140128_KBS strukturfilosofi

At the Conference Design Principles and Practices I meet a very interesting person, Elizabeth Musgrave, from School of Architecture at The University of Queensland. She gave me a paper related to my project, written by Erik Sigge called “Challenged Practice: Transformations of Swedish Governmental Building around 1970” in Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand.

This paper is about how the Swedish Government in the 1960s tested a new budget system to try “review new ways to administer political control on state operations and to operate State services with higher efficiency at lower costs.” This resulted in the National Board of Public buildings (KBS) launching their “strukturfilosofi” called KBS’s structure philosophy in 1968 which “which merged KBS’ recent architectural research findings with program budgeting, creating a tight-knit program for building production.” The concept of the structure philosophy was flexibility, adaptability, changeability and generality. The reason for launching the structure philosophy was because of KBS’s critique of the ongoing building process that they claimed was irrational and misguiding. Instead KBS wanted to move the design phase to the end of the process after the decision to build. Hereby the traditional architectural process was eliminated and a new had to be built. The critique from the architects’ was that they were divided into two: Self-contained formalism and/or total empiricism which also related to the evolution from behavioral studies to technical testing.

The result of the implementation of program budgeting is a significant impact on architecture and the role of architects by the way to control money and analyze financial aspects and systems which has led to our “evaluation society” today.

 My comments:

I think this article shows how big an impact history and political processes have on the architectural processes and hereby on our context that we live in.

I will use this article as inspiration to dig into if we have had some similar coincidence in Denmark and of so figure out how they relate to the architectural process that we have today. Hereby I hopefully can find some reasons for why our architectural process looks as it does today.