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Primitive | Parametric: BIOLOGY AS AN ARCHITECTURAL CATALYST

Charles Davis Christopher Beorkrem Bryan Shields

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Primitive | Parametric: BIOLOGY AS AN ARCHITECTURAL CATALYST

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Primitive | Parametric: BIOLOGY AS AN ARCHITECTURAL CATALYST

Research Through Making Grant: A grant awarded to faculty that provides an avenue for research.

Faculty Research Team Christopher Beorkrem, Associate Professor of Architecture

Charles Davis,

Assistant Professor of Architectural History

Bryan Shields,

Visiting Assitant Professor of Architecture

Research Assistants Ryan Barkes, MArch ‘14 Nicole Brown, MArch ‘14 Taylor Milner, MArch ‘13 Nicole Rivera, MArch ‘13

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Preface

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Introduction

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Architectural Biology in the Age of Genomics

Chris Jarrett

Charles Davis

HISTORICAL TIMELINE 26

19th Century Principles Gottfried Semper – Four Elements of Style Textile Art Ceramics Tectonics (Carpentry) Stereotomy

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20th Century Principles – Functionalism Frei Otto – Form-Finding Floriade Pavilion (1958)

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Japanese Metabolists – Biodynamic Age Helix City (1961)

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21st Century – Combining 19th and 20th Century Principles Michael Hensel, Achim Menges, Michael Weinstock – Emergence ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion (2010)

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Lars Spuybroek – Textile Tectonics Son-O-House (2000)


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SHoP – Architectural Variation Dunescape (2000) EXHIBITION COMPONENTS

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Gallery Layout

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Phylogenetic Maps

Bryan Shields

Charles Davis, Chris Beorkrem 84

Analogue Collages Nicole Rivera, Taylor Milner

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Digital Timeline

Charles Davis, Chris Beorkrem, Nicole Brown

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PREFACE Chris Jarrett

Unless and until it actually exists in matter, form is little better than a vista of the mind. - Henri Focillon, The Life of Forms in Art

Two years ago, the SoA initiated a new faculty grant program directed at expanding the culture and production of research in the school. These internal grants provide seed funding for faculty to speculate, to raise important questions and to interrogate research problems that are otherwise challenging to fund. Grant proposals are externally blind peer-reviewed and directly inform grant selection. Grant recipients are given a year to execute their research, and much of this work is developed in collaboration with students. Most research funding in the U.S. is directed at the sciences or humanities. Funding for materialbased research and creative practice is generally very difficult to secure. SoA’s research through making grant, one of five grants funded to date, supports the exploration of material ideas and the embedded cultural constructs that condition its production. Much of the history of the SoA is a history on the exploration of making, evidenced through its high-bay labs and creative analog and digital-based output produced by students and faculty alike. SoA’s research through making grant encourages faculty to engage material based ideas and histories, new material technologies and methods, and innovative ways of working with materials and material culture – the substance, process and physicality of architecture, and the cultural, material and experimental ideas that emerge from such investigations. 8


Primitive Parametric: Biology as an Architectural Catalyst is a research-design project that explores if not critiques contemporary digital architecture produced over the last two decades through an examination of the primitive origins of contemporary parametric form making – specifically through a historiography of the biological metaphor in architecture and culture. The point of departure for this work is the publication of Der Stil, written in the mid-19th century by Gottfried Semper. The findings and material constructs of Primitive Parametric are conveyed through an exhibition composed of two primary elements: an historical timeline that registers the material and cultural relationships of architecture and biology over the past 150 years and interpretative two and three-dimensional collages - consisting of hand sketches, photographs, and laser cut and 3D printed models - that explore the overlaps of the primitive and the parametric. As a research project and exhibition, Primitive Parametric speaks to the creativity, collaboration and intellectual rigor that our faculty and students bring to their work. It also speaks to the fundamental linkages and insights gained through research and design. Primitive Parametric moves beyond traditional approaches to architectural research, transforming ideas and questions into matter, acknowledging architecture as more than a vista of the mind.

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INTRODUCTION

History is a matter of questions rather than facts; an expanding search for causes and influences; an intricate visual and verbal analysis. It is a process that should encourage students to sort out complexities, rather than thinking it possible to rise blithely above them. - Gwendolyn Wright, The History of History in American Schools of Architecture

In an effort to begin revising our limited conception of biology and its focus on procedural thinking in architecture, this project constructs a series of expanded historical timelines that trace the cultural meaning of architectural-biology back to the nineteenth century. In a general sense, nineteenth century architects relied on biological models to establish a strict analog between structural modeling, formal expression, and cultural representation. While this application was manifested in different ways, the collective aim was to reinterpret ‘style’ by mandating an organic relation between complimentary elements of design. By the twentieth century, historical ornamentation had largely given way to the naked display of structure as an imminent expression of modern functionalism. Even though this shift meant that cultural meaning was no longer historical or iconographic in character, modern architects still hoped their forms would produce new social cues. The role of culture has become even less certain in the contemporary moment, even as architects increase their use of biological imagery in ‘biomorphic’ projects. This project uses history as a heuristic tool for speculating what the semantic dimensions of the biological metaphor is today.

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This exhibition is composed of a series of analytical drawings and models that outline design methodologies from the last 200 years to strategically critique and revise contemporary biological design thinking. We will examine a specific number of “characters” from 3 distinct eras that used parametric/biological principles in their design methodology. Each era is analyzed through the lens of Semper’s theory of the Four Elements of Architecture, which structured his cultural interpretation of the structural and ornamental components of the Primitive Hut. This cultural referent has resulted in a series of diagrammatic maps and timelines that illustrate the evolutionary character of Semper’s style theory. These diagrams are intended to map the simultaneous integration of ‘form’ and ‘culture’ in the history of architectural biology. This ethos of integrating form and culture then serves as a prompt for revising other moments in history to restore the missing cultural dimension of contemporary architecture. The tectonic and symbolic elements of the Semper maps are strategically projected onto contemporary projects with a similar logic, which uses models and drawings to “collage” the complimentary techniques of different eras. This collaging occurs in both two and three dimensions and produces a series of 3D prints and collage drawings. The hope is that this procedure will literally draw attention to the limited cultural connection contemporary methods have created today. These analytic models and drawings operate as critiques of the empty semantic content of “novel” methods in the present. Our hope is that visitors to this show will learn from and participate in the creative reconstruction of architectural history.

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Architectural BIOLOGY in the genomic age “The horizon that lies before us is one that science cannot approach alone. It is the horizon that represents the ethical, moral and spiritual dimension of the power we now possess. We must not shrink from exploring that far frontier of science. But as we consider how to use this new discovery, we must also not retreat from our oldest and most cherished human values. We must ensure that new genome science and its benefits will be directed toward making life better for all citizens of the world, never just a privileged few.� - President Bill Clinton on the cultural politics of the Human Genome Diversity Project (June 26, 2000)

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he scientific principles of genomic research has inspired a new strain of biological metaphors in contemporary architecture. Spurred in part by the digital revolutions occurring in architectural studios of the 1990s, a biological reading of digital space has strategically interpreted computer script as ‘genetic algorithms’ capable of ‘breeding’ complex architectural forms.1 In response to Gilles Deleuze’s immanent model of scientific materialism, the architects Greg Lynn and Karl Chu pioneered computational techniques that emulated the self-organizing capacity of the human genome. Their efforts prompted a series of historiographies that have attempted to trace contemporary tendencies back to the functionalist and biological rhetoric of architectural modernism.2 The historian Martin Bressani has used the label “Architectural Biology” to refer to the collective return of biological models in contemporary practice, and Harry Francis Mallgrave, Caroline van Eck, and Reinhold Martin have traced such thinking back to architectural organicisms of the nineteenth century.3 With all that has happened recently, the suprising aspect of Architectural Biology has not been the amount of ground covered by contemporary research, but the ground that remains fallow. Despite two decades of sustained interest in the formal complexities of Architectural Biology, very little has been done to construct a cultural project outside of the creation of novel forms. This lack of a clear semantic trajectory is curious considering the fundamental reconceptualization of human identity that was undertaken in response to the completion of the Human Genome Project. One of the most important findings of the Human Genome Project is an entirely new understanding of the material basis of human diversity. In contrast to neo-Darwinian models of evolution that considered the transmission of information between DNA and surrounding proteins to be unidirectional, the discovery of an epigenetic layer above the genome has led to the theory that genetic development actually consists of a multidirectional relationship between genetic material and external cultural factors such as diet and stress.4 In this new conception of biological evolution, the flexible structure of the epigenome regulates the genetic expression of the genome by coiling up to prevent interaction with surrounding proteins, or uncoiling to 1. Manuel Delanda, “Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture,” Center for New Media, Teaching and Learning, Columbia University, April 9, 2009. 2. See Detlef Mertins, “Bioconstructivisms,” in NOX: Machining Architecture, edited by Lars Spuybroek (Thames & Hudson, 2004), pp.360-369. 13 3. Martin Bressani, “Observations on Archtiectural Biology: the Gen(H)ome Project,” Log, vol.9 (Winter/Spring 2007), pp.119-127. 4. The Ghost in our Genes. Directed by Alan Ritsko. 2006. A NOVA Production by Holt Productions LLC and the BBC.


