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Field Conditions


The field describes a space of propagation, of effects. It contains no matter or material points, rather functions, vectors and speeds. It describes local relationsLondon of difference within fields of celerity, transmission or careering points, in a word, what Minkowski called the world.
– Sanford Kwinter, 1986

Stan AllenFrom object to field: field conditions in architecture and urbanism,in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation, (London: Routledge, 2009)

Field conditions move from the one toward the many, from individuals to collectives, from objects to fields. The term itself plays on a double meaning. Architects work not only in the office or studio but in the field: on site, in contact with the fabric of architecture. “Field conditions” here implies the acceptance of the real in all its messiness and unpredictability. It implicates architects in a material improvisation conducted on site in real time. Field conditions treat constraints as opportunity. Working with and not against the site, something new is produced by registering the complexity of the given.