Quondam as a hypermuseum -- turning Quondam into a place that takes the notion of (architectural) museum a step beyond. The possibility to use Quondam in the generation of something other, i.e., not just a virtual museum that reenacts the museum typology, rather a museum that generates its own unique (original) collection, and indeed its own existence.
This idea then quickly turned into the exhibit idea: "What to do with museums." ...taking advantage of Quondam's own museum model collection. The possibility of not only using the various museums as "actual" sites for exhibits.
...collecting, displaying, exhibiting, curating, but also creating "museumpieces" that are altogether new.
irony and feeling
Is it ironic that I find myself reading and asking about limits on architecture right after having written something about a virtually infinite architecture?
Engaging the intellect
Given your example's of architecture that engages the intellect and the notion that the most rewarding architecture "challenges the intellect and keeps its secret a mystery," isn't the Great Pyramid of Egypt then the most "rewarding" architecture of them all? And since the Great Pyramid is also more or less the oldest architecture still around, might not the rewards have gradually become less and less?
irony and feeling
To answer your question, I'm trying to come to grips with the notion of why European colonials didn't simply accept the architectures that were indigenous to the lands that they (the Europeans) colonized. I see this as a negative action because 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 loss 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."
In a recent post, you mentioned that commercialism may be readily acceptable to the post W.W.II generations, but I have to wonder whether the end of colonialism and the US civil rights movement are a better benchmark for the acceptability of diversity in all its guises.
When I first thought up the quote, "The whiter humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions," I was thinking of architecture.
irony and feeling
And I think you assume too much that I'm being "post-modern". I was speaking about architecture [and] using other terms for convenience. Everything you said was about broader cultural issues, but you said nothing about the architectural issues I raised. You changed the subject.
I am not seeking apologies or ways to change the past. I just don't want to see present or future architecture's succumb to further "Western" theoretical dominance, especially against diversity.
You bring up assimilation, but you don't mention that the assimilation of colonialism was a forced assimilation. In architectural terms, the 'purism' of early modernism was/is a form of assimilation in the extreme, namely purge. Global assimilation is one of today's dominant cultural aspects, but extreme assimilation like that of the last century is not a lasting aspect of humanity.
Part of my thinking is also given as a kind of preparatory warning. With genetic engineering becoming more and more a common science, humanity will find itself in the next century or so having to think real hard about diversity and individuality. Some forethought in this area is certainly not going to hurt. Imagine what might happen if the genetic engineers of tomorrow were trained to design like today's architects.
(a poem) today
It is very
clear that the reality of architecture
today is that architecture
today is very diverse,
even hyper-diverse. There are
as many styles of
as there are styles of
as there are styles of
as there are styles of
design choices available
architect, musician, artist and writer are virtually infinite
today. This hyper-abundance
choice substantiates the reality
The hyper-diversity of relative reality is architecture today.
I see a real problem in your view in that you see diversity as an academic fad as well as something that I am latching on to because I want to see change happen. What I'm doing is trying to come to an understanding of the practice and manifestation of architecture as it exists today, and part of how I'm doing that is to look at trends both recent and older. I am interested in diversity actually because I have over the last few years become very interested in non-Western architectures. Additionally, I have been compiling a strict chronology of architecture on a complete global scale. Without the usual Western categorization of architectural history, it is very enlightening to collectively see exactly what architectures and styles were executed on this planet at any given time. For example, notice what Gothic cathedrals and what Hindu temples were built at the same time, or the temporal relation between Mayan and Romanesque architectures. Even regionally, look at the incredible diversity of architecture built within all of Europe between 1517 and 1636 when viewing on a year by year basis.
Hyper Architecturism is now the document where I can correctly display all my ideas and manifestations of CAD play, especially the mesh surfaces and extruded rotations. Of course, the play will include model manipulation and collage/collision (which will easily be exhibited by simply capturing the play while I do the playing).
The whole book will begin with the (skin) questions: "so what then is architecture...?"
diversity and entropy
Is there a dominant architectural style today?
What is the dominant architectural style today?
Is the dominant style of architecture today (if there is one) a global or a
If there is no dominant architectural style today, does that then mean today's architecture is a diversity of behaviors?
If diversity of behavior is today's architectural style, is it then necessary for diversity to succumb to a dominant style, or, is the notion of a dominant style always prevailing over a diversity of behavior actually a Western paradigm that is not necessarily global in application (anymore)?
Of course, if diversity of behavior were to become the dominant Western paradigm, then diversity of behavior would be the dominant architecture style (given the Western paradigm of a style that dominates).
My point all along has been that diversity is today's dominant architecture style on a global scale, and that this phenomenon within architecture reflects a general diversification of culture globally. And by diversification I mean "the act or policy of increasing the variety of products or manufactures." Culture, as the arts today plainly signify, is just as much a commodity (i.e., an economic good) as those things that come out of a factory or are raised on farms. 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.