permit interactions. Not only is this movement triggered by cultural events, but the epigenome seemingly retains a memory of the changes that have occurred within the genome - acheiving a form of cultural memory as it were. Even before the epigenome was discovered, however, press coverage of the Human Genome Project emphasized the radical potential of genomics for reshaping the human body.5 These expectations included direct manipulation of the genome to eliminate genetic defects, improve the body’s inherent resistance to aging, or to aesthetically shape the breeding of offspring or one’s personal appearance. In a strict material sense, genomics (and epigenesis) has forced scientists to reconsider the role of biology in the constitution of individual identity. In light of this shift, it is no coincidence that ‘diversity’ was originally included in the title of the Human Genome Project. In contrast to the explicit condieration of diversity in scientific debates, the term that has been most influential in architectural discourses is the more abstract label of ‘complexity’. This term has mostly been used to describe the computational modeling tools that were required to calculate the placement of all three billion chemical links in the DNA chain. Yet the selective references of architectural theorists cannot change the fact that the conceptualization of human identity is explicitly connected to our ability to visualize the fundamental structure of organic life. This exhibit uses the cultural implications of genomics as a prompt to recover the humanist dimensions of Architectural Biology, especially as these reveal a new conception on human identity in contemporary society. PROBLEMATIZING ARCHITECTURAL BIOLOGY The challenges that proponents of Architectural Biology face today are no longer limited to the visual production of geometrical complexity. A battle over the semantic dimension of these geometries has taken on greater prominence. This transition is manifest in new architectural debates over the purpose of digital ornament, which have been spearheaded by critics such as Antoine Picone, Lars Spuybroek, and Ali Rahim, among others.6 The primary danger that emerges as a result of not establishing a meaningful cultural program for digital ornament is 14

5. Nicholas Wade, “Scientists Complete Rough Draft of Human Genome,” New York Times, June 26, 2000. 6. See Antoine Picone’s special issue of AD, entitled “Ornament: the Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity,” Architectural Design (Wiley, 2013).


the unintentional repetition of biological essentialisms of the past. The public’s reception of architecture is inherently complicated by the cultural contexts that condition architectural production, including the racial ideologies and cultural politics that are a part of historical memory. The unresolved conflict between an essentailist and non-essentialist model of scientific materialism makes the disciplinary sources of contemporary architecture a substantive concern for designers. Reinhold Martin has noted the political and cultural effects of autonomous readings of architecture that currently dominate Architectural Biology: The subject of biology is recurring at a time when we are still saddled with the term ‘organicism,’ which has come up around computing [...] Digital technologies give us ways to model complex behaviorism of the 1960s projected onto an economic rather than a social referent. Its function is to naturalize what we call globalization now. And when something is naturalized it’s as if there is no alternative. It’s like nature. You can’t argue with nature. It’s just there. It’s just truth.7 The social consequence of not establishing an explicit cultural program for Architectural Biology is the naturalization of existing cultural politics. In the case of globalization, this means privileging the economic exploitations that perpetuate inequality in world markets, and the aesthetic distinctions that maintain the social distinctions created by biological essentialism (i.e. First and Third World civilizations) on new economic grounds. Under these conditions, the architect must remain cognizant of the fact that borrowing the disciplinary tools and conceptual models of biology comes with historical baggage. In lieu of merely translating the visual complexities of biological science, the architect can intentionally engage with the semantic role of architecture by managing the visual interpretation of biology at a cultural level. This aesthetic responsibility can even be considered a unique opportunity, as new models of nature now make it possible to directly problematize the biological essentialisms of the past. We propose that this aesthetic project should become one of the explicit cultural programs of Architectural Biology, which would inevitably build upon cultural critiques that have exposed the political functions of biological essentialism in the past. 7. Reinhold Martin, “Organic/Organicism,” in Index Architecture: a Columbia Architecture Book (MIT Press, 2003), p.148.

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This aesthetic program is the theme of “Primitive Parametrics: Biology as an Architectural Catalyst.” Our exhibit attempts to recover the humanist potential of contemporary digital architectures by bringing the formal and cultural components of Architectural Biology together. The relationship between these complimentary elements of architectural production are revealed through an extended historical timeline of modern architecture that spans from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. In contrast to historiographies that have concentrated on the architect’s exclusive formal interests in biological principles, this show examines the integration of formal and cultural prerogatives in historical modern architectures. Reconstructing this ‘long history’ establishes a conceptual field that strategically reconfigures the ethos of contemporary practice. Our historical methodology is an explicit critique of architectural formalism, which reasserts the fundamental importance of a semantic (if not directly representational) reading of biological paradigms. This interpretation recombines the themes of ‘complexity’ and ‘diversity’ that were implicated by the Human Genome Project to recuperate the ground that was lost in the architectural translations of the 1990s. In addition,an explicit reference to the scientific materialism of genomics presents a unique opportunity to challenge the biological essentialisms that underwrote ninteeneth-century modern architectures. In this sense, the exhibition synthesizes postwar social critiques of modern architecture witih the projective paradigms of recent years. Widening one’s gaze to examine the cultural implications of biological metaphors in architecture reengages the historical significance that ‘biology’ has accrued within the discipline of architecture. This disciplinary history also repairs the historical amnesia that has beset contemporary architects that refuse to acknowledge the humanist implications of evolutionary biology. THE SEMPERIAN FRAME OF THE EXHIBIT The historical journey outlined by this exhibit begins with nineteenth-century explorations of nationalist architectural styles. During this time, European critics reinterpreted architectural 16


style as an analogical form of artistic evolution that emulated nature’s processes for generating formal variety. Proceeding as empiricists, architects such as Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) and Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) characterized architecture as the imminent product of mankind’s ‘second nature’, which extended the logic of organic life toward material constructions that expressed the progressive arc of human development. In this way, nineteenthcentury Architectural Biology mandated an integration of aformal and cultural content for architecture. Viollet-le-Duc’s Dictionnaire Raisonne (1856-64) was an astounding demonstration of an ethnographic explanation of French medieval development, and Semper’s Der Stil (186063) became the model of comparative analysis of human cultural development in architecture. Semper in particular interpreted architectural style as an evolution of the practical arts that began with the innate drive of primitive race groups to create artistic form. According to the timeline outlined in Der Stil, monumental architecture only became a distinct realm of art when it advanced far enough in human civilization that an immediate understanding of past practices (not forms) was completely lost. Reviving the continuous historical evolution of the basic idea of art (i.e. the treatment of materials) constituted the basis of Semper’s organic interpretation of the past. Using this evolutionary model of historical development, he explained the temporal progression from early textile or weaving practices to the ornamental treatment of tiles and brickwork. This historicist model of cultural progress anticipated the developmental principles of biological thinking in the twentieth century, although it integrated biological and cultural developments in one comprehensive system. It is for these reasons that we selected to use Semper’s style theory as a baseline for our comparison witih contemporary architecture. Although his model was flawed by its references to biological essentialism, Semper’s attempts to integrate the formal and cultural dimensions of historical forms was a crucuial corrective to the formalism of contemporary designs. OVERVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION For the exhibit, we chose to create a series of analytical diagrams that explained the formal and cultural content of the biological metaphor in architectural history. The first series of maps serves 17


as a ‘parent’ diagram for the contemporary architects displayed in the show. These diagrams visualize Semper’s typological explanation of the architectural components of the Primitive (Caraib) hut, which broke down into what he termed the “four elements of architecture”. Our maps of these four elements (enclosure, hearth, roof, and mound) visualized the cultural history Semper explained in his text, which are represented by a phylum-like organizational structure in the show. These tree diagrams map the cultural parent/child relationships that propogated across time. Each Semper map traces the lineage of cultural products he identified as leading up to the creation of a central component of the primitive hut. For example, the primordial method for finishing textiles began with tattooing, then moved to knots and binding lacing and weaving, to the binding of tools, mat weaving and headdresses, until the appearance of surface textiles and banding ornament gave birth to monumental architectures. Each cultural component in this string of development was considered an evolutionary adaptation of a previous technology. In the context of the exhibit, Semper’s evolutionary history of style establishes a conceptual datum against which we compared the formal and cultural implications of biological metaphors in contemporary case studies. We tended toward selecting pavilion and demonstration projects to emulate the scale of the primitive huts Semper used to model his original theory. The overlay of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century case studies revealed both explicit and implicit conceptual relationships between the critical functions of biological metaphors in architectural discourse. Once a stable set of comparisons were established between the products and processes of our historical examples, we crafted a series of interpretive two and three-dimensional collages that overlayed the qualities of each example onto one another. The intent of these collaged forms was to both communicate the correlations we found within the historical record to support our claims, as well as to allow these correlations to resonate with one another between designs of each generation. Each collage serves as a subset of the correlations that are possible within the broader framework of the exhibit. Visitors are encouraged to extend these first steps to create thier own sets of correlations. In the end, we chose to examine a fixed set of historical figures from each era that used paramatric 18

