2003.05.25

sentences


Digital media does indeed take on multitudinous forms and holds voluminous content, and thus the context of my work is small in comparison.

Specifically, I deal with "digitally translating" architecture(s) via a (web)site in cyberspace utilizing simple hypertext markup language (HTML) files that often include individual image files.

The more real 'Piranesi-effect' of our time is the continual confusion and misinterpretation of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii by architects, architectural historians, and architectural theorists over the last forty-three years.

Beginning with major factual errors within Vicenzo Fasolo's "The CAMPOMARZIO of G.B. Piranesi," which first appeared in Quaderni dell'Instituto di Storia dell'Architettura, n.15, 1956, Piranesi's large plan of the Campo Marzio has received one misinterpretation after another.

After Fasolo, the Campo Marzio's greatest misinterpreter is Manfredo Tafuri, who wrote eloquently, albeit incorrectly, about the Campo Marzio in both Architecture and Utopia - Design and Capitalist Development, 1976 and The Sphere and the Labyrinth - Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s, 1987.

Taking Tafuri's false lead, a string of contemporary architects and/or architectural theorists consistently paraphrase Tafuri's texts, thus further procreating subsequent generations of ill-bred Campo Marzio interpretations.

Using the Kwinter quotation, "the effect of unforeseeable complexity that arises from multiple interfering structures blindly pursuing their own clockwork logic," as a case in point, one only has to compare it to the following Tafuri quotation, "The clash of the formal organisms, immersed in a sea of formal fragments, dissolves even the remotest memory of the city as a place of Form," and "the whole organism seems to be a clockwork mechanism," to see that Tafuri's misinterpretations of the Campo Marzio still guide those that do not know better.

Piranesi did not 'reconstruct' the Campo Marzio, rather Piranesi 'reenacted' the Campo Marzio. of the 40 odd engraved plates that make up the illustrative portion of the CM publication, no. 2 is the 'Scenographia', literally the empty stage set waiting for the reenACTment to be played upon it.

Piranesi's main theme within the reenactment is 'inversion', specifically ancient Rome's inversion from pagan capital to Christian capital.

It is precisely St. Helena, Constantine's mother and a Roman Empress (who possessed full access to the entire state treasury), who literally laid the foundations of ancient Rome's first (and enormous!) Christian 'temples'.

My CAD work, or at least my 'expanding, stretching, compacting, morphing, collage (citying), schizo-analyzing' CAD work is a manifestation of the new dexterity engendered by the capabilities of CAD specifically and digital media in general.

In simple terms, my unorthodox manipulation of CAD data reflects the many new ways of "drawing" that CAD allows.

On a "theoretical" level, my manipulation(s) present new drawing/designing paradigms that for the most part did not exist before CAD/digital media.

Although grossly unpopular, self-education nonetheless holds virtues that formal education could never attain, such as being (relatively) freely doable, as well as providing the opportunity to develop a less prescribed value system.

The present architectural education system does a good job of generating a multitude of fine architects. Unfortunately, the value system engendered by present educational standards (at least in the U.S.) is one of overwhelming mediocrity, i.e., neither hot or cold.

In our time, it seems that commonsense [architecture] is largely uncommon.

Personally, I'm an advocate of self-evidence, which means that I try to see things for what they are rather than apply a (potentially false) received value system to what I'm looking at.

I am very knowledgeable of Venturi's theories, and to a lessor extent of Tafuri's. I imagine that their everyday experiences are/were very unlike my everyday experiences, and, therefore, I may eventually arrive at architectural theories of a wholly different character, even though I am still cognizant of the realm of current architectural mainstream.

Since I use the term 'master architect' to describe St. Helena's role during Christianity's first church building boom, I do believe in the term. The term points to architects that hold a large encompassing over-riding vision and at the same time possess the power and means to enact the vision on a large scale.

I certainly hope that architects begin to better understand the limitless potentials of a "design but not build" architectural profession.

Being at that point now, however, puts me in a unique historical position because Quondam is the prototypical virtual architectural museum, and I am the first architect to design and execute this particular architectural typology.

Eventually, I would like to see some things of my design built, but for now I'm content with building architecture virtually.

The rapid communications and data flows provided by the Internet are already changing the professional field of architecture.

Unfortunately, most architects are still largely ignorant of the vast Internet capabilities and how to utilize them.

In all probability, architectural use of the Internet will gel into a number of accepted and standard operations.

Creative use of the Internet architecturally, however, is unpredictable precisely because digital media has a built-in infinity factor.

If enough architects begin using the Internet creatively and architecturally, then whole new species of architectures of 'unbuilt' reality will evolve.

All buildings are not architecture, but all buildings have the potential of being architecture.

I'm learning a major lesson about the 'writing' of history in doing my Helena - early Christian architecture research, and it is sometimes so clear that 'history's' occasional omission of seemingly insignificant details effectively changes the awareness of what really happened.

For example, I have always had a tremendous building plan recognition capability, and now my mind also immediately tells me which other building plans are similar to the plan presently in front of my eyes.

When I began constructing 3d cad models of unbuilt architectural designs in the mid 1980s, I inaugurated a whole new way of studying architecture, specifically the study of built or buildable form through 3-dimensional drawing.

In creating the models I was simultaneously enacting an architectural self-education, and since I was specifically constructing buildings that were never built, I was (self) learning lessons that did not even exist in the real world, yet, nonetheless, the lessons were purely about architecture.

So besides all the buildings I've looked at and all the books I've read, I've also been influenced by some buildings that do not even exist.

At this point, Quondam in all that it offers is probably the best overall reflection of my "architectural" mind, i.e., Quondam discloses a large portion of my architectural dispositions.

I suppose what is most evident in my manipulative cad work is that virtually anything can be rendered graphically, and my personal inclination is to explore manipulations whose potentials are overlooked only because of traditional design (training and) conditioning.

I also like (and therefore practice) the notion that it is easier to design by breaking "rules" than it is to design by following "rules".

The potentials of Computer Aided Design are extremely vast, too vast for any individual to comprehend alone.

The vastness of CAD's potential is indeed its greatest potential.

There are two current 'pitfalls' regarding CAD: 1) there is so much that needs to be learned before architects are able to use CAD effectively, 2) since CAD is a commodity, each new version of a specific CAD software is hailed as the best ever, and thus architects are forced into believing themselves insufficient unless they utilize the very latest.

CAD has also allowed me to 'reenact' Piranesi's drawing of the Campo Marzio.

I see no reason for there to be a divide between master architects of the real realm and master architects of the virtual/digital realm because both such architects create architecture(s).

Buildings become architecture once they exhibit artistic presence.

I am very interested in the notion that architectural drawings are readable [and draughtable] as specific texts, however.

Presently, the greatest example of architectural draughtsmanship as architectural narrative [for me] is Piranesi's plan of the Campo Marzio, for example, Piranesi infused the theme of inversion into many of the individual building plan where whole building plans are composed of repeated inversions of their own component parts.

I honestly believe that not all architects are able to fully 'read' architectural drawing, meaning that they cannot automatically envision the space represented by drawing(s). this is similar to the fact that not all musicians can automatically hear the music just by looking at the composition of notes on paper.

I see the point along the promenade architecturale [in Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye and his Palais des Congrès] where there is both outside and inside as precisely the same as Terragni's representation of Purgatory within the Danteum -- the room that manifests equal measures of inside and outside.

The notion of limbo also directly describes the inside/outside ramp situation of the Palais des Congrès -- not only is the ramp 'suspended' (in limbo) outside the main building block, moreover, half way up the ramp, it changes from an interior ramp to an exterior ramp.

In Terragni's Danteum, Purgatory is designed as a "room" that is both (equally?) inside and outside -- the transitional place.

My contribution (I hope) will be: 1) the labeling /explaining of metabolic architectures /urbanisms, and 2) citing the metabolic imagination as humanity's next (millennium's) predominate 'operating system'.

Also, I find that 'publishing' online allows me the opportunity to see the work before it is all complete; this is another advantage of doing it piece-meal online -- the process of delivery becomes and complements the process of writing/thinking.

I really like your notion of electrical architecture and (vs.?) pre-electrical architecture (remember when I submitted a post to design-l asking "what's fire?" -- I recall you gave a good response. I don't know of anyone else that has or is addressing this very astute and real distinction. it is precisely one of the issues that falls victim to modern oblivion -- too much about our present built environment is simply taken for granted.

The intestine are the great assimilation machine of the body, whereas the liver is the body's great metabolic machine.

I'm just now wondering that since salt is THE electrical element within our bodies, and since this salt flows in the blood, don't the kidneys clean the blood? (I'm actually not sure) -- my next step would be to research if salt (sodium chloride) is one of the major (chemical) players within the kidneys and their operation.

The initial reason for my "letter to India" was to present the promenade architecturale formula, and by formula I mean the specific set of architectural ingredients/elements that comprise the classic Corbusian promenade architecturale.

In any case, the notion of 'playing' with texts is something I've enjoyed doing ever since I started working full time with computers in 1983.

I am now particularly interested in the auto-translation capabilities because the resultant texts make sense and make non-sense at the same time (and thereby even shed some unflattering(?) light upon current architectural -philosophical-theoretical texts).

Edward T. Hall's The Hidden Dimension was the first required reading of my formal architectural education, which began in 1975 at Temple University. I remember forcing myself to read the entire book mainly because it was required, but I can't say that I liked the book. (In a sort of naive way) I most wished the book was about architecture as opposed to being about psychology. I also remember thinking Hall's portrayal of German's being particularly stereotypic. In retrospect, Hall's book is a prime example of the anthropological blind-sightedness of that (and our?) time (published first in 1966). No where in the book does Hall describe and/or analyze the white American's enforcement of the black American's public and private space!

And, I dare say, if Hall's book is still read (by architects) today with the belief that it contains a fair portrayal of the truth, it then only serves to extend the life of a (New Urban?) myth whereby large portions of reality are outright ignored.

In replacement of Hall's book, I propose the required reading of first year architect students today should include Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens - a study of the play element in culture because the contemporary field of architecture is (fundamentally, unavoidably, and inexorably) lots and lots of games.

As quondam grows steadily older, I'm realizing just how challenging it is to foster the notion of a virtual building. I honestly believe that it is something that the vast majority of architects just do not want to accept.

Seeking out the osmotic in architecture is a rewarding experience. so far, the best gauge I can come up with is to see the Pantheon in Rome and Kahn's Kimball Art Gallery and Schinkel's stair hall (German doors?) of the Altes Museum as osmotic at the high end, and an open bus stop at the low end.

Generally, Bloomer's treatment of Piranesi's Campo Marzio follows that of Tafuri's, but she investigates some of Piranesi's other work with some originality. She is much better at finding symbolism/hidden meaning in Joyce, however, than she is in finding the same in Piranesi.

I see civilized life becoming more and more a testing ground for capitalistic formulas (if the test formula works, i.e., makes money, then it's a keeper, and if the test formula fails, it's quickly discarded).

The importance/power of water remains vital with regard to electricity and urban design, specifically the power of hydro-electricity, and thus there is one more thing to "learn from Las Vegas" vis-à-vis Hoover Dam. the history of both Las Vegas and Hoover Dam are inseparable, albeit, Las Vegas is there because of Hoover Dam -- a new and electric (powered) oasis in the Nevada desert.

Like the multitudinous fountains of the Villa d'Este garden near Rome -- a Cardinal's Renaissance retreat brought to life subsequent to the reinstatement of a long destroyed ancient Roman aqueduct -- the multitudinous flashing (splashing) signs of the Las Vegas strip and the old part of town are indeed water fountains reenacted as spent electricity (water power energy!).

Las Vegas is nothing less than an enormous hydro-electric reenactment of an oasis (complete with caravans, watering holes, and even a pyramid), and thus it is not at all unusual that the whole notion of reenactment is now Las Vegas' predominant theme.

The fact that almost everything on the market today has a designed obsolescence is what's really frightening. if you think about it, food isn't the only commodity with a "sell by" date on it.

The marketers probably don't care as much about how or where something is sold as much as they care that what is sold can soon be sold again.

It appears that any argument over the "correctness" of a natural order versus an artificial order is no longer relevant, especially for those who have only one thing in mind, that being to tap into the "source".

Whether it's admitted or not, we already know that most of the people living a hundred years from will look back at the technology of our time and immediately think "how primitive."

We are more used to thinking of scale in terms of physical magnitude/size, and indeed comparative analysis of such scale in architecture (e.g. seeing varieties of building plans at the same scale) is most times revealing of a architectural "dimension" not normally taken notice of.

There is an inter-relationship between magnitude and scale in that scale is used to measure/gauge magnitudes. the most interesting aspect of scale is that it automatically implies at least two entities, namely, the entity being measured and the entity being measured with.

I find cyberspace sometimes analogous to physical space, but fundamentally as a "place" altogether different than physical space. The two can easily be compared, but they are distinct and separate.

Cyberspace begins with pure virtuality, i.e., the potential to be something, then becomes a "place" when people participate, and ends, after the participation, to be again pure virtuality.

For example, this survey question lay dormant, yet full of potential, for several days without participation, and with my reply it's potential is starting to be filled -- the potential always remains because more and more participation can fill the potential more and more.

I like cyberspace because of its otherness.

The more I participate in cyberspace, the more I realize that I now inhabit two realms, the real world and the world of cyberspace. Moreover, I plainly see that the cyberspace world will never be the same as or replace the real world, nor do I wish cyberspace to be "physical" in the real world sense.

Cyberspace as a place completely other is its greatest attribute.

Those that view or want to make cyberspace and the real world the same are really only defeating the "real" nature of cyberspace. [Could it be that we as humans just can't easily deal with a parallel(?), other reality in addition to the reality we already have?]

One of cyberspace's more wonderful attributes is that it affords "architectural" experimentation without the usual physical consequences.

I suspect architects are capable of contributing a nimiety of special sensitivities and experiences to cyberspace, and certainly not just one special sensitivity or just one expertise.

At the very least, cyberspace is where any and all architects can contribute their own individuality and/or unique creativity.

You would think that architects more than anyone would recognize the (utopian?) joy of a "place" where one can design whatever one wants in whichever way one wants. [Or have we successfully trained ourselves into believing that freedom of design is a bad thing?]

