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THINK SPACE PAMPHLETS 2nd Think Space Unconference Edition Zagreb, February, 2013


Think Space Pamphlets

Impressum: Publisher: Zagreb Society of Architects ZSA / Društvo arhitekata Zagreba DAZ Trg bana Josipa Jelačića 3/I Zagreb, Croatia 2013 Think Space Past Forward Call for Papers Editorial team: Sanja Cvjetko Jerkovic, Luka Korlaet, Ana Dana Beroš, Lukas Pauer, Adrian Lahoud with Kata Gašpar, editoral executive assistant

ISBN number: 978-953-7939-00-7


Contents:

00 Past Forward Call for Papers / Selected Papers 01 Aaron White Infinite Deferral: Olmstedian use and its Challengers

02 Anna Neimark & Andrew Atwood Abstraction Returns: A Grid Proposal for the Island of Manhattan

03 Benjamin J Smith Evaluating the Manifesto

04 Celia Faria “HOMEd”: to be or not to be? “an HOME-ingfesto”

05 Cesar Losada Romero Sensation, Sign, Situation.

06 Daniel Koehler Rereading Hilberseimer: Punktualization as an architectural method

07 Daniel Luis Martinez When The Cathedrals Were Black Mies' Spatial Cosmology

08 Emil Jurcan Nomad Palace: Ten Theses on Architecture of Transit

09 Ethel Baraona Pohl & Cesar Reyes Najera Transcoding Situationism

10 Heena Kokel “Architecture” through user’s perception


11

Ishita Chatterjee Through the Looking Glass

12 Juan Martinez Amores Lifetime in Architecture

13 Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thun, Dan McTavish Fragmentary Utopistics

14 Lee Aviv Dismantling/Recouping: Peter Eisenman’s Engagement with Classical Architecture in the 1980s

15 Lucia Jalon Oyarzun Acrobats in The Rooftops of Teheran

16 Luis E. Carranza Longness, or the problem of Length

17 Marija Marić From the Standing Perspective

18 Marissa Looby & Michael Holt The Bilbao Fallout: The Incidental End of Theory and the Death of Postmodern Architecture

19 Nenad Stjepanovich Linear Typologies – extended urban space

20 Neyran Turan Against Gross

21 Nick Axel & Pedro Hernandez Manifesto of the Copyist Party

22 Pedro Pitarch Alonso From originalities to singularities [or how to lose our identity]

23 Reed P. Mariner Personal Investigation Log, Case #273

24 Sarah Lyons The Social from Empathic Space/ The Blur Building

25 Slobodan Anđelić The Athens Charter

26 Tigran Harutyunian Architecture in non sustainable system

27 Tom Marble Oblivious LA

28 Toni Gelabert Contingent Architecture Manifesto

29 Wojciech Dzioubek U S A G E / A Tragicomedy In Two Acts


00 PAST FOWARD CALL FOR PAPERS

The Think Space Programme was pleased to announce its very first Call for Papers, dedicating itself to critical writing and publishing about architecture in summer 2012. Along with this unique approach in which new forums for thought are created via new design objects, Think Space is for the very first time is leaning on historical discourse that normally takes the form of reflection through writing. Recent history is an unlikely category, falling in the unfashionable epistemic gap before the contemporary, and after history 'proper'. The Past Forward Call for Papers enters this space by looking back to the recent era, but also much deeper into the history of architecture, aiming to question and problematize notions of originality within architectural discourse. As part of the 2012 cycle of competitions Think Space was calling for Past Forward papers in the following fields of inquiry: 1. Architectural Manifestoes (by an example by rewriting the Futurist Manifesto, Chart of Athens, or S,M,L,XL); 2. Iconic Architecture (for example by reconstructing UnitĂŠ d'Habitation, Centre Georges Pompidou or Yokohama Port Terminal); 3. CityScapes (by an example by replanning Brasilia, Tokyo or Ciudad de Mexico). Through a vast amount of proposals submitted from researchers, scholars, and practitioners for the first call for papers of the Think Space Pamphlets, 30 pieces holding several intriguing topics have been filtered out. The selected papers are being published on Unconference Proceedings CD accompanying the 2nd Unconference brochure and will see to its hard copy edition in summer 2013.


01 Aaron White INFINITE DEFERRAL: OLMSTEDIAN USE AND ITS CHALLENGERS The eviction began with the following announcement:

‘The city has determined that the continued occupation of Zuccotti Park poses an increasing health and fire safety hazard to those camped in the park....We require that you immediately leave the park on a temporary basis so it can be cleared and restored for its intended use.....If you decide to return, you will not be permitted to bring tents, sleeping bags, tarps, and similar materials with you.’ i At 2am on November 15th, 2011, police barricaded the park and sanitation workers began loading the occupation’s remains into a dump truck before power-scrubbing every surface. From any number of close-up photographs taken that morning you might think the barricades were rounding people up, but as the lens pulls back an uncanny situation presents itself. There sits Zuccotti Park, as pristine as it ever will be, engulfed by a haggard group of up-all-night-protesters, yelling at police who stand calmly behind barricades,

guarding public space from the public. Barriers and evictions seem to contradict any meaningful notion of public space, but every public space has its inside and outside and therefore some theory of barrier and eviction. They are not really capable of contradiction because in a dialectical inversion; barriers produce spaces and evictions produce publics. The question then is not how has public space been destroyed by barriers and evictions, but what barriers and evictions have produced public space? This question probably sounds ridiculous so let me get to the point. The eviction of Zuccotti Park seemed like the momentary destruction of public space, but there once was an eviction that produced the opposite effect, an eviction eerily similar in its causes, but radically divergent in its effects. An eviction that created rather than destroyed public space. On October 1, 1857, police issued eviction notices to those living on the land destined to become Central Park. Many had lived there for decades, some as owners or renters, but most under informal arrangements known then as today as ‘squatting’. The area was a suburban mix of the utopian and dystopian. Utopian in its aristocratic country seats strung along the island’s shorelines. Dystopian in its shantytowns huddled in the interior. It was an urbanism of coincident opposites, collecting sylvan dreams too extravagant to exist in the city, and all the city’s disavowed products, be they animal, chemical, material, or human. Many evictees were recent immigrants trying to maintain some semblance of the life they’d left behind. They kept small farms and animals, scavenged, and worked in ‘nuisance industries’ located outside the city. Newspaper articles disparaged them as a ‘disgrace’, belittled their ‘rickety...little one story shanties...inhabited by four or five persons, not including the pigs and the goats’, and accused them of creating a ‘scene of plunder and depredations’, ‘the headquarters of vagabonds and scoundrels of every description’, ‘gambling dens, drinking houses, and every species of rascality.’ ii We have a surprising historical symmetry between two camps and two evictions, each strikingly similar in their makeup, but radically divergent in their outcome. The basic outlines are common to both: the coincidence of wealth and poverty, a marginalized majority, constructing a community of necessity,belittled and dismissed as lazy, dirty, and dangerous, evicted for their own as well as the public’s good. The 1857 uptowner and 2011 protestor


would most likely share the belief that their communities are better public spaces than their sanitized replacements. There is something to be said for this asboth models offer compelling examples of life lived in common. But for all the similarity to public space, public space finds something intolerable in both, somethingthatmust be rooted out before it can even begin. Reinhold Martin, one of the few to focus on the occupation’s use of public space, admitted the double bind it caused saying, ‘when….police officers….removed the Occupy Wall Street protestors….they made visible another double bind: That what we call public space is not and cannot be truly public in the sense of universally available and accessible to all; and yet, we have every right to expect it to be so.’ We have every right to expect public space to be ‘universally available’, but it cannot be. Not because the 1% are at odds with public space but because public space is at odds with itself. Martin goes on to define availability’s other half saying, ‘….the eviction revealed that what makes public space public is the very fact that it is contested.’ iii Availability and contestation (by which I assume Martin means occupation, or use, rather than out and out combat) are the twin poles of our expectations. Everyone agrees that both are essential to public space, but while we all agree with them they disagree with each other. Contestation has a tendency to destroy availability; and to get availability in the first place, you have to destroy contestation. Zuccotti was available to the protestors because no one before them had been allowed to contest the space in the way they did. And their occupation of the park certainly made it unavailable for all manner of activities. The eviction of Zuccotti didn’t reveal that contestation makes public space public; it revealed that availability and contestation are at odds with one another, but that we nevertheless expect both. Any space can be, and most spaces are, dominated by one of these two poles. You can restrict availability until a space is de facto private property, or you can restrict occupation until a space becomes a form of urban decoration - but neither gets you public space. Public space depends on a mix that is produced by the fact that its use tends to be temporary and leave things as they found them, but not always. We don’t hesitate to exclude uses which destroy the space they use, but at Zuccotti, we flirted with a use that made every pretense of permanence. We went too far in one direction and could only respond by going too far in the other. We thought we could overcome the antagonism between availability and contestation and produce a space with neither, what we got was both, back to back, in their equally untenable purity. These two Zuccottis produced one another as if in a mirror, each taking the equal but opposite meaning of the other. The eviction, seemingly so different from the occupation, was in fact its mirror image; barrier mirrored tent, police mirrored protestor, and the barricaded Zuccotti of November 15th mirrored the occupied Zuccotti of November 14th. Occupy Wall Street’s use of public space has to be taken seriously, as something quite separate from its politics. The idea that we should engage public space by taking it over in the service of higher ideals seems plausible. Maybe this is exactly what we should do, but we shouldn’t do it naively, as if we had ‘nothing to lose but our chains.’ We have a lot to lose, and we should only act in the knowledge of the legacy we put at risk. And so I want to return to a few crucial moments in that legacy. That public space has a legacy, that it was produced and has a history is something we forget. That it was produced by the very influences that seem to threaten it today is something we ignore.


Castello Plan In 1660, Zuccotti Park would have been just outside the wall surrounding New Amsterdam in the area known as the ‘Commons’. In this sense all that changed over the intervening 450 years was the barrier’s definition of inside and outside. Throughout the occupation, protesters made powerful appeals to a ‘public good’ they opposed to the ‘private’ good of Wall Street. Dichotomies like Main Street/Wall Street as well as slogans like ‘Human need not corporate greed’, ‘People over profits’, or the infamous ‘We are the 99 percent’ were powerful rhetorical tools, but are difficult to square with the historical record. In earliest New Amsterdam, private interests preceded public interests. In fact today’s slogans would need to be inverted as in New Amsterdam it was a corporation (the Dutch West India Company (DWIC)), who fought the private interests of their employees in their attempt to construct a public realm. The earliest plan for New Amsterdam, the so-called ‘Castello Plan’ of 1660, is triply misleading in that ‘Castello’ refers not to the plan’s author but to the Medici villa it was discovered in, ‘Plan’ suggests something other than the survey it was, and ‘1660’ refers to the year it was sent back to Holland rather than the year it depicts. However, I. N. Phelps in The Iconography of Manhattan assures us that these accidents of nomenclature do not extend to the maps’ internal accuracy. We can therefore rest assured that when we see no provision for public space in the map, there was none. There was no public space because there was no public. Not in the sense that there were no people, but in the sense that those people considered themselves as nothing more than individuals. Dutch colonists were employees rather than refugees and lacked the cohesion that religion provided for the Puritans to the North or the Quakers to the South. Like any good corporation, the Dutch West India Company (DWIC) tried to manufacture cohesion. Again and again they plead, prod, and threaten their colonists to see in their sum more than autonomous interests, but in the New World, where a day’s journey produced yet another undiscovered country, this proved a challenge. The lack of a public is as problematic for the sovereign as it is for the colonist. We forget that the force of sovereignty depends on the receptivity of a governable body. We assume, as the DWIC did, that the ‘body politic’ is primordial and always ready to hand. Here however, a public was posited in Holland that refused to coalesce on Manhattan.The community described in the colonial records is at odds with the historical imagery of the young colony. For instance while the ‘Prototype View’ of 1653 and its many siblings show orderly houses huddled around the fort, the colonial records tell a different story. This incongruence has two sources. First, there must have been some degree of deception on the part of those who produced these images (which were largely investment reports back to Old Amsterdam). And more importantly, these views depict the colony in or around the arrival of Director-General Peter Stuyvesant in 1653. At this point however, the colony was already 27 years old, on its sixth Director-General, and had already undergone the first of many transformations to come. The Manatus Map of 1639, what Phelps calls ‘the starting-point in a study of New York City’ iv, gives a picture generally opposed to that of order marooned in wilderness. Drawn 13 years after settlement, it shows houses strewn across the island as far north as modern day 125th Street, across both rivers, and onto Staten Island. This apparent dispersion is confirmed by Phelps who says:

