Horace Trumbauer, Whitemarsh Hall (Wyndmoor, PA: under construction, 1917.09.26)
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On the occasion of the World Design Conference held in Tokyo in 1960, a group of young 30-something Japanese architects proposed "metabolism" as a new 'ism' for architecture and urban planning. Their idea was quite simple: architecture and the city should constitute an open living organism that grows through metabolism, instead of an enclosed, static machine.
--Arika Asada and Arata Isozaki, "From Molar Metabolism to Molecular Metabolism" in Anyhow (1998).
What the Metabolists failed to realize is that metabolism (as a physiological operation) is a creative/destructive duality, hence, metabolism does not define a continuous organic growth, as much as growth integral with equal measures of destruction.
Schumpeter called capitalism "creative destruction," which, if correct, essentially labels capitalism as being metabolic. There is no question that we live in very metabolic times. Unfortunately, most (product) designers today (seem to) remain oblivious to the fact that what is great design today will soon enough be tomorrow's trash.
architecture and accidents
"...check out some of Peter Eisenman's work. It has an accidental quality--he sets up processes and systems and kicks back and waits to see what happens."
As just described, Eisenman's methodology is then a process of intended serendipity rather than a process of pure accident.
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