8. Lars Spuybroek, “Experience, Tectonics and Continuity,” The Architecture of Continuity (NAi Publishers, 2008), p.20.


and biological principles in their design methodology. These figures included: NINETEENTH-CENTURY ORGANICISM: Gottfried Semper Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc Louis Sullivan TWENTIETH-CENTURY FUNCTIONALISM: Frei Otto Japanese Metabolists Charles & Ray Eames TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ARCH. BIOLOGY: Lars Spuybroek SHoP Architects Achim Menges We sorted through a wide range of contemporary designers whose work could be defined as biological in one way or another. These included figures who explicitly referenced Semper’s organic theory of style, as well those whose work was implicitly biological in aesthetic or argumentation. We would include Spuybroek and Menges in the category of those who immediately identified Semper as a key reference point in their semantic descriptions of architecture, while Otto, Eames adn Douglis limit their references to the organic or biology directly. A quote from Spuybroek’s writings demonstrates his reliance on Semper’s style theory: I have tried to rethink Semper’s materialism in a more processual, active form [...] I call this the “Semperian reversal”: the reversal of the order of the four elements. Instead of starting with earth and a wooden frame to support the weaker textile fibers, I reason the other way around: weak threads move, find each other, and lock into each other, building structure and rigidity. So, instead of adding the soft to the rigid, as Semper did, we see a transformation of soft into rigid.8 19


In addition, some architects did not mention biology at all, their work contained clear visual references to biological imagery or processes, such as the work of the architectural firm SHoP. While the immediate references made by Spuybroek and Menges were easy to note, many contemporary designers ascribed little direct relationship between their design process and the biological metaphor. Further, we found very few direct references to the intended cultural impact of their architectural forms. To address this wide range of possibilities, we chose to create an intellectual and historical framework within which the visitor can examine the latent cultural and humanist potential of contemporary design. Project maps developed for each contemporary project serve as the primary vehicle for revealing the potential parallels that have existed in modern architectural history. PROJECT MAPS Using the information outlined in each Semper map, we created a graph of specific analogies between Semper’s four elements of architecture and the biological rhetoric or imagery found in contemporary designs. A major aspect of this analysis was relating the principles of Semperian construction to design components that would more readily by identified by contemporary design students. For example, the hearth was divided into three quasi-cultural categories (Life Source, Gathering Space, Spatial Anchor) that opened up a materialist reading of Semper. On each map, a vertical axis was used to identify the scale of the relationship between Semper’s definitions and our interpretation of contemporary projects. Theses scales included the biological inspiration, small-scale modules, connection type, the sectional quality of a project, and formal composition. Each scale captures the varied ways in which we found contemporary projects to (implicity)align with Semperian categories. THE TIMELINE The timeline is a fifty-five foot long visual document that attempts to create a broad historiography of the biological metaphor in architecture and culture since the late eigtheenth century. This 20


timeline is inclusive insofar as it accumulates the work of architects, biologists and humanist scholars who have commented on the cultural importance of biology. We have indicated the names and dates of evolutionary diagrams created by biologists who speculated on the cultural meaning or significance of biological imagery. This intellectual field is offered as a starting point for visitors to the exhibit, which is visually indicated by the empty hexagons in each time period that can be filled in at a later date. COLLAGES Despite the depth and complexity of these maps, they do not fully demonstrate the compelling formal relationships that we began to recognize between each of the designer’s we were considering. As these products were primarily analytical, we needed a way to explore the visual principles these characters brought out of the images and forms of each set of projects. This visual and formal goal resulted in a series of two and three-dimensional collages in a wide variety of media, which were intended to create a more sinuous linkage between each of the projects we considered. The products of this portion of the investigation included collages between hand drawn works, photographs and three-dimensional computer models. They included

The architect must remain cognizant of the fact that borrowing the disciplinary tools and conceptual models of biology comes with historical baggage. laser cut and 3-D printed components as well as hand sketches. We included a small series of collages which best described the correlations we recognized across generations, and exhibited them near large 3-D prints which were intended to meld the 3-D forms of each project together into one synthetic object. Our hope is that this procedure will literally draw attention to the limited cultural connection contemporary methods create by infusing contemporary projects 21


with Semperian cultural references. These analytical models and drawings demonstrate the overlays illustrated in each of the maps created by drawing physical connectiosn between materiality, formal expression and methodology. These collages are the material means we have used to critique the limited cultural work that is currently being performed in architecture today. The final proudct of the show is not a style or aesthetic, but an ethos for recovering the cultural significance of the biological metaphor in architecture. The abstract character of each 3-D model allows the viewer to relate the formal and cultural referents included in each collage, which conflates the ‘primitive’ and ‘parametric’ qualities of each historical case study into one synthetic image. For example, one of the collages that we chose to use in the exhibit combines the formal and cultural attributes of three separate projects: SHoP’s Dunescape of 2000, NOX’s Sun-O-House of 2006, and the Tirolean truss system illustrated in Gottfried Semper’s Der Stil (1860-63). The sectional character of this model conceptually weaves the fundamental

The final product of the show is not a style or aesthetic, but an ethos for recovering the cultural significance of the biological metaphor in architecture. aspects of these three forms together into one Urform. The individual trusses of SHoP’s Dunescape are juxtaposed with one another, creating the flowing geometries present in NOX’s water pavilion. Nested within the exterior shell is a traditional trabeated structural system, which connotes the so-called primitive origins of traditional architectures to these parametric forms. The new synthetic form that is created proposes a semiotic integration of the primitive hut of the past with the parametric pavilions of the present. The timeline and the booklet included in the show included additional references that extend beyond the three collages case studies we ultimately decided to use, which invites further speculation. We hope this intellectual framework provokes greater discussion and material speculation in the future. 22


FACULTY RESEARCH TEAM: - Chris Beorkrem, Associate Professor of Architecture - Charles Davis, Assistant Professor of Architectural History - Bryan Shields, Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture

STUDENT RESEARCH TEAM: - Ryan Barkes (UNC Charlotte, MArch 2014) - Nicole Brown (UNC Charlotte, MArch 2014) - Taylor Milner (UNC Charlotte, MArch 2013) - Nicole Rivera (UNC Charlotte, MArch 2013)

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19th CENTURY ORGANICISM Gottfried Semper | 1803-1879

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Ceramics (Plasticity/Hardening)

19th Century Organicism

Basic Forms of Pottery (after Ziegler)

Semper described the evolution of pottery in geometrical and historical terms. Using Ziegler’s diagram of ceramic type forms, Semper explained the plastic combinatory principles for 1803-79 creating variation in art. These principles were supposed to be as lawful as those found in the natural world. and historical terms. Using Ziegler’s diagram of ceramic

Geometric Analysis of Pottery Forms

were supposed to be as lawful as those found in the natural world.

Semper used geometry to analyze the formal relatinship between the hande typologies and pouring moment in differrnt types fo vessels. This comparative analysis immanently expressed the cultural particularity of individual cultures, as well as the principles that unified Semper’s between the hande typologies and pouring moment in analysis of cultural varieties in history. Comparison of Hydria and Situlacultures, as well as the principles that unified Semper’s Comparison of Hydria and Situla Semper beleived that cultural forms reflected the particularities of national peoples. This principle was illustrated by the comparison of the hydria and the situla, which became representative for Greek and Egyptian cultures ofrespectively Semper’s treatise. by the comparison the hydria andinthe situla, which

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Textiles (Weaving) Semper interpreted architectural style as an evolution of the practical arts. For Semper, architecture only became an autonmous art form when it referenced the practices (not forms) of hte past. The continuous historical evolution of the basic idea ofart (i.e. the treatment of materials) constituted the basis of Semper’s organic interpretation of the past. Using this evolutioanry model of development, he explained the historical progression from early textile or weaving practices to the monumental treatment of tiles and brickwork. This historicism aticipated the developmental principles of biologial thinking in the twentieth century, although it integrated biological and cultural development in one comparative system. Tattooing The first form of treating a wall surface was the tattooing of the skin. Germany established colonies in Papua New Guinea, providing Semper with an contemporary glimpse of what he considered an originary practice. Knot The architectural equivalent of tattooing was the manipulation of individual strands of rope. The knot became the basic building block. Plaiting (Plait, Braid, Seam, Canework, Matting) This primitive treatment of rope created decorative pattens that later appeared in the form of tiling patterns on walls. Semper considered these later patterns an aesthetic memorialization of primitive practices.

