interview with/in a labyrinth
Mesh Surface City Blocks 240a
atemporality at work? 3702f
Wave Wall House 2 2410
Wall House 2
CONTOURS: The Divisions that Bind Us
...essentially putting ideas into people's mind via fiction.
12012306 Great Pyramid Cathedral of Beauvais Washington Monument Capital Park West Eiffel Tower elevations
Narrative in architecture / landscape?
Ah yes, Rita Novel. What an apt name for such a paramount figure within the contemporary realm of narrative in architecture.
Regarding the Danteum, see how it fits within the overall sequential/narrative formula of the promenade architecturale: 3122z through to 3123l.
And there's Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius--"While representing a reenacted plan of ancient Rome's Field of Mars, Piranesi ingeniously delineates two narratives--that of pagan Rome and that of Christian Rome--and at the same time offers an unprecedented lesson in urban design.
Within the Ichnographia Campus Martius there is the "Pagan - Christian Triumphal Way," which also fits within the sequential/narrative formula of the promenade architecturale noted above, and there is "Eros et Thanatos," starting at e2683 and going through to e2683l.
I'd also consider looking at John Hejduk's Adjusting Foundations--a somewhat more inscrutible narrative, but almost ceaselessly compelling nonetheless. It's a book I've yet to tire of "reading," although I rarely pay any attention to the words.
12013001 Gooding House St. Peter's Basilica window elevations
Why are we having this conversation?
Regarding chatter, I really don't know much about it because I don't blog, Facebook, Tweet, and I don't even own a cellphone. I'm still subscribed to the late antiquity listserv (which for a while now is more just a bulletin board), and read and sometimes post to archinect/forum.
Regarding online (architectural) discourse these days, it's probably best to also consider whatever interface is involved. Back in the day of heavy listserv activity, the interface was as plain as it could get--an email--and the discourse was a lot just like letter writing, and there was really no social media aspect to it at all.
If you look at archinect/forum of 2003 and 2004, you'll find posts with more text, many of letter length, and there still was no real social media aspect to it.
Within archinect/forum 2005-2006 you begin to see a social media aspect developing within the forum, and this coexisted with ongoing discourse. In 2007 (more or less) you begin to see the social media aspect balloon (a bit out of control) and hence cause some damage to the discourse (in that you start to see some participants no longer appearing).
Also, from 2006 on you see the rise in popularity of blogging, and then Facebook, tweeting, etc. There are now many interfaces for discourse, but there is more of a social media aspect to all of it, even the latest version of archinect/forum.
That said, as far as interfaces go, I'd say the second to last version of archinect/forum had the best design in terms of providing agency for architectural discourse. First of all because it was a true forum (and not a blog)--anyone could start a topic and anyone could comment within a topic (where as a blog is (for the vast majority) always the same person starting a topic). Secondly, the posting (ie, publishing) process was very quick and easy, and there was a was a variety of means for expression. Third, there was virtually no advertising or social media.
I guess my point is that online architectural discourse probably thrives better within an interface/environment that has a low social media aspect to it and where advertising really isn't an issue.
I realize that the online paradigm now is one of the masses providing content freely while at the same time generating profitable advertising revenues for the agency and not for themselves, but is that also a paradigm that engenders worthwhile architectural discourse?
10 Buildings that Changed America
"When [Bishop] Athanasius sought to overcome resistance from monastic establishments, he chose a more effective strategy than accusing their most respected leaders of demonic possession. Instead he effectively co-opted the most famous of them--Anthony--by writing an admiring biography picturing Anthony as his own greatest supporter. Since Anthony had died, Athanasius had a somewhat free hand, and his biography turned Anthony into a model monk--a model, that is, of what the bishop wanted monks to be. For in his famous Life of Anthony, the sophisticated and fiercely independent teacher known from his letters disappears, and Athanasius replaces him with his own vision of an ideal monk--an illiterate and simple man. So while Anthony's letters show him to be educated in philosophy and theology, Athanasius pictures him as someone who despises educated teachers as arrogant men who are ignorant of God. And although in his letters Anthony never mentions bishops, clergy, or church rules, Athanasius pictures him instead as a humble monk who willingly subordinates himself to the clergy and "the canon of the church." Athanasius also depicts Anthony as one who hates Christian dissidents as much as he did--and who, like the bishop himself, calls them not only heretics but "forerunners of Antichrist." Far from acting as an independent spiritual mentor, Athanasius' Anthony pleads with the bishop to not allow anyone to revere him, especially after his death. As the biography ends, Athanasius pictures Anthony bequeathing all that he has--his sheepskin cloak and his outer garment--to Athanasius and the bishop's trusted ally, Bishop Serapion of Thumis, to show that Anthony regarded them as his spiritual heirs and trusted them to guard his memory."
