a walking architecture unschool

4. Cartography: To forebuild

6. To forebuild. To build before building (OPEN SOURCE SYSTEMS). 

-We mentally build the project before actually building it. We think about all at once. All decisions imply changes in different levels.

-We organize the construction process before, during and after it, establishing clear steps. We foresee and think of everything to save the client, the dweller and the builder time, effort, money, material and energy. It is about making them spend less money and making things easier than if we were not involved in the process.

-This process includes the way this organism can be dismantled and how it can be reused. How can it be lighter. How does it move, dilate and contract. How it gets less dirty and how it can be easily cleaned. Where does it come from and where it is going. What it was a hundred years ago and what will it become in a thousand years time.

-We place ourselves as observers of how this construction will behave in terms of climate conditions, endurance, deformations, weathering, use and overall performance. From this acute seeing we can carry out the modifications so everything works better.

-One can design, and one can design to build. It is then when we forebuild.

-Never design any solution that you cannot remember without any layout. Never design anything that you can’t tell its materialisation steps by heart.

-BIM software and calculation are very useful tools that will help us build before buildings. We can develop these tools to the extreme, and yet collaborate with skilled hands and master crafts, helping them make their body movements even smoother and less tiring.


  • The maison Prouvé in Nancy (case study #11). 

 EXCURSIONS (Little exercises for young builders while on a journey):

  • Forebuild this shelter.


  • How to build your own living structures. Ken Isaacs, 1974. http://issuu.com/golfstromen/docs/ken-isaacs-1974