Follies is a display of built and unbuilt projects by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto, principals of waiwai (formerly known as ibda design), an architectural practice with roots in the U.A.E and Japan. Taking over the Socotra and Chiuhahan Gardens, the display showcases architectural models that highlight waiwai’s commitment to deep research and to exploring the tensions between form and function.
In 1962, Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara’s controversial declaration that “a house is a work of art” marked a juncture in the architectural field. Shinohara’s intentional use of the word “art” detached the house from notions of economic efficiency and mass production, ideals that subsumed architectural practice in the 1960s. Likening the practice of architecture to art enabled discussions of efficiency, value and the market, and the potential to explore inefficiency as a driver for creative, idea driven architecture. The title of this exhibition, Follies, references the architectural folly: a costly ornamental building or structure with no practical purpose.