1978 Delirious New York quote
1999 metabolic cities
metabolism and revolution
Cain and Abel (like all creation myth twins) were "brothers metabolic".
The Dance of Shiva (no matter how ancient) is a reenactment of metabolism. [Note: Hinduism, particularly Yoga is a reenactment of the bottom to top corporal range of the spine.]
Romulus and Remus (true brothers metabolic that they were) reenacted metabolism.
Hegel's notion of synthesis (no matter how philosophically astute) is a reenactment of metabolism.
Revolution (no matter it be French, American, Red or Velvet) is a reenactment of metabolism.
Schumpeter's notion that capitalism is "creative destruction" is a reenactment of metabolism,
genetic engineering and human cloning may well come to represent humanity's most extreme reenactment of metabolism. The point being that whenever it comes to a creative/destructive duality, the operative/defining word is metabolism or metabolic.
The above is part of the theory of chronosomatics, also know as The Timepiece of Humanity It is a theory I've come to use very much as a tool, and indeed a quite useful tool. Moreover, it is a theory that has an absolute principle in that the morphological and physiological design of the human body is chronosomatics' "intrinsic structure".
- - - - - - -
Considering that some architectural historians claim the "first Moderns" lived in the mid to late eighteenth century, it might be premature to place Modernism in the past tense. Then again, perhaps Modernism just isn't a useful enough term to describe what's really going on. That's why, when I look around at architecture from today and going back a few centuries, I don't so much see Modernist thinking and designing, but rather a lot of thinking and designing that is assimilating and/or metabolic.
brown (lauf 2)
I too am working on a "theory" of architecture (style) that relates architecture to a "process" larger than architecture itself, that is, the notions that 1) human imagination reenact corporal morphology and physiology, and 2) architecture (style) reenacts human imagination.
You ask: "What has 'metabolic process' have to do with it?" The metabolic process within humanity, and, more or less in all (animal?) life, is a creative-destructive duality wherein the corporal destruction of matter releases energy thus providing creative impetus. I theorize that the metabolic process is (just) one of the human physiologies reflected in human imagination, and, subsequently, the metabolic process becomes reflected in human activities and events. [Note: the other corporal physiologies like fertility, assimilation, osmosis, etc. also play key roles within human imagination, but the theory of chronosomatics suggests the metabolic process as being one particularly dominant in our times.]
Re: Void to Avoid
Aleppo, my destination, has been a cosmopolitan center for more than 4,000 years Over the millennia, Aleppo has been destroyed and rebuilt often. They have a saying there: every civilized person has two homes, his own and Syria. New York could benefit now from the knowledge that civilization includes the destruction as well as the creation and re-creation of great things. Aleppo was in the news again recently. Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian who studied engineering and city planning and is believed to have led the Sept. 11 attack, wrote his thesis on the destruction of Aleppo's historic fabric by modern design.
Lauf wrote (17 December 1998):
It has not escaped my attention that Operation Desert Fox has spurred some discussion here within the design-list that very much resembles the notion of humanity presently working metabolically, i.e., equal doses of creation and destruction. With regard to what I last said here concerning the possible notion of an assimilating architecture, my further elaboration of their presently also being an imaginative operation of a metabolic nature now seems very timely. I thus wish to interject one example of metabolic architecture/urbanism. [this goes on to describe 20th cent. Berlin] from: re: city making and city breaking.
About a year ago I learned Koolhaas wrote:
"Therefore, the performance can never end or even progress in the conventional sense of dramatic plotting; it can only be the cyclic restatement of a single theme: creation and destruction irrevocably interlocked, endlessly reenacted." from Delirious New York (p. 10)
Re: Life in a real museum
Metabolism as a physiological function operates via equal measures of destruction and creation, ie, catabolism and anabolism. The metabolic is a visceral destructive/creative human process.
Perhaps Venice should be reenacted like the caves with primitive painting in them. Make the original off limits and allow the tourists to visit the facsimile.