...a "working title museum"--domain of all tentative works/ideas...
1. ...feature "computed forms" whereby I utilize and package my DTM and extruded forms and 3d spline lines. "The way we think influences the way we use tools."
QA003: form or play? = Quondam Ludi (former play).
QA003: Form or Play? ...the question whether easily computer generated graphic data is actually a generator of architectural form or just electronic/digital play. Moreover, this theme opens up the whole issue of playing with existing models via scale manipulation and data collision.
I'm already in the process of archiving the DTM and extruded data in the collection, and added to this I will begin archiving all the architecture of schizophrenia + architectures. Right now I really have no set plan as to how this documentation will fit together, so right now all I can think to do is compile all the data for starters.
3. comment on Venturi's remark about "architects needing clients" as no longer necessarily true....
What role does schizophrenia play within recombinant architectures?
8. exposition of "epicentral" rotate/extruded surfaces--this adds lots of off-the-wall architecture.
Re: seagram's building
When I read the questions regarding the Seagram's building, I thought about the difference between the 'images' and the 'reality'. In this particular case, the reality is what R. saw yesterday when he rode all around the Seagram's building, and the images, which are all at a remove from the reality, are what is currently exhibited at MoMA/Whitney, plus the long published pictures in books and magazines, and the (iconic) images of Mies and his buildings that are taught to varying degrees in architectural history and design classes. To some extent, this issue of disparity between (architectural) reality and how (architectural) reality is presented has already been discussed, or at least noted, here at architecthetics.
So which is the most valuable aesthetic when it comes to architecture?
Is 'what a building really is' that which is most valuable in terms of being the harbinger of architectural aesthetics?
Is the real harbinger of aesthetics the way in which architecture is presented (which is largely separate from the building itself)?
Is architectural aesthetics really only that non-tangible (or at least non-built) apparatus that sets up the presentation (of the image) and in turn more or less subliminally sets up the platform of appreciation within the minds of those receiving the image?
metabolic slash delivery, etc.
In the recent Barbara Flanagan article in Metropolis on Venturi and Scott Brown it states:
And when Venturi envisions an electronic "facade of glittering information," the inevitable political question (what does it say and who decides?) can be a vexing one. "What the message is I don't know, and I'm not too ashamed of not knowing," Venturi says. "Content is not the architect's job."
I think Venturi here admits his most present flaw, and even goes on to make a big mistake about the future. As the architect of the first online virtual museum of architecture, I see content as very much the job of the architect.
Can it be said that precisely attacking flaws engenders paradigm shifts?
Kind-of like going into a black hole and then being in the other side.
I want to respond with a longer letter regarding content, but right now an outline is all I have time for:
1. The Whitehall experience is valuable and perhaps even proto-typical as to what facade/screen/content issues will continue to arise for architects.
2. It will be simple enough to ask Venturi himself what he means by "content is not the architect's job," at the symposium in NYC this coming Saturday.
3. As it stands, I think Venturi's quote misleads in that content CAN now well be the architect's job. Whether or not content SHOULD be the architect's job is not the issue I'm proposing.
4. There may be one answer to "what is the content?" in some of Venturi's own prior writings/statements. For example, in the early 1980s Venturi very much championed buildings with all-over patterning. With programmable electronic screens as facades, there is now every opportunity for architects to design facades with many animated patterns.
5. After spending all of the last five years generating the content for and programming several thousand 'screens' of Quondam, I might just have more experience than any other architect when it comes to architecture as the delivery of content. 'Architecture as delivery of content' describes precisely what I see as a forthcoming issue for architects.
Re: building text
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.
Re: building text
It's interesting to 'see' what new imaginings manifest once one begins to think of architecture as the delivery of content.
Piranesi's Continual Double Theaters
The subject of double theaters starts with Bernini's play--the Baroque ending for sure--and it is Piranesi that continues this Baroque design technique. Oddly, the double theater aspect of Piranesi's design methodology has yet to be recognized by designers or design theorists or critics.
A short list of Piranesian double theaters:
1. check for possible examples in the Prima Parte.
2. the two states of the Carceri.
3. Wilton-Ely's example of mirrored precedent for one of the Carceri.
4. the overall double--Pagan-Christian--narrative of the Ichnographia Campus Martius, with the Scenographia as the empty stage set.
5. the double directional Triumphal Way.
6. the axes of life and death.
7. the axes of love and war.
8. the Mars - St. Agnes axis.
9. the theatrics of satire--Horti Luciliani.
10. the (literal) double theaters-- Marcellus and Balbi.
11. the "circus act".
12. the back versus front of the altar.
13. the two sets of cochinae--is the snail its own double theater in that it self propagates, i.e., fulfills both sex roles individually? does this relate to the intercourse building?
14. the "rise and fall" (of Imperial Rome) as delineated by the two Busti Busti.
15. it seems a case could be made regarding the working together of two mediums-- plan delineations in combination with Latin labels.