Perhaps while you guys and some "others" work on electromagnetic architectures, I'll start working on a new thesis, castration architectures, beginning with a chapter called "concise history of the ballroom" and ending with a chapter called "she who laughs last at the sperm bank".

My leaning toward virtual extremism is at the same time a search for some "purism" within the virtual. I don't want the virtual to merely become a reflection of the real, and that is precisely because it seems that we are actually lucky enough to be living at a time when the whole notion of a virtual realm is becoming a viable other realm -- a wonderful time when it is truly possible to begin delivering something that is above all NOT more of the same [o. s.].

I never expected it, but I rather quickly saw that cad (and here I must mention that I was using Intergraph, which was phenomenally superb even by most of today's standards) would be incredibly fast if the user/designer too was incredibly fast, however, the speed of the designer coming close to the speed of the computer meant a shift into spontaneous mode, a design mode rarely taught, and indeed most often severely denounced.

First, I said, "I'd hate to see the virtual merely become a reflection of the real." This means I'd hate to see architects/designers/theorists neglect an investigation of the inherent qualities of the virtual/cyber realm, where they can find virtual/cyber's own "natural" order. For example, one huge difference between architecture in the real world and architecture in cyberspace is that in cyberspace actual buildings are redundant, indeed a real auction house that does what eBay does couldn't even be built.

Another difference between real architecture and cyber architecture is that one goes to real architecture whereas cyber architecture comes to you. It may simply be that "real" architects have to begin also thinking about what it means to design architectures that go to people.

Perhaps the purest architectures of cyberspace are precisely those architectures that can't be built [except in cyberspace].

As it stands now, my ongoing investigation and redrawing of the Ichnographiam has led to the 'discovery' of a whole new aspect of Piranesi's work that so far no one else has found, namely that the large plan of the Campo Marzio is a readable narrative of Ancient Rome's political and architectural history -- but in order to grasp this delineated 'text' one must 'read' in unison the individual plans, the plans in relationship to each other, the plans in relation to where the actual buildings really were, and (this is perhaps the most important) the Latin labels Piranesi gives to each plan.

When I read your list of the five types of design, I immediately wondered if the notion of reenactment architectures may engender a sixth category. I know that reenactment is very much related to Mimetics and even Anthropomorphics, but I also see an important distinction between the latter two and the notion of reenactment, in that reenactments are not exactly copies, nor are they reconstructions, rather they are repeated rituals that have a core essence/event that is continual but also slightly changed over time and according to present circumstances.

Hadrian's Villa is perhaps the first (virtual) museum of architecture and the first reenactment 'theme park', the reign of Ludwig II of Bavaria was nothing less than a reenactment of previous European absolute monarchies, Disney's Cinderella castle/Magic Kingdom (modeled after Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle) is then a reenactment of a reenactment (deluxe redux redux), Princess Diana's funeral reenacted Ancient Rome's Triumphal Way in every single detail including the massive (global) crowds that watched, and Las Vegas is undoubtedly today's world capital of reenactment architectures, even to the point of synthesizing a new reenactment urbanism.

I am thinking of ancient ruins, be they Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the Parthenon, the cave temples of India, etc. These are commonly referred to as examples of architecture, yet today they are clearly "objects which are for perception only." Have these architectures become architecture/sculpture hybrids?

Furthermore, no one now lives in Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, nor, it might be agrued, does the life style around which the Villa Savoye was designed to accompany now exist. Is the Villa Savoye a master work of modern architecture that is now an "object which is for perception only?"

Or is it merely that the 'life style" the Villa Savoye now accompanies is one where great buildings (if they're lucky) become cultural shrines, where the buildings now accomodate our 'perceptual worship'?

Before going INSIDE DENSITY and while INSIDE DENSITY, the back of my mind was occupied with "what could a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture could [or would] never be?"

I'm at the point where the dissemination of disinformation appears the most appealing.

I'm imagining a museum of architecture that curates and displays an 'un-real' history of architecture, you know, among OTHER things, all those buildings Le Corbusier designed since 27 August 1965, and likewise the dies sanquinis urbanism of lights-camera-Africa in 2056 AD which is covertly inspired by the OTTO-man architecture of pre-Christ South America, and don't forget the equinoctial architecture along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Yes, www.quondam.com may well soon be a 'new and improved' virtual museum of [unscientific fiction] architecture, written and delineated in palimpsest (so the faded 'truth' is nonetheless incompletely 'not there').

I'm becoming more and more convinced that a virtual museum of architecture misses its full virtuality unless it 'calendrically incarnates' other zeitgeists + [or minus] architectures.

Maybe I'm just showing my age, but I think video games would be a lot more fun and architecturally stimulating if they started emulating the architecture of Krypton as protrayed in 1960s Superman comics -- personally I haven't seen such comics since the sixties, but I still remember how the buildings of Krypton mesmerized me as a child.

Not that I want Quondam to now become 1960s Krypton, but rather, I want to take the 'new dexterity' manipulation of architectural digital data down a trail not yet blazed.

Architects featured generally throughout the museum will include: John Phillipsonian and his partner/wife Whitney Davidoff (of Hybridsburg, Texarkana), Eon Krie[ge]r (architect of the war against time), La Corbusienne (the Alpine 'Suzie Chapstik' of exposed skin architectures), St. Helmut (infamous heretic architect martyr of the cutting-edge [sword of] antiquity, lately proclaimed by the Vatican as a dubious 'real' fraud), Lois Ikonotsky (of Upper Reaches, the Caulklands), Franc-Le-Luc-Adroit (global net-setting architect of 'die schlampigen neue Reichen'), Scott Ventura (pet [house] architect, who btw is inseparable from his brown-nosed hound Dee-leash), Jasper Sterling St. James Goldsmyth VI (most recently lauded for his just completed Good-Looking Sachlichkeit Gesamtkunstwerk Museum on post-shell-shocked Helgoland), and (the 'queen' of all narrative architectures), Rita Novel. . . plus many, many more, like Meandra Refrigidhaar (as the architectural critics love to say, "She be syncin'!").

Additionally, Quondam will keep its finger on the pulse of the exponentially and geometrically expanding urban environments of both Older and Newer Infringement Complexopolises.

Regardless of whether its widely understood as such or not, all architectures manifest many layers of masks, and, like cosmetic surgery, historic preservation is a most extreme form of mask.

With palimpsest on the other hand, although there is erasure and then over-writing, traces of the original (text) remain.

The notion of layers (of texts), be they new or old, discernible or discrete, genuine or faux, is (for me at least) the 'true' reality.

Semper theoretically took architecture back to the weaving of fabric. Perhaps Semper should have said architecture goes back to the weaving of fabrication.

Piranesi grossly exaggerates building scale in the Campo Marzio's outer regions, however. Nonetheless, Piranesi is deliberately 'playing' a learning game here, in that the outer regions is where Piranesi's plans and programs lack practially all veracity, hence, the hyperbole of Piranesi's architectural imagination is coded by a hyperbole of architectural scale.

In simple terms, the over-sized plans of the Campo Marzio indicate buildings that Piranesi completely 'made-up', where as a high percentage of the smaller building plans indicate buildings that actually once existed and are drawn in their proper scale.

Is Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis a trope or is it a reenactment? That is, is the Gateway a "turn" of manifest destiny into symbolic form, or is it a long standing architectural tradition enacted yet once again?

The assimilation of trope into recent architectural (theory) writing and criticism is an example of trope itself, is it not?

And it often seems (to me at least) that "troping" (excuse my verbing) within current architectural parlance and design is treated somewhat as a whole new "Concept" in and of itself.

Perhaps I'm here beinging overly simplistic, but recent architectural tropes and the pronouncements of such often appear to be elaborate justifications for what is otherwise plainly arbitrary in terms of ultimate design form.

Does the Arch in St. Louis trope Manifest Destiny or does it reenact a triumph over gravity?

Real scale deals primarily with physical limits and the coordinated representation/manifestation of those limits, while in virtual scale limits are 'fluid' and/or 'meandering' and/or 'oscillating' and/or 'undulating', etc..

It would seem then that the difference between real scale and virtual scale is in how each scale respectively treats and/or renders limits.

Real scale and virtual scale do not treat or render different realities, however, because all reality is relative to the limit of its container.

What I like best so far about investigating reenactment in architecture, it the search for origins, that which is being reenacted, because it's in the origins that true originality resides.

I feel some distinction should be made between a virtual architect and an architect of the virtual.

What other architects are designing AND building in the virtual realm?

Real architecture has a long standing history of dealing with the virtual, and perhaps that is the fundamental reason why the the notion of 'architecting' adapts so easily to the design and building of digital media systems today.

In reality there is absolutely nothing that makes Quondam have to have a teleology, and it is just that reality of absolutely no imperatives, no rules, no obligations, and no need of approval that I hope Quondam begins to reflect.

Anyway, I think there is a lot more to learn about how 'design' happens by looking at the potential relationship between the Vatican entry ramp and the New York Guggenheim, especially in noting how Wright's design deviates from the Vatican model, then there is to dismiss the relationship because of its contrariness to received (but not necessarily fully disclosing) opinion.

I haven't been to Bilbao, but I've been to Sydney (didn't hear any Opera though).

I'm not much of a critic when it comes to visiting buildings, because I inevitably like most of them once I see them in person.

The Opera House is really a nice sight from the harbor. While in Sydney, I stayed at Manly Beach (not making that name up), which connects to Sydney via ferry or hydrofoil. The Opera House is quite the landmark, and it looks really good at night as well.

In the early 1980s I read Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers, and very near the end of the book Mann writes a few lines about how there was no camera to capture incredible events throughout most of history, events like the reunion of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt. Mann simple said, "they had to use their own lenses."

Regarding body 'modification', I personally think the Bellonarii, the priests and priestesses of Bellona, the goddess of war, who were accustomed, in their mystic festivals, especially on the 20th of March (hence dies sanguinis, day of blood), to gash their arms and shoulders with knives, and thus to offer their blood, are still more meaningful as to the use of their bodies than any of the stuff going on and hyped today.

I am now much more interested in trying to understand the ways and means of hypocrisy than I am interested in trying to understand the hierarchy of "value" and "truth". The presence of hypocrisy appears much more real than the presence of value and truth.

Has each new "critical" building become nothing more than the latest "creation" of the now global fashion show? Likewise, has the element of shock become ingrained within the (elite) architectural profession, the same way shock has become "stock-in-trade" in a good deal of high fashion?

Architecture reenacts human imagination, and human imagination reenacts the way the human body is and operates.

The human imagination then reenacts corporal morphology and physiology, and architecture then reenacts our reenacting imaginations.

Take note, I'm not all that crazy about the physical act of drafting, rather I'm crazy about the act of producing drawings -- CAD taught me that that distinction can and indeed does exist.

I'm now wondering if all the built environment of our planet is 'progressing' towards becoming a global (virtual) theme park, while cyberspace becomes the place where 'actual' 'real' data takes up residence.

It seems logical that no reenactment occurs without an enactment ocurring first...

Reenactment's most inescapable limit is that it can never be as original as that which it reenacts.

Perhaps typology is basically an exercise in the reenactment of architecutral abstractions.

Perhaps all abstractions are highly idealized reenactments of reality, rather than reality being a reenactment of highly idealized abstractions.

I think Maria Alice may be more correct than even she thinks in that 'survival of the fittest' may best explain the 'workings' of architecture(s), whereas actual change (revolution) within the realm of architecture(s) may be nothing more than evolution's (side?)effects.

I believe it is a global truism that all culture, including architecture, is now a commodity. Architecture is a commodity, and the education of architecture is a commodity. Furthermore, even 'revolution' is now a commodity in that a revolution that 'makes it' is essentially a revolution that 'makes money'.

There are very few places where 'architecture' on an educational level is free.

The only truly revolutionary option for architecture would be to make ALL architectural education free.

blank architectural spaces : architectural gaps, architectural holes : missing parts of architecture : architectural defects, architectural flaws

architectural blank spaces : gap architecture, hole architecture : architecture's missing parts : defect architecture, flaw architecture

"The professor's lecture on architectural lucunae harbored critical lacunae itself."

The notion of reenactment within architecture is indeed central to architectural aesthetics, especially in our time. With reenactment comes a clearer understanding of authenticity versus inauthenticity.

Because of reenactment, what is most often deemed inauthentic, is more correctly an inversion of the authentic, and here Duchamp's urinal redux is a perfect example.

Even though Disney Land/World are enormous commercial/tourist successes, they nonetheless remain aesthetic quandaries, but they really should be understood aesthetically.

Is not the 'architecture' of the human body an envelope rammed full of 'attributes' that DO NOT show their 'implementation' on the outside?

The point is that 1) many buildings today change radically in short periods of time, therefore ALL photographic records (not just the flattering ones) are important items in understanding the 'life' of architecture most fully, and 2) a photograph of a building that once was but is no more is perhaps the easiest form of virtual architecture invented thus far.

[I then also found myself thinking that by and large architects are trained to be extremely INTOLERANT of anything that doesn't 'fit' properly. (Should the new schools of architecture be schools of tolerance?)]

And hasn't the 20th century already well proven that humanity's artists now overwhelming treats art via what it COULD be rather than what it SHOULD be?

[--and just maybe the biggest problem for architecture (and architectural aesthetics) today is its struggle making the methodological/critical shift for what should be architecture to what could be architecture.]

Personally, I find art to be most viable/real exactly within those realms that are for the most part evaded.

All the same, Bernini's theatrical performance manifests the Baroque's consummate ending. Within his double theater Bernini capsulized the beginning of Western culture's new bifurcation of the real and the illusory, introduced mirroring as a henceforth dominant (post) Baroque (stylistic) theme, and, at base (or should I say at the ultimate end), inverted reality into a reenactment of its own illusory mirror (-- is this perhaps also the genesis of historiography?).

History is both a collective and an individual collection of occurrances, especially in terms of design.

I agree that historians will never really know what an artist was thinking, and to that end whenever I analyze historically I try to give exact textual reference and/or make it clear that what I say is my opinion/interpretation (hopefully with some basis).

