Quondam's 28th Year       Stephen Lauf

Jefferson Torresdale Emergency Trauma Center   San Michel   St. Michael's Shrine of the True Cross   Knights Road   Philadelphia

In memory of
Otto George Lauf
10 January 1953 - 12 January 2024

The last five hours of my brother's life were spent within Jefferson Torresdale's Emergency Trauma Center. San Michel was the early-life summer home of Katharine Drexel. "In 1891, Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order dedicated to serving the African American and Native American communities; Katharine and the new Sisters move into the Drexel's former summer home in Torresdale and begin the new Order [and remain there till 1892]." Katharine Drexel was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint October 2000. 16 May 2023: "It was about 9:30 at night when I told my brother that I recently found out that the convent where he was born--Klosterberg, Hohenwart, Bavaria--goes back to the year 1074."

...and speaking of random tangents
"In the summer of 1800, when the architect was away on his wedding trip, [John] Barber absconded, taking with him a considerable sum of money and all the most valuable office and personal papers."
And the John Barber Award for Architectural Deviance goes too...

epic architectural past
I think the "human story," like the movement of the present, is essentially linear. The first humans were extreme, and the best examples of extreme architecture are the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Circa 550BC, humanity began to operate with a highly fertile imagination, and this "age of highest fertility" lasted till circa 770AD, at which time humanity's imagination became [additionally] pregnant. At the first trimester of pregnancy, circa 1500, humanity began to assimilate itself and its place in the universe. By 1700, the metabolic imagination began to work in conjunction with the assimilating imagination.
We are today still primarily a humanity operating in both an assimilating and metabolic fashion, and thus our architecture too is primarily both assimilating ("international") and metabolic (creative/destructive).
Of course, the "human story" continues, and to discern how it will continue, you just have to analyze the sequential slices of the human body starting at the lowest tips of the rib cage and moving upwards.

Hugh Pearman in two recent posts wrote:
"Architectural operating systems (as opposed to surface styling) are predominantly Gothic or Classical."
"What I called the 'architectural operating system' as a deliberate computer analogy--might clarify rather than confuse, for me if nobody else."
I suggest a wholly other batch of "architectural operating systems" that derive from the morphology and physiology of our own bodies, the machines that we are instead of the machines that computers are.
Some architectures are extreme.
Some architectures are fertile.
Some architectures are pregnant.
Some architectures are assimilating.
Some architectures are metabolic.
Some architectures are osmotic.
Some architectures are electro-magnetic.
Some architectures are total frequency.
Figuring out what buildings/architects fit in which category(s) may well be the ultimate architectural parlor game. (Hint: Classical is high fertility and Gothic is early pregnancy.)
Hugh also made reference to the notion of architects having "to have his or her 'personal myth' to believe in and guide them." For what its worth, I have "discovered" my own myth, and its called The Timepiece of Humanity or the theory of chronosomatics.

The processes (operating systems) discussed will be assimilation, the beginning of metabolism (concurrent with assimilation), pluralism (more organs than at any other point in the body), and ultimately the completion or end of assimilation. This is the full picture of our present… …the correlation between operating systems and imagination systems…
The Future… …100% metabolism. …a large part of the coming millennium will be a time of just metabolism (albeit combined with a sense of intense pluralism). …humanity will have absorbed all the knowledge about ourselves that there is to absorb. Along with pure, 100% metabolism there will also be a continuation and intensification of plurality concurrent with this age of great destruction and great creativity.

The workings of embryonic development are, in fact, added on top of the current systems of assimilation and metabolism.

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