Towards a Practicing Architecture

Towards a Practicing Architecture
An ongoing critical design project exploring the discrepancy between formal and material aspects of contemporary architectural practice.

Kukuľová Zajíček
Brno, Czechia
A young team of artists from Czechia focusing on the topics of architecture, recognizing and interpreting them through various mediums.
Team members
Helena Kukuľová
Vojtěch Zajíček
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Visual Art, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Kukuľová Zajíček work on the topics of architecture, ranging from inclusivity in practice to problems of materiality and form. As a team they have collaborated on various projects and exhibitions. Due to their different approaches, they both critique and inspire each other.

The work of Helena Kukuľová explores the multilayered relationships between the human body and its environment. This focus is evident not only in the medium of her work but also in its processes. In particular, she works with the notion of a personalised space and a self-sufficient architectural practice. This also explains her preference for research mediums such as writing, textile, found objects or waste materials. She is currently completing her architectural studies at the BUT.

In his work Vojtěch Zajíček builds upon the problems of architectural form and the processes leading to it. He observes and gathers from the most crucial but also almost unconscious part of architecture, the process of building. That follows his interest in representation and authorship in architecture. Vojtěch mostly works with design and drawing as a research medium. He is currently finishing his studies at the BUT faculty of architecture.

In the age of advancing technology and abundant visuality, images of everyday life often fail to deliver understanding of its complex materiality. This paradigm also applies to architectural practice, which is gradually disengaging itself with the built environment it struggles to design. The problem of the architect is best summarised in the builder's paradigm ‘Artists don’t want them, and builders despise them’, which suggests the discrepancy between theory and practice in architectural work.

The work of any architectural practice is essentially to detail its ideas through a proposed project. This problem of detailing is twofold, giving attention to the detail of representation at the same time as the construction detail. The laborious process of detailing leads towards accumulating information inside the project. Commonly, much more detail is given to an ideal representation in a hope of materializing the form. But as Tim Ingold writes, ‘even if the maker has a form in mind, it is not this form that creates the work. It is the engagement with materials.’ So, however detailed a representation may be, endlessly postponing material decisions means the architect eventually loses control over the form anyway, leaving this decision to the construction site.

Proposing architectural practice as a synthesis of formal and material thinking, we learn from the built environment and its processes. We include the notion of building as design, embodying both the architect and the builder. This approach uncovers the limits of scale and accessible resources that define the design process. Objects and materials displayed here reflect our work Towards a Practicing Architecture which does not aim for formal purity, but rather critical use of resources, materials, and forms. It reflects on the values of inclusivity, sustainability, and resourcefulness.