Tom Wiscombe featured in OFFRAMP 11: Ground. In an interview with Zachary Tate Porter- Tom speaks about his stance on ground- its development in the office over the years- and the philosophy behind this way of thinking.
Would it be blasphemous to propose that contemporary discourse is over-saturated with discussions of architectural objects? Recent debates on the desirable qualities of objecthood—legibility- abstraction- and so on—appear to have reached an impasse. And- while some critics emphasize the effects of architectural objects (measured through phenomenological- environmental- and/or behavioral metrics)- it is unclear how their findings could be folded back into the design process. Issue #11 of Offramp aims to momentarily divert our critical gaze away from the architectural object in order to reflect upon its other: the ground. In a world increasingly resistant to dichotomies between human activity and the natural environment- how should architects conceive of sites- territories- topographies and other manifestations of ground? How can the building/ground joint be imagined without reverting to either nihilistic autonomy (see siteless) or nostalgic fetishization (see genius loci)? From the analytic to the speculative- Offramp 11 seeks essays and projects that explore the formal- technological- and political dimensions of ground within architectural design. Tell- or show- the new possibilities that lie within the shifting terrain beneath our buildings.