The association of the book title with the film industry is intentional. A documentary about the creation of a movie can be more exciting than the movie itself. With the background information provided we understand the film and its intention in a different way, and develop a different relationship with it. Once a friend said that that one should never watch the “Making Of” before having seen the movie, but we don't just see ourselves as spectators, but rather as directors in the world of building envelopes. A director needs to master the technique of making films.
An institute for research and education not only has to know the state of the art, it also needs to direct its efforts to explore future developments. At any rate, there seems to be sufficient new material related to facade technology. The requirements keep rising, not only in terms of energy consumption. New materials, foil technology for example, evolve from customized solutions to established systems. New production methods such as rapid manufacturing generate questions about the future of traditional techniques. On one hand, existing methods and technologies are being optimized, and on the other, new ones are finding their way into the market. All of these developments are both a blessing and a curse. Of course they provide unknown possibilities and the term innovation alone makes your heart beat faster, but the developments are also a burden, because they force us to keep pace. We need to comprehend them and react accordingly. The facade is a topic that is and will remain one of the most exciting parts of building technology, and for us the book series “The Future Envelope” is one of the tools to stay on top.
However, it might be interesting for the reader to know that the book is based on an annual conference at our faculty with the same title. It combines research, education and practical application of architecture and facade construction. Professors and students from our partner universities use it as a meeting event. With its accompanying workshops it is a fixed part of the curricula of the Facade Master programs in Lucerne, Switzerland, Detmold, Germany, and in Delft. Here, the focus lies on practical applicability, which also provides the benefit for the industry. Our goal is not merely to gather and learn what is technologically and scientifically cutting edge, but to create a relationship between those who currently define the business and those who aim to do so in the future.
We thank our partners VMRG and FAECF for their support and the trust they place in our work. We are also grateful to those companies and institutions that have become firm partners in our research activities and are therefore instrumental in the development of the contents of this book.
Ulrich Knaack, Design of Construction, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology