All architecture is artificial, even to the point where you can say that architecture is the most artificial thing on this planet. And if architecture is to be truthful, it can really only be truthful to its artificiality. Moreover, it is that architecture that most pushes its artificiality to the extreme/edge that becomes the best architecture.
I'm speaking here mostly of real architecture, designs that are built. Virtual architecture (designs that could be built but aren't) and post-real virtual architecture (architecture that was built but no longer exists) express their truthfulness in other ways.
Some of Piranesi's virtuality becoming real. (It seems this has been discussed somewhere here before.)
Here the newly real is not only extremely truthful to its artificiality, but extremely truthful to its over 200 year old virtual precedent as well.
how convinced are you?
Now I see how the virtual has been my escape.
Is theory an escape?
Is teaching an escape?
Is drawing an escape?
Is writing an escape?
1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail.
2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
3. to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
4. to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory.
5. Botany. (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
6. (of a rocket, molecule, etc.) to achieve escape velocity.
7. to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.): He escaped the police.
8. to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil): She escaped capture.
9. to elude (one's memory, notice, search, etc.).
10. to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person): Her reply escapes me.
11. (of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one's lips, etc.) inadvertently.
Lebbeus Wood in China
Since I will never see this work in person, my experience of it will never be anything but virtual. In fact, most of the architecture I "know" I've never seen in person, thus my experience of most of the architecture I know is virtual. Since the existence of (distributed) drawings and then photographs and then CAD models and then digital images, it has been possible to experience architecture virtually.
2013.10.03 21: 50
Why we create
Perhaps it's just semantics, but architects for the most part design; few architects actually also create.
Although, I suppose you can call a design a creation, especially if the design is never executed into built form.
I guess the point I really want to make is that most of what architects do is not actual creation, rather virtual creation.
Not sure why, but, while reading this post, I thought about the possibility of a virtual architectural biennale, some kind of online extravaganza. Webpages as venue for exhibits, lectures, discussions, touring. If I was the curator of the first such virtual architectural biennale the theme would be "How would you curate a virtual architectural biennale?"
Perhaps I should just start a forum thread "How would you curate a virtual architectural biennale?" every two years and see what happens.
...in thinking more about it, the idea of a virtual biennale kind of came to me because I realized that your last two posts about the Bi-City Biennale are being written (I assume) from Los Angeles. That got me thinking about how my virtual experience of the Bi-City Biennale through your posts is even more virtual than I first imagined. Eric (above) wrote your "essay has an overall Wish You Were Here feel," but you weren't even still there yourself. I don't know, it just seemed very inverted, paradoxical even.
Regarding a virtual biennale, I realize that it could never have the live event-ness of a real biennale, nor in any way be a 'machine' to bolster a local economy, but that lack of real place/time and economic drive might just be the underlying theme of any virtual biennale. Also, inversion. Instead of "Wish you were here," it would be more like: let me (virtually) show you what's special about where I'm at, but, to be honest, I'm glad you're not here because if too many people came here, then the special-ness would be lost.
It's strange to realize that 1990 is now almost a quarter century ago, and how much the world has changed since then. It seems like one could say that the whole People's Republic of China has gentrified in that time. As have many other parts of the world. Are we living in an era of global gentrification?
Beginning to wonder what virtually bolstering architecture and urbanism biennale-ly might mean or what biennale-ly bolstering architecture and urbanism virtually might mean.
Art + Architecture: Schumacher vs. Post-Net
Re: favorite book:
Thanks to the enormous scans within some really incredible online archives, I'm, just for about a month now, becoming very familiar with the volumes of post-Piranesi Italian archaeologists. For example,
The great multitude of drawings filled with all their fine detail just seem to fulfill some innate longing of mine. And I'm finding myself not at all bothered if some of the 'reconstructions' are not actually correct because I'm enjoying all the data as a unique and kind of atemporal/fictitious virtual environment.
Interview: September 2, 2013, 12:00 pm
I think it's worth pursuing the notions of drawing and/or/versus data. It's also necessary to note that what ever I say about drawing/data pertains largely only to the utilization of drawing/data as a medium and facilitator of designing architecture period, where as whatever you say (I assume) pertains to drawing/data as a means toward architecture as ultimately a building. Essentially, I'm investigating possibilities within the virtual (only), and you're investigating the possibilities of taking the virtual into the real. (I hope I'm not over-simplifying.)
You make a very good distinction when you say I came into the computer via drawing and you came into drawing via the computer. Thus I'll try to share a little of what that's been like for me and what I've learned and/or tried to work toward. (And what I say in this regard may ultimately be worth nothing practical, but I'll say it anyway.) Right away when I was first introduced to CAD I saw that it could allowed me to draw in ways I otherwise could only dream about. It put my manual dexterity into over-drive--I started redrawing Piranesi's Campo Marzio within a week of having my own CAD system April 1987. With 3D I soon thought of modeling architectural designs that were never built so as to experience these buildings virtually, essentially visiting architecture that didn't exist otherwise. This 3D project soon also became a real learning experience as to what constitutes good design (and the growing collection of CAD building models turned into Quondam a virtual museum of architecture). The 'job' of designing with CAD never became a real issue for me because from 1987-1990 I was a CAD consultant for a number of architects, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and Toll Brothers, where I wasn't designing for them, rather generating 2D and 3D data that they couldn't get anywhere else. My business evaporated with the 1990 recession, and by the time the recession ended (that's also when I took the registration exam and officially became an architect) my CAD skills were no longer 'rare' and there was no real demand for me as a consultant anymore. On top of all that, 1994 was when I became a more or less full time caregiver (for various members of my family since then) which made it impossible for me to get back into a full-time work position. Thus, for the past 22 years I've been using CAD kind of at my leisure, yet still seriously via Quondam. Some critics have said I'm only playing, but, like your football analogy, I'm definitely playing with goals in mind, where the overriding goal is to continually see how much can I get out of and how far I can push this notion of architecture via the virtual and CAD.