Nonetheless, there is that (exciting) element about historical research that is akin to being a detective finding clues and then 'fabricating' a possible or likely scenerio.

Moreover, it is more and more the historian's job today to search out and correct the mistakes of previous historians (a kind of Baroque activity?).

I'd like to be on the record for proposing that in essence the Baroque involved: a) a bifucation of reality and illusion, b) pervasive mirroring (figuatively and literally), and 3) reality reenacting its own illusory mirror.

Since beginning this "vehicle" film thread, it has dawned on me that when "vehicles [in films] are both very literal and very symbolic, and, moreover, it is the seamless transition from literalness to symbolism that the vehicles deliver," that this phenomenon is much akin to the notion of the medium simultaneously being the message.

There is a magnificent elegance when huge chunks of intellect[ual property] masonically fit together.

What's really good (aesthetically) is perhaps just plainly not worth changing too much (and in this sense the notion of stylistic evolution, if taken as a continual progression, looses some of its credibility).

I'm now curious as to just how many Gothic structures will still be standing 1000 years from now, versus how many building of the last century will still be standing then.

As far as I know, Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius is the only example of an historical narrative that is delivered not by spoken or written language and/or pictorial illustration, but by a composition of architectural plans and their labels. If that is the case, then Piranesi's large plan is indeed a rare document where architecture is the language used to communicate a (very long) story.

What I find most interesting about designing architectural sequence is that the sequence itself is not actual form, rather the gaps between actual forms. For me, it's another example of learning from lacunae.

Perhaps more to the point is that no architecture [language] is complete without users.

Mostly architecture is the object rather than being the subject, except in the case of prisons where the architecture is the subject and the 'user' is the object.

Maybe the best thing about 'style' is that it offers opportunities where one might actually excell at something.

Rather than merely being "seen to be of" both 'construction' and 'destruction', metabolism actually IS both construction and destruction.

I now wonder if the term "Hyper Modernism" has yet been coined, that is, "beyond modern" as opposed to "post/after modern".

I think a case can already be made for the classification of a Hyper Baroque, which is the European style corresponding to the century between roughly 1650 and 1750, and Hyper Size is perhaps the best description of what comes after S,M,L,XL.

One of the reasons I like history is because you can often actually find those times when "traditions" first were foreign.

Might 'good architecture' and 'bad architecture' actually share a significant common ground in that neither architectures are easily defined?

Personally, I see neither good or bad architectures as being a problem, rather it is the global nimiety of mediocre architecture that I wish were extinct.

Perhaps the education of an architect should revolve around the teaching and learning of what is mediocre since the mediocre is probably the easiest to identify (given there's so much of it).

Could the best architecture be the architecture that quietly disappears once it starts becoming mediocre?

the 'mediocre' is neither bad or good, rather a realm all its own, and, moreover, a realm exceedingly larger than the realm of the bad or the good.

Art and religion have an enormous history together, but art and the secular do not share such a vast history.

Just now I'm wondering whether the grammatical terms of "active" and "passive" might be an interesting extension of the served and servant notions, i.e., with served being the passive and the servant being the active.

One of the new architectures that exists today, and, moreover, an architecture not designed by an architects and not even buildings, are those 'places' in cyberspace that do much more than actual buildings of their type could ever do.

I believe that if an architect today says that places in cyberspace can never be considered architecture, all he or she is really doing is manifesting a huge denial, and, moreover, just one more denial added to the continual history of things that architect's have tried to deny.

In true inversionary fashion, Piranesi cleverly placed an image of ancient Rome's last Imperial artifact at the beginning of the Campo Marzio publication.

Architecture is a medium, a facilitator, and a container, and all reality is relative to the vastness of its container.

The point is that today not all architectures are buildings. This is not to deny the real world, rather to recognize the notion that architecture, by architects, now has further options of being designed without the usual physical means.

I repeat, the new architecture of cyberspace does not replace real world architecture. If the implication is not clear, I then add that the new architecture of cyberspace does not deny real world architecture either.

I agree whole-heartedly that cyberspace offers a "parallel" realm within which to design and 'build'. The term I've used instead of parallel is 'other', as in the best architecture in cyberspace is something other than the architecture of the real world.

I know what I'd like to see twenty years from now, namely that having one's own website will be just the same as having one's own television channel.

After reading through "Bold Architecture at a Price" I asked myself, "What do you call architects if they are not "star" architects? "Non-star" architects seems to be the logical, grammatical answer, but such a nomen doesn't exactly elicit the correct notion that an architect that is not a "star" architect is (really) an architect whose buildings do not receive widespread publicity (even though the great majority of architects today design perfectly acceptable buildings).

Should architectural education begin teaching students how to design buildings that generate publicity?

Then again, it really isn't the architecture or architect that generate the publicity. Rather, it is the advertisement driven publicity/news 'machine'.

My feeling has been all along, however, that architects and architecture are well capable of generating their own publicity, but professional 'decorum' has for the most part made that attitude an ethically and aesthetically wrong position for architects to take. This 'wrongness' is really just a fabrication, an artificial restraint, and, as always, it is precisely at these artificial points where 'institutions' are the weakest, where the decay happens, where things begin to fall apart.

I wholeheartedly advocate architects to embrace publicity as a new, additional ingredient that makes good architecture, the same as firmness, commodity, and delight make good architecture.

Personally, I think it more challenging and design-wise more stimulating to use virtual architecture facilitated by the internet to try presenting something other than what is already available.

Because I focused on creating an 'other than what is already there' museum I learned that collecting and exhibiting digital data only begets more and more and more digital data, i.e., I found myself with a[n architectural] collection that is virtually infinite.

As an architect, I now see a virtual architecture challenge in trying to design a virtual museum [of] architecture that matches the virtual infinity of its collection.

I think a case can be made that many of this planets indigenous architectures are now virtually extinct because of Western colonialism/imperialism.

During the first half of the 20th century, while large parts of the world were still colonies of Europe, Western modern architecture or the International Style (again a term used more for convenience) continued the global domination of Western style and furthered the extinction of indigenous architectures.

As much as I like Classical Greek and Roman architecture and Modern architecture, I nonetheless see it as a tremendous lose to architecture in general that these styles are now so global at what seems to be the expense of so many other architectures.

This is why I am less and less tolerant of architectural criticism/theory that goes to far as to say "this architecture here is good" but "that architecture over there is bad."

When I first thought up the quote, "The whiter humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions," I was thinking of architecture.

In architectural terms, the 'purism' of early modernism was/is a form of assimilation in the extreme, namely purge.

The diversity of architecture[s] today far exceeds any coherence of architecture today.

In architecture it is worth noting that much of what constitutes actual buildings today first comes out of a factory.

Architecture today is literally manufactured, and I cannot help but think that architectural aesthetics today is very manufactured as well.

My favorite reenactment place/city lately is Atlantic City, New Jersey, a true latter-day Las Vegas on the sea-coast, essentially a reenactment of a reenactment of a reenactment all right on the edge of a continent.

The notion of reenactment in architecture is not limited to themed environments/buildings.

Theming comes in many, many varieties, of which the sanitized version is only a subset of general theming. Theming, like theater, however, is a subset of reenactment.

At this point, I'm seriously wondering whether the specialness of reenactment is that it combines both the authentic and the artificial.

Maybe I'm completely off base here, but my experience of most academic studies of the environment is that they are as sanitized as the most purposefully themed environments.

I often get the feeling that academic studies very much strive to control what the reader perceives, and often leave little room for alternative perceptions.

It's kind of ironic that the more controlled a themed environment is, the more it lacks authenticity, while the more controlled an analysis of themed environments is, the more controlled the perception of themed environments remains.

I wonder if one could analyze themed environmental studies to find which are more artificial and which are more authentic.

If anything, architects and designers and social engineers should begin to understand the pervasive workings of reenactment in order to start generating a 'better' learning/entertainment environment.

You know, if I were a blind person, encountering a building covered with Braille might be something that takes my appreciation of both history and architecture to a new level, because then I might have a pretty good idea of how ancient Egyptians felt when they 'sensed' their buildings.

It's interesting to 'see' what new imaginings manifest once one begins to think of architecture as the delivery of content.

While human memory itself is very likely the proto-type of all reenactment, memorials themselves are not necessarily manifestations of reenactionary architecturalism.

Is it perhaps architectural education itself that somehow makes us less observant? Or has it always been that nothing is worth it until some article or book says it is?

I have a strong feeling that the whole digital dexterity revolution will eventually fully sink into the architectural system, however, the task remains one of 'the sooner the better' because what should be recorded may well not be there tomorrow.

I immediately embraced CAD precisely because I love to draw. CAD offered the opportunity to generate drawings that before I could only dream about doing by hand.

The AllesWirdGut designs do indeed appear to reenact the earlier designs for outer space environments, which leads me to wonder if the new designs are literally misplaced.

I see what you mean about the edges of the facade. very interesting, especially since it seems to be such an "unknown" aspect of the building, yet such a "radical" (for lack of another word right now) aspect of the building.

I'm trying to think of what Venturi et al building the detail reminds me of.

There is the New Haven Firehouse (which might be the real connection), but isn't there some more recent building/design?

And the third one looks like you never got off the plane in Rome and decided to go to Israel/Bethlehem instead.

Did the Popes do the Vatican decorating himself? Next Christmas I'm going to decorate MY house like the Vatican!!!!!

Don't you remember it's not Furness-ian, rather Furnessesque.

The apartment building looks cool. Multo Italianate Italianate! Also reminds me a little of the "Roman Villa" Schinkel designed/built on the Palace grounds at Potsdam.

I still sense that the notion of a discernible and often strong relationship between reenactment and design is not deemed important enough to be given serious recognition by those that have at least been introduced to the concept.

The recent tragic event within the upper reaches of Tampa, Florida, however, makes it all too bitterly clear that reenactment and design is a striking reality of our times, and that there is still much to be understood.

It is a tragedy, of course, but, unfortunately not one without design (and here high rise buildings fit very much into the overall design).

What your stance plainly demonstrates is just how much "modern" humanity has been trained/brainwashed into understanding virtually all imitation as that which completely lacks "design with imagination," as you put it.

The irony here, however, is that our imaginations are already reenactments of our corporal physiologies.

Another irony is that the greater part of "design" today is indeed "just trying to copy with miserable tools."

At the very least, nothing you said is altogether innovative, especially among modern designers. Just redundant, as you yourself conveniently note.

I am quickly reminded of the following passage from Charles Hedrick, History and Silence: "In the modern world, present circumstances are conceived in terms of a projected future. What we are depends on where we are going, not where we have been. To the extent that the power of the past is acknowledged at all, it is seen as a burden, as an impediment to progress and self-realization, as something to be overcome. By contrast, traditional societies look much more to the past for the determination of who and what they are: hence the ancient prestige of the genre of history."

What exactly is so good about the design of a product, in this case the "new" iMac, that manifests the wholesale continuance of planned obsolescence?

Something that exists almost entirely for the purpose of making "the same" something obsolete, and hence disposable, should not be considered "good design".

But if you insist on it, i.e., the new iMac, being good design, then you automatically also have to concur that today's iMac is the near future's trash. Yes, good design today almost always becomes trash.

Your preferred use of the word/concept surreptitious says more than you might have thought. By your own admission, you are "taking back secretly" a primitive human existence when/where land was not privately or governmentally owned, albeit with all the (ironic? unavoidable?) "conditioning" of modern technology.

Although I won't insist on it, the notion of reenactment can still be used to describe the essence of what you do when you "recreate".

Like you, I desire reenactment to be a more deliberate process, plus I desire a broader understanding of reenactment's workings, both conscious and unconscious.

For me, reenactment has become a powerful learning process. For example, my reenacting Piranesi's drawing of the Ichnographia Campus Martius (albeit with modern technology, i.e. CAD, surely unknown and very likely even unimagined by Piranesi) has taught me much about Late Antiquity, paradigm shifts, that Piranesi's original drawing itself represents a reenactment, that "modern" humanity has for the most part lost touch with reenactment even though it still clearly exists (e.g., the funeral of Diana as a true/real reenactment of ancient Rome's Triumphal Way), and even that a truly innovative understanding of Piranesi's overall work can come from reenactment.

In interesting contrast to your surreptitious activity, I now wonder what I might be reenacting by just staying in exactly the same spot on this planet for what is becoming the greater part of my entire existence.

I certainly don't recall ever referring to reenactment as something related to predestination, but I will consider it.

Reenactment comprises patterns of behavior, particularly repetitive patterns of behavior, but in no way does reenactment enforce or restrict options to some specific patterns of behavior only. In this sense, reenactment does not have the same power as DNA.

As science tells us more and more each day, DNA is indeed minutely packaged predestination, but DNA is not really reenactment until it is cloned. [And the notion of "designer DNA" becomes kind of perverse in that it is free-willed reenactment based on altered predestination. Or something like that!]

Of course, it may turn out that our own DNA is actually all about reenactment, and always has been, but even then DNA does not hold complete and utter control of everything. Or does it?

There is a very thorough essay on the Triumphal Way by John Plattus which describes the whole process of Roman Triumph.

You can also read an eyewitness account of the Triumph of Titus by Josephus.

It is also worth noting that in the times after the Roman Empire, the ritual of the Triumphal Way was 'transformed' into a ritual of burial.

What is significant of Diana's funeral is that the entire ritual, meaning every ancient detail, was reenacted. It is because of Diana's funeral that 21st century humanity no longer has to speculate or imagine what Roman Triumphs were actually really like. A whole new population of Triumphal Way eyewitnesses is now in existence.

Opinion is to be tolerated, but not misinformation.

In Encyclopedia Britannica (edition 1969) under "Philosophy of History" there is a passage explaining Vico which, while reading it, made me think of Piranesi's Campo Marzio.

I read the passages in The Idea of History that deal with reenactment. It dawns on me that I've been doing a kind of reenactment by redrawing Piranesi's plan.

Thursday, September 4, 1997 (coincidentally the day architect Aldo Rossi died) I find Plattus's "Passages to the City: The Interpretive Function of the Roman Triumph" in Ritual (1983).

Saturday morning I watch Diana's funeral, and it quickly hits me that I am watching exactly what I just spent the last two nights reading about.

Since Piranesi himself delineated the path of the Triumphal Way through his plan of the Campo Marzio, I begin to wonder whether Piranesi too was playing some kind of reenactment game in his redrawing of the large urban plan.

It is after this point that much of the prior ten year's work begins tightly piecing together, and the notion of reenactment also aids in better understanding what information I collected further in research.

For me reenactment was a learning tool, albeit for the most part a tool I didn't even know I was using.

For Piranesi, however, (and this is what I've come to understand) reenactment was a design tool, specifically an urban design tool, whereby he generated an entirely new rendition of Rome.

A Rome, moreover, that is essentially a conglomeration of many specifically themed environments, i.e., themed environments that relate exactly the history of the very places where Piranesi positioned his new designs.

This is why I say Piranesi's Campo Marzio is not a reconstruction, rather a reenactment.

By all indications, Piranesi was very conscious of the play of degrees of separation that reenactments involve.

Piranesi also (re)designed the city of Rome as a double (history) theater, namely the double theater of Rome's Pagan and Christian existence.

Modern architectural historians/theoreticians up to now never figured out the reenactment angle of the Campo Marzio, hence it (the plan) was interpreted as either pure fantasy or some sort of design mish-mash that negates all possible meaning. It is largely because of this prior misinterpretation (and its present widespread acceptance) that makes me so adamant about advancing an understanding of reenactment and design.

Keeping and displaying the ruins of the World Trade Center towers is not an act of reenactment.

Rebuilding the towers, each up to the height of 9/11 impact, each with a gigantic staircase spiraling down, and each filled with a core of places of prayer and worship (with a mosque at each [tower] acme), would be reenactionary architecturism, especially for pilgrims that fly (via helicopters) to the tops and then walk all the way down.

To be honest, I wish all the tragedies of 911 just never happened. I wish the WTC Towers were still there, and I likewise wish they could be replaced just the way they were. But all of it did happen, and we will most likely never again see WTC Towers like the ones we used to see.

When reading about the ancient Roman Triumphs, it is always noted that the whole city shut down, and all the population went to stand along the route of the Triumph parade to watch.

As I'm writing this I'm reminded of the movie A Special Day (I think that's the title). It starred M. Mastrioni and S. Loren, and the day was in Rome when Hitler came to visit Mussolini (two grim reenactors if there ever were any).

I wonder if some events that immediately remind one of a movie but are indeed real could be called exenactments. Events like September 11 maybe?

Even in all its decaying glory, the SS United States is nonetheless the most impressive feature of Philadelphia's waterfront today.

Given that the theory of architecture and the practice of architecture are not necessarily the same thing, I'm most interested to see where you make the distinction, or, if you don't see a distinction, then how do you see the two blend together.

Theory can be "a belief, policy or procedure proposed or followed as the basis for action," or theory can be "the body of generalizations and principles developed in association with practice in a field of activity and forming its content as an intellectual discipline; pure as distinguished from applied art or science," or theory can be "a judgment, conception, or formula formed by speculation or deduction or by abstraction or generalization from facts," or theory can be "an unproved assumption." Which of these "theories" applies to the "architectural theory" that you see existing today albeit without experimentation?

Or are you merely trying to say that "architectural theory" is not theory at all because it (as far as you are concerned) does not involve experimentation?

Your statement implies that there indeed can be a situation where everything in architecture can be predetermined. I am truly skeptical of such a situation, and thus would like to at least know when and where cases of architecture exist that clearly demonstrate a state of predetermination.

From my perspective there is a lot of predetermination going on when one is of the resolve that all predetermination is boring.

Yes, it's odd to think how "culturally" rich modern Greece would be if all the art of ancient Greece were returned to its original site(s).

Of course, much of ancient Greece is now modern Turkey as well, just like much of Byzantine Greece is now modern Turkey.

Sure it would be nice (for some) if Hagia Sophia were once again a Christian house of worship (as it originally was) rather than the mosque it is now.

There are equally great pedimental ancient Greek sculptures (though not as famous as the Elgin Marbles) in Munich, Germany, and don't forget the altar of Pergammom in Berlin, which I think is in the same museum as the Gate of Babylon. [Let's here it for returning this Gate to Iraq.]

Maybe it's time for someone to do a great study on architecture that has moved and perhaps really hasn't stopped moving.

At Ryerss Museum in Burholme, Philadelphia (the literally closest museum to where Quondam originates--just think what would happen if I decided that all data gotten around the world from Quondam had to be returned to Quondam; could I even handle the thousands and thousands of megabytes?) there are the entire contents of a Buddhist Temple purchased pretty much as travel souvenirs by wealthy Americans almost 100 years ago. Again, where is that study on architecture that moves when you need it?

Period Rooms of the World Unite!!! Can you just imagine such a call to action? Perhaps this group could ultimately be precisely avant-garde because of its unabashed unoriginality.

Joke of mine from the mid-1980s: What comes after museum [in terms of typological building hierarchy]? Pre-Shrine.

If the Elgin Marbles were returned to the Acropolis, would one be able to call this action an exenactment?

In referring to exenactment, I was thinking more of the effect that the return of the Elgin Marbles to the Acropolis would have on the British Museum. An undoing rather than a reconstruction.

You see, CAD is really got me interested in doing art--there was no more need for me to force my hands with the precision of hand drafting, and my hands and drawing/drafting tools were now free to do with whatever I wanted--because a machine/computer was well taking care of my professional drawing skill.

Process Taking Its Own Shape was kind of my answer to "How to become a famous Architect," and actually impressed a lot of the people that originally saw it exhibited.

Given the fact that practically all of my architecture is virtual, it is comforting to remember that art is my reality.

Theodosius was the last emperor to solely rule over the entire empire, and during his reign Christianity became the empire's official and only religion. It is within Ambrose's obituary of Theodosius that the [his]story of Helena's finding of the True Cross is for the first time spoken of publicly after almost sixty years of imperially enforced silence.

If there indeed was a "law of silence" issued by Constantine I regarding Helena and her finding of the True Cross, then it was Ambrose that 'officially' (and perhaps most intentionally) broke this law when he spoke of this subject publicly as he delivered the obituary of Theodosius.

If you believe that there was an enforced silence regarding Helena's discovery of the True Cross, then you should also believe that the silence worked in terms of keeping imperial rule firmly established. That is, until Ambrose and Theodosius.

I found out about the TYPE quite by accident. Just over a month ago I was at Philadelphia's Free Library's main branch looking up information on Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (which was in one of the volumes published by the Vatican entitled Basilicum something something something.) The book I wanted had to be gotten from a non-public section of the library, and while I was waiting I noticed a book within the new art books display -- The Geometry of Love. It turned out that this book is all about the church St. Agnes Outside the Walls, Rome, and I borrowed the book. Although St. Agnes Outside the Walls is one of the original Constantinian Basilicas from the early 4th century, the church was rebuilt under Pope Honorius in the middle of the 7th century. Honorius was pope when Constantine III issued the TYPE, and this historic episode is related briefly in The Geometry of Love.

Just to make public note of it, it was actually during my doing research on St. Agnes (the person) on 1 April 1999 that first led me to St. Helena, a person who up until then I knew absolutely nothing about.

1 April 1999 was Holy Thursday, and a few times that day I though of a departed friend, R. David Schimitt, who died 1 April 1995 (which was Good Friday that year). Dave was an architect, and during our school years together he did an analysis of Santa Costanza, Rome, the mausoleum of Constantine's daughter Constantina which was attached to the original Basilica of St. Agnes (outside the walls). Dave was also a hemophiliac, received HIV tainted blood in 1981(!), and ultimately died of AIDS.

I recently found out that the Rudi Gernreich exhibit at the ICA, Philadelphia was designed by Coop Himmelb[l]au. I never imagined I'd actual ever see one of their works.

Another thing that is not generally known is that one of Jim's strongest motivations was to continually "Piss off the right people."

Honorius was the last ancient ruler to [re]build the walls of Rome (because of the "Gothic Wars" -- Christian "Goths" that is) and he also built an imperial mausoleum attached to the original Basilica of St. Peter's. Sometime in the 1500s the sarcophagus of Maria was discovered (very likely while the old basilica was being demolished to make way for the new/present one).

The sarcophagus of Maria may well be the last substantial imperial artifact of (the city of) Rome, and after an illustrious title page and a frontispiece, it is an image of the sarcophagus of Maria that Piranesi uses to begin his Campo Marzio publication.

In a most elegantly covert way, Piranesi began the 'history' of the Campo Marzio with what is really it's ending, and what is probably the world's greatest designed architectural inversionary double theater goes on from there.

The Best Showroom is very likely the "decorated shed" par excellence, while the North Penn Visiting Nurses' Association is Robert Venturi's first built work.

Tempobliviopolis is a hybrid place that time sometimes seems to forget, and sometimes it is a hybrid place that seems to forget time.

In any case what you write might be deemed important, or maybe just disposable. In my dreams I see someone like Rita "the other" Novel delivering a paper entitled "Shit, Shave and Shower: the torture of us all."

What is perhaps more interesting is that the Roman Catholic Church of the Renaissance was probably even more liberal than even today's standards.

Sermons delivered within the Sistine Chapel during the Renaissance sometimes provide very interesting insight into the Incarnation (roughly the 'humanism' of Christ) which come very close to saying the humanity is now divine because of Christ.

Of course, the Reformation made the Church very conservative, and humanism was conveniently forgotten.

Did anyone complain when pieces of the Berlin Wall were up for sale as souvenirs? Concrete is real cheap though, isn't it?

Schumpeter called capitalism "creative destruction," however "destructive creation" seems more apt (today at least).

Rather than returning to the growing and exporting of opium, perhaps Afghanistan should begin globally marketing the millions of pieces of building debris that presently litter its cities and remote terrorist training sites. Of course, cave rocks would be the most expensive, er, I mean sought after.

But, if rubble rocks are not appealing to worldwide consumers, maybe there are piles of pieces of Taliban destroyed Buddhist artworks throughout Afghanistan which could be tapped for sale in the global marketplace.

And, (in metabolic dreams only?) perhaps a whole new flowering of Chinese Art and Indian Art will arise with the forthcoming use of WTC steel as medium.

Last night I watched the movie After Hours, and I think I recognized the couch in the Soho artist's loft. In fact, I'm pretty sure I sat in that very couch a number of times. Ron, wasn't that the couch that Jim D. gave you?

Jim D. and I sat next to each other in fourth grade at St. Ambrose Catholic School (c.1966). We used to draw 'Batcaves' to entertain each other. Those long nonexistent drawings were probably the first building sections I ever drew.

And maybe "niche-obsessed, crippling education" is reflective of humanity's present hyper-assimilating and increasingly metabolic imagination. (With 'maybe' being the operative word.)

Then again, where would humanity be without its "niche-obsessed" organs.

Its truly a wonder that some long ago Hindu niche figured out the long range importance of the spinal column.

Do you think Benjamin Franklin knew why salt melts ice? (Assuming, of course, that he knew salt melts ice.)

The reason I raised the question about Franklin and salt melting ice is because I'm deducing that what causes the melting is salt's sodium-chloride, which is an electrified atom.

Yeah, when Plato was teaching at his academy, its seems that he made pretty good use of the overtly reenacting (Socratic) dialogues teaching method.

Does anyone know why the visage of Benjamin Franklin graces the US $100 bill?

Anyway, is this niche-obsessed, crippling education really such a big problem, and if so, what's the opposite or inversion of "niche-obsessed, crippling"?

Even if I just think about "niches" and myself, it doesn't take me long to realize that my activities over the last five years or so have become very much a set of specialized, obscure, and even arcane niches.

For me, however, the redeeming factor of these niches is their uncommon-ness. I never was one for occupying the more common niches (and my so-called (I guess you could say virtual) career is a testament to that).

So how am I to resolve with the notion of "niche-obsession's crippling effect" if I know for myself that uncommon niche occupation has made me more intelligent than I ever previously thought possible?

Does niche-obsession work just fine (if not extremely well) when you are actually building the niche yourself as well?

Hi. I'm an architect, and I specialize in niches. Please let me design a niche or two for you. I'll even incorporate lots of content. You won't be sorry, but it might take some time for you to really understand (i.e., like) it.

I actually do have two niches in my living room. They are arched and about 28" high, 18" wide and 10" deep. Each contains a figurine (both of which were originally from the house next door). These figures are only about 8" tall. Already a few times it's been commented that the scale is not right, but, for me, the smallness of the figures makes the niches ever so slightly grand. It's the "big" empty space above the figures that I like so much. Learning from lacunae, I suppose.

Perhaps all I am now is a completely self-disabled architect.

I just decided to name my two niches www.quondam.com and www.museumpeace. com -- worldwide architecture designed via self-education and built without a license.

It seems to me that true individualism, by its own definition, is something that can never be "pegged".

Moreover, a true individual can certainly understand your explanation/argument, and is even capable of understanding the "whole", but why would a true individual want to "influence" the workings of the whole? The last thing a true individual wants is more true individuals.

True individualism is so rare that it is for the most part not even recognizable for what it really is, and it is certainly, again by definition, not something that can be taught.

That is not to say, however, that true individuality is invisible. Nor does true individuality conceal itself. In simple terms, true individuality doesn't reflect what the rest (are looking to) see.

While the rest are continually working at the "workings", the true individual is out there enjoying what the rest are ignorant of.

Van, my point being that the notion of "true individuals" doesn't even belong within the context of your argument. For example, the phrase "professional socially responsible individual" harbors a distinct contradiction.

My point being that following the example of others is not an attribute that makes individuals in the first place.

Van, of course, I'm glad you don't see the rarity of true individualism, because that's only more indication of just how rare it really is, meaning it is obvious that you yourself have yet to actual see true individuality.

True individuality is no doubt an extreme, but, like all extremes, it is by such definition one of a pair of polar opposites. True Individualism is necessarily relative (in an as far as possible way) to the "rest". Like all good physics, however, what actually "bonds" true individuals and the rest is their mutual indifference.

But it's also weird because molds and niches are not exactly opposites unless you see a niche as something that carves out and a mold as something that carves in. Does that make sense?

When Nero reenacted the Triumphal Way, he did it with much apposition, probably even controversial apposition (but I doubt anyone opposed).

