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2007.02.19 14:39
what is today's movement?
Client: "I would like you to design for me an architecture that cracks me up like Duchamp's Large Glass."
Architect: "Madam, you are in luck. That architecture does indeed come in the acropolitan style."
Client: "Wonderful. Now, can you add to that an architecture that hurts like the truth?"
Architect: "Well, I already know what the back door looks like, but, are you sure you can handle it?"

2007.03.09 22:02
...and speaking of random tangents
The four architects had decided to achieve an effect of harmony and therefore not to use any historical style in its pure form. Peter Keating designed the white marble semi-Doric portico that rose over the main entrance, and the Venetian balconies for which new doors were cut. John Erik Snyte designed the small semi-Gothic spite surmounted by a cross, and the bandcourses of stylized acanthus leaves which were cut into the limestone of the walls. Gordon L. Prescott designed the semi-renaissance cornice, and the glass-enclosed terrace projecting from the third floor. Gus Webb designed a cubistic ornament to frame the original windows, and the modern neon sign up on the roof, which read: "The Hopton Stoddard Home for Subnormal Children."
"Comes the revolution," said Gus Webb, looking at the completed structure, "and every kid in the country will have a home like that!"
The original shape of the building remained discernable. It was not like a corpse whose fragments had been mercifully scattered; it was like a corpse hacked to pieces and reassembled.
--Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943), pp. 385-6.
Is anyone reading Frascari's Monsters of Architecture these days?
Are monsters merely crazy, mixed-up reenactments?

2007.03.28 12:10
Theory Part II - Doing What I Said I Would Do...
...just ignore it all. Why should you be any different than everybody else? Although I am serious about the "convincing piece of architecture" being more virtual than anything else.
But going back to the original question of this thread, does theory today make better designers? Personally, I think teaching style and technique would make better designers, where theory applies to the various styles and techniques and not so much to forming a priori thought processes of the designer.
Most of my architecture teachers worked in Kahn's offices and/or were students of his studio at Penn.
Does Goldhagen mention Piranesi's Campo Marzio hanging over Kahn's office desk or the Guadet volumes on the desk?
Naturally, his thinking has foundations in architectural history. As Joseph Esherick sees it, "There is a moral injunction and an ethical character about Kahn's pronouncements. It is familiar in the writings of Julien Guadet, whose Éléments et Théorie de l'Architecture in four volumes (1870-1880) posits that the elements of architecture are not the ancient orders but they are windows, walls, floors, and light. The idea that a wall wants to be a wall and the idea of master spaces and slave spaces are both in Guadet. I remember," Esherick adds, "that the prominent thing on Kahn's desk when I first went to meet him in the late 50s was a copy of Guadet's old testament."
--C. Ray Smith, Supermannerism: New Attitudes in Post-Modern Architecture (1977), p. 82-3.
[note to self: Kahn reenacts both Piranesi and Guadet.]

2007.05.14 17:53
New Architectural Styles
Reenactionary Architecturism
Even all the new names mentioned above seem to fall within this category.

2007.06.23 12:56
Anti-Starchitecture Chic
So, within the 'star system' who then are the "stars" and what form-buildings got the press? As large as the realm of architecture is, it's still a finite set, so we can actually be specific rather that general. Gehry, Koolhaas, Eisenman, Hadid--are these at least on the list of 'who is a starchitect'?
How buildings get press is what should be much more studied. For example, having "Guggenheim" attached to any building design will get lots of press because the Guggenheim already has a whole staff department devoted to generating press, besides the fact that the major mission of the institution itself is to exhibit. Ironically, the "Virtual Guggenheim" by Asymptote was pretty much literally just press.
If starchitects are really just pseudo celebrities, is that then already a sign of just how relative starchitect status is?
Is "a style" really such a bad thing? I actually see a lot of diversity from architect to architect, and even with a specific architect's oeuvre there is often diversity at least via nuance, if not actually just plain diversity. I thus question the full validity of "same bag of (increasingly superficial) formal tricks."
One could also argue that there is now-a-days a whole lot more critical architectural criticism going on, but it all right away falls into various camps--New Urbanism, Bilbao effect, anti-starchitect, etc.(?)
Most people I know know absolute nothing about architectural style. I'd go so far as to say that even most architects don't know all that is really going on design-wise now-a-days.
"Lesser known architects follow the public's new tastes."--that sounds very subjective to me.
"Architecture" loses yet another battle." --Is an imaginary battle really a battle? Can an imaginary battle really be lost?
I'll leave it at that, but I think the second set of points of regarding Archigram and backlash casts much too large a net, with big holes. Somewhat insular itself even.
parting shot:
Architects can well design buildings, put I don't think they'll ever be able to design clients.

2007.06.25 10:36
For the pleasure of sharing ideas, through the poetry of the printed word
My predominate stlye is 'letter writing' style. Honest, easy and personal.
What I'd like to do more of is 'fictitious historical dialogue'.
As of yesterday, reading Duboy (again) along with ongoing Montesquieu and spotty Foucault--bricolage plus letters plus Las Meninas etc. Mix that with 'fictitious historical dialogue' and you have my next book project.
It's a book about all kinds of style. The working title is über œuvred e suicidal. Piranesi hires a Quaker lawyer to fix historical inaccuracies while the Quaker lawyer hires Piranesi to design an historically accurate house. Neither knew of the other's true propensity--playful double-meaning meets good-natured honesty--yet they discover themselves to be a formidable team. You'll think you're laughing and you'll laugh about thinking.

