I discovered Morphopedia, the online resource to Morphosis, about a month ago. At first glance I didn't notice the Lightbox, a feature that allows one to bookmark pages and images to share, what the page calls "a curated presentation of projects, photos, articles and information." Browsing the web page the other day I created my own Lightbox, featuring mainly what the firm calls "compositions," multi-media drawings that layer architectural plans, sections and sometimes details with photographs, paint and even models. These were highly influential images -- as were their epoxy-surfaced models -- when I was an undergraduate student about fifteen years ago. Projects like Artspark, Chiba Golf Club and Crawford Residence are included.
[Morphopedia Lightbox screenshot | image source]
Previously I've discussed the presentation techniques of the office, in terms of the personalities involved and new technologies that displaced the above artifacts in favor of pixels, a departure that is clear when browsing Morphopedia. It's hard for me not to be sentimental about the craft and hand-eye coordination required by their old models and compositions, but one could probably argue that both characteristics are found in their latest, computer-based design presentations. Imagery for the Cooper Union project holds much of the appeal of the above images I selected, while it also tells one more than could be told with conventional architectural drawings. This is not to say that Morphosis has abandoned hand-crafted expression, but its role has taken a backseat to images that arise from creating and building architecture in the computer.