Here's a bit of a shock I want to share. I've read How Architecture Got Its Hump over the last Wednesday to Wednesday week, and in chapter 5, the last chapter, I was shocked to read on page 152: "Are Gehry and Rauschenburg's binoculars in Los Angeles the upturned result of sculpture freed from a toothpaste image of softness? Just what have these installations got to do with architecture's own program?" I'm thinking, what a shocking mistake, and what a disgrace for both the author, Roger Connah, and the editor at MIT Press. The binoculars are not Rauschenberg's, and I won't even bother to write the name of the binocular's correct artistic father. Isn't such a printed mistake from the most respected architectural editor of books something to be concerned about? Is it actually true that no one really reads these kind of architecture theory category books that for the most part are just words with very few images? For a moment there, I was just in the mood to write How Architecture Got Its Lacunae, and every line in the book was going to be a big, fat, fucking mistake! Oh, I'm suddenly so overwhelmed.

While the notion of reenactment as it relates to architecture and design is one of my ongoing areas of research and analysis, the idea to reenact Learning from Las Vegas by way of writing and publishing "Learning From Girard Avenue" did not occur to me until the eve of 1 February 2002.

Although planned and executed as an independent document, "Learning From Girard Avenue" is nonetheless a part of the larger EPICENTRAL, of which "Learning From Girard Avenue" is the third chapter. From its very beginnings, EPICENTRAL was an open-ended project, with no particular outline except to somehow complete the thesis that St. Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine I, was, in today's terminology, the first master planner of Christianity, and to publish this thesis online at www.quondam.com between 18 August 2001 and the autumnal equinox, 22 September 2001. If there was any discernible sub-theme to EPICENTRAL thus far, it was calendrical coincidence.

Steven Izenour died of a heart attack late at night on 21 August 2001. I will always remember this date because my maternal grandmother, Franciska Brenner, died late at night on 21 August 1988. The death of Steven Izenour did not immediately become part of EPICENTRAL, nor did the 21 August coincidence.

The tragic events of 11 September 2001, like for virtually everyone and everything on this planet, changed EPICENTRAL. Suddenly, two-thirds into the projected time-frame of EPICENTRAL there was now a truly historic epicentral event.

By 22 September 2001 EPICENTRAL was far from complete, rather the real meaning and message of EPICENTRAL was just beginning to unfold.

I was at Ground Zero, site of the quondam World Trade Center towers, around noon 29 September 2001, and that evening I attended the In Your Face symposium at the City University of New York, which featured Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Rem Koolhaas. The events of 11 September also changed In Your Face.

Since I was with the same people at both In Your Face and the Venturi and Scott Brown tribute at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on 14 July 2001, I started to view these two events as potentially the new calendrical extremes of EPICENTRAL's time-frame. When I calculated that the midpoint between 14 July 2001 and 29 September 2001 was 21 August 2001, the day Steven Izenour died, it was then only too apparent that the work of Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour was indeed somehow an integral part of EPICENTRAL.

The EPICENTRAL chapter dealing with the work of Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour was to be entitled "Via Philadelphians," as in "Learning From Las Vegas Via Philadelphians."

"Via Philadelphians" was going to closely consider the many built works in the Philadelphia area by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates', as well as the Doo-Wop architecture of Wildwood, New Jersey, which Izenour was, since 1996, bringing to the attention of the world architecture scene. There was also going to be an analysis of present day Atlantic City, New Jersey as a true reenactment of Las Vegas itself. All these plans changed, however, when I began to focus on the Girard Avenue house that is presently much admired by Robert Venturi.

Philadelphia's Girard Avenue is for the most part a large, cross-town street that runs through poverty and near poverty level neighborhoods, yet the street itself is named for Stephen Girard, once the richest man in America, and indeed sixth on the list of the United States' all-time richest men (Bill Gates is number five).

There is Girard College, the school for orphans willed by Stephen Girard, and site of quite remarkable architecture--Founder's Hall and the early dormitories are by the same architect as the Capitol of the United States--which literally defies the grid of Philadelphia.

Then again, one of the few American Saints thus far, St. John Neumann, rests under the lower church altar of St. Peter's Church at Fifth and Girard Avenue, and there is the fairly new (1995) Calcutta House, an AIDS hospice run by the nuns of Mother Teresa (just two doors east of the house that Venturi likes so much).

One of my favorite 'discoveries' so far is Hatfield House, an 18th century structure with a Greek Revival porch addition (with a rare columnation of five columns holding up the pediment) that was moved from its original site in Nicetown (a more northern Philadelphia neighborhood) to a piece of Fairmount Park at 30th St. and Girard Avenue, directly adjacent to the Girard Avenue Bridge, (the other side of which is the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, the first such place in the United States). I don't know the origin of the term "paper architecture", but I would say that the reality of what is today generally considered "paper architecture" goes back at least a couple centuries now. Boullee's work quickly comes to mind.

I hope I'm not presuming too much here, but I consider "paper architecture" (again in the most general terms) as such architecture that is drawn (on paper) but is not executed, likely never to be executed, and often of a design that is so bombastic that non-execution is almost guaranteed.

With Quondam's collection, which is largely CAD models of unexecuted architecture designs, the notion of "paper" is a non-issue. But, as is occasionally evident, the lack of paper at Quondam does not necessarily eliminate bombast.

I can remember the term "cardboard architecture" being used as a derogatory critical term during my years in architecture school (1975-81). I was taught by many former students of Louis Kahn, and my recollection is that it is a term that Kahn frequently used in his design studio at the Univ. of Pennsylvania during the 1960s, referring to student designs that could only be built out of chipboard, the material used to make architecture models. Actually, the vernacular I recall was "chipboard architecture".

I guess what really makes me so happy today is that I now know (for sure) that the place I first (fully) played as a child was also once, and probably for many centuries(?), a Delaware or Lenepe campsite.

An index at the end of Piranesi's Campo Marzio publication entitled "Catalogo" lists all the buildings known to have existed in the ancient Campo Martius, and the name of each building is accompanied by the literary (i.e., textual) references within ancient writings where mention of the respective buildings occurs. What's interesting is that eventually I learned (via long assimilation, if not also osmosis) that the only 'real' evidence left of many ancient Roman buildings is their mention in texts. Even within today's archaeology there are no physical remains for lots of 'known' ancient Roman buildings.

If Galla Placidia was present for the funeral oration, then she heard about the earlier Empress, St. Helena and the finding of the True Cross.

Coincidentally, in 450 Emperor Valentinian III visited Rome, accompanied by his wife Eudoxia and his mother Galla Placidia. On the feast of Cathedra Petri (22 February), the Imperial family with their brilliant retinue took part in the solemn services at St. Peter's, upon which occasion the pope delivered an impressive sermon.

And even if Galla Placidia was not there to hear Ambrose breaking the silence about Helena and the finding of the True Cross, there is no doubt that Galla Placidia went on to reenact Helena in the building of many churches, for example Santa Croce at Ravenna. Beyond that, Galla Placidia's whole life was a East-West Roman-Barbarian double theater itself.

Amidst all the discussion of paper architecture, I thought of the notion of "paperless photography" as a term to describe the image taking activity done with digital cameras.

Of course, the term "digital photography" is likely the official term of this activity, but I personally like "paperless photography" better because I like (my) digital photography to remain paperless, meaning, I like the notion of (my) digital photography being most authentic when it remains digital and not ever printed on paper.

Perhaps I should go get some business cards printed that say I'm a paperless photographer, sometimes specializing in capturing architecture before it disappears, i.e. before it (re)becomes paper architecture.

It seems truly ironic that a building renovation that will no doubt go down in history as a great (art)work of architecture might be not at all good for that which it was (re)designed. In other words, how weird is contemporary architecture culture when an art museum is deemed a great work of art, yet at the same time isn't at all good as an art museum?

I'm thinking more and more lately that what architecture really needs these days is more and more good whistle blowers. Something like Learning from Enron.

Aside from membership, it is more likely the content of Design-L that is the most valuable. I have said it before, and I'll probably never tire of saying it, but I believe that whole Design-L archive is most "historical" architectural text of the last decade and still going.

As a final note concerning panic, it is infinitely easier and much more fun generating (architectural) panic than it is to be in the state of (architectural) panic.

I thought There's No Controlling Nobodies might make an appropriate title for a publication comprised of letters from Design-L.

Guilt, like plastic, takes on many forms. Good guilt is no doubt the most beneficial, if not the most inspiring.

Would you say that Freud had a plastic guilt (imagination)? or did he have a guilty plastic (imagination)?

Does anyone want to discuss what it is like being at the point of one's existence and to actually stay there as well?

Last time I checked, about a year ago, the Guinness Book of World Records didn't have anything on (building) implosions. A curious absence.

Yes it does seem odd, if not counter-conceptual, for NEW MEDIA to need a newly designed building costing $60 million. Given that www.quondam.com exists with virtually no budget/cost at all, I can't even imagine what www.quondam.com would be with $60 million to work with, especially if it forever remained the non-building it is now. As to the NEW MEDIA center, just think how much of the $60 million dollars will be spent on things that have nothing to do with 'new media'.

One of the things that the 'new media' does best is to truly empower the individual enough for him/her to have a 'real' global presence.

Of course, this individual empowerment threatens a destabilization of the 'old media' system, and thus the inevitable 'power-plays' (a.k.a. feudal/futile theatrics).

Interest in things (suddenly) 'not there' and in how they (suddenly)got 'not there' might appear to be morbid because morbidity always has to do with a lack (of something that is not at all easy to get back), hence, a lack of interest in something/anything just because it is morbid is probably more sad.

The Spire of the Cathedral of Beauvais is the first world's tallest building to collapse after a brief existence, and the World Trade Center Towers are the second world's tallest buildings to collapse after a brief existence.

I wonder if Flavia Julia Helena Augusta ever imagined that the Church of the Nativity would be a big part of world news just after Easter 2002 as she was first building this Church in AD 325-26.

The basilica at Bethlehem today is [I believe] a sixth century apposition to the original 'Helennian' structure. The interior columns, however, are still the ones Helena chose.

Before Helena, the Nativity site at Bethlehem was a cave.

Is it correct to think of art as being largely appositional to architecture?

I'm not only thinking of how painting and/or sculpture and/or electronic display screens, etc. are added layers to architecture, which in turn manifest a 'new' entity, but I'm also thinking/wondering about the 'art of architecture' also being appositional to architecture itself.

This leads to now wonder if electricity (and other utilities) might also be (rightly) considered as appositional to architecture.

Conversely, is it (ever) possibly for architecture to be appositional to art? Or is it (ever) possible for architecture to be appositional to electricity?

Beyond that, the questions I raised here yesterday involve the notion that architecture (over the ages) has largely been apposed with other art forms or with other engineering forms.

Last night I was thinking that one could well say that the global night-life that is now very much a daily aspect of human living on this planet is truly and solely a manifestation of the architecture of electricity.

My question now is whether (or not) the architecture of electricity is also responsible for what are (in our 24/7 time) increasingly global built environments AND increasingly global e-built environments.

Now back to being only an artist--you know, I think slapdash is probably one of the only really modern styles. Just thinking about slapdash Papal art all over the Vatican triggers a gush of drives and juices.

I have to admit that I personally was not thinking about 'apposition' on such a large (urban) scale, although when one thinks about signs and street lights and street furniture and even pedestrians and traffic itself, these are all appositions to built architecture.

If you asked me, one of the best ways to insure good architecture is to first carry out a whole lot of site analysis, going to the real place repeatedly, at different times of the day, collecting as much data on the place as possible, especially past data.

Lately, I've become very interested in architecture that has moved (from place to place).

For example, the 17th century style Japanese (Philosophers) House in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park was created/built in post WWII Japan, then shipped to NYC for exhibition at MoMA, and then found its way to Philadelphia, which is probably where it will from now on remain.

Palimpsest is not exactly apposition because an erasure occurs before something new is applied. Apposition occurs within palimpsest when traces of the erasure begin to be seen again.

Could the origins of Ss. Julian and Basilissa actually be some sort of Christian propaganda piece to 'fix' the memory of (the real) husband and wife Julian the Emperor and Helena the Empress/Basilissa?

It seems that parts of many US cities are treated as trash and thus disposable, but where exactly does one throw out parts of cities?

As simple in theory as it sounds, I'm glad to say that it really is true that the longer you stay in one place, the more you learn about the place the more you stay there.

The 'seek you' aspect within the movie CQ is one of self seeking rather than the notion of one being sought by others, although this latter notion may be the MO of the movie in the movie.

I've come to greatly admire the creative fecundity of double theaters as both a means and an end within the creative process.

There is something almost magical about working with a vehicle/medium where there are literally twice the possibilities and where inversion (of self, for example) and mirroring (again of self, for example) provide, again, double the possibilities.

I'm at the point now where the evolving question is whether I and my work should strive to be as virtual as possible.

I'm not worried about any of my architectural work ever being real simply because I'm lazy and I just get lazier whenever someone (like a client) expects something from me--my eventual death is the only dead line I care to encounter the rest of my life, thus I'm literally in no hurry.

So being a virtual architect is something I believe I'm now very good at, however, being a virtual artist seems to be a whole other matter.

I am now wondering/thinking about how I and my work can remain as virtual as possible, and this is a personal modus operandi.

I am not so much interested in creating virtual environments, as much as environments parallel to real-time/place reality. For example, designing and (virtually) building an addition to Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, or imagining oneself as an architect as squatter within Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue. In the sense of creating a whole other history of architecture parallel to the real present.

I'm much more interested in the new dexterity that new tools, specifically computers, provide architects and artists.

When I first learned CAD in 1983 is exactly when I started separately generating art.

CAD freed my hands of the obligation of precision, old-fashioned drafting and opened up a whole other 'place' for me to use my old tools and hands to make art.

For me, however, the interest lies in investigating what it is like when the virtual and real are kept or treated as separately as possible.

For the most part I am interested in looking at and working with the extremes of the situation (and this is just an explanation of my MO, and not some sort of preaching of what everyone else should be doing).

It is indeed 'double theatrics' that is presently helping me to formulate my thinking of what it is exactly that I am doing.

