Field Note

Working with an Abundance of Light

Heinrich Wolff and Ilze Wolff, Architects

Dear Tosin,

Thank you for the invitation to respond to your important question about scarcity. In response, we would like to state that our work is simply a continuous search for light.

Our conditions situate us in a place of abundant light. This places us in a position where we find ourselves predominantly concerned with how to focus light, how to bring light inside, and, lastly, how to reflect light. Working with light does not mean that we are unaware of shadow or darkness. In fact, working with light requires a higher demand for the analysis of darkness. In some cases, we may even choose to obscure light. Shadow and opacity, then, become the articulation of our concerns with both light and dark. We have found, naturally, that when we obsess about light to the extent that we do, "abundance" becomes our main vehicle of thought. "Scarcity" as an idea, we have learned, limits thinking merely to the material realities of the world. The world is made up of much more: atmosphere, emotional charges, sonic resonances, and spiritual connections, none of which are in short supply.

I hope our response provides clarity on our approach and thought process. Your question certainly prompted us to pause and reflect on our methods and objectives, and for that, we are grateful.

Best wishes,

Ilze and Heinrich Wolff

Wolff Architects is a design studio that focuses on creating architecture with purpose through design, advocacy, research, and documentation. The studio is led by Ilze and Heinrich Wolff, who work collaboratively with a team of highly skilled architects, creative practitioners, and administrators.