Swanston Academic Building, RMIT University
© John Gollings
Lyons is an ideas based and research led design practice which uses ideas as the operative means of generating the conceptual underpinnings for its architectural work. The firm’s projects are based on the concept of ‘form follows ideas’ rather than the orthodox rubric of ‘form follows function’.
Ideas are sourced from a wide range of phenomena in contemporary culture; the contemporary city, new materials, found urban objects, digital technologies, new media, cultural theory, envisioned futures and ideas about sustainability. Through this multiplicity, Lyons creates an architecture which is less about a search for clarity and truth, and more about uncovering the lie, the ambiguity and the misrepresentations.
The contemporary city, and the particular urban conditions of the Australian city, informs all of Lyons’ projects. This is the city of floating edges, dispersed centres, of ambiguous scales and uncertain public realms.
Lyons work also looks at the specificity of each project in terms of its program and the client’s values and aspirations in terms of their own cultural values. Each project is therefore a form of collaboration.
The firm’s work is also concerned with building a sustainable future, with environmentally sustainable design embedded not only into the systemic attributes of each project, but also as another means of generating form and meaning in design.