parametric design, architecture and art

The first time I “met” Ion Cuervas-Mons was on twitter, when he still was in Shanghai to direct the construction of Madrid Pavilion for Shanghai Expo. The second time I’ve heard of him it was because he was working on relationships between parametric design and games and we started exchanging a lot of interesting ideas - here is an article in French .

Once Ion invited me to a meeting to discuss a project called OPENARCH.
He absolutely wanted to design and build a house to create a new model of living, strongly connected to the Internet and inspired by the open-source philosophy.

That idea has now turned into a real appartement, located next to Bilbao – map.
The project has been officially launched last friday 25th of November at

Do you want to visit this prototype ? Just ask Ion at



A recent article on ArchDaily talked about our ‘in progress’ footbridge at La Roche sur Yon.
We’re pleased to be a subject of interest for a such an important architecture website, and what we appreciate even more is the public feedback and the list of comments left, which have inspired some interesting reflections about our work here at HDA.
I would particularly like to share some thoughts on the idea (or even obsession) of “being original” in architecture, the meaning of copying someone or something, and what this could imply nowadays, in a time when everybody is talking about copyright and how it’s changing with new communication technologies.

This is a very complex subject and I don’t have any firm ideas or theories, but I would like to use this post just to share some thoughts on it.
In the article I’m referring to, the 80% (maybe more) of comments have a “this project looks like…” format, that’s why I’m mindfully using the word “obsession” above.
My first reaction was to think that these comments were negative, simply because they were saying that at HDA we are not original. But when I heard my principal Hugh Dutton saying happily “they’re comparing us to Calatrava, that’s great!”, I understood that my interpretation was very subjective.
In fact, being original has something of an obsession for architects, but today it’s maybe becoming an antiquated attitude.