afterFORM - Truwant + Rodet+

afterFORM - Truwant + Rodet+

July 2023

During the month of June, the Architecture on Stage programme curated by the Architecture Foundation in partnership with Barbican Centre welcomed five emerging Swiss practices, whose lectures were presented as a series called afterFORM. Each of the practices, 8000 agency, Bessire Winter, Schneider Türtscher, Truwant+Rodet+ and Parity Group is representative of a growing tendency in Swiss architecture to embrace topics including the reuse of existing fabric, urban policy and civil action.

The design of new buildings is much less central to the work of these firms than was the case with Swiss architects of the preceding generations, reflecting a change in political priorities around the climate and biodiversity crises. Each of the talks concluded in a conversation chaired by a British architect with the aim of finding common ground between the situations young practices are facing in both countries.

The series has been delivered in partnership with the architecture department of London’s Royal Academy of Arts, where the visitors can now enjoy a free exhibition staged in the RA’s McAulay Gallery and profiling the work of 8000.Agency, Bessire Winter, Schneider Türtscher and Truwant+Rodet+ and Parity Group.

"Drawing New Lines - Voices in Swiss Architecture" is on diplay until the 19th of November 2023. To have a better insight of the practices' work we have asked them a few questions...

Charlotte Truwant and Dries Rodet, you founded Truwant+ Rodet+ in 2019. How did you come to join forces?

The + in our name reflects our intention to highlight all the partners we collaborate with. Architecture is never the result of individual work, and the challenges and wicked problems we face require complementary and often divergent points of view.


During the last afterFORM talk you presented projects full of spatial and structural challenges. Do you feel that architecture is often subject to surprises? Do you adapt easily?

Practising architecture is full of surprises. Working with existing buildings, within contexts you don’t control, with a myriad of people and personalities, adds a level of uncertainty to the practice. Having a clear goal with your projects helps to deal with this complexity. We also decided to embrace this uncertainty within our projects, and see it as part of the design process. To step away from architecture as a rigid discipline, and understand it more as a process-based profession.


Truwant+ Rodet+ is five people - how do you manage a team in a variety of projects?

We have a relatively small team of people. This is a conscious choice. Whenever we need a bigger team for a project, we prefer towork together with other offices and join forces.


Truwant +Rodet+ talk programmed by the Architecture Foundation in partnership with Barbican Centre

You describe your practice as Projects – Atelier for Uncertain Research – Uncertain Objects. Could you tell us more about these categories?

We understand our practice beyond the limits of architecture as buildings. Our objective is to stay as curious and receptive as possible and to open our field of investigation to architecture, landscape urbanism, exhibition making, installations, furniture design, research and education.

The three overlapping categories are a way to give a visibility to this multitude of interests. Projects are more linked to our architecture and landscape projects; Atelier for Uncertain Research is everything related to research, publishing and teaching; and Uncertain Objects are furniture objects, experiments, etc.


What tip would you give to young architecture practitioners in the early stages of their career?

Enjoy, constantly question and surprise!

Charlotte Truwant and Dries Rodet at Barbican Centre