Our approach

Welcome to our review of projects, design, nature, culture, lifestyle and much more…

Founded in February 2021, MAx Metabolic Architecture Workshop  is a new type of design practice, a workshop of ideas that transcends geographical boundaries and bridges disparate disciplines, with a common goal: improving the built environment and the quality of life of those who experience it.

We are a global small practice that can draw upon local knowledge and a network of internationally recognized specialists. We see reality through the lenses of different cultures, linking ideas and point of views coming out from different cultures of different countries, using the technology that is available for the benefit of all.

Our aim is to be thoughtful and thought-provoking in our approach, whilst treading lightly on the world.

This Manifesto provides the theoretical basis of our architectural approach.

MAx Manifesto

All organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system. Architecture is not separate from Nature. Indeed, as humans, we have an inherited need to connect to Nature and other biotic forms due to our evolutionary dependence on it whether it is for survival, shelter or personal fulfilment.

Our search for shelter is the absolute essence and basis of architecture. For early humans’ shelter involved making use of what was readily available in their natural environment to create dwellings that reflected our immediate needs and responded appropriately to the local conditions. Everything else, throughout history, has simply been refinement, or you could call it “design”. In other words, finding better ways to improve on the basic solution, responding to technological advancement, cultural needs, and concepts of beauty.

The on-going success of a particular location, site, building type or construction method depended therefore on various factors such as availability of resources, security, cultural (and by extension religious) fulfilment, economic stability, and political will. In other words, only if the human ecosystem was balanced did the ecosystem thrive. But whilst a natural ecosystem is able to develop independently, reaching ecological balance on its own, a human ecosystem requires man’s intervention to maintain balance and, especially in post-industrial times, this system is dramatically imbalanced.

What we propose is therefore an alternative vision of architecture, focusing not on how to fix the built environment we have, but how to resume thinking about it in a metabolic way, assuming that it is possible to conceive the existence of an architecture that is intrinsically ecological. That is, not acting as if architecture or a city must be transformed in an ecological key but, conversely, assuming that there are paradigms that can be rethought from scratch. Transforming buildings and urban systems into open and virtuous systems that react positively to climate and social changes already underway and in continuous transformation requires a change in paradigm.

Architect as Polymath

We interpret our role as Architects in a strategic and systemic way. Architecture as the synthesis able to transform transdisciplinary knowledge into visions. Indeed, our approach is by definition multidisciplinary fusing, as it does, art and engineering; biology and computation; digital manufacturing and craftmanship; sociology and mathematics; economics and anthropology. We employ associative thinking as a research tool that allows diverse experiences and knowledge to converge to propose new ideas for objects, buildings, landscapes or cities. Sharing this knowledge and imagining new ways across disciplines to solve the challenges of our built environment allows us have an unrestricted view of problem solving is a flexible, faster and more efficient process and an integrated and more creative solution.

This cross-fertilisation allows us to design cities and buildings as complex and interconnected structures that can best simulate the process of natural ecosystems. For us cities and buildings are comparable to living beings, super-organisms in continuous evolution according to organic, living and mutable processes. It follows that for us there is therefore no separation between planning, landscape design, architecture and interiors and this enables us to see buildings as ‘flexible’ artefacts, capable of expanding, replicating and above all adapting.

Practice-based Research

Each intervention is configured as a research intervention. Every project is research. Every element we design or every building we place in a city, or even every city we put in an environment, must inevitably be thought through a workflow scheme that is very different from the traditional one: that is, every project, every designer, every client must have a process of formation and participation, not for social reasons, but because architecture becomes a research practice.

For us research means that any intervention carried out on the environment must have a positive impact on the community regarding health, sustainability, biodiversity, social foundation, and aesthetic principles. We can no longer afford to hypothesize architecture as something that responds only to a single need, for example, that of the client, or the requirements of use. Architecture interferes with a public condition, on which it has created an effect, a pressure. And each project does not end when the building is built. Indeed from that moment the building belongs culturally to the community, to the public, because it is at that moment that the project becomes a tool for monitoring, analysis, research: a continuous production of data-flow that must be used to implement therefore to constitute the starting point of the processes of participation formation of any other subsequent building and above all to be transferable on the so-called IDSS that is Integrated Decision Support systems.

A new metabolic architecture

Using the tools of data analysis, scientific observation and nature as source of inspiration, via bio-mimesis and biophilic design, our ongoing aim is to understand and reinterpret the natural and human history of a place and its people, retaining the link with the past that has been severed in many modern societies and attempting to achieve continuity between past, present and future.

For us form follows function, but where for Modernism architecture was geared towards science and an artificial art, we seek fusion with nature. A new metabolic architecture based on data.