Construcao

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Design
ambitions
and
logics
in
construction
–
a
performative
 approach

Susse
Georg,
Tor
Hernes
and
Kjell
Tryggestad

 Copenhagen
Business
School,
Department
of
Organization
and
Center
for
 Management
Studies
of
the
Building
Process.

 
 
 
 Abstract
 Skyscrapers
are
often
often
seen
as
powerful
symbols
and
important
symbols
of
power;
views
which
generally
render
the
skyscraper
as
nothing
more
than
a
passive
object
representing
 people’s
design
ambitions.
Rather
than
continue
in
this
representational
vein,
the
paper
develops
 a
performative
approach
emphasizing
the
role
of
materiality
in
constructing
design
ambitions.
 Based
on
a
case
study
of
the
construction
of
a
skyscraper
in
Sweden,
“The
Turning
Torso”,
we
show
how
personal
and
collective
design
ambitions
are
transformed
and
even
scaled
up
and
down
 as
the
materialization
of
the
building
poses
new
and
unexpected
design
requirements.
We
trace
 how
an
object
of
art,
“The
twisting
Torso”
–
as
depicted
in
sculptures,
drawings
and
pictures
–
 morphs,
circulates
in
the
hands
of
others,
and
participates
in
the
construction
of
not
only
 architectural
design
ambitions
and
the
skyscraper,
“The
Turning
Torso,”
but
also
in
the
construction
of
a
design
strategy
for
urban
and
regional
renewal/identity.
Articulating
and
 representing
the
future
in
the
present
and
by
persuading
others
to
act
accordingly
“The
Twisting
 Torso”
is
considered
as
a
device
active
in
folding
time,
space,
ambitions
and
identities,
whilst
“The
 Turning
Torso”
in
the
course
of
its
construction
not
only
shaped
design
ambitions,
it
also
–
de
facto
–
shaped
important
cultural
understandings
and
practices
concerning
living
standards,
 citizenship,
professional
roles
and
identity,
i.e.
the
project’s
institutional
context
and
logics.

 

1
 





 Introduction
 How
do
design
ambitions
emerge?
The
literature
is
replete
with
references
to
how
important
the
architect’s
ambition
is
for
a
building’s
design
and
scope,
and
as
such
ambitions
reside
in
the
heads
 of
architects.
In
organizational
research
architecture
is
–
like
other
artefacts
and
technology
–
 generally
treated
as
a
symbol
(Schein
1992)
of
an
already
given
culture
and
as
a
means
to
 reinforce
its
identity
(Scott
and
Meyer
et
al.
1994,
Meyer
et
al.
1994).
Hence,
architectural
 ambitions
are
likely
to
be
influenced
by
forces
in
the
wider
institutional
environment
of
which
the
architect
is
part.
However,
notions
like
symbol
and
means
tend
to
treat
architecture,
technologies
 and
artefacts
as
passive
objects
that
reflect
ambitions
existing
elsewhere
else,
i.e.
in
the
minds
of
 architects,
in
a
specific
profession
and/or
cultural
context.
The
artefacts,
technologies
and
 architecture
are
either
overlooked
or
not
considered
as
making
any
constitutive
difference.
As
an
alternative
to
these
strands
of
organizational
research,
we
develop
a
performative
approach
and
 argue
that
design
ambitions
are
emergent
and
depend
upon
the
building
under
construction.


 The
purpose
of
this
paper
is
to
explore
in
what
sense
architecture,
artefacts
and
technologies
can
 actively
participate
in
organizing
and
changing
existing
ambitions,
practices,
and
cultural
understandings.
The
paper
develops
an
endogenous
understanding
of
cultural
and
institutional
 change
in
which
objects
and
their
cultural
context
are
seen
as
mutually
constituted
or
co‐ produced.
Rather
than
considering
action
as
shaped
or
influenced
by
‘forces’
exogenous
to
the
 actor
and
the
objects
that
actors
use
merely
as
means
to
an
end,
we
reverse
this
‘outside‐in’
 argumentation
and
with
the
help
of
actor
network
theory
develop
an
‘inside‐out’
argument
that
sheds
light
on
how
material
objects
–
like
buildings
and
some
of
the
artefacts/technologies
 needed
to
construct
buildings
–
can
create,
transmit
and
change
institutions.
Our
aim
is
to
 contribute
to
a
process‐based
approach
to
understanding
how
‘things’
–
like
buildings
and
...
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