On this month's (May 2002) cover of the magazine Artforum (www.artforum.com) is a picture of the Altar of Zeus from Pergamon as it is presently in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Not only is this architecture that has moved, but the (now over a century old) installation is a true example of the composite of the real and the virtual. A whole new virtual Temple has been reconstructed utilizing fragment remains of the original--a part real, part virtual building in a sense, or is it now a part Greek, part German building? For sure it is a mostly virtual building within a real building. It is also a part real, part reenactment building within a real building.

In terms of virtual buildings (like Quondam) online, the building has to first come to you before you can go through it.

Granted the visitor to a virtual building first sends a request for the virtual building to come. That's the way the internet works right now--you can't go into a website until the website data comes to you. Relativeness is not the issue as much as inversion is.

Could it be that the more extreme a situation is, the less relative it is?

Could it be that the more extreme a situation is the more it begins to invert itself?

Coincidentally, it was in the lower, archeological section under the nave of St. Gudule, Brussels on the last Saturday of November 1999 that I first thought of the notion that recently led me to write, "What I find interesting though, is that at least the sites and the days remain special. Kind of makes you wonder if the specialness is there regardless of what 'cloak' presently dresses it."

Could it be that the Atomium is the most oversized reenactment presently on this planet?

Isn't the fact that the Atomium was soon after its construction to be demolished an example of what is now the Atomium's virtual history?

Perhaps there is often too much emphasis on a (real) things virtual history than on its real history.

And isn't it ironic how dislike or mistrust of the virtual is often focused on the virtual's not being real (enough)?

The real point is that there are more choices that can be made by individuals with both the real and the virtual at hand.

Good design, be it real or virtual, might be best defined as those designs that do not force limited decisions / utilizations.

Just because you or I prefer to use live tellers should not preclude that everyone has to use live tellers, nor that one preference is better than another.

Isn't it perhaps wrong to 'emphasize' extremes one-sidedly? Don't extremes always come in pairs, namely polar opposites? Is extreme looseness complete without extreme tightness?

Strange how terrorists are probably the greatest users of virtual buildings so far.

It just takes time for ideas to sink in, especially if the ideas appear somehow threatening to the status quo.

Is it correct to now also consider hypertext markup language (HTML) as a language of architecture?

Is HTML to be reasonably considered the first global language of self publishing, thus a truly democratic language?

Is HTML the language of 2-dimensional architecture?

Is there future lessons to be learned from studying the 'etymology' of HTML?

Is HTML's ability to work comfortably and efficiently with other, older and newer languages a lesson for all languages to somehow learn?

Is HTML a true architectural Esperanto?

For me, as an architect that has been steadily utilizing hypertext markup language as a means to architecture, indeed an architecture that travels all over the globe (via www.quondam.com and www.museumpece.com ), the speculative aspects are no longer an issue--I'm actually doing it, which is not exactly what Venturi, Eisenman, Herzog & de Meuron, etc. are doing.

Personally, I find houses that morph into museums fascinating because the best ones are more museum's of someone's life(style) rather than museums of a certain field of natural or historical significance.

My thoughts where about Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as now 'virtually' killing the book. Moreover, I was thinking how HTML manifests the 'structure' of virtual architecture, thus bringing back [re-enacting?] an "architecture as delivery of content," which happens to be Quondam's 7th definition at www.quondam.com .

Right now the entire internet is a virtual place constructed via HTLM that delivers content, content, content.

Robert Venturi in his latest theory regarding electronics and iconography upon a generic architecture is almost saying the same thing as far as architecture again being a delivery of content, but, for me at least, Venturi's theory becomes flawed when he admits to not knowing what the content should be.

More than anything, what he so far fails to acknowledge is that iconography on buildings today, be it either electronic or not, is almost always advertising, advertising, advertising--essentially a very limited, narrowly focused delivery of content.

If I were commissioned to design content for some real (generic) building whose 'skin' was an electronic screen, I'd propose a vast series of 'webpages' that act as a museum of architecture, thereby making the building, at least on the surface, a 'virtual museum of architecture.'

For me as an architect, the liberating part of hypertext (and here I mean specifically HTML and its application via the internet) is that I can design a virtual building with just my two hands. There are very little costs involved, and no one can stop me, nor a can anyone deny that I'm doing it.

Furthermore, virtual architecture via hypertext has no real need for a client, thus liberating all design possibilities.

My work as a hypertextual architect/designer can be judged by anyone, just like it can be utilized by anyone. So far, the architectural 'establishment' chooses rather to pretend it's not there, or judge it something lacking or even just unimportant.

The worst possible thing that an architect or designer can do in terms of interactivity is to somehow try to control it, and that includes trying to qualify it. The second worst thing an architect or designer can do in terms of interactivity is to not recognize interactors for who they really are.

I remember back in school where there had to be a reason for ones design, and the worst thing possible to be criticized for was for being arbitrary. I more or less had to comply then, but I know better now--for example, I venture to guess that most architectural clients are almost fully arbitrary, as is almost all of the architecture being built today--how else would you explain the way things really look out there.

There really are no statutes of architectural design, except for building codes, and even they are not beyond being side-stepped, and there certainly is no definitive common ground as to what is good design and what isn't. So called 'Genetic Architecture' is no better or worst an any other architecture available; right now it's just more trendy.

Teaching designers/architects (how) to be arbitrary might just be the real natural, rational thing.

Imitating nature is not so much arbitrary as it is reenactionary. [And here I recall how Van was/is suspicious of reenactment because it appears to harbor predestination--like the predestination of imitating nature perhaps?]

As to it always having been difficult to build anything that wasn't square, isn't it really more true that building square is much more difficult than not building square. For example, tee-pees and wigwams, also yurts (I think that's what the Mongolian homes are called).

Building square is more a cultural issue rather than one of easiness.

I was leading up to saying that if architects were trained that it is OK to be arbitrary, then building square wouldn't be so 'difficult'.

Going to Stotesbury Mansion (really named Whitemarsh Hall) in the early mid 1970s was very much "exploring, spelunking, a dangerous work of architecture on the verge of collapse." Maybe my design skills got some sharpening there.

I think the real problem of this thread as it stands now stems from when Van more or less equated arbitrariness in design with not building square. That is a very narrow view of arbitrariness as it relates to design, and even narrower as it relates to creativity in general. Your statement, "It has always been very difficult to build anything that wasn't square," seems incomplete in that the statement "It has always been very difficult to build anything that wasn't square in modern (i.e., roughly the last 100 years) culture," is probably a more true statement.

In having a little more time to think about what I mean when I say that perhaps architects should be trained [how] to be more arbitrary, my main point is that architects for the most part already are arbitrary--here the example of Gehry's and Libeskind's latest designs being virtual identical albeit for different sites/locations is a form of arbitrariness--in that so much about design is not much more than personal preference (be it the architect's or the client's).

Costs, or more specifically overcosts force decisions, but even those decisions can be seen as just another form of arbitration. CAD-CAM offers many unprecedented manufacturing/building opportunities, and has done so more or less since the space shuttled was designed and assembled in such manner.

Bilbao Guggenheim receives lots of praise and is held as exemplary because it is many 'non-square' shapes but still was built on budget. Nevertheless, Bilbao Guggenheim was for sure a very expensive building, here implying that CAD-CAM is not an automatic less expensive solution to building 'non-square'.

I've been working, drawing and designing via CAD for over 19 years now, and from the very beginning I fully realized that more than anything CAD offers a multitude of new designing possibilities. CAM 'reinforces' the multitude of possibilities. All these new multiple possibilities manifest a very wide range of freedom within which to make design choices. Quite frequently I see contemporary design 'philosophies' or 'theories' (like the article on 'genetic' architecture) that, whether intentionally or not, limit the freedom that CAD and digital technology really offers by overlaying a supposedly more correct way to use all the technology that is now available.

More than anything it has been my closeness to CAD all these years that has led me to pursuing virtual architecture/building (e.g. Quondam and Museumpeace).

What distinguishes me from Marcos Novak is that my CAD experience began in the professional realm (as opposed to the academic realm--even my 2.5 years of working within Univ. of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Design was non-academic, i.e., I ran a small CAD business within the school utilizing the CAD system there in addition to being system manager the last year).

I could say that unlike most architectural CAD theorists today, all of my CAD 'theories' come from 'practice', specifically from the 'practice' I had.

I've been 'constructing' virtual places since 1985 when I was commissioned (via the UofP GSFA) to build a CAD model of Center City Philadelphia for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

Over time, I found that I (personally) was more interested in virtual place as a place to build as a architect, and less interested in real place as a place to build.

The idea for/of Quondam existed at least five years (i.e., 1990) before it ever happened online (i.e., 1996)--essentially I had to wait (albeit I didn't know it was coming) for the Internet to become a part of everyday life before the virtual museum of architecture that I had been quietly 'building' on a computer in my basement could become a (global) reality.

I feel very fortunate to have found a place where I can be an architect and a builder and at the same time not worry at all about being arbitrary.

Cultural issues and cultural problems are not necessarily the same thing.

It is not an issue of needing more architects trained in arbitrariness, rather it is an issue of recognizing that most of the architects we already have are trained in arbitrariness.

People, almost all non-architects, have already found multi-abundant ways to make digital technologies of practical use. Most architects today have come late to the 'digital revolution.'

For example, you can find a number of 'theoretical' architectural essays from the early 1990s that 'philosophize' over the 'revolution' that fax machines were manifesting within the architectural profession, which is all rather quaint right now.

I hate to put it this way, but the retard (i.e., slowness) factor exhibited by architects comes very much from the 'square' thinking. I see the real thing (to figure out) about digital technology (which very much includes CAD and CAM with regard to architecture) is all the freedom of design it engenders.

Lucky me, I guess, for getting to be an architect and not having to worry about 'selling' architecture as well.

www.quondam.com, no matter what opinion of it may be at present, is nonetheless a truly historic work of architecture. Being the architect of Quondam is alone enough to satisfy by architectural dreams.

"Expressivness" is just one way to exercise 'arbitrariness.'

At base, arbitrariness means making a decision(s).

Equating arbitrariness with expressiveness is just as limiting as equating arbitrariness with not building square.

Even when an architect designs contextually these days, it is largely an arbitrary decision to do so, except when there are actually statues, i.e., laws, that state that one must design contextually in a given area.

I don't know what The Architecture Machine is about, but when I first learned to used CAD, I quickly realized that here is a machine that greatly enhances my creative capabilities, especially in terms of drawing/designing (if not also quick career advancement). With this realization also came another realization that I could now/then have two dexterities, one manual and one via machine (cad). One dexterity didn't replicate (or replace) the other, however.

My drawing/drafting dexterity went on to grow (exponentially) through CAD, while my manual dexterity went 'primitive', slap-dash, expressive, but not exactly arbitrary because decisions were not part of the (initial) manual creative process.

When Gehry's work first came to my attention right around the same time (1982 was my first trip to LA; 1986 my second) I surmised that Gehry too was at a point where his instincts and gestures were synonymous with his decisions.

I never read Cyberspace: First Steps because I didn't know about the book until 1997 (and I think the book itself dates from the early 1990s), and I am now unlikely to ever read it because my first steps in cyberspace are far, far behind me, and indeed predate Benedikt's "first steps," and I don't think I need any refresher course in terms of how to 'walk' around in cyberspace--as my first and only CAD instructors at INTERGRAPH in Huntsville, Alabama admittingly observed, I started running right away.

I will and do design all I want, and there is no sticking point for me. It just seems a shame that you cannot accept works of virtual architecture as a new, 'viable' addition to the realm of architecture.

Personally, I believe virtual architecture to be very ecological, economical, and yes, liberating. It's not meant to threaten your livelihood, however.

The city was always a place of shopping--markets, bazaars, etc. (often right next to the biggest religious building in the town). Remember Jesus clearing the Temple of Jerusalem, which is what probably really got him crucified.

The USA economy has developed into an economy reliant on its citizens doing lots and lots of shopping. This has been aided by such concepts/practices as planned obsolescence--Heckingers, 'the world's most amazing lumber yard' (or something like that) sold inferior products (like paint and paint brushes, etc.) that did not last much after one use. President Bush asks "Americans" to start shopping again after 9-11.

Are we (in the USA) now a people that more or less just buys things that purposely do not last? Isn't fashion the consummate industry of things (to shop for) that do not last (from season to season)?

Koolhaas et al's study of shopping is nothing revolutionary as much as it is more and more hype over shopping.

What the world really needs is a study on TRASH, the 'art' of disposal, an analysis of all that we humans today throw away, including large parts of cities!

After having the Koolhaas et al study on SHOPPING since it became available, I wish I never bought it. I should have waited till I could borrow it at the library. There is not much in it that I don't find disposable.

The necktie is nothing more than a vestige of bondage. Neckties are nothing if not useless, yet they do effectively place a knot around the neck. Nonetheless, they are still worn because it is some sort of correct thing to do, and what a joke that is.

Why should any modern individual care if anyone wears a necktie or not--there is nothing about it that makes sense. The necktie represents a direct bondage to the irrationality of conformity to what is now a huge industry of fashion. [Yes there are times when I wear a necktie, e.g., funerals or weddings, and once or twice a year is about all I can take.]

Think of all the suitcoats that wouldn't need to be bought if everyone worked at home. Think of all the air pollution that wouldn't happen and fossil fuel saved if everyone worked at home.

When Dutch architects Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos (www.unstudio.com) said "Architects will be the fashion designers of the future," were they really saying something that at base is unethical in terms of it's promotion of planned obsolescence, or were they (correctly?) predicting that architects will soon be the consummate designers of all things that purposefully do not last?

Given the fact that The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping is an academic/student exercise, shouldn't it really have been published online and made freely available to all? Harvard certainly has the means to underwrite such an effort, and there really is no reason why paper, ink, and all the other resources needed to print 1000s of books should have been so wasted. For doing the 'book' the way they did, the Harvard Design School indicates just how bad they can be at design.

Maybe a concerted effort to separate design from fashion is design's real next challenge.

Late Thursday night it dawned on me that all this recent discussion of fashion and design here at Design-L is (albeit unwittingly) the very beginnings of EPICENTRAL's fourth chapter--"Projects for Quaestio Abstrusa Fashions."