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of the skin. Germany established colonies in Papua New Guinea, providing Semper with an contemporary glimpse Knot

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basic building block. -

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20th CENTURY PRINCIPLES FUNCTIONALISM Frei Otto | 1925BIODYNAMIC AGE Japanese Matabolists | 1925

Kenzo Tange | 1925-

Kiyoniri Kikutake | 1928Noboru Kawazoe | 1926Kisho Kurokawa | 1934-

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Biology, Morphology and Form-Finding Like nineteenth-century architects, Frei Otto was inspired by biological and anthropological models of development. His interests led him to parter with biologists throughout his career, and illustrations of biological and cultural evolution were continually inserted into his texts. He made explicit references to vernacular architectural forms to illustrate the immediacy with which so-called primitive peoples satisfied thier needs. This was in keeping with Semper’s admiratin of pre-modern cultures. Otto’s resolute emphasis on function and structure, however, put him at odds with Semper’s organic interpretation of architectural evolution. In this manner, Otto’s attitude was more in tune with Viollet-le-Duc’s rationalist interpreation of structure. What related all three historical figures, however, was a shared interest in emulating the evolutioanry principles of nature as some form of procedural rule set for design. They all also attributed cultural meanings to the biological assocations designers created in architecture. Methodology: Form-Finding (Morphology) Like Semper, Frei Otto thought about morphology as the transformation of form over time, be it in nature or architecture. However, his “form-finding” process used the immanent properties of modern materials to discover the ‘natural’ performance of structural systems (via scaled models). This approach abandoned the historical lineages that Semper relied on in the nineteenth century to make ornament referential of its past for an immediate expression of structural forces in the present. Cultural Meaning: Ecology and Democracy Otto attributed a specific cultural significance to his functionalist appropriation of the biological analogy. At one level this significance was immediate in that using natural processes would make architecture more in tune with nature. The second reading Otto employed was more symbolic:

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his reaction to the classical buildings used to support Nazism in Germany led him to read light and adaptable buildings as ‘natural’ expressions of democratic ideals. Quotes “Primitive architecture was an architecture of necessity. It used nothing to excess, no matter whether it was stone, clay, reeds or wood, animal skins or hair. IT is minimal. Even in poverty it can be very beautiful and is good in the ethical sense. Minimal primitve architecture can be structure and ornament at the same time. Decoration makes sense if it is essential.” Frei Otto. “Finding Form: on the way to an architecture of the minimal,” Frei Otto, Boddo Rasch: Finding Form (Edition Axel Menges, 1995), p.13

“Animate objects reproduce by division and sexual multiplication. They changed as a result of random mistakes in reproduction and ”develop” through the untargeted “optimization process” of negative selection through an inability to survive. More and more diverse forms emerge with ever more marked abilities to dominate otherliving creatures.” Frei Otto. “Animate Nature,” Frei Otto, Boddo Rasch: Finding Form (Edition Axel Menges, 1995), p.30

“When objects form of their own accord, man can make direct use fo the processes. For example, when building up ramparts and embankments he will take account of the angles of natural embankments. He can work out the shape of arches from spiders webs or the shape of bowls from suspended nets. There is a new form of selfformation process, using computer optimization prgrammes to find solutions for practical problems.” Frei Otto. “Self-formation Processes Used by Man,” Frei Otto, Boddo Rasch: Finding Form (Edition Axel Menges, 1995), p.41

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“In many tensile structures based on the forms of saddles, points, arches and waves, Otto explored the potential of this architectural field and established that membranes cannot be freely sketched but should be allowed to take their own shape within a given space, through a natural optimizaiton process called ‘form-finding’.” Winfried Nerdinger. “Frei Otto: innovator of tensile and membrane structures,” The Great Builders, edited by Kenneth Powell (Thames & Hudson, 2011), p.249

Architecture in the Biodynamic Age The Japanese Metabolists were another mid-century architectural force to promote biological imagery in their projects. Their Helix City (1961) project is an iconic example. The architectural critic Hans Obrist put it best when he said: “Metabolism was part of a wave of movements in postwar architecture that went beyond the legacy of CIAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne), questioning its mechanical priciples, and more broadly, the idea of the masterpiece. Kurokawa described to us his own thinking at the time as an attempt ‘to understand the shift from a mechanical to a biodynamic age.’” Hans Ulbricht Obrist. “Movement (2),” Project Japan: Metabolism Talks (Taschen, 2009), p.19

The following images visualize the influence of biological imagery on the Helix City project mentioned above. The double helix structure of this project emulated the form of Dr. Francis Crick and Dr. James Watson’s discovery of the molecular structure of human DNA (1953), which required a physical model to determine its true form.

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Interpreting the Haeckel-Otto Collage This collage looks to Ernst Haeckel to establish a parallel between natural forms and the built environment. Unlike the largely functionalist criterion that Otto used to determine the overall forms of his pavilion projects, we have chosen to collage a natural image of the radiolarion described by Ernst Haeckel in the nineteenth century. Haeckel’s imagery demonstrated the geometrical regularity of nature in its simplest form, which inspired many modern architects to think of design as a second level form of functionalism and/or organicism. Digital model was completed by Chris Beorkrem and Ryan Barkes. 37


38


21th CENTURY | COMBINING 19th AND 20th CENTURY PRINCIPLES

EMERGENCE & MORPHOECOLOGY Michael Hensel Achim Menges Michael Weinstock TEXTILE TECTONICS Lars Spuybroek ARCHITECTURAL VARIATION SHoP

39


Emergence and Morphoecology Michael Hensel, Achim Menges and Michael Weinstock established the Emergent Technologies and Design research group in London at the Architectural Association in [date]. From the beginning, their experimentations with architectural form were predicated on a biological metaphor of design. However, they based their metaphorical understanding of morphology on the new paradigm of emergence, which was an outgrowth of evolutionary biology. This theory represents a return to the scientific analysis of formal evolution, although its methodologies and findings are not entirely in keeping with nineteenth and twentieth century models. These changes have had an effect on architectural continuity. While the new paradigm of emergence continues Frei Otto’s immanent consideration of materiality in architecture, his scale-modeling techniques have been replaced by computational analysis and iteration. Otto’s democratic reading of adaptability has also been replaced by a clinical, and arguably apolitical analysis of ecological change. The environmtal urgency behind Otto’s push to make architecture harmonious with the environment is also missing from this new framework. Instead, the avantgardist values of formal innovation and novelty are emphasized. These divergences become even greater when we compare Emergence with nineteenth century antecedents. Evolutionary Biology in the present exchanges the taxonomic comparison of phenotypes popular in the past with an exploration of the promotional effects of genotypes in nature. Despite these differences, however, several continuities exist. In many ways, genomic analysis represents an uncovering of the body’s latent codes and rule systems for regulating physical change. Instead of speculating on the invisible causes of organicism (i.e. vitalism), the study of genes now allows us to more forcefully correlate the effects of genetic structure on physical appearance. In addition, genotypes are analyzed in relation to their micro- and macroenvironments, which parallels nineteenth century concerns with regional type forms.

40


What has changed, however, at least in the case of the Emergent Technologies and Design Group, is an apparnet lack of concern with the particularities of cultural identity. During the nineteenth century, biology and anthropology were useful tools for situating architecture within a specific national and cultural environment. While Hensel, Menges and Weinstock have related the apparent geometrical complexity of human settlements to the theory of self-emergence, this model suggests a universalism that is both appropriate to an increasingly globalized society and naively reminiscent of modernist notions of generalization. Very little has been said about what Emergence and Morpho-Ecology mean to individuals living in these collective spaces. This curious silence is similar to Charles Darwin’s refusal to make definitive claims about the cultural relevance of his work. He left this job to several of his disciples, including Aldous Huxley and Herbert Spencer. Limning the cultural significance of architectural-biology will continue to be a challenge to the public’s reception of this work. Despite the architect’s and evolutionary biologist’s ability to reform the deterministic frameworks of historical biology (i.e. racial, moral, and intellectual determinism), the cultural legacy of biology presents a clear challenge for the public reception of biology. That architects refuse to do this work, even when their translations carry more immediate impact in terms of shaping cultural meaning, is a curious oversight. Semper and Emergence An examination of publications on Emergence yield several discreet paralles with Semper’s work. These are most obvious when one examines the self-generative patterns that are created by following the logic of fibers, textiles and nets. Hensel, Menges and Weinstock admit as much in their text on Emergence in architecture: Textiles have been a dominant topic in architectural discoruse, specifically related to the possible origin of architecture, and therefore to the theoretical underpinnings of the development of architecture [...] In the introduction to volume one [of Der Stil] Semper states as one of his key considerations ‘the work as a result of the material used to produce it, a well as of the tools and procedures applied’. 41


This reads as if purposefully drafted to underpin a key aspect of the Emergent Technolgoies and design approach (102). Using a materialist interpretatinon of Semper’s historicist interpretation of style, the AA group reduces the importace of textiles to construcitve techniques such as “reeling, knotting, drawing, twising, or spinning,” as well as the literal functional and “performative capacity of textiles” (103). This transformation of Semperian logic is most immediately apparent in the topoligical transformations of scaled experiments and pavilions that ‘weave’ fibrous structures at different scales. The questions this example raises with respects to Semper is (1) how has computation freed the formal logic of textiles to create novel configurations, and (2) what ancient of even ‘primitive’ associations might be latent in the AA group’s reference of Semper’s theory?

42


“The Tree of Life” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.101 “Historical Evolution of Mesopotamia” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.176

“Primate Skulls” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.23

43


“Genes and the Body Plan” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.111

“Mutation” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.98

“Evolution and Gene Expression” Source: Michael Weinstock. The Architecture of Emergence, p.23

44


45


46


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Collage Pair #3: Nico Reinhardt, Student Project (2006-07) Gottfried Semper, “Plaited thread pattern” (1864)

Collage Pair #2: Hensel, Menges. ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion (2010) Gottfried Semper, “EBraid” (1864)

Collage Pair #1: Christina Doumpioti, “Macro Fibres” (2008) Gottfried Semper, “Egyptian Latticework” (1864)


Interpreting the Semper-Menges Collage The collage that we have chosen to show in the exhibit combines the formal attributes of basket weaving Gottfried Semper referred to in Der Stil and the assembly techniques Michael Hensel and Achim Menges employed in their IDP pavilion. Since each cultural form is based on a similar technique, a fruitful ambiguity emerges in the reading of this collage form. Are we witnessing the formal reference to ‘primitive’ techniques in the full-scale architectural form? Or is this simply a digital print of a woven basket form? The answer to both is, of course, yes, which makes it that much harder to divorce form and meaning in the new hybrized form. Allowing the two material practices to overlay and extend from one another was an important aspect to preserve in this object.

