Diller Scofido + Renfro's practice operates at the intersection of technology and landscape. Their design work explores the tension between what we experience physically in space, versus what we perceive with our eyes. Views, media, and perspective work together in their design projects to challenge our preconceptions of what is architecture.
As an architect, I've studied Diller + Scoffidio's projects throughout my career. As an undergraduate I was introduced to the Slow House, an unbuilt project sited on a dramatic cliff overlooking the ocean. The house simultaneously curves and rises through the landscape, slowly revealing the dramatic ocean view through a carefully curated procession of views.
This curiosity toward view, technology and landscape was further explored in their proposal for two projects that captured our imaginations in the early 2000's. The Eyebeam Museum of Art & Technology, which uses a folded surface to separate and connect museum visitors from institutional operations. A large-scale monitoring â€œbugâ€ climbs and scans the museum façade cycling information back into the museum's â€˜nervous system.' In the Blur Building, Diller Scoffidio + Renfro move away from technology as a device that attaches to architecture, but instead leverage its abilities to create architecture. Rather than scan the surface, the Blur Building uses intricate technological detail to create the building envelope through a cloud of fog and water vapor that enshroud the visitor.
The Institute of Contemporary Art transforms the way we see Boston Harbor. The computer lab hangs precariously over the water, pitching the viewer down to the ocean below while the room-sized elevator lifts viewers through the mechanical operations of the building, changing the building façade as it rises and falls.
The High Line, a collaborative project with Field Operations, continues to intersect landscape, technology and view, developing curious moments of watching the city below, or hovering over the High Line's constructed meadows and rain gardens.