Believing architecture should do things for its users and communities—not simply be a representational art—REX challenges and advances building typologies and promotes the agency of architecture. We emphasize performance, a hybrid of form and function calibrated to each client’s aspirations and each project’s constraints. Unprejudiced by conventions, preconceived aesthetic strategies, or outcomes, we return to root problems and doggedly explore them with critical naiveté. Sometimes we discover uncharted territory; sometimes we rediscover forgotten territory that has renewed usefulness; sometimes we reaffirm conventions with assured conviction. Through this process, we expose solutions that transcend those we could have initially or individually imagined, and aspire to produce inventive designs so functionally specific that they offer inspiring aesthetic experiences.
We challenge and advance typologies.
REX feels it is time for Architecture to do things again, not just represent things.
We design collaborations rather than dictate solutions.
The proliferation of the “starchitecture” phenomenon reduces teams to individuals and their collaborative work to genius sketches. It diminishes the real teamwork that drives celebrated architecture. REX believes architects should guide collaboration rather than impose solutions. We replace the traditional notion of authorship—“I created this building”—with “We nurtured this process.”
We embrace responsibility in order to implement vision.
The implementation of good ideas demands as much, if not more, creativity than their conceptualization. Increasingly reluctant to assume liability, architects have retreated from the accountability (and productivity) of Master Builders to the safety (and impotence) of stylists. To execute vision and retain the insight that facilitates architectural invention, REX re-engages responsibility. Processes, including contractual relationships and procurement strategies, are tools with which we design.
We side with neither form nor function.
REX believes that the struggle between form and function is superficial and unproductive. By emphasizing performance instead—a hybrid of form and function calibrated to each client’s aspirations and each project’s constraints—we free architecture from the tired debate over whether it is an art or a tool. Art performs; tools perform.
We don’t rush to architectural conclusions.
The largest obstacle facing clients and architects is their failure to speak a common language. By taking adequate time to think with our clients before commencing the traditional design process, we provide solutions of greater clarity and quality. With our clients, we identify the core questions they face, and establish shared positions from which we collectively evaluate the architectural proposals that follow.
We reach for the unexpected by exposing root problems.
We don’t innovate for innovation’s sake. Nor do we accept predigested solutions. We return to root problems and doggedly explore them with critical naiveté. Unprejudiced by convention, we expose solutions that transcend those we could have initially or individually imagined. Sometimes we discover uncharted territory; sometimes we rediscover forgotten territory that has renewed usefulness; sometimes we reaffirm conventions with assured conviction.
We view constraints as opportunities.
Engaged intelligently, project challenges such as site conditions, budgets, schedules, codes, and politics are opportunities that catalyze the most innovative solutions. Architectural concepts that capitalize on our clients’ constraints will surpass any vision that resists intractable realities. We produce specific designs that are highly effective, not universals diluted in application.
We advance new strategies for flexibility.
Despite an increased need to accommodate change, contemporary design still relies on an antiquated version of flexibility: one size fits all. The promise of a blank slate upon which any activity can occur has produced sterile, unresponsive architecture. REX advocates discretizing activities and addressing the possible evolutions of each on its own terms. With this strategy, one activity can evolve without sacrificing another, and collisions between activities unleash surprising potentials.
We see and celebrate difference.
We believe equitable access to opportunity and experience in our built environment—and in our profession—starts by acknowledging and honoring our unique backgrounds and perspectives. We demand diversity in the stakeholder groups we engage, the firms with which we team, and the colleagues with whom we collaborate. And we assert the highest standards of respect—regardless of race, gender, age, identity, and social status—as we nurture these relationships. By seeing and celebrating difference, we aspire to design buildings and spaces through which all people can move with dignity and safety, and which reflect and advance the multitude of our stories and experiences.
We love the banal.
REX dares to be dumb.