Digital model was completed by Chris Beorkrem, Steve Danilowicz and Ryan Barkes.

48


49


Textile Tectonics: Inverting the Logic of Semperian Construction Lars Spuybroek has made a name for himself by inverting the logic of Gottfried Semper’s historical emphasis on tectonic structure. The following quotes give some indication of his thinking on this issue. Quotes In tracing this historical path of life in forms, it is evident that, as I have stated above, “life” must split itself into two modalities, one concerning human corporeality and experience and the other the materiality of structures and forms. These two materialities again meet and interact in life itself, which of course raises the main question of how they affect each other and how such mutual influence reunites them. Lars Spuybroek. “Experience, Tectonics and Continuity,” The Architecture of Continuity (NAi Publishers, 2008), p.16-17

From that point on, we have to create our own new path through history, rethinking aesthetic experience, rethinking tectonics, to finally come out on the other side of the problem. Lars Spuybroek. “Experience, Tectonics and Continuity,” The Architecture of Continuity (NAi Publishers, 2008), p.16

I have tried to rethink Semper’s materialism in a more processual, active form [...] I call this the “Semperian reversal”: the reversal of the order of the four elements. Instead of starting with earth and a wooden frame to support the weaker textile fibers, I reason the other way around: weak threads move, find each other, and lock into each other, building structure and rigidity. So instead of adding the soft to the rigid, as Semper did, we see a transformation of soft into rigid.

50


Lars Spuybroek. “Experience, Tectonics and Continuity,” The Architecture of Continuity (NAi Publishers, 2008), p.20

Architectural Variation Quote The Use of digital technology fit the philosophy of our office in mnay ways. it intorduced into our work data from numerous sources, making us problem solvers as well as form makers. Holden, Kimberly J.. SHoP: out of practice. New York: (Monacelli Press, 2012), p. 241

SHoP Architects is a firm,which from their outset coined the term versioning. The firm has worked over the past 15 years to define a firm philosophy, uses a functionalist perspective to help define expressive and inventive geometry. The firm has used material constraints, code and zoning enforcement, programmatic expression and even developer’s pro forma as parametric logics to help articulate their geometric solutions. The firm’s partners celebrate their diversity of backgrounds and use their individual expertise to help link data from each of their professions to project development.

51


52


53


Interpreting Semper-SHoP-NOX Collage The collage that we chose to show in the exhibit combines the formal attributes of three separate projects; SHoP’s Dunescape of 2000, NOX’s Sun-O-House of 2006, and the Tirolean truss system illustrated in Gottfried Semper’s Der Stil. The sectional character of this model conceptually weaves the fundamental aspects of these three forms together. The individual trusses of SHoP’s dunescape are juxtaposed with one another, creating the flowing geometries present in NOX’s water pavilion. Nested within the exterior shell is a traditioanl trabeated structural system, which connotes the so-called primitive origins of these parametric forms. The new collaged form proposes a semiotic integration of the primitive hut of the past with the parametric pavilions of the present. Digital model was completed by Chris Beorkrem and Ryan Barkes.

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Digital collage of the formal principles of SHoP’s Dunescape, NOX’s Sun-O-House, and the [name] truss illustrated in Semper’s text Der Stil teric’ object, thus blurring the lines between the past and present.

55


EXHIBITION COMPONENTS Gallery Layout Phylogenetic Maps Analogue Collages Digital Timeline

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The exhibit is intended to first immerse the occupant within Gottfried Semper’s four elements - contextualizing and situating an argument beyond the hard-science of biology. The role of culture within Semper’s biological metaphor will be displayed in both writing on his work and its influence on three contemporary characters. Upon passing through a “corridor of contextualization” - the occupant is opened up to Semper’s four elements and their correlation to various “threads” that represent the both historical and contemporary characters and their selected work’s relationship to those four Semperian elements. The weaving of the methodologies of the characters with the four elements is highlighted spatially with 3D constructs that help to create both a literal and figurative intersection of a particular methodology and its relevant Semperian element(s). To further the role of history within this narrative, a timeline, exploring both formal and cultural influences, works its way around the curved wall of the gallery. The timeline begins with Semper’s own historical influences and ends with the relevant works of today. The selected characters and their work are highlighted along the timeline, as well as any other relevant characters that have come to light during the research into Semper’s impact on the biological metaphor. Viewed in its entirety, the exhibit is intended to help the occupant both better understand the entire argument of the research and narrative. In addition, the individual panels (and modular hexagonal pedestals) locate specific Semperian elements that influenced future designers. The weaving of the writing, as well as the referential visual imagery on the walls and pedestals, serve as evidence that process and product have been inseparable throughout the entirety of this research.

57


58


Gallery Layout

59


Phylogenetic Maps

Deciphering the Phylogenetic maps Each map is a visual diagram of the historical evolution Semper outlined in Der Stil. He explained the transformation of primitive material techniques into decorative art forms, first as practical objects and later as monumental architectures. We have created a visual diagram to illustrate the evolutionary principles Semper outlined in his text. Each map is just one of many possible exempifications of the historical evolutions Semper believed could be traced by examining history through archaeological and ethnographic objects. Whenever possible, we have taken visual references from historical sources that Semper explicitly referenced in his text. When these were not explicitly referenced, we have used references that were available during his lifetime to visualize his principles. For example, the visual comparison of two Papua New Guinea women used in the ‘Textile’ map (shown below) is taken from John Lubbock’s [name] of [date]. In the 1860s, Germany began a colonial project in Papua New Guinea. Semper directly referenced the tattooing practices of the Papuans in his text as an empirical illustration of the early decorative practices of so-called primitive peoples. Each image used in our maps indicated the material used, the finishing techique, as well as the geographical region where the artistic motif was to be found. In keeping with Semper’s explicit references to the racial anthropology of Gustav Klemm, we have also indicated whether each image expressed the cultures of a so-called ‘Active’ race (A), ‘Passive’ race (P), or a hybrid of the two (H). Semper modeled his theory of architectural evolution after Klemm’s ethnological theory of development, which used the conquest and hybridization of active and passive races to trace cultural development. This dressing of the body would later be transferred to the ornamenting of practical objects such as dresses and chairs, and architectural forms such as trusses. For Semper, these embellishments were ornamental flourishes of the structure underneath the surface, be it the muscles of the human body of the structural system of a building. Adolf Loos later envoked the practices of Papua New Gineans in his famous 1908 essay “Ornament and Crime”, although his estimation of these people had become negative as was reflected by popular sentiment just 40 years later.

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Semper, these embellishments were ornamental flourishes of the structure underneath the surface, be it the muscles of the human body of the structural system of a New Gineans in his famous 1908 essay “Ornament and just 40 years later.

Material finishing technique taken from

Material(s) that are manipulated by each technique

Hierarchy of social development on the Gustav Klemm scale

61


CARAIB HUT

Ce S T Ca

GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63)

Ca

T

S

Ce Tectonics: Technical-Historical ยง145 Greco-Italic Tectonics: Timber Architecture This is an illustration of a model of the Carribbean bamboo hut displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. It shows all the elements of antique architecture in their pure and most original form: the hearth as the centerpoint, raised earth as a terrace surrounded by posts, the column-supported roof, and the mat enclosure as a spatial termination or wall.

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TEXTILES

T

GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63)

textile techniques found in nature

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of the weaving technique in the primitive world.

sewn lacing & weaves

Material: Twine Structural Principle: Pliable, tough, highly resistant to tearing Durability: Absolute strength Primitive Form: Knot, Braid, Band

original binding techniques

framed lacing & weaves

twisted lacing & weaves

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of textile motifs in architectural history. TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin Subsaharan Africa Klemm: N

Textiles (Weaving)

TATTOOING

Semper interpreted architectural style as an evolution of the practical arts. For Semper, architecture only became an autonmous art form when it referenced the practices (not forms) of hte past. The continuous historical evolution of the basic idea ofart (i.e. the treatment of materials) constituted the basis of Semper’s organic interpretation of the past. Using this evolutioanry model of development, he explained the historical progression from early textile or weaving practices to the monumental treatment of tiles and brickwork. This historicism aticipated the developmental principles of biologial thinking in the twentieth century., although it integrated biological and cultural development in one comparative system.

EXTILE TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin (Paint) Guinea

TEXTILE EXTILE Wreath:Vines Greece Klemm: A

Papua New Klemm: P

Tattooing

KNOTS & BINDING

The first form of treating a wall surface was the tattooing of the skin. Germany established colonies in Papua New Guinea, providing Semper with an contemporary glimpse of what he considered an originary practice. Knot The architectural equivalent of tattooing was the manipulation of individual strands of rope. The knot became the basic building block. Plaiting (Plait, Braid, Seam, Canework, Matting) This primitive treatment of rope created decorative pattens that later appeared in the form of tiling patterns on walls. Semper considered these later patterns an aesthetic memorialization of primitive practices.

