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2011.01.24 21:18
what is our current architectural style called
Architecture style is no longer defined by space, rather by time.
"Their house is the epitome of 2002 style."
"Design me something early 1840s. I'm feeling immediate-post-Schinkel lately."
"In the year 2525, when architecture is finally alive..."


2011.01.25 12:25
what is our current architectural style called
The more true question is: What are our current architectural styles called?
There has never been just one style globally active at any given time. There are many diverse styles of architecture active today. Even within just a single year there are diverse styles active. For example,
1927   1930   1942   1956   1959   1964   1972   1983   1993   1996   2001  
and that's just a very thin slice of any yearly cross-section.
I wonder if a worthwhile studio project might be to design a hypothetical '1963' building, for example, which would be a hybrid of a half dozen or so buildings that were actually dsigned or built in 1963.
Perhaps if there is a current Zeitgeist, it's one of individual (consumer) choice.


2011.01.25 16:19
what is our current architectural style called
The groupings simply came about by sorting the digital images I've accumulated over the years into a strict chronological order. More often than not I was surprised by what buildings are closely coeval. Certainly not the way I was used to seeing 'history'.
Is the result of Zeitgeist indeed now best described as collage?


2011.01.31 11:36
READING LIST
[Read 2226 last Autumn. The most satisfying novel I've read in quite some time. The experience somewhat reminded me of reading Joseph and His Brothers in 1982. Bolano's rendition (in part four) of the disintegration of the eastern front at the end of WWII was uncannily similar to how my father described that situation to me as we were driving through (what is now part of) Poland, in May 1990, back to his family farm which was confiscated by Russians sometime early Spring 1945.]
Since last Thursday, I'm reading Pier Vittorio Aureli's forthcoming (probably March 2011) The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. Quite by chance, if not indeed by accident, I'm in possession of a proof copy released for review December 2010. So far I've read the chapter on Piranesi, "Instauratio Urbis: Piranesi's Campo Marzio versus Nolli's Pianta di Roma" (twice), and the chapter on Boullée, "Architecture as a State of Exception: Étienne-Louis Boullée's Project for a Metropolis". When I first found the book available, I had no idea as to its contents. Needless to say, however, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a whole chapter devoted (at least in name) to Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius. Alas, Aureli doesn't really say much about the Ichnographia itself, at least nothing that Peter Eisenman hasn't already said. In fact, Aureli has written what amounts to something like an apologia for Eisenman's notion that the Ichnographia must be viewed in opposition to Nolli's plan of Rome and thus represents architecture as autonomous. Strange though, however, that while Eisenman is [re]cited virtually verbatim, there is no direct reference to Eisenman within the text or the notes--although, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture is part of the Writing Architecture series which is a project of the Anyone Corporation.
[Here's where I will relate pages 54-62 of Eco's The Limits of Interpretation.]
[The Scenograpia shows all that's left of ancient Rome within the Campo Marzio, and the Ichnographia shows us 1000 years of ancient Rome's Campus Martius all at the same time.]
After finishing Instrauratio Urbis a second time this morning, I then got out Bufalini'a map again, and made another discovery--the 'O' of ROMA along the top of Bufalini's map corresponds with Piranesi's placement of the spiraling oval of the Naumachia Domitiani. Piranesi is probably laughing right now.
Regarding Boullée, it is unfortunate that Aureli does not relate Boullée's architecture back to Piranesi's architecture of the Campo Marzio, especially in terms of planning and gigantism.

2011.02.01 11:38
READING LIST
Umberto Eco's The Limits of Interpretation is almost completely available online. I've read half of it over the beginning of winter holidays, and plan to read the rest soon. As mentioned above, I see the texts of pages 54-62 germane to a critique of Aureli's "Instauratio Urbis: Piranesi's Campo Marzio versus Nolli's Pianta di Roma":
"...a convenient opposition between interpreting (critically) and merely using a text. To critically interpret a text means to read it in order to discover, along with our reaction to it, something about its nature. To use a text means to start from it in order to get something else, even accepting the risk of misinterpreting it from the semantic point of view."
Eco, p. 57.
Aureli and Eisenman use Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius as a defense of their own beliefs of autonomous and/or absolute architecture, and indeed manifest misinterpretations (e.g. "Piranesi reinvented Rome as a city without streets.", Aureli, p. 137.) because they continue to ignore critical interpretations that have manifest many discoveries as to the actual nature of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius


2011.02.28 10:31
The art of faking it
l.t wrote:
'...and the idea was the relationship of the space which was made up of the fold of the image and the dialectic or the conflict between the figuration, and the kind of clarity of the image and the complexity of the space which were in dialog.'
Does anyone get this sentence? What's the idea? I'm not trying to dismiss Mayne or anything but sometimes man...what the heck is this guy talking about?
Lauf replies:
A case of over articulation leading to inarticulation. Perhaps the same could be said of the architecture.