Going back to EPICENTRAL's own beginnings (specifically the email "Happy St. Helena's Day") you will find that Koolhaas and even shopping were from the very start somehow (strangely) integral to what is otherwise the first 21st century legend of St. Helena. Note that Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour via Learning from Las Vegas were also integral from the start.

Quaestio Abstrusa is the Latin for puzzle, and indeed a title I have already used, but since abandoned, at Quondam. I believe Quaestio Abstrusa has now finally found its real place in the overall picture. I'm just now remembering myself how www.quondam.com/epicentral describes EPICENTRAL as "an ongoing project that attempts piecing together some of architecture's pivotal puzzles."

I'm looking forward to "Projects for Quaestio Abstrusa Fashions" because I have a feeling that quite a bit of it will have to do with defrocking.

One is tempted to prove that criticism/critical thought is indeed still possible today, just as critical actions are still possible today. Critical reenactment, for example, is often practiced within the architectural design process, but the modern mindset, with it emphasis on progress and the ever new, has (psychologically) denied reenactment's 'critical' existence, thus manifesting a truly strange situation where reenactment (in design) occurs all the time, yet without designers really being aware of it (or at least not admitting it).

Reenactment Season begins 14 July and ends 29 September. Of course, the height of Reenactment Season is the first week of September including a few days before and after, but, then again, reenactments also have the uncanny ability of being completely unpredictable.]

Perhaps Mussolini's greatest artistic execution was his entire oeuvre of reenactments, from the personal level right on up to the world political level.

Caligula, Nero, Elegabalus, Mussolini--all tremendous reenactors of the human spirit when it fully comprehends the ease of disposability that comes with absolute control. The New World as it morphed into the Corporate USA reenacts that same human spirit.

The question was "if there will ever be a full review of the academic system the same way that Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Anderson and others in the business sector are being checked-and-balanced?" One way to review the academic system is to purposely reenact it. The strengths and weaknesses of any operation inevitably become clear via its reenactment, thus enabling the reenactor to make well-tailored decisions (where the real art in reenactment occurs) that better (or worsen) that which is being reenacted. Once a system becomes thoroughly understood via reenactment, it is then a matter proper timing for its reenactment to manifest the fullest surpassing effect.

Last night I was wondering if there isn't at least one 'abstract' entity that does indeed aid in building language, and that entity is timing.

So then it is actually those bored crop circle designers and executors that should be getting the MacArthur grants? Seems like they are the real geniuses out there. Or at least they are the greatest 'earth surface' artists alive today.

The funny thing about hoaxes is that while they are active and even after being disclosed, many people simply believe that nothing actually happened, where, in truth/reality, something did indeed happen.

Whether created by humans or not, crop circles are fascinating in their design and execution. I'd rather visit a crop circle than MoMA in Queens or Guggenheim Bilbao or a Prada Epicenter, (speaking of other, accepted hoaxes), for example.

I have often 'played' with changing the x,y,z parameters of existing CAD models. It is very easy to change the Villa Savoye, for instance, by x factor of 2, a y factor of .5 and a z factor of 3--this will make the Villa Savoye twice as long, half as wide, and 3 times as high. And if you incorporate an angle change(s) along any or all of the x, y, or z axes, then the resultant model gets very bizarre.

I utilize parametric design capabilities to investigate what modes of 'drawing' are at my disposal--it is 'playing' to learn and observe rather than just to entertain (myself).

The biggest advantage of CAD over hand-drawing is that CAD generates digital data, and it is indeed the digital property of CAD data that make the data so usable (ultimately to CAM) and malleable (via variable parameters).

Like the present EPICENTER of Prada, the EPICENTER of Quaestio Abstrusa Fashions is within walking distance of a world record building implosion site--Prada is near the site of the largest building(s) implosion of the 21st century, while the House of QAF/FAQ is near the site of largest building implosion of the 20th century. Now who's reenacting who?

When I refer to the 3D environment of CAD, I am not necessarily referring to the notion of deriving all drawings from a single model. I am more referring to the 'infinite' drawing area that CAD affords.

I see no reason to 'regain' the quality of "fine hand drawing." Hand drawings, no matter what quality, are a finite set.

Are architects and planners really nothing more than professionally trained ersurers? Where exactly is that home where the buffalo roam?

I've come to realize that the national historic sites of downtown Philadelphia as they have become enshrined are nonetheless going through a continual process of erasure and palimpsest via simulacra and (indeed) reenactment.

Is there any real reason to believe that talk of massive discontent will ultimately connect to massive contentment? It is likely more true that contentment in one realm ultimately connects to discontent is another realm.

I guess if there ever was massive contentment, an economy like the USA's wouldn't be able to exist. And where would the design industry be in a world of massive contentment?

Unlike damnatio memoriae, which really only more deeply establishes memories via the scars of erasure, the uncanny genius of laws of silence is that the more successful they are, the less history will ever know about them.

Although I agree that junk usually isn't pretty, if not often pretty ugly, junkspace itself is something that can be found in just about every USA home. Maybe junkspace in the outside world is really just a reflection of how US Americans personally live.

In doing some research/reading yesterday, I found that Louis Kahn proposed marriage to Esther Israeli at Philadelphia's Rodin Museum. Anyone that has every visited the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia will surely remember the enormous and wonderful Gates of Hell as one enters the museum.

Cad is a great medium for sharing drawings/data, and an even greater medium for generating ever more and new drawings/data.

Another thing Rashid said is that his firm never expected their Virtual New York Stock Exchange project to receive all the recognition it did, which completely contradicts what Rashid said at the Anything conference (June 2000 I think), that is, that he pretty much demanded the clients of the project to publicize it!

The other thing that I like about digital data is that it is so malleable.

From my experience over the last half dozen years, the so-called severance of art from religion, magic, and myth is not at all a complete and absolute phenomenon. In fact, that of my art which is the most valuable is indeed engendered via religion, magic, and myth.

While I very much appreciate what you say about architecture utilizing existing context, and the current plight of local architects versus brand-name signature architects [remember Libeskind tells us there are no more master architects!], I'm now-a-days dealing with designing buildings within the context of the virtual.

The issues of reuse and fitting-in still apply, but the notion of have to destroy to start anew is something completely other in the virtual realm.

Could it be that the automotive industry is not much more design conscientious than the fashion industry in that 'design' is for the most part just a means to generate continual yearly sales, while at the same time subliminally indoctrinating a somewhat universal acceptance of planned obsolescence?

Perhaps it is now time to universally acknowledge that there is design, which attempts to solve problems like reducing pollution and increasing safety, and there is over-design which is fittingly superficial.

In terms of architecture training, it would be interesting to categorize which courses teach what amounts to design and which classes teach what amounts to over-design.

Perhaps there is some secret meaning involving the (publishing) notion of Art History for Crash-Test Dummies?

Architecture as a profession is stuck in denial that it is really a business.

The trace data may also be useful in analysis.

The subdirectories so far are dossiers, epicentral, metabolic, and new.

In just now looking through the dictionary for the definition of the various words, I came across "mutatis mutandis" which means: the necessary changes having been made.

Being FOG starts with the Working Title Museum, and the explanatory text of the design is the story of being FOG immediately prior to the double racism theater, a being FOG production.

There seems to be every opportunity to utilize /dossiers at Q in creating many "small scale yet full" documents on any number of architects and buildings in the collection.

"Finding a Lost Piranesi" was initially thought to be part of TX2, with a quite fortuitous connection to the notion that reenactment has a possible relationship with predestination-- "Was I predestined to find the lost Ichnographia because I have been reenacting (the drawing of) the Ichnographia?"

Aside from a straight forward account of the actual finding and its documentation, the contents will also contain the more "revealing" aspects of my Campo Marzio interpretation, specifically the Pagan-Christian double theater, as well as my criticism of the "unfounded" interpretations of Tafuri, Bloomer, Allen, and Eisenman.

I forgot to mention that the concept-notion-theory of reenactment will be an over-riding theme.

The 18th August Ambrose and Theodosius calendrical coincidence is the unlocking key of TX2 and the silence of Constantine I.

Constantine's main reason for the silence was to keep power over the Church hierarchy knowing full well the Church would immediately usurp the power if the silence was not maintained and enforced.

In 395 Theodosius died on 17 January and in 2002 there was the massive volcano at Goma in most eastern Congo.

The Helena story is now complete in scope, just as the Piranesi story begins with the sarcophagus of Maria.

The whole individuality thing could consequently steer my focus to being/virtual and museumpeace in general, which implies that would want TX2 done the sooner the better.

The other place for my individuality is within being/found where I really want to "defrock" Eisenman of his false Piranesian identity.

Architecthetics as the silent half of Bernini's play--let's hear some unexpected laughter; the obituary of Theodosius text, and St. Helena's and St. Ambrose of Olney and Wildwood Assumption double theater (August 15 and 18); TYPE in outline; 18 August; move the capital to Syracuse; all that I know about double basilicas.

It's interesting that Hatfield House and the Letitia Street House are "architectures that moved."

I also found out today that west Girard Avenue is on axis with the two columns in West Fairmount Park.

Regarding the now Mt. Sharon Baptist Church, I wonder if the same architect did the Jacob Reed store on the 1500 block of Chestnut Street, instead of the architect of the Keystone Building (Hale).

I think Scott Brown is familiar with the Peirce School doorway because their office used to be just a couple blocks away (remember "Resist").

I can see why Scott Brown was reminded of the Peirce School doorway by the Girard Avenue house, but I don't think there is any relation except perhaps both buildings being contemporary.

With the Hatfield House, the Letitia Street house and Cedar Grove, it seems that there once was a concerted effort to save historic homes and at the same time concentrate historic architecture in Fairmount Park.

Appositional architecture is not all that plentiful, and thus I would have to consciously work at producing, assuming I even know what appositional architecture is.

Is something like "Piranesi in Color" an example of "appositions"?

I guess Piranesi images were going to be the thing, but that isn't the case anymore.

The refilling North Philadelphia idea has to do with introducing non repetitive plot sizes and shapes, and an initial layer of "infrastructural ruins"--built elements that are meant to last for centuries, and that will accommodate any variety of "add-on" architecture.

I really like the notion of a paperless imagination, and I'd like to see it develop into a number of publication projects.

Paperless Piranesi, on the other hand, seems very promising in that it finally gives me the opportunity to really play and present all kinds of manipulated Piranesi imagery.

Koolhaas already knows he can never be the first virtually famous architect.

Perhaps the best way to generate something different is to not follow a "designed" pattern; more or less incorporating difference precisely for differences sake.

Right now I'm thinking Quondam in general can play out the virtual museum theme via exhibit one and just about everything else that followed.

For Quondam, there was the idea of at least making the virtual museum of architecture idea to enlarging the scale of models and planting them throughout either the Philadelphia model or within the Ichnographia Campus Martius, or even within IQ.

Perhaps the objective is to make the shopping "experience" as uncommon (i.e., different) as possible.

"Piranesi Police" -- what began as an idea for a short article focusing on the police station next to the Ara Martis is now very likely to become a whole CD publication that expands into how the Campo Marzio has been continually misread, and in turn how to read it correctly.



The secondary theme to come out of Tafuri's descriptions of the Campo Marzio is the notion of unknowability, insignificance, and the archeological mask." It is these ideas that I will refute and subsequently correct.

I can speculate that Tafuri believed the "archeological mask" covered a historical-polemical agenda on Piranesi's part, and, if so, Tafuri disclosed his own prejudices.

I suspect that Tafuri's own historicist-polemical agenda got in the way of an objective analysis-disclosure of Piranesi's true intentions as portrayed by the Campo Marzio.

Piranesi's cribbing of the Porticus Amelia for the Septa Julia may actually represent Piranesi's scale for the entire Ichnographia.

My hypothesis is that Piranesi very purposefully installed the Forma Urbis fragment of the Porticus Amelia into the Ichnographia for the precise purpose of demonstrating more of the actual scale (and gigantism) of ancient Rome.

In no way was Piranesi trying to be deceptive or misleading, nor was he acting out of ignorance of the fragments true identity.

I was surprised to find that there are many references to the Campo Marzio in The Sphere and the Labyrinth than I had initially noted.

It is now confirmed that St. Peter was crucified head downward, at least it is confirmed as part of Christian tradition.

This lead to further interpret the Porticus Neroniani on the Axis of Life as not only an inversion of the basilica of St. Peter's, but, more to the point, the porticus symbolizes the inverted crucifixion of St. Peter.

Furthermore, because the porticus carries Nero's name, there is also the connection of Nero as Antichrist, and thus the inversion theme intensifies.

I am now thinking that this very building (the Porticus Neroniani) carries an essential meaning for the entire Ichnographia, for all the above reasons plus for the fact that within the porticus' plan itself there is a significant switch in the way the walls are composed--the nave of the porticus is of a traditional layout of piers, yet in the transepts the walls take on a very unique formation that generates a distinct pattern of solid and void.

This methodical shift from solid to void is in and of itself a notation (demonstration - mark) of an oscillating or perpetual inversion process.

This plan as pattern is also perhaps a proto-sign of what might be called Piranesiesque, i.e., a type of planimetrics that is original to Piranesi and perhaps a prototype of his unique planning "style," which in turn proliferates throughout the Ichnographia.

The article will begin with the obvious similarities between Düsseldorf and Stuttgart and the Altes Museum -- the circular court, the path through the site -- however, I will make it look as though the similarities end there by then calling out what Düsseldorf doesn't have that Stuttgart does., i.e., the column of trees and the "narrative of architectural history" -- although Düsseldorf does have a porch like the Altes Museum and Stuttgart doesn't.

Here I will recall the conference room "construction" from the Olivetti Headquarters design (project) as the "origin" of the ramp-elevator motif.

I am oddly reminded here of the double theaters story from Circle and Oval in St. Peter's Square.

"The model is offered in the full spirit of virtuality" -- the exponential potentials that come from sharing the data in the hopes of an as yet unimagined Philadelphia.

So clones are egotists!?!

The sink in the lower foyer of the Villa Savoye could be used as denoting the profane realm when it comes to addressing the profane to sacred nature of the architectural promenade.

The idea sprung from the possible virtual exhibit of Kahn's West Pakistan Assembly Building over Logan Circle.