LACING & WEAVING

TEXTILE [Type] Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE TEXTILE Weaver’s Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE EXTILE Loop Stitch 1:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE Loop Stitch s:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

BINDING TOOLS TEXTILE Binding on Weapons, Tools: Twine Various (173) Klemm: P

MAT WEAVING

TEXTILE Woven mat partitions: Twine Haiti, Caribbean (173) Klemm: P

WOVEN WALL PARTITIONS

TEXTILE Mat Plaited Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Ladies Hair Decoration: Silk, etc. Egyptian (238) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Battlements/Cornice: Masonry Egyptian (125) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

BINDING VESTMENTS & HEADDRESS

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Miter w/Crown: Feather Assyrian (122) Klemm: A

EXTILE TEXTILE Capitol w/binding: Rope Egyptian (238) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Asp: Metal Egyptian (156) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Ruler’s Vestments Assyrian (120) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Helmtt Decorations: Feathers Gree, Assyrian (122) Klemm: A

REFINEMENT OF ORNAMENT

BANDING ELEMENTS OF BUILDING SURFACE TILING AS ORNAMENT

EMERGENCE OF ARCHITECTURE TEXTILE EXTILE Wreath:Vines Greece Klemm: A

SURFACE BANDING AS ORNAMENT

DECORATIVE WREATH

TAPESTRIES TRANSLATED W/TILES

63


TEXTILES

T

GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63)

textile techniques found in nature

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of the weaving technique in the primitive world.

sewn lacing & weaves

Material: Structural Principle: Durability: Primitive Form:

Twine Pliable, tough, highly resistant to tearing Absolute strength Knot, Braid, Band

original binding techniques

framed lacing & weaves

twisted lacing & weaves

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of textile motifs in architectural history. TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin Subsaharan Africa Klemm: N

Textiles (Weaving)

TATTOOING

Semper interpreted architectural style as an evolution of the practical arts. For Semper, architecture only became an autonmous art form when it referenced the practices (not forms) of hte past. The continuous historical evolution of the basic idea ofart (i.e. the treatment of materials) constituted the basis of Semper’s organic interpretation of the past. Using this evolutioanry model of development, he explained the historical progression from early textile or weaving practices to the monumental treatment of tiles and brickwork. This historicism aticipated the developmental principles of biologial thinking in the twentieth century., although it integrated biological and cultural development in one comparative system. Tattooing The first form of treating a wall surface was the tattooing of the skin. Germany established colonies in Papua New Guinea, providing Semper with an contemporary glimpse of what he considered an originary practice.

TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin (Paint) Papua New Guinea Klemm: P

TEXTILE Wreath:Vines Greece Klemm: A

KNOTS & BINDING

Knot The architectural equivalent of tattooing was the manipulation of individual strands of rope. The knot became the basic building block. Plaiting (Plait, Braid, Seam, Canework, Matting)

64

This primitive treatment of rope created decorative pattens that later appeared in the form of tiling patterns on walls. Semper considered these later patterns an aesthetic memorialization of primitive practices.

LACING & WEAVING

TEXTILE [Type] Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE Weaver’s Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE Loop Stitch 1:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE Loop Stitch s:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

BINDING TOOLS TEXTILE Binding on Weapons, Tools: Twine Various (173) Klemm: P

MAT WEAVING

TEXTILE Woven mat partitions: Twine Haiti, Caribbean (173) Klemm: P

WOVEN WALL PARTITIONS

TEXTILE Mat Plaited Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

BINDING VESTMENTS & HEADDRESS

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P


original binding techniques

framed lacing & weaves

twisted lacing & weaves

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of textile motifs in architectural history. TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin Subsaharan Africa Klemm: N

Textiles (Weaving)

TATTOOING

Semper interpreted architectural style as an evolution of the practical arts. For Semper, architecture only became an autonmous art form when it referenced the practices (not forms) of hte past. The continuous historical evolution of the basic idea ofart (i.e. the treatment of materials) constituted the basis of Semper’s organic interpretation of the past. Using this evolutioanry model of development, he explained the historical progression from early textile or weaving practices to the monumental treatment of tiles and brickwork. This historicism aticipated the developmental principles of biologial thinking in the twentieth century., although it integrated biological and cultural development in one comparative system.

EXTILE TEXTILE Tattoo:Skin (Paint) Papua New Guinea Klemm: P

Tattooing

TEXTILE EXTILE Wreath:Vines Greece Klemm: A

KNOTS & BINDING

The first form of treating a wall surface was the tattooing of the skin. Germany established colonies in Papua New Guinea, providing Semper with an contemporary glimpse of what he considered an originary practice. Knot The architectural equivalent of tattooing was the manipulation of individual strands of rope. The knot became the basic building block. Plaiting (Plait, Braid, Seam, Canework, Matting) This primitive treatment of rope created decorative pattens that later appeared in the form of tiling patterns on walls. Semper considered these later patterns an aesthetic memorialization of primitive practices.

LACING & WEAVING

TEXTILE [Type] Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE TEXTILE Weaver’s Knot:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE EXTILE Loop Stitch 1:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

TEXTILE Loop Stitch s:Rope Ubiquitous Klemm: A/P

BINDING TOOLS TEXTILE Binding on Weapons, Tools: Twine Various (173) Klemm: P

MAT WEAVING

TEXTILE Woven mat partitions: Twine Haiti, Caribbean (173) Klemm: P

WOVEN WALL PARTITIONS

TEXTILE

Battlements/Cornice: Egyptian (125) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Mat Plaited Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

BINDING VESTMENTS & HEADDRESS

TEXTILE Ladies Hair Decoration: Silk, etc. Egyptian (238) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Plaited Cane Latticework:Spun Fabric Egyprian, American Iroquois (225) Klemm: P

TEXTILE Miter w/Crown: Feather Assyrian (122) Klemm: A

Masonry

EXTILE TEXTILE Capitol w/binding: Rope Egyptian (238) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Asp: Metal Egyptian (156) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Ruler’s Vestments Assyrian (120) Klemm: P(A)

TEXTILE Helmtt Decorations: Feathers Gree, Assyrian (122) Klemm: A

REFINEMENT OF ORNAMENT

BANDING ELEMENTS OF BUILDING SURFACE TILING AS ORNAMENT

EMERGENCE OF ARCHITECTURE TEXTILE EXTILE Wreath:Vines Greece Klemm: A

SURFACE BANDING AS ORNAMENT

DECORATIVE WREATH

TAPESTRIES TRANSLATED W/TILES

65


Ce

CERAMICS GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63) hybrid forms

pure form 1

+

hybrid forms

hybrid forms

pure form 2

hybrid forms

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of potter’s techniques in the primitive world. Material: Clay Structural Principle: Soft, Malleable (Plastic), Capable of being hardened, easily shaped and formed and retaining a given form when hardened Durability: Varies Primitive Form: Pottery

column details from ceramic bases

1

2

3

4

5

Semper describes the round bowl as the most primtive form in Greek antiquity. This form was based on a spherical geometry, often with a concave base.

The next phase of development was manifested by oval forms. These emblems often held sacred oils and were pointed for resting in the dirt or pouring oils from a spout.

The functional pointed ends of pervious amphora forms were now situated within a tripod or base. Semper believed this combination anticipated the column shaft and its capital. (See illustrations above.)

The fourth phase Semper described was the celebrated hydria form. This form expressed spatial articulation in three full axes, which was interpreted as a natural extension of the democratic culture of Greece.

A subsequent phase of development was manifest in the addition of pouring spouts on hydria forms. This variation added greater funcitonality to the previous step in development.

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of ceramic motifs in architectural history. Comparing Ancient Implements Semper was convinced that one could understand ancient cultures through the material cultures they left behind. This philosophy of history followed Baron Georges Cuvier’s comparative anatomy, which attempted to reconstruct entire organisms from the fragment of a bone or tooth. This methodology contributed to an increased enthusiasm for archaelogical and ethnographic research in architecture. However, it also contributed to a reductive understanding of primitive cultures that personified architectural styles in an attempt to capture historical evolution. The Egyptian Situla Semper believed the Egyptian situla was a formal development of early leather satchels that were created to carry water from the Nile. The lip that was created for these early forms persisted in the late development of wood and ceramic emblems, shown to the left. The teardrop form was an echo of the form leather would take when it was pulled from a rushing river such as the Nile. The appearance of hieroglyphics denoted the elevation of a practical implement to a monumental form. This form seemed less advanced than the Greek hydria because it only formally expressed one axis of expression. This limitation was interpreted as being a natural product of a hierarchical and superstitious culture, which negatively marked Egyptian culture in comparison to Greek development. The Greek Hydria Semper believed this form encapsulated the pinnacle of Greek cultural development in miniature form. The swelling of the form and its articulated base and capital seemed to ancitipate later monumental architectural forms. Geometrically, this form had three degrees of freedom that were expressed by its various handles and spouts, which Semper took to be an allegorical expression of the democratic freedom that permeated the country. This personfied reading of material culture reinforced the Grecophilia in fashion in Semper’s time, although on new empirical grounds.

