In this issue, we have underlined the interesting quests and revelations from various architects’ examination of the past. Some depart from a sense of urgency found in day-to-day situations,like Neri & Hu in their search for new ways to escape the trap of restoration as a refusal to part ways with what many consider to be “past banalities”, and Studio Mumbai in their exploration of permanence through demolition and construction in a rapidly changing city. Some, like Boonserm Premthada with soundscapes out of the humble brick, Mustapha Kamal with a township-scale adaptation of the village trail, and Eko Prawoto with a call for respect to nature, arose out of a return to past wisdoms. Others took the opposite route altogether by questioning the conventions often taken for granted, like Go Hasegawa’s refutation on ideal and standardised proportions and Lekker Architects’ counter-proposal on the solving of ecological crises. The rest melds together past and the future, like Jason Pomeroy’s pursuit to incorporate lessons of the past in future ways of living and Studiomake’s marriage of the digital with the human “digit” in imbuing a humanistic sense into our methods of creation.
To close our exploration, we compiled short quotes from various practitioners in the architectural fields, lending further insight to how architects may consider, or perhaps even use, the past in building for the future.