Cecil Balmond, OBE, is widely considered to be one of the most significant creators of his generation. An internationally renowned artist, architect, and engineer, Balmond transcends the conventional boundaries of discipline working in the crossover between art and science. In this dynamic area, he has re-invented the very concept of space, transforming the meaning of geometry, form, and structure. Balmond’s design approach engages inner organizational systems—a process based on rigorous research. Balmond has spent over 40 years investigating the relationship between form and the very roots of order at the core of life.
This scientific methodology allows Balmond to create alternate theoretical models and to negotiate new emergent forms by experimentation. Before setting up Balmond Studio in 2011, he was Deputy Chairman of Arup. He was also Chairman of Arup’s European Building Division, and ran the critically acclaimed design group AGU (Advanced Geometry Unit). His pioneering work with the AGU, and collaborations with internationally renowned architects, brought Balmond’s unique design philosophy to the global stage. Balmond also taught at some of the world’s most influential design and architectural institutions, and currently holds the Paul Philippe Cret Chair as Professor of Architecture at Penn Design, University of Pennsylvania, where he also founded the Non-Linear Systems Organization (NSO), a material and structural research unit. He also served as Visiting Saarinen Professor at Yale University School of Architecture from 1997-2002; Professor at LSE Urban Cities Programme, 2002-2004; and Visiting Kenzo Tange critic, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2000.
The world is constantly changing. A multiplex of interconnected systems. Fluidity. Technology advances. Fixed ideologies shift. The informal is opportunistic, a methodology that seizes a local moment and makes something of it. Ignoring preconception, the informal keeps one guessing. Ideas become an intense exploration of the immediate. The approach leads to serial space. Rather than a fixed center and rigid boundary, we may have a moving focus for organization and a margin that travels. This leads to a mobile and adaptive sense of geometry. Sequence and series matter rather than repetitive grid. Hierarchies and dogma are replaced by interdependence, self-help, and improvisation in current concepts. The informal anticipates this in the design of buildings. Ideas such as the local, hybridity, and juxtaposition are taken as catalytic initiation points of design in the interrogation of space.