010312a Tower for Princeton Memorial Park model 2207i01
...and speaking of random tangents
"In a sense Asimov, Heinlein, and the masters of American Science Fiction are not really writing of science at all . . . They're writing a kind of fantasy fiction about the future, closer to the Western and the Thriller, but it has nothing really to do with science . . . Freud pointed out that you have to distinguish between analytic activity. which by and large is what the sciences are, and synthetic activities which are what the arts are. The trouble with the Heinlein-Asimov type of Science Fiction is that it's completely synthetic. Freud also said that synthetic activities are a sign of immaturity, and I think that's where classical Science Fiction falls down."
--Ballard, Speculation, 1969.
Upon first reading this passage, thoughts of how Piranesi's Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma and particularly the Ichnographia Campi Martii have been largely misinterpreted by 20th century architectural 'scholarship' came to mind. The synthetic quality of Piranesi's archaeology (before archaeology was formalized into a science) is all the critics/theoreticians saw, and they completely discounted the analytical aspect of Piranesi's archaeology. Basically, a non-analytical analysis resulted in a synthetic interpretation.
The wonderful thing about Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma (including the Ichnographia Campus Martius) is that the distinction between the analytical and the synthetic is never manifest--the work seamlessly embodies both natures.
[note to self: think about an updated republication of "Theatrics Times Two" and "Theatrics Times Two, too".]
"Science now, in fact, is the largest producer of fiction. A hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago even, science took its raw material from nature. A scientist worked out the boiling point of a gas or the distance a star is away from the Earth, whereas nowadays, particularly in the social, psychological sciences, the raw material of science is a fiction invented by the scientists. You know, they work out why people chew gum or something of this kind . . . so the psychological and social sciences are spewing out an enormous amount of fiction. They're the major producers of fiction. It's not the writers anymore."
--Ballard, Speculation, 1969.
...and speaking of random tangents
As to "It raced so fast the pulse exited a specially prepared chamber before it even finished entering it," that book may already be written---perhaps either Einstein's General Relativity or Special Relativity. (But don't quote me on that.)
As it stands, to me, the sentence relates the pulse being quickly stretched between the entry and exit points of the chamber.
But the sentence may not even be correctly describing what really happened:
Perhaps it meant to say the pulse completely exited the chamber at a time in the past relative to its entry time.
Perhaps it meant to say the pulse bilocated, being at two locations but not at the same time; again, the second space/time occurred before the first space/time.
This is what the whole time warp theory is about. Or at least it's what it used to be all about. Or maybe theories quickly exit before they finish entering.
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeoisie...
...acquinted with the little icons BIG uses to brand each of their designs. In further curating at Quondam, I today happened to past through Morphosis Exhibit Redux again, and was immediately "shocked" by how the image shapes now remind me of BIG icons. A whole new set of building designs began flashing through my imagination.
13031201 La Villette Housing site plan old data 2229i05 b
...an article, at Dezeen yesterday, regarding Koolhaas and the curatorial intentions of the Venice Biennale 2014 is perhaps an interesting coincidence to the topic here:
The research-driven exhibition, entitled Fundamentals, will examine the essential elements of architecture and chart the emergence of a global architectural style. As well as encompassing the Arsenale and the Central Giardini Pavilion, this theme will extend to the 65 participating national pavilions for the first time in the biennale's history.
"After several architecture biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will look at histories, try to reconstruct how architecture finds itself in its current situation, and speculate on the future," said Koolhaas.
"With great courage and ambition, after having traced the history of modernity over the past 100 years to the present, he identifies and presents the elements that should act as references for a regenerated relationship between us and architecture," added Baratta.
For me, the main issue is the dissemination of histories, how the various 'narratives' are taught and/or used to create a common understanding of what and how things happened and, like the biennale example above, thus also "speculate on the future." As you mentioned, the histories disseminated can be 'true' as well as 'false'. Is the common understanding of the history of 20th century architecture more true or more false? Is the common understanding a full picture of what actually happened when? Unfortunately, I think the common understanding is not all that it could be. In a sense, I would rather a 1:1 scale appraoch where the common understanding is more in tune with just how diverse each year of 20th century architecture (considered globally) actually has been. At this point, I can only begin to speculate what the future of architecture would be if architecture students were taught just how diverse 20th century architecture actually was. Will "the emergence of a global architectural style" to come out of the 2014 Venice Biennale be a true history? Or will it turn out to be yet another partial truth?
I just today borrowed Vidler's 2008 Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism (which I read most of like five years ago), and it seems important to read again in light of the topic here.
Remember, the seeming 'immorality' you speak of is really only an artificial parameter. There is no real immorality in designing with a kit of parts. Look at Rossi's architecture and architectural designs themselves to see how he utilized the notion of analogous. Personally, I like this definition of analogous the most: having a similar function but differing in structure and origin: the wings of a bird and those of a plane are analogous.
14031201 House for Karl Friedrich Schinkel 003 plan
14031202 House for Karl Friedrich Schinkel 003 District Q context, plans
15031201 IQ01 plan 2392i99
15031201 nARCHITECTS Butterfly Merriweather Park Guest Services Building Columbia MD
15031202 OMA Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge London
18031201 Palace of Versailles and Park working plans image 2092i23