The anchor of the whole scheme is, of course, Quondam at the foot of the Art Museum and across the circle is Temple Architecture along the banks of the Schuylkill.

The first theme will be the building in context which will address the specific urban fit of the design as well as the position of the pavilion and the use of existing facades.

Other themes will be the archived via axonometrics and perspectives, plans and elevations, the lobby, the layers of the model, a selected plan and elevation comparative analysis (a la the domestic comparisons), the new "ideal city", and the "analogical building", and perhaps also museums in Quondam's collection.

I have decided to sort through all my notes and group them by building or project.

Is the Ichnographia a picture of a perfected Rome, a Rome that transcended the realm of mortal conflict and material decay, and become a new refreshed and restored Rome in the hearts and minds of the righteous and just?

This leads me to think of the Ichnographia's eradication of the Aurlian Wall as its most idealized act.

It is like the "negative" act that allows the "positive" act of Piranesi's most fantastical plans and "reconstructions".

There is, of course, the significance of Piranesi's placement of a Porticus Phillippi along the Triumphal Way, the Peruzzi drawing, and the exchange with the Crypta Balba.

This project also encompasses the theme of new dexterity because I will be exercising the new dexterity of html and digital graphics in general as well as potentially dealing with the many "new dexterity" issues.

The main point of the text will be to demonstrate the effect of the Bustum Hadriani on Rossi's Modena Cemetery design.

It is interesting, however, that Piranesi and the Ichnographia are never mentioned in The Architecture of the City or The Scientific Autobiography even though the autobiography is all about personal inspirations.

In reading the article in Oppositions 5, there are some descriptions of Rossi's notions of the city that also describe the Ichnographia.

The full name is the Department of Architectural Theory Annexation--D.A.T.A.

Then comes the Canon of Polyclytus, the solar system, the Timepiece gauge, phases of the imagination as related to the internal organs.

After seeing how the figure captions are inverted with regard to the Ichnographia and the Nolli Plan in the P. Eisenman section of Autonomy and Ideology, it reminded me of the other mistaken inversions that I have found in other texts on the Ichnographia.

Today, in reading Suetonius' Life of Caesar Augustus, there is mention of envoys from India coming to Rome to pay homage to Augustus Caesar.

Coincidentally, I looked through The Story of Architecture (1997) and came across a photograph of the Great Stupa in India dating from the 1st century AD. What is amazing is that the Indian structure is very much like the tomb of Augustus in Rome.

I keep on thinking how I can't wait till I'm "Playing" with the collection through the many capabilities of CAD, yet I never seem to allow myself the real opportunity to "act out" my ideas.

No doubt, I will try to make use of all the novel options available with HTML and animated gifs.

As to the subject matter, I will remain focused specifically on the three concepts of life, death, and the Triumphal Way.

Each of these topics, however, bring a number of other concepts with them, such as inversion, reversal, and beginning and end, and the whole notion of reenactment.

What will be of overall interest is that nearly all the texts contributed major pieces of the puzzle, that while it could be looked at as a grand collage, the final picture is nonetheless a strongly cohesive unit of data that points ostensibly to the fact that Piranesi knew virtually all there is to know about the ancient Roman Campo Marzio, and, moreover, the Ichnographia is the metabolic catharsis of Piranesi's almost unfathomable assimilation of knowledge attained throughout the decade or so immediately prior to the drawing of the Ichnographia and the ultimate publication of Il Campo Marzio.

The other aspect I still have to decide upon is whether to take a slapdash approach or to try creating something along the lines of a marquee which could incorporate a narrative.

Along with proposing a "cedar grove" at the Whitaker Mill site, my schematic idea is a building under a canopy of trees with some kind of "sun dial" that would act like the oculus of the Pantheon.

My first choice of site is the Whitaker Mill site because of its juncture with history and its overall centrality to the park as a whole.

My second choice would be the Olney & Clarkson site, but I really feel that the "field" should be kept virgin.

This concerns the notions of origins and demise, "rise and fall," the great span of time, extremes and means, reenactment, and inversion.

Along with shedding new light on the Ichnographia, the dictionary has major implications for the glossary of the Ichnographia.

What has always been troubling is that the Triumphal Way does not begin at this temple, along with the fact that Piranesi "creates" a whole separate Temple and Area Martis on the other side of the Tiber.

With the inclusion of the circus and baths, moreover, the entire "building" defines what could be considered a new typological urban prototype, one that Piranesi designed, and, because of the great time span between the first altar of Mars and the reign of Alexander Severus, there is a sense of maturity, i.e., a maturity of design and urban purpose with regard to Rome itself.

Essentially, the early (proto) temple of Mars becomes, over time, the centerpiece of a public "park," which is surrounded by an Imperial Palace, and, because of the porticus and the circus, the entire populus of Rome itself.

As I am writing this note, Philadelphia's Independence Mall comes to mind because, like the campus Area Martis, Independence Hall is the birthplace of the United States - the program for both sites is virtually identical.

I forgot to mention the idea that the Campo Marzio Area Martis complex, in its collection of typologies, is somewhat similar to Schinkel's Altes Museum in the way that that building is also a composite of typologies.

I found out yesterday the phallic plan formations in the Bustum Augusti are labeled as poticus for the mourning of soldiers.

Furthermore, the introduction of a "mother figure" directly on the axis of life consummates the notion of procreation that is there already present.

I came up with the idea of looking at the Ichnographia as a ancient Roman theme park--a virtual place where one can vicariously experience the ancient city as well as learn about the history of the city.

I am not at all a fan of late 20th century theme parks, but their "virtuality" has not escaped me.

Judging by what is created today in terms of simulacra and mass entertainment, it is as if the Ichnographia is the uncanny prototype.

Does this correlation shed new light on the present relevance of the Ichnographia as a planning paradigm that prophetically explains architecture's state as well as shed light on the future?

Moreover, the design of the clitoporticus directs all focus upon the place of burning, and it is easy to imagine the wailing that would emanate from this place--it is interesting to match the raising of wailing voices from the clitoporticus with the raising of smoke from the cavea bustum.

The whole Bustum Hadriani, now more than ever, comes across as exceedingly morbid, and, ironically, it seems that the burning of the dead within the Bustum Hadriani is treated as a spectator sport, especially with the grandstands of the cavae bustum.

The evocation of joy is certainly the opposite of evoking the spirits of the underworld, and it was this sharp contrast that led me to notice all the other contrasts between the Bustum Hadriani and the Bustum Augusti.

It is also important because of all Rome's history, Pagan, Christian, and Imperial, are allegorically represented in the plan.

Today was the first time I overlaid St. Peter's Basilica directly over the Porticus Neroniani (the "up-side-down" St. Peter's) and I was shocked by finding that the outline of St. Peter's Basilica and Square match exactly the outline of the Porticus Neroniani and the Temple and Area of Mars complex.

The piazza of St. Peter's matches the dimensions of the Area Martis, the Temple of Mars fits within the forecourt of St. Peter's, and the nave and transept crossing of the Neronian Porticus falls right in line with the crossing of St. Peter's.

Up until now, I mistakenly thought it was the horti Luciliani that Messalena murdered for, but it is actually the horti Luculliani.

Of course, this is very thought provoking because it makes me wonder if there is anything satirical in Piranesi's plan of the garden, and perhaps the answer here has something to do with the shrine to Minerva being in the center of one of the building complexes -- literally "wisdom" (but also "weaving") in the center of a garden of satire.

The notion of Piranesi being satirical himself throughout the Ichnographia is also a very intriguing idea, and I can at least apply it to what Piranesi does in and around the horti Luculliani.

First of all, the garden buildings do exhibit various phallic shapes in their plans, but none of them are obvious, so I won't make a big deal out of this one aspect.

What is more interesting are the various other gardens and buildings that Piranesi places on the same plateau as the horti Luculliani.

Some of them, like the horti Narcissus, relate directly to the Messalena story since it is the freedman Narcissus that ultimately has Messalena killed.

There is also the horti Anteri, a name that does not show up in the dictionary, but the word Anteros means "an avenger of slighted love," which describes both Messalena and her husband the emperor Claudius, although for different reasons.

I will from here on refer to the above project as the Encyclopedia Ichnographia.

According to the biography of Hadrian, he was a favorite of Plotina. In fact, there is some cause to believe that it was Plotina that got Hadrian named as successor at Trajan's deathbed.

Because of the similarity in name, there is now reference to both Hadrian's real mother and to his adoptive mother within the axis of life and death.

That is to say, Piranesi set out to improve the ancient Campo Marzio's "urban plan" without changing the region's existing program.

In a very possibly intentional way, Piranesi's actions parallel those of the Emperor Hadrian whose redesign of the Pantheon one assumes was an improvement upon the original Pantheon designed by Agrippa.

This parallel between Piranesi and Hadrian, moreover, may even explain why Piranesi presents Hadrian's tomb with such blatantly unarcheological exaggeration.

This is perhaps the most solid assessment of the Ichnographia that I have made thus far, and it makes me realize that Piranesi operated on a few planes when generating his plan of the Campo Marzio--there is the redesigned plane, the Pagan-Christian narrative plane, and the plane of (composite?) temporal palimpsest.

To make matters difficult, however, none of these planes complies completely with the other two, nor can any of the planes be viewed completely independent of the other two.

In essence, Piranesi's (design) methodology emulates the very nature of Rome itself.

The Ichnographia is a plan of many layers of meanings and messages which ultimately and aptly represents Rome the city of many physical and historical layers.

As an archeologist, Piranesi "reconstructs" all the layers of Rome's ancient past.

As a well educated 18th century Roman Catholic, he "drafts" the narrative of Rome's Pagan to Christian inversion (conversion), and as a highly evolved architect-designer he displays the "Eternal City" with infinite virtuality.

A few days ago I thought about my over-riding interest in things that are incomplete (i.e., unbuilt projects), and how it relates to my great knack of starting many projects without completing them.

I was thinking how I might somehow relate the theme of incompleteness directly to Quondam.

My real goal with Quondam should be to create an incredible and extremely large collection of architectural drawings.

It is perhaps the pervasive and very reliable archival and repository nature of virtual place that manifests an advantage over real place.

It could be described as an historian's dream come true in that all transactions and data creation and transmittals are recorded in time.

Time and its immediate connection to action is one of the supreme (if not the supreme) features of virtual place in cyberspace.

I also want the museum to reflect how Quondam itself is growing, how it is a work in progress.

I'm not yet sure, but I also wonder if I could slowly build my own "virtual place", a kind of Ichnographia Quondam that (eventually) reflects Quondam's entire essence and modus operandi.

I just realized that if I did one entry a day, it is still going to take me about two years to complete all the entries I propose to do.

One of my first tasks will be to create a page for every building plan that I have already redrawn.

I found out today (on the web) that Dante places Trajan in Heaven, and as such he is the only pagan Roman Emperor in Heaven.

I found out today that the Temple of Matidia, which Hadrian dedicated to his mother-in-law, was the first Roman temple named in honor of a woman.

I just remembered that the four-sided Temple of Janus is also clearly delineated on the fragment.

If this is so, then Piranesi deliberately places himself (figuratively) within the garden of the father of Roman satire.

This could be seen as Piranesi's directly identifying himself with Luciliani as a "modern" father of Roman satire.

The approach will be freer and almost without any discernible hierarchy.

From the very beginning of Quondam, I have had the idea of placing my model collection into some kind of context - an imaginary context - and I now have the idea of using the Ichnographia as the base plan for the context.

Moreover, the "program" of the Ichnographia could well inform the museum context.

This idea takes on even greater implications when I think of including the Parkway Interpolation model as well as the whole Center City model.

Like the Ichnographia, the whole design could manifest a message, and that message will be my critique/enlightenment of architecture today itself, starting with putting Laguna, Mayor and Wacko in place of the Garden of Satire.

I will explain how eventually all the current displays will become unavailable and how a new theme and working motif of Quondam will be to thoroughly investigate the benefits of virtual place and the new dexterity that comes with it.

I found out today that the Temple to Mars in the Forum of Augustus was dedicated at Philippi, and this adds further (possible) significance to Piranesi's incorrect positioning of the Porticus Philippi, because it was at Philippi that Mars became the specific guardian of the emperor.

Essentially, I will be constructing an "analogous city" a la Canaletto's Capriccio and Aldo Rossi.

I have come up with a whole scheme for a new program for the Altes Museum, and it involves keeping the building forever as is, and additions to the building should only be virtual.

These manipulative operations, which are made extremely easy with CAD, raises some serious issues, e.g., copyright, integrity of the secondary designer, as well as pushing the envelope of acceptable design practice.

In the realm of theory, however, this exercise initiates a totally new type of design methodology, one that stems almost purely from the benefits of cyberspace.

I noticed today while taking inventory of all my databases, that the cruciform Porticus Neronianae is not only somewhat similar to the Villa Rotunda, but also seems to be generated by the circle/square juncture diagram.

The main issue to address is that Quondam's collection is "virtually" an infinite collection, meaning that the base model data can be used to generate evermore data, be it new line drawings such as elevations, axons, and perspectives, any number of renderings, and even whole buildings derived from a manipulation of the existing data.

The closest example of this "manipulative" attitude toward architecture is (ironically) again Hadrian's Villa where the form of remembered places morphed into another style and an entirely other location.

So, is it correct/right to say that at the end of the 20th century, humanity (at least within the developed world) has reached a significant point where it is now possible to investigate, explore, and experiment quickly and easily, and in turn visualize, i.e., literally imagine all kinds of designs that are otherwise not readily "imaginable"?

What is wonderful about this new organization process is that the collection display is now free to grow completely unencumbered, which actually makes it all the more easy to create a variety of displays.

The rambling text interspersed with images and hyperlinks works wonderfully.

There is a thin line of demarcation, however, and it has to do with not taking a totally virtual/fantasy approach.

The virtual approach is very Piranesian, however, and I have often thought that Piranesi could/should be my role model.

Nothing about Quondam has to be traditional anyway.

The results of this process is actually a product that I've wanted to produce for some time, and it is giving me very favorable results thus far.

In this sense, the gallery will represent more of an ongoing experiment rather than any kind of official statement.

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