Elaine Pagels, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation (2012).
Thus I'd now like to (step back) and address what might just be your real intent, that being to elevate the value of architecture within general culture. My advise to you (specifically as a writer) is to fictionalize this world where you see architectural value elevated. It could be short stories, a novel, or even a series of novels. The point being to create something that "the public" can relate to, consume, and hopefully even be inspired by--essentially putting ideas into people's mind via fiction. Also, forcing yourself to really imagine this world and how it manifests itself might just also deliver solutions to what you see as today's real problems.
Stephen Lauf, in "CONTOURS: The Divisions that Bind Us" (2012.01.19).
First Images of the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei
"In the future, all the past (and even the present?) will be a fiction."
[I'm just not myself till I] Rita Novel.
the ethics of parametricism/emergent architectural thought and reification
And adding to the 'unexpected' thinking, imagine the image above as the 2-dimentional 'grid' plan of a city. It's like actually stepping out of the mimicry.
What I mean here by "actually stepping out of the mimicry" is that even the image above is a form of mimicry in that it really isn't a bunch of 3-dimensional curved surfaces in space, rather a coherent group of lines that when perceived cause our brain to imagine a bunch of 3-dimensional curved surfaces in space. To see these lines as a grid plan of a city, however, you really have to adjust your imagination. And I'll say that it is within that act of "adjusting the imagination" where the crux of design happens.
I also asked, "Does it still just boil down to a sophisticated play of/with geometry?" I'd say that for the most part yes, in that the base is (many) points in space. Algorithms are used to define the surfaces between the (many) points in space. Super-fast computation puts all this sophisticated geometry in flux (and potential manufacture). Script writing, or lets say the process, is here a continual "adjusting of the imagination"--literally continually adjusting the image--and that is why is it now easy to believe that process is indeed also design.
I now wonder if the process/design of parametrics is better described as 'artificial design' because it still lacks the ability to imagine itself differently than how it is programmed to imagine itself.
tammuz, as to your other question:
do you think that the reaction against a referential-discursive practice of architecture (and specifically against eisenman) resulted in a pathology founded on the denial of the role of the reference within architecture that we witness within the rhetoric of emergent parametricism, and more widely, within the current strains of materialist architectural thought?
I'd feel more comfortable answering if you clarified or referenced it with some examples, and maybe even adjusted it to what I just wrote above. If I understand your question correctly so far, it hinges on the "pathology founded on the denial of the role of the reference" and it looks like I might think of that more in terms of 'the role of imagination' rather than the adherence to one design ideology or another.
12081701 Mikveh Israel Synagogue Mikveh PMP models
12082101 Mikveh Israel Synagogue Mikveh PMP models orthagonal
12082201 Mikveh PMP axonometrics perspectives
The Language of Architecture
For the most part, spoken languages still relate to quite specific geographic locations. Up until roughly 100 years ago, specific geographic locations, too, had their distinct architectures. Colonialism began to usurp 'native' architectures with European architectures. In the mid-20th century the 'International Style' became an architectural Esperanto.
Is architecture today composed mostly of many, many personal languages?
Are most of architecture's languages now lost?
What present architectures still relate to specific geographic locations?
What architectures are bilingual?
What architectures are multilingual?
What architectures exist also in translation?
What architectures now exist only in translation ?
What architectures are lost in translation?
Who speaks slang architecture? And is slang architecture ever appropriate?
Does anyone ever order language-salad architecture? Maybe that tastes best on Pentecost.
"I love my architect[ure]s because they often manage to say something I haven't heard before."
12111603 mesh surfaces cubed within IQ3 Philadelphia grid
Every so often, when I have about a half hour before it's time to turn off the computer, I do a web search of two architect names that don't usually have anything to do with each other, just to see what results come up. Last night I searched lequeu venturi, and one of the links was The Art Historian's Studio: a virtual allegory of the last 7 years of my intellectual life, a very satisfying cabinet of curiosities.
"The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches, but, above all, the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation."