66


+

hybrid forms

hybrid forms

pure form 2

hybrid forms

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of potter’s techniques in the primitive world. Material: Clay Structural Principle: Soft, Malleable (Plastic), Capable of being hardened, easily shaped and formed and retaining a given form when hardened Durability: Varies Primitive Form: Pottery

column details from ceramic bases

1

2

3

4

5

Semper describes the round bowl as the most primtive form in Greek antiquity. This form was based on a spherical geometry, often with a concave base.

The next phase of development was manifested by oval forms. These emblems often held sacred oils and were pointed for resting in the dirt or pouring oils from a spout.

The functional pointed ends of pervious amphora forms were now situated within a tripod or base. Semper believed this combination anticipated the column shaft and its capital. (See illustrations above.)

The fourth phase Semper described was the celebrated hydria form. This form expressed spatial articulation in three full axes, which was interpreted as a natural extension of the democratic culture of Greece.

A subsequent phase of development was manifest in the addition of pouring spouts on hydria forms. This variation added greater funcitonality to the previous step in development.

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of ceramic motifs in architectural history. Comparing Ancient Implements Semper was convinced that one could understand ancient cultures through the material cultures they left behind. This philosophy of history followed Baron Georges Cuvier’s comparative anatomy, which attempted to reconstruct entire organisms from the fragment of a bone or tooth. This methodology contributed to an increased enthusiasm for archaelogical and ethnographic research in architecture. However, it also contributed to a reductive understanding of primitive cultures that personified architectural styles in an attempt to capture historical evolution. The Egyptian Situla Semper believed the Egyptian situla was a formal development of early leather satchels that were created to carry water from the Nile. The lip that was created for these early forms persisted in the late development of wood and ceramic emblems, shown to the left. The teardrop form was an echo of the form leather would take when it was pulled from a rushing river such as the Nile. The appearance of hieroglyphics denoted the elevation of a practical implement to a monumental form. This form seemed less advanced than the Greek hydria because it only formally expressed one axis of expression. This limitation was interpreted as being a natural product of a hierarchical and superstitious culture, which negatively marked Egyptian culture in comparison to Greek development. The Greek Hydria Semper believed this form encapsulated the pinnacle of Greek cultural development in miniature form. The swelling of the form and its articulated base and capital seemed to ancitipate later monumental architectural forms. Geometrically, this form had three degrees of freedom that were expressed by its various handles and spouts, which Semper took to be an allegorical expression of the democratic freedom that permeated the country. This personfied reading of material culture reinforced the Grecophilia in fashion in Semper’s time, although on new empirical grounds.

67


CARPENTRY

Ca

GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63)

frame

furniture

frame

CANTILEVER PRINCIPLE IN WOOD

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of the carpenter’s techniques in the primitive world. Material: Wood Structural Principle: Long, slender elements cut along the grain and assembled Durability: Compressive Strength Primitive Form: Furniture, Timber Frame

SHARED TRUSS DETAILS TAILS IN FURNITURE AND ROOFING T

COMMON MOTIFS IN CEREMONIAL CEREMONIA FURNITURE AND TIROLEAN HOUSE

TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of wood motifs in architectural history. Historical Elaboration of the Timber Frame These structures were essentially miniature houses for the gods. According to Semper, there was historical evolution of the wooden frame, and decorative details that references motifs taken from nature or one of the other four elements. As the diagram in the upper left demonstrates, the ornamental details of carpentry were initially mastered in domestic furniture before they masterd in textile and ceramic forms, and only later were passed on to full-scale timber construction. In this way, Semper demonstrated the architect’s reliance on the practical arts for the brith of monumental architectures.

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STEREOTOMY GOTTFRIED SEMPER. DER STIL (1860-63)

According to Semper, the masonry wall at its highest level of expression was a frame for expressing the visual character of a particular building type, and in turn of the people who constructed that building. The illustration on the right is a color illustration taken from Der Stil. This image depicts a wall constructed in Pompeii, and it is shown to demonstrate the range of colors and effects one could make with simple relief. These blocks are literally framed by their mortar and filled in with some sort of relief pattern. In the blocks Semper constructed for his museum in Dresden, shown on the right, Semper preferred to visually express the weight of the wall. The interior of the frame literally bulges outward to provide a visceral expression of gravitational forces. At times, Semper would interpret the colorful patterning or weightiness of a foundation wall in terms of the moral and spiritual character of a people.

GENERAL - FORMAL This section describes the general principles of the mason’s techniques in the primitive world. Material: Stone Structural Principle: Strong, densely aggregated, resistant to crushing and compression Durability: Reactive Strength Primitive Form: Foundation, Plinth, Base

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“The polygonal (and octagonal) plan is a transitional form that would seem to belong within the canon of cyclopean masonry, as its basic form generally contains the obtuse angles that correspond to that canon (739).”

“The most primitive monuments, though not the oldest, confirm what seems true a priori - that the circular plan was earliest (739).”

“The close relation between a building’s plan and the way its structure is executed is even more strikingly evident in the case of the parallelepiped units and the rectangular plan (739).””

Song tomb at Xiguan, Henan Province

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TECHNICAL - HISTORICAL This section illustrates the historical transformation of stone motifs in architectural history. Historical Elaboration of the Stone Foundation Semper described the historical evolution of the stone foundation as a gradual realization of the spiritual value of the plumb line. This historical arc revealed Semper’s preference for the geometric regularity of the string courses that would find their finest expression in Greek temple forms. The regularity with which the basic unit of the wall was deployed was matched by a progressive regularization of the foundation wall, moving from circular and polygonal forms in the most primitive settings to the rectilinear geometries of the Greeks. Everything above the foundation wall in monumental architecture, for Semper, recalled the original use of textile partitions. This non-masonry origin provided the rationale for much of the ornament that was used on the walls of Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek architectures of the past.

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Mapping Semper-SHoP-NOX

PRIMITIVE PARAMETRIC

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carpentry ceramics stereotomy textiles

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Mapping Semper-Menges

PRIMITIVE PARAMETRIC

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carpentry ceramics stereotomy textiles

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Mapping Semper-Otto-Grimshaw

PRIMITIVE PARAMETRIC

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Timeline -1810

Vitruvian Man Vitruvius 1521

Colonnade of the east facade of Louvre Claude Perrault 1667-74 Paris, France Of German Architecture Goethe 1772

Laugier's Primitive Hut Essai sur l'Architecture Marc-Antoine Laugier 1753

Newton's Cenota Etienne-Louis Bou 1784

Illustration of 'type' theory in Church architecture Julien David Leroy 1764 Paris, France

L' Architettura [De re aedificatoria] Leon Bassitta Alberti 1435

A Storm and Stress vision of Gothic architecture Goethe 1772

Critique of Pure Reason Immanuel Kant 1781

Analysis of Beauty William Hogarth 1753

Grotto Forms in British Landscape Architecture Desert de Retz, in the Forest of Marly 1775 Chambourcy

Dialogue at Stow William Gilpin 1748

Poetics Aristotle 335 BC Histoire (Diagram "Table de l'Ordre des Chiens") Comte Georges Buffon 1755 Ordonnance des cinq especes de colonnes Claude Perrault 1683

Life of an Idea Rousseau 1766-70

Simple Imit Nature, Ma Goethe 1789

Botanical Flourishes Johann Friedrich Da 1784 Nikolaikirche, Leipz

An Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful Edmund Burke 1757

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Crystal Palace Joseph Paxton 1803-65

aph ullee

s of Columns authe

zig

De Nativa (Diagram of Five Skulls) Johann Friedrich Blumenbach 1795-1800

Aesthetic Judgement August Wilhelm von Schlegel 1789

Anoplotherium G. Cuvier 1804

Diagram "Arbre Botanique" Augustin Augier 1801

The Metamorphosis of Plants Goethe 1790

Critique of Judgement Immanuel Kant 1790

1800

tation of anner, Style

Kunstlehre August Wilhelm von Schlegel 1801-1802

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Timeline -1810- 1850

Reconstruction of the Temple of Empedocles J.J. Hittorff 1830 Selimumte, Sicily

Architektonisches Lehrbuch Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1810

Cathedral as a memorial to the Wars of Liberation Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1814-1815

Schauspielhaus Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1818-1821

Altes Museum Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1822-1830

Gothic Memorial Chapel for Queen Louisa Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1810 Prussia

Entretien sur l'architecture Viollet-le-Duc 1836-72

Kunstlehre August Wilhelm von Schlegel 1801-1802 Recherches sur les Poisons Fossils (Diagram "Genealogie de la Classes des Poissons") Louis Agassiz 1833-44 Die Baukunst nach den Grundgesatzen Alois Hirt 1809

Histoire Naturelle Jean Baptiste Lamarck 1815-22

Pump Room demonstration of 'technostatic' intrepretation of Romanesque tectonic arch Heinrich Hubsch 1837-40 Baden

Encyclopedie nouvelle Leonce Reynaud 1834-1841

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1840

1830

1820

1810

Botanical Diagram of Structure of Leaf and Stem Joseph Paxton 1832


Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve Henri Labrouste 1842-50 Paris, France

Analysis of Cologne Cathedral Franz Kugler 1841

Allgemeine Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit Gustav Klemm 1843-52