2011.04.11 10:22
Ai Weiwei
Are we not now conditioned to see all discontent as an opportunity?
Parenthetically, what is progress without discontent?


2011.05.21 10:49
SMALL, BIG, FOG and LEONG LEONG
What we have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Mountain Dwellings by BIG and Beekman Tower by FOG and Audi Urban Future by Leong Leong all have a past, a history if you will, that extends back beyond their own existence. Whether wittingly or not, the BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs all relate (genealogy) back to respective Glen Small designs. (Just as John Stezaker's more recent collage work has a past that relates to some of my collage work from over 25 years ago.)
Conversely, what we also have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Turf Town and Copy Cat Skyscrapers and Jungle Theater all have a future beyond their own existence. In this case completely unwittingly, the Glen Small designs all relate (is progeny the converse of genealogy?) forward to respective BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs. (Just as some of my collage work from over 25 years ago relates forward to John Stezaker's more recent collage work.)
[Coincidentally, the movie I saw last night, The Double Hour, very much plays with the intermingling of a shared past and future, and, in the movie's case at least, the chaos that may well then ensue.]
It is quite common for designs to have a past that extends back beyond their own existence. And, conversely, it is more rare for designs to have a future that extends forward beyond their own existence. I'm not sure how much attention current architectural history pays explicitly to designs that have a future beyond themselves.
What's the best art 20 years from now? OR What's Glen Small designing these days?
[Does seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration play with the intermingling of a shared past and future?]

2011.06.20 13:41
Old Styles with a Modern Twist
"She suggested I make it look more current (funny how new, creative architecture is defined as anything done in current styles, and anything done in a previous style is imitation)."
Yes, it is funny, because almost all of it boils down to imitation. Even nonneutral's well intentioned advise above imitates (reenacts) what previous others have prescribed as a 'rational' way to justify design decisions.
My advise is to further pursue your initial approach, and when it comes time to justify your rationale, tell them you sincerely think your design solution has a better chance of success at ultimately achieving what it's supposed to.


2011.07.11 15:19
Question about Charles Jencks' Declaration
It wasn't the Purist aesthetic that died with Pruitt-Igoe, rather the Modernist notion that "good form was to lead to good content, or at least good conduct; the intelligent planning of abstract space was to promote healthy behavior" is what died.
Calling out the implosion of several blocks of the Pruitt-Igoe Housing as an historic event and marker of a paradigm shift was rather astute on Jencks' part. I wonder how many other Modernist projects only 17 years old have succumb to implosion prior to that of Pruitt-Igoe. For sure, many fairly young Modernist projects have been imploded since Pruitt-Igoe, but is Pruitt-Igoe perhaps still the youngest Modernist project to have ever been imploded. And, I wonder, how many housing projects like Pruitt-Igoe have been built since the implosion of Pruitt-Igoe. I'd guess very few if not none in the United States, but perhaps such projects remained (or even still remain) in production in lands under Communist regimes.
I was eye-witness to the world's largest building implosion (the roughly 70 years old Sears Philadelphia Headquarters, 1994). It happened so close to where I lived I walked to see it. What's most striking about a building implosion is the immediate and paradoxical manifestation of absence. Jencks advocated that the ruins of the Pruitt-Igoe implosion should remain as "a great architectural symbol. It should be preserved as a warning." Well, I don't think the ruins were preserved, so all that's left are pictures and absence. I think it's fair to say that the implosion of Pruitt-Igoe left behind a certain absence within Modernist ideology as well.


2011.08.05 18:19
Quondam's Fifteenth Anniversary
Oh, and what do you suppose the difference is between Culture and Random Tangents? Could it possibly be that one is actually inferior to the other? Now that I think about it though, culture today is nothing but random tangents.