"All things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of an Ariadne's thread leading thought into its own labyrinth."
"Be wise, Ariadne, you have small ears, you have my ears: let a wise word slip into them: Must one first not hate oneself, if one is to love oneself? I am your labyrinth…."
"The interior is not only the universe but also the etui of the private person. To live means to leave traces. In the interior these are emphasized. An abundance of covers and protectors, liners and cases is devised, on which the traces of objects of everyday use are imprinted. The traces of the occupant also leave their impression on the interior. The detective story that follows these traces comes into being."
Just over a week ago I searched hejduk piranesi, and one of the links was Anti-Vitruv & Super-Brunelleschi. It's a nice little virtual museum of architecture.
For a week now I'm reading Le Corbusier: The Architect on the Beach.
"I know of one Greek labyrinth which is a single straight line. Along that line so many philosophers have lost themselves that a mere detective might well do so, too."- Jorge Luis Borges, Death and the Compass
"He had edified a crypt within him: an artifact, an artificial unconscious in the Self, an interior enclave, partitions, hidden passages, zigzags, occult and difficult traffic, two closed doors, an internal labyrinth endlessly echoing, a singular discourse crossing so many languages and yet somewhere inside all that noise, a deathly silence, a blackout. He will die with or through the crypt within him."- Jacques Derrida
"He is not me but he is more than me: his stomach is the labyrinth in which he has lost himself, loses me with him, and in which I discover myself as him, in other words as a monster."- Georges Bataille
"Minos contrived to hide this specimen in a maze,
A labyrinth built by Daedalus, an artist
Famous in building, who could set in stone
Confusion and conflict, and deceive the eye
With devious aisles and passages…"- Ovid, The Metamorphoses
"More than anything else, we are curious to explore the labyrinth. We strive to make friends with Mr. Minotaur, about whom we have been told so many horrific stories."- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Beneath English trees I meditated on that lost maze: I imagined it inviolate and perfect at the secret crest of a mountain; I imagined it erased by rice fields or beneath the water; I imagined it infinite, no longer composed of octagonal kiosks and returning paths, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms…I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars."- Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths
"One can participate in and share the fundamentals of the Labyrinth as it manifests itself. One can never see it in totality, nor can one express it. One is condemned to it and cannot go outside and see the whole."- Bernard Tschumi
"One abstract model of conjecturability is the labyrinth. Like any other conjectural space it can be traversed in many ways. Naturally you find your way out of classical labyrinths. But at this point we should specify that there are three kinds of labyrinths. One is the Greek type, that of Theseus. This labyrinth does not allow anyone to lose his way: you enter it and arrive at the center, and then from the center you make your way to the exit. That is why there is the Minotaur at the center; otherwise there would be no point, you would just be out for a harmless stroll. The terror comes in because you do not know where you will come out and what the Minotaur will do. But if you unravel the classical labyrinth, you will find a thread in your hands, Ariadne's thread. The classical labyrinth is its own Ariadne's thread.
Then there is the mannerist labyrinth. If you unravel it, you find in your hands a kind of tree, a root-like structure with many dead ends. There is only one exit, but you can get it wrong. You need an Ariadne's thread to keep from getting lost. This labyrinth is the model of the trial-and-error process.
Finally, there is the network, the structure that Deleuze and Guattari call a rhizome. The rhizome is set up so that each path connects to every other one. It has no center, no periphery, and no exit, because it is potentially infinite. Conjectural space is like a rhizome."- Umberto Eco
"It suffices for a short time to follow the trace, the repeated course of words, in order to perceive, in a sort of vision, the labyrinthine constitution of being."- Georges Bataille
"To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing."- Marcel Duchamp
"The language of nature is comparable to a secret password that each sentry passes to the next in his own language, but the meaning of the password is the sentry's language itself."- Walter Benjamin
"…into what labyrinth, what multiplicity of heterogeneous places, one must enter in order to track down the cryptic motivation…"- Jacques Derrida
"The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches, but, above all, the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation."- Georges Bataille
12112201 mesh surfaces city blocks within IQ3 50' high opaque off
12112202 trial axonometric mesh surface city blocks
12112203 axonometric of mech surface city blocks view -60,0,30
Does (historical) fiction sometimes easliy fall into the category of subversive reenactment?
12121902 Wave Wall House 2 plans model
12122101 Wave Wall House 2 elevations perspectives