Nishi Hexapla book
Print Digital Exhibition, Everywhere (Publishing 2016)
The Nishi1 Hexapla book – this is the Rashomon of design books. No one perspective on what brings painfully complex buildings to completion is the right one. The predictable narrative of the developer benefactor enabling the genius designer is clearly misplaced here, and indeed in most instances. We know that innovation is not born from one mind, it emerges only through collective effort. Nishi Hexapla is an investigation into the parallel, divergent and complimentary skill sets, minds and manias that came together to realise Nishi.
This is the portrayal of a building, its conception, construction and current life seen from the perspectives of its core and a selection of periphery creators: a set of parallel narratives that remain largely opaque to each other.
Where most design books show a singular vision Nishi Hexapla exposes how this fundamental human enterprise – the construction of shelter – exemplifies the frailty of communication and how thin the layer of empathy is when fatigue or financial uncertainty sets in.
This is not a monograph of great design; it is an exploration of the complex human relationships that define what populates our urban environment. Some relationships on a building site last for the five years it takes to make a building like Nishi, others last only a week. All ultimately determine the quality of a building. How do you maintain a culture of excellence across a building site that has 500 workers teeming through its many corridors, balconies and rooms? How does a company grow a creative business whilst engaged in this fundamental exercise in risk minimisation?
In the end a building site is hierarchical. Nishi had multiple design teams working at once, often on the same solution. The developer chose which idea won the day. Nishi Hexapla shows these various design narratives in parallel. It is a book of multiple versions of the truth, which reveals that all versions are valid and none have an overarching claim to the reality.
The purpose of Nishi Hexapla is to show how even the most generous and empathetic of property developments is riddled with the same problem that effect friendships or marriage. We get glimpses of people, but we do not always know their nature until huge amounts of pressure is applied.
Nishi Hexapla breaks down tired formula of design books that focus on the singular vision of the genius designers and the generous benefactor. We are instigating an enquiry, across many fronts, to achieve what management consultants like to call ‘radical transparency’ – it shows both the brilliance and the frailty of the process that created the building.
|Project Name||Nishi Hexapla Book|
|Project Type||Multiple writing and photo-essay narratives|
|Project Team||Molonglo Group, Lou Weis, John Warwicker, Lee Grant, Dan Honey, Hotel Hotel|
|Scope||A book of multiple versions of the truth [about a building], which reveals that all versions are valid and none have an overarching claim to the reality|