Despite the uncertain outcome and an amount of research which, done under time pressure, was difficult to limit, failure was never an option. For us things were much the same as for the architects around the age of 35. Totally self-assured and perhaps somewhat naive, in conceiving this issue we brashly maintained that architects no longer work just in the classic way but are also active in related areas, and that the main concern is not making “author architecture”. Handcraft is becoming more important, careers no longer take straight paths, but are networked, international and creative.
Throughout Switzerland we paid visits to the “young ones” in their studios and offices and asked about what the next generation is doing today, about who influences or has influenced young architects, with whom are they networked and what they are working on at the moment. We asked those who provided us with information to send a chain letter to their contacts, these in turn sent it on (in some cases it never went any further) – and the snowball system started to move. In this way more than 240 places, people and offices came together and here (with the help of an open-source tool called graphcommons) we draw the image of a generation. The method is collaborative and quite creative – at this point we would like to express our sincere thanks to all those who helped us with our research. Now the research work has been completed but it cannot claim any final validity. A number of the newly discovered next-gen offices will be online under the head-ing JAS (Junge Architektur Schweiz), and from this year on will also be presented more extensively in the magazine, hopefully one will read about others in ten years’ time.
Personal relationships can be depicted by means of graphics but the dynamics, the knowledge, the positions and the energies that circulate between people can only be told about. Much the same applies to the depiction of architecture: plans models, images and texts are always only part of the truth. We are very happy that this year we have the opportunity to work together with photographer Corina Flühmann, her animated film haikus truly delighted us. To mark the start there
are four different versions of this issue’s cover photo. — Jenny Keller