Biosculptural / Architectural Consulting


This is a local as well as international consultancy which is being offered to all those organizations, schools and individual clients who base their work on a spiritual impulse and who would like to see this impulse flow as a morally transformative element into the bricks and mortar of their building projects.

In this we act as a third party resource to both, client and architect.

There are many schools,  organizations and individual clients who are  interested in a spiritual approach to architecture but whose architect/s, although very competent as architects in their own right and open to spiritual ideas, have not had enough understanding or practical experience in Anthroposophy or Steiner Education, let alone morally transformative approaches to architecture. It is this gap we aim to bridge through our consultancy.

The idea is that with the help offered in this way schools and organizations are able to

  • utilize the expertise and enthusiasm of their local architects while at the same time
  • being guided by a third party in those specific processes and aspects that build a spiritual element into the design.

 

We already have an Architect – Why add another consultant?

This is a valid question.

Why would anyone want to add potential complications, cost and time to a project and for what benefits?

In a nutshell, if you are happy with a nice and well considered, green and functional design you don’t need a biosculptural consultant.

If on the other hand you concur with the notion that a building is not only a physical project but also a spiritually creative deed with specific soul/spiritual consequences, you may be interested in what a biosculptural consultancy has to offer.

As explained elsewhere on this website, the biosculptural approach takes its method and inspiration from anthroposophy and the work of Rudolf Steiner, who pioneered the vision of a new form of architecture that was based on spiritual principles and aimed to have a morally transformative impact. In his own words, the aim for the architecture of the future was to:

teach human beings how to “learn to live in harmony and peace,……”  let “the forms of art…teach them how to love….. pour a spiritual fluid into the hearts and souls of human beings”   and even going as far as ultimately “turning evil into good…” (R. Steiner, Ways to a new style in Architecture, 1914)

How do such aims sit with today’s generation of architects?

The fact is that very few main stream or organic architects consciously base their work on spiritual guiding principles or aim for moral transformation through architectural form, let alone have a methodology by which  spiritual criteria are being identified and translated into practical solutions.

As a client you might try and conclude your brief to your architect with the following request:

“In addition to meeting all the physical, environmental  and functional requirements, we would like the new project to emanate an atmosphere of good will and in its overall forms and qualities find an echo and support us in our higher aspirations as morally striving human beings. —  Or in  short, we would like the forms and gestures of the new building to combine function with higher purpose and timeless beauty.”

If your architect (and you) feel/s confident to take on such a challenge you have no need for an extra consultant. However, the reality is that few, if any architects today could say that their approach is founded in universally applicable  spiritual principles and based on the aim of moral transformation, which presents us with a fundamental difficulty.

The difficulty with a Spiritual Approach to Architecture

The problem is that spiritual (and therefore morally transformative) effects require spiritual causes and spiritual causes cannot be incorporated in a design as an afterthought. It is not possible to add a spiritually transformative element as a last minute addition by tweaking an angle, door or window here or there. The spiritual impulse must become the generating seed and core-idea that is present from the very beginning and which must permeate the structural gesture and every part of the design before a truly beautiful as well as functional living whole can emerge.

This is different from conventional approaches, which are likely to place exclusively functional and utilitarian requirements at the starting point, in the illusion that all other requirements, including the so-called spiritual element, can somehow be added subsequently to the general mix. This is like trying to come up with an inspiration for a musical composition by focussing on the functional requirements of a concert hall. In reality, the inspirational content is formless in the beginning and it is part of the design process to bring it into both, physical form and function.

Here is where the biosculptural methodology is able to assist both, the client and the architect in bringing  a spiritually transformative perspective to the design process.

What we do

As Biosculptural Design Consultants we work with Clients and Architects in allowing biosculptural processes and principles to help find the deeper purpose for a project and shape the structural gesture and external and internal  forms of the design.

The initial challenge therefore is to identify the spiritual content, the subsequent challenge is to employ geometries that allow this content, together with the qualities of architectural “WARMTH, LIGHT, LIFE and MEANING” to emerge within the forms of the design.

During this process we provide guidance and targeted feedback to both, the client and the architect, not in terms of functional design solutions, which are the prerogative of the architect, but in relation to the symbiosis between intended meaning and the inherent qualities and language of form arising out of the geometry of the design.

End Result

Although the biosculptural perspective in effect only adds one extra layer to the multi-layered complexity that characterizes modern architectural design, it is a layer that substantially affects the final form, feel, visual and, to the extent it succeeds, morally inspiring  impact of any building.

Does it increase the total cost of a project?

Yes and and no. It is a matter of perspective and priorities.

In an ideal world there would be enough resources to cover every item on the wish list. In practice resources are always finite, which means qualitative and/or quantitative compromises have to be made to deliver a project within budget. The question of where to compromise is a function of one’s priorities and values.

However, some compromises are reversible at a later date, others are locked in forever. What gets locked in through the building process is the structural gesture, which cannot easily be changed at a later date. What can be changed or added to at a later date are such things as furniture, colour schemes, furnishings and fittings and the level of landscaping etc.

Because the essence of the spiritual element arises out of the structural gesture of a building (as explained in the Little Yarra Steiner School Master Plan Document and elsewhere on this website)  and because this is the very part that becomes permanent and is irreversible, the biosculptural recommendation is that if compromises have to be made, they are best made in those areas which can be improved or added to at a later date. In this way the uncompromised vision for the new project is able to arise if not in the short but in the medium term.

On the other hand, if we were to factor in the longer term consequences of a spiritually  inspired design in the way it can lift us up in soul and spirit and creatively enliven us in our daily work and quality of life, we are likely to find out that the overall costs are much cheaper in terms of  productivity and value for money, compared to the seemingly cheaper utilitarian options that are only concerned with superficial aesthetics and physical function.

 

 

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Full and Partial Consulting Service

A full Consulting Service involves participation in the whole process from the development of the initial qualitative brief (1) through to the concept and final sketch design (2), documentation (3) and construction phase (4). This implies a close and ongoing working relationship with both, the Client and the Architect.

A Partial Service involves  only the first one or two of the above mentioned four stages.

The biosculptural design consultancy is normally commissioned by the Client or patron of the project. However, it can also be commissioned by an Architect who wants to gain some practical experience in working with the biosculptural method of design. In this case both, the  client and the architect may decide to share the commission.

A more detailed “Biosculptural Consultancy – Scope of Work” document is available on request.

Fees:

Our costs generally range from 1 – 5%  of total project cost, pending on the level of our involvement, the level of Architect’s fees and the nature, size and location of projects.

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