a response to the political will that drove 'BIG' developments in the Netherlands at the time. The Dutch government had mandated that '1,100,000 new dwellings be built by the year 2005 ' and maxwan's Leidsche Rijn project was a development for 30,000 houses. (Yes, absolutely massive.) Maxwan's story telling approach does occasionally lightly dapple with some 'informatic' type diagrams, but these almost seem to sit as a quick flick that merely wraps up some background dialogue. The real selling point for maxwan sits within their reductive hand drawn sketches and visionary cityscapes. It is through this technique of soft hand drawn sketches that maxwan communicate design propositions and implications. The drawings often seem to be almost out of a childrens story book. They are simple, legible and potent. Enjoy:

image source: MAXWAN.

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