2007.06.26 13:33
For the pleasure of sharing ideas, through the poetry of the printed word
Perhaps at first it's instinctual, and then, as one learns to trust one's instincts, it becomes a skill. That's at least the reader's part. The writer gives off clues within their style. Citing "failing memory" is often such a clue.
Quilian, you're not suggesting that people at archinect aren't always being completely honest are you?!? Such a prick would surely burst the (hot air?) balloon.

2007.07.03 15:37
Dwell - suggestions/future directions
I'm still waiting for a shelter magazine to complement my life style, you know, like something called HELL!

2007.07.08 12:52
8 July
1906 birth of Philip Johnson
2003 death of Ladan and Laleh Bijani
"Thus, each project of Le Corbusier's is ideologically charged while each of Johnson's seems an attack on the very idea of ideology, an essay in style."
Robert Stern, "The Evolution of Philip Johnson's Glass House, 1947-1948" in Oppositions /10.
Maybe the twin couples are going to publish a new journal on architecture entitled Appositions.
Were ideology and style once Siamese twins?

2007.07.12 11:45
Sarcastic Architecture
I have too wonder if opening this thread with the FAT house image caused the post-modern slant that followed. I questioned the FAT house as possibly sarcastic not because it's post-modern, but because it's more post post-modern.
Quilian, sarcasm to criticize style really isn't the issue here. To point to an architectural design and say it's sarcastic is not necessarily to say it is therefore bad design (or something). I'm interested in simply sharpening the "reading" of architecture (--at least that's the extent of my agenda) and not to place value judgments.
Putting a parochial school inside a bullfighting ring--is that like putting a Catholic church inside a synagogue?

2007.08.04 14:00
Koolhaas & Eisenman Discuss "Urgency" at the CCA
I thought urgency sounded familiar.
"I love Ro-co-co."
--Wolfhilde von Schlittenfahrt
[note to self:
Be the first to recognize the Irrelevancy style of architecture.]
The Koolhaas/Eisenman "discussion" at CAA should have been called Irrelevancy.

2007.08.04 16:41
Koolhaas & Eisenman Discuss "Urgency" at the CCA
You know who my favorites are, now that's a laugh. Koolhaas and Eisenman are definitely among my favorite architects, but what exactly is the relevance of anything I write here?
I always say exactly what I mean whether it's understood correctly or not.
I'm now super-excited by the irrelavancy of it all.
[now back to the 5th century]
Wait, reading the architectureweek article together with this and this is a perfect way to see just how much fun the Irrelavancy style can be. Like I said, I haven't been so excited in a long time.
hint: irrelevancy is a good thing, actually the best thing in a long time.

2007.08.04 17:32
Koolhaas & Eisenman Discuss "Urgency" at the CCA
I thought the point was Archaeologies of the Future.
'Opaque' perhaps, but never without clues. The way I see it Koolhaas's architecture becomes him while Eisenman becomes his architecture. [Vanbrugh is at the top of the list if that helps.]
"Pejorativity" is an important chapter in The Irrelevancy Style of Architecture.
My tendencies are more coincidental than anything else.

2008.03.10 16:40
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
"It would be more appropriate for us architects to shock the senses first - worry about style later."
Ah yes,

the Horse Radish House.

2008.05.15 07:49
Now try taking it to court.
Eisenman's points/arguments here are either flawed in logic, sentimental, academic, or self-serving. For example, "students are passive," yet the students described here are actually protesting. In terms of practice, deconstruction is one of architecture's most obscure styles and 'post-modernism' is still what the vast majority of architects do. Part of what's historically playing out now is Le Corbusier's late style and Kahn's early 'planning' style.
Anyone else love watching Boston Legal. Now there's a style architecture would do well to emulate.
For the record:
"The duck is the special building that is a symbol; the decorated shed is the conventional shelter that applies symbols. We maintain that both types of architecture are valid--Chartres is a duck (although it is a decorated shed as well), and the Palazzo Farnese is a decorated shed--but we think that the duck is seldom relevant today, although it pervades Modern architecture."
--Learning from Las Vegas, four years after 1968.
Perhaps the case today is that the duck has become (via media) more relevant (to society), and the decorated shed has become more (true to form) ephemeral. I maintain that both these types of architecture are valid.

2008.05.16 08:16
Now try taking it to court.
Point one begins with "Media has invaded every aspect of our lives." and ends with "Just think of any architectural magazine today devoted, supposedly, to the environment, and instead one finds media."
More to the point: Advertising has invaded every aspect of our lives, and just think of any architectural magazine today devoted, supposedly, to the environment, and instead one finds advertising.
"In the future, everything will be an advertisement."
--Rita Novel
The Guggenheim has very successfully, via architecture, become an advertisement of itself [via free press even]. The Guggenheim's architecture as advertisement has even become an aspect of the Guggenheim's sustainability. The image of Guggenheim buildings are trademarked even.
Architecture as delivery of content = architecture as delivery of "advertising space" = lucrative sustainability. (We already know this is how a lot of virtual architecture works.)
Point one in the middle reads, "This leads today to a corruption of what we think of as communication, with a lessening of the capacity to read or write correct sentences." Ikea began their 1985 campaign in the United States with many billboards all over Philadelphia simply communicating--
+ + AH!
--months before the one store even opened.
I've lately come to wonder whether Ikea picked Philadelphia first because it is the largest city in what in the mid-seventeenth century was indeed New Sweden. Post-colonialism Swedish style I suppose.
Architecture in a media culture indeed!



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