2011.08.06 11:25
Quondam's Fifteenth Anniversary
Random Tangents Culture
I suspect Network Culture grew as quickly as it did because the field was already a fertile Random Tangents Culture.
Read this morning:
"...his "visible form" is based on the sensuous experience that emerges only as one moves round and through a building, that changes with ever step, and is effected by the position and intensity of the light sources. In earlier criticism, buildings had been characterized from the point of view of an observer standing motionless and looking at a façade or an interior from the position of a photographer might choose to obtain the most favorable single view. Frankl's innovation reconstructs the kinetic experience of the observer who arrives at a single image as the product of many partial images.
James Ackerman, "Forward" in Paul Frankl's Principles of Architectural History.
calendrical coincidence - culture - quick deletion - almost just as quick reconstruction - random tangents
Noticed this morning (for the first time I think):
Wolf Meyer-Christian, Design for architectural museum in Berlin (1964)
and
Michael Wagener, Design for architectural museum in Berlin (1964)
in Heinrich Klotz, The History of Postmodernism (1984/1988).
These are student designs from Unger's seminars at the Technical University in Berlin between 1963 and 1968, "they exerted international influence when they appeared in a series of brochures (starting 1965) edited by Ungers. Both designs incorporate the Villa Calandrelli (the Villa Calender?!?), and this adjacency feature reminded me of Stirling's Science Center in Berlin (which I also see as a virtual museum of architecture).
Right around now 10 years ago I received OMA/AMO Rem Koolhaas, Projects for Prada Part 1 in the mail. Along with documentation of one of my favorite (random tangents) building designs--Prada Epicenter Store, San Francisco--there is note of "Content Database" and "Ubiquitous Display" and "Media Stage".

2011.08.23 11:20
Ideas
Personally, I see the notion of "architectural idea" as something distinct from "design concept" or "design methodology" or "design ideology" or even "thesis statement". For example, promenade architecturale is an architectural idea, like Le Corbusier's '5 points' are an architectural idea. Mat or box or blob or a combination of all three are architectural ideas. As per inspiration from team 10 primer, 'building as threshold' is an architectural idea.


2011.09.12 11:46
What would happen if you mix two master architects with opposing styles?
Le Corbusier - Kahn
Le Corbusier - Venturi
Schinkel - Trumbauer - Hejduk - Stirling
early Le Corbusier - late Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier - Hejduk
Mies van der Rohe - Hejduk


2011.09.12 11:55
What would happen if you mix two master architects with opposing styles?
Le Corbusier - Quondam


2011.09.12 19:00
What would happen if you mix two master architects with opposing styles?
comparative scale :: stylistic contrasts :: programmatic comparisons :: exploring architectural potentials/exercising architectural virtuality :: recombinant architectures :: an other architectural history


2011.10.01 09:35
Did deconstruction turn into blobitecture some time in the 90's?

"freedom from both recognized typology and recognized construction industry standards / techniques."
"...heed Tafuri's warning that "once the 'form is made free', the geometric universe becomes an uncontrollable 'adventure." (see Tafuri's "European Graffiti." Five x Five = Twenty-five, 1976.)

2011.10.03 17:20
Did deconstruction turn into blobitecture some time in the 90's?
When I look at the early graphics of Arquitectonica, I'm immediately reminded of Zenghelis and Koolhaas, hence, it appears the real inspiration came from the (new) architecture of Delirious New York, which isn't exactly a book pitching Deconstruction.


2011.10.08 10:44
Did deconstruction turn into blobitecture some time in the 90's?
[M]y contention with you is not whether Deconstructivism has roots in Constructivism, nor whether there was a neo-constructivism school of thought brewing in the early 1970s, rather my contention is with your sloppy historical analysis. And you really cannot discount Koolhaas's role as a leading protagonist of neo-constructivism. Plus, I now would like to know more about Zenghelis's role at the AA, and whether it was he that introduced the Constructivist aesthetic there (and to Koolhaas even).
As to Arquitectonia being second rate (which seems to be your main point), I like their early work exactly because it is derivative, where what is derived is fairly evident and the process of designing derivatively is something to learn from (rather than just denigrate). Plus, they were the first to get 'neo-constructivism' built, and built big.


2011.10.11 08:36
Did deconstruction turn into blobitecture some time in the 90's?
Personally, I find architecture's continual / simultaneous diversity of directions fascinating. If you look at architecture on a global scale and throughout history, there's never been just one direction at any given time, rather many simultaneities.
Deconstructivism did not stop where Blobitecture began. Right now, Blobitecture and Deconstructivism are still sharing a simultaneity along with a fairly wide range of other types of architecture.


2011.11.19 13:25
Quondam's Fifteenth Anniversary
Incidentally, every instance of Le Corbusier's Museum for Unlimited Growth is listed within Colomina's "The Endless Museum: Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe" (Log 15) except for the last instance, which is within the International Planning Competition for Berlin.


2011.11.21 08:40
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?
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.

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