Magnum Opus, Handbuch der Kunstgeschicte Franz Kugler 1842 Cabinet d'anatomie comparee Georges Cuvier 1842

Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve Henri Labrouste 1842-50 Paris, France

Entretien sur l'architecture Viollet-le-Duc 1836-72

Analysis of Cologne Cathedral Franz Kugler 1841

Recherches sur les Poisons Fossils (Diagram "Genealogie de la Classes des Poissons") Louis Agassiz 1833-44

Pump Room demonstration of 'technostatic' intrepretation of Romanesque tectonic arch Heinrich Hubsch 1837-40 Baden

Allgemeine Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit Gustav Klemm 1843-52 Elementary Geology (Paleontological Chart) Edward Hitchcock 1840

Magnum Opus, Handbuch der Kunstgeschicte Franz Kugler 1842 Cabinet d'anatomie comparee Georges Cuvier 1842

Encyclopedie nouvelle Leonce Reynaud 1834-1841

Botanical Diagram of Structure of Leaf and Stem Joseph Paxton 1832

1840

Elementary Geology (Paleontological Chart) Edward Hitchcock 1840

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Timeline -1850- 1890

Central Park Frederick Law Olmstead 1858 NYC, NYC

The Nature and Function of Art, more especially of Architecture Leopold Eidlitz 1881

"Transcendentalism of Art" The Builder Goethe 1852

Plan for National Cemetery Gottfried Semper 1850 London

Ueber die bleimen Schleudegeschosse der Alten Gottfried Semper 1859

The Monadn John Wellbo 1884 Chicago, IL

Die Tektoik der Hellenen C.G.W.Botticher 1874

The Seven Lamps of Architecture John Ruskin 1849 Bibliotheque Nationale Henri Labrouste 1862-68 Paris, France

St. George's Episcopal Church Leopold Eidlitz 1846-50 New York Vergleichende Baulehre Gottfried Semper 1850

Cologne Cathedral 1880 Cologne, Germany

Dictionnaire Raisonne E. E. Viollet-le-Duc 1854-68 Oxford Natural History Museum Thomas Deane & Benjamin Woodward 1855-61 Oxford, England Four Elements Der Stil Gottfried Semper 1860

Lily House Joseph Paxton 1849-50 Chatsworth

Geschichte der bildenden Kunste C. Schnaase 1869

The Descent of Man (Vol. 1, "Human Embryo after Ecker) Charles Darwin 1871

Le Massif du Mont Blanc E.E. Viollet-le-Duc 1876

Racial Figures in Opera House Charles Garnier 1863-75 Paris, France

Histoire d'un dessinateur E.E. Viollet-le-Duc 1879

On the Origin of Species (Hypothetical Phylogenetic Tree, 1859) Charles Darwin 1856

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1880

1870

Carving a Jamb on 1st floor window of University Museum James O'Shea 1860 Oxford

'Grammar of Ornament' Owen Jones 1856 London

1860

1850

The Habitations of Man in All Ages E.E. Viollet-le-Duc 1876

Sagrada Familia Antonio Gaudi 1882 Barcelona, Spain


Auditorium Building Louis Sullivan 1889 Chicago, IL

nock Building orn Root

Tassel House Victor Horta 1892 Brussels, Belgium

"The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered" Louis Sullivan 1896

L'Habitation Humaine Charles Gainer & Auguste Ammann 1892

Central Park Frederick Law Olmstead 1858 NYC, NYC

Skeuomorphs of timber construction "The Meaning of Ornament, or its Archaelogy and its Psychology" H. Colley March 1889

1890

alism of Art"

Ueber die bleimen Schleudegeschosse der Alten Gottfried Semper 1859

Vergleichende Baulehre Gottfried Semper 1850

Dictionnaire Raisonne E. E. Viollet-le-Duc 1854-68 Oxford Natural History Museum Thomas Deane & Benjamin Woodward 1855-61 Oxford, England Four Elements Der Stil Gottfried Semper 1860

Racial Figures in Opera House Charles Garnier 1863-75 Paris, France

On the Origin of Species (Hypothetical Phylogenetic Tree, 1859) Charles Darwin 1856

Carving a Jamb on 1st floor window of University Museum James O'Shea 1860 Oxford

1860

'Grammar of Ornament' Owen Jones 1856 London

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Timeline -1890-1940

The Architecture of Humanism Geoffrey Scott 1914

Carson Pirie Scott Louis Sullivan 1899-1904 Chicago, IL

"The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered" Louis Sullivan 1896

Robie House Frank Lloyd Wright 1910 Chicago, IL

"Ornament and Crime" Adolf Loos 1908

Tavanasa Bridge Robert Maillart 1904 Danis-Tavanas, Switzerland

Parc Guell Antonio Gaudi 1900 Barcelona, Spain

Grinnell National Bank Louis Sullivan 1914 Grinnell, Iowa

Casa Mila Antonio Gaudi 1906 Barcelona, Spain

Kunstformen der Natur (Radiolarian, Tree of Life diagram) Ernst Haeckel 1904

Familistere Andre Godin 1899 Guise, France

First Flight Wright Brothers 1900 Kitty Hawk, NC

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1910

1900

Koch Curve (Fractals) Helge von Koch 1904


Einstein Tower Erich Mendelsohn 1919 Pottsdam, Germany

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright 1937 Scottsdale, AZ

Space, Time, and Architecture Siegfried Giedion 1938-39 Geodesic Dome Buckminster Fuller 1948

Johnson Wax HQ Frank Lloyd Wright 1936-39 Racine, WI

Fiat Factory 1930 Turin, Italy

Baker House MIT Alvar Aalto 1946 Cambridge, MA

Falling Water Frank Lloyd Wright 1936-39 Bear Run, PA

Dymaxion House Buckminster Fuller 1929 Dearborn, Michigan

Navy Splints Charles and Ray Eames 1942 Los Angeles, CA

Eames House Charles and Ray Eames 1945 Pacific Palisades, CA

On Growth and Form Darcy Wentworth Thompson 1917

"Correalism and Biotechnique" Frederick Kielser 1939

1940

1930

1920

Sierpinski Curve Waclaw Sierpinski 1915

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Timeline -1950-1990 Palezetto dello Sport Nervi 1958 Rome, Italy

Cathedral of St. Mary Nervi 1967 San Francisco, CA Cathedral of Brasilia Oscar Neimeyer 1970 Brasilia, Brazil Beinecke Library Louis Kahn 1963 New Haven, CT

MIT Chapel Eero Saarinen 1955 Cambridge, MA Precisions sur un Etat Present de l'Architecture et de l'Urbanisme Le Corbusier 1960 Paris, France

The Spiral Je Robert Smith 1972 Rozel Point,

Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture Peter Colliins 1965

Guggenheim Museum Frank Lloyd Wright 1956-59 NYC, NY TWA Flight Center Eero Saarinen 1962 JFK International Airport Queens, NY

"Conceptuality of Fundamental Structures" Structure in Art and Science Buckminster Fuller 1965

Bavinger House Bruce Goff 1955 Norman, Ok

Montreal Biosphere Buckminster Fuller 1967 Montreal, Canada

Aspects of Form: Symposium on Form in Nature and Art Lancelot Law Whyte 1961

Molded Plywood Chairs Charles and Ray Eames 1946 Los Angeles, CA

Molded Plywood Chairs Charles and Ray Eames 1946 Los Angeles, CA

Munich Olympic Stadium Frei Otto 1972 Munich, Germany

Helix City Japanese Metabolists 1961 Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay Plan Japanese Metabolists 1960 Tokyo, Japan

Towards an Organic Architecture Bruno Zevi 1951

Biology and Building Frei Otto 1971

Endless House Friedrich Kiesler 1959

Floriade Pavilion Frei Otto 1962 Rotterdam

"The Character of Biological Form" (Diagram of the Epigenetic Landscape) Conrad Waddington 1951

First DNA double helix model Francis Crick & James Watson 1953

Notes on the Synthesis of Form Christopher Alexander 1964

Velcro 1955

Brookhaven Protein Databank Levinthal's Paradox Cryus Levinthal 1965

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1970

1960

1960

1950

Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism Wittkower 1962


Price Residence Bart Prince 1984-1989 Corona del Mar, California

Institut du Monde Arabe Jean Nouvel 1984 Paris, France

etty hson UT

The Evolution of Design Philip Steadman 1979

Thorncrown Chapel E. Fay Jones 1980 Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Meeting Space-PS1 James Turrell 1986 Queens, NYC

Approaches to Organic Form: Permutations in Science and Culture F.R. Burwick 1987

Pavilion for Japanese Art Bruce Goff 1978 LACMA

Roden Crater James Turrell 1979 Flagstaff, AZ

1990

Clouds, Shorelines, Leaves, Tree Benoit B. Mandelbrot 1977

1980

Article on Organic Unity Georg Germann 1972

Multihalle Frei Otto 1975 Mannheim, Germany

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Timeline -1990-

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Special thanks to the School of Architecture at UNC Charlotte and to all of our reserach assistants without whom this work could not have been completed:

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Taylor Milner

Nicole Rivera

Nicole Brown

Ryan Barkes

JP Mays

Steve Danilowicz

Adam Caruthers

Ian McIver


Primitive Parametric