From the Back Cover
In the present obsession with the icon and the promotion of image over substance symptomatic of a general trend in contemporary architecture?Arup Associates
provides the alternative: unified design
, a radical pan–disciplinary approach that focuses on people from the outset, through the united vision of architects, engineers, artists and social scientists. Arup Associates rejects the imposition of an external image: there can be no standard solutions and no predefined styles. Instead, design must evolve from fundamental research and experiential goals, to form a holistic architecture entirely driven by a ′whole life sustainability that maintains human culture – tradition, religion, the intangible components of humanity – in the face of modernity.
The work is introduced by The Guardian′s architecture critic Jonathan Glancey. The Independent′s Jay Merrick examines the meaning of unified design with Declan O′Carroll of Arup Associates, while leading environmental expert and author Herbert Girardet discusses with Michael Beaven of Arup Associates the sustainable agenda that is at the heart of the practice. Author and architect Juhani Pallasmaa reprioritises the importance of the senses in the design of the built environment while Professor Leon van Schaik of RMIT explores memory and spatial intelligence in the creation of architecture.
Arup Associates was started by Sir Ove Arup more than four decades ago. it is the architectural design studio of the multinational consulting engineering group Arup. The studio has always practised multidisciplinary design, where engineers and architects work side by side. Unified design takes this philosophy into the 21st century.
"Unified design is a way of today′s iconic arms race.′ – Hans Ibelings
′Unified design proclaims a vital truth for the 21st century, that our most effective designs are achieved as synchronous and synthesising acts of human will and imagination.′ – Robert Ivy