Because of my many years of drawing, I have a very large quantity of 2D and 3D drawing data, and it's this collection of data that's now my drawing playground. Designing buildings, however, is still a tough issue for me, primarily because I have no real building programs (although, since in the future everything will be a museum, it's always easy for me to design another museum (wink wink)). Thus I often design (with existing data) in reverse where the design comes before the program, for example, when I put Le Corbusier's St. Pierre at Firminy-Vert into Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue it turned out that I just designed my first mosque.
In just the last month or so, I've refined the terrain model of where I live, and I'm starting to place Quondam's collection in and all-around here--Ury House exists again, and I can readily change my own house into the Villa Savoye, Acropolis Q (lately complete with Venturi's Eclectic Houses) is under construction at the top of the valley and the Dominican Motherhouse of the Sister's of St Catherine de Ricci is just over the hill up the street, and I think it's the Trenton Jewish Community Center Bathhouse that's going over Kahn's grave. This is probably the closest my architecture is ever going to get to the real.
2014.09.15 16:01 from tammuz
The End of History?
I understand that you've described different stages/types of imaginations, a reference being here-o/0007. I was trying to delve into it and perhaps understand it for myself. I also find it interesting material to think about.
Just a few points:
1- While understanding the above, would not the resultant outcomes of these imaginations not demonstrate the nature of the imagination construing them and really the premise behind this imagination (a chicken and egg kind of order; after all the imagination must be based upon some connection to a concurrent reality and vice versa) ? Furthermore, you speak of osmotic/assimilating/etc imaginations and, separately, osmotic/assimilating/etc architectures. Therefore, in a way of responding to my own question...having started reading Monoe's writing on Stirling in the Theoretical anxiety book, one could say that Moneo is describing what could amount to a prodigiously assimilative imagination that has produced different architectures, at different phases, many of which were not, in themselves as architecture, assimilative.
Therefore, perhaps you end up with a theory of an imagination and another one altogether of the product of the imagination.
2- Seperately, since you propose an electromagnetic imagination as a forthcoming phase - en lieu of an around-the-corner finality- I was wondering whether an electro-magnetic imagination would be based on actuality of tending towards the electromagnetic - ie. our reality, technologies and so on- which implies -as an outcome- a virtual decorporalisation since the denominator here -even by figurative association- is the magnetic field generated, the charge of electrons and so on. Movement dictated by the nature of poles -not things- and relational pull on the basis of differential charge(Lit.)= Associations (Imagination) that transcend embodied presence to fluctuate, in a virtual air, between -perhaps- poles of previous imagination (Fig.), operating within an archive of everything that has ever been, knowledge-wise, maybe?
I can see how to approach osmotic, metabolic and assimilating; their modi operandi are somewhat eponymous, even if by way of figurative language. But electro-magenetic still puzzles me.
3- Also, I guess thirdly, another question: While I understand that you propose these as different types of imaginations that rein over different stages of human history (correct me if I'm wrong), is it not possible to use these as atemporal tools by which to cognize the different natures of past and present historical occurences and movements - in the vein of, for example, describing a baroque moment, be it in a pre- or post- baroque era?
You already hint at it here-3390x:
The Pyramids, Stonehenge, St. Peter's (Vatican), Bilbao(?) -- extreme, extreme architectures.
The Pantheon, Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, entry sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Kimball Art Gallery -- examples of the best osmotic architecture there is.
Classical Greek and Roman Architecture -- pure architecture of fertility.
The Hindu Temple -- the ultimate transcendence from an architeture of fertility to an architecture of pregnancy, whereas the Gothic Cathedral is an architecture of pregnancy, albeit virginal.
All of 20th century Berlin -- the metabolic (create and destroy and create and destroy and ...)
To understand architecture of assimilation, look at the Renaissance, but also look to early 20th century Purism to understand assimilation in the extreme, ie, purge.
Today's architectures are by and large assimilating and/or metabolic (contextual and/or 'deconstructivist'?).
You're very lucky if you ever see pure examples of electromagnetic or frequency architectures today because they are almost entirely architectures of the far off future.
There are many more examples to offer, but that's all for now. In general, I see all architectures as reenactionary (as opposed to reactionary).
Architecture reenacts human imagination, and human imagination reenacts the way the human body is and operates. The human body and the design thereof is THE enactment. The human imagination then reenacts corporal morphology and physiology, and architecture then reenacts our reenacting imaginations.
But interestingly, I again find this chasm between the description of an imagination and that of the architecture. Unless I have misunderstood. Do you mean that the design implication/intention/allusion of the Schinkel Altes Museum points to the osmotic (I could interpret that in conceiving of the fašade as being rendered a permeable one, for instance) or that the imagination that bore it submitted itself to a process of osmosis from other sources? This comes back to item 1. The difference I'm imagining, would that be valid?