‘We know from these maps and from other sources that the complex aggregation of cities which in our day surrounds the mouth of the Hudson existed already, in embryo, at this early period….even in the vicinity of the Fort, the situation of the farms or plantations does not yet suggest any general idea of concentration. It was only after the Indian War of 1643 that the inhabitants of Manhattan Island learned, at the cost of much bloodshed, the importance of


community life….This war did much to convert the colonists into town builders. The Manatus Map shows them still, to a considerable extent, an unorganised group of settlers, in which each individual lived by and for himself.’ v If contestation makes public space public, then the Indian War of 1643 was its high point, after which there remained ‘not more than half a dozen bouweries (farms) undestroyed’ and a fort ‘almost in ruins.’ vi It may be, as Phelps claims, that the war caused the colonists to reconsider the benefits of public life, but it did not convince them of its necessity. We know this because 11 years after the war’s end, on January 18th, 1656, Stuyvesant still found it necessary to issue the following ordinance:

‘Sad experiences have shown, that the separate dwellings of the country people, built plainly against the orders and good intentions of the Company, have led to many murders of people, the killing of cattle and burning of houses by the savage natives of this country; all which might be prevented….if the good inhabitants would settle together in villages, neighborhoods or hamlets....The Director General and Council hereby not only warn their good subjects, but also order, that they shall move closer together.’ Those who still refused were forced to ‘yearly pay a fine of 25 fl. for the public benefit.’ viiThis ordinance mirrors the forced urbanization that was occurring throughout Europe at the time viii, and constitutes Manhattan’s first and most counter-intuitive eviction, an eviction from

the land and into the city. Given this pre-history it’s not surprising that the city was subject to neglect and misuse. The ordinances delivered by the DWIC were a continual plea on behalf of the colony’s infrastructure and common areas. Neglect was a matter of everyday practice beginning with the most intimate activities of the private residence:

‘Whereas many of this city build their privies even with the ground with an opening towards the street so that hogs may consume the filth and wallow in it, which not only creates a great stench but also makes the streets foul and unfit for use....’ ix ‘Privies even with the ground with an opening towards the street’ could serve as the diagram of the relation between public and private interests. This neglect continued at the scale of the ‘land-grant’ which was often found to extend beyond its boundaries. In the misuse of institutional spaces which ‘had mostly been trodden down and damaged by goats, sheep, hogs or other animals climbing upon the walls‘ xAnd even in municipal projects such as the ‘graft’ or canal where it was found that ‘inhabitants of this city throw….their filth, ashes, dead

animals, etc. to the great inconvenience by bad odors of the people working there....’ xi Amongst these sins of commission sits a surprising omission,

‘Whereas now and then the people from the country bring various wares....of the farm to this City for sale (and) must often remain there with their goods a long time to their great damage….the Directors hereby order, that henceforth Saturday shall be held and kept as Market day in this City on the Strand near the house of Master Hans Kierstede.’ xii Even the market - what Karl Marx might call the ‘economic basis’ of public space, consisting of interactions desirable and necessary – had to be legislated. Of course most colonists grew or raised their own provisions on lots the Company considered overly generous, but whatever the cause, the result was that it fell to the Company to not only assemble the public (the eviction from the land), but to designate those spaces and protocols it operated within. Stuyvesant named ‘The Strand’, or the shoreline along the East River as the location of the first market, but this and other public functions soon migrated to the space directly North of the Battery, an area which served as a market, parade ground, public well, and would


eventually become the first space we would recognize, and still do recognize, as ‘public space’ when Bowling Green was developed in 1733. Public space is a designation before it’s a development, and this status has no immediate consequence. For over 70 years public space remains little more than the no-man’s land between the housing and the fort; less an entity than an activity filling the space between entities, mediating a scalar difference that literally causes Broadway to become more square than street, and rendering productive land that would otherwise be left to waste. This is public space in its embryonic form and we can already see characteristics it will retain as it develops. First, the ‘public’ which public space refers to is not the set of actually existing people, nor is it created by them. Second, the space allotted to this public, and its proper use, are defined by the colonial authority. Third, public space depends on a surplus whose ‘excessive’ character it takes on in a double sense. It is ‘excessive’, in the sense that it is extra, additional, not part of the plan. And it is ‘excessive’ in the sense that it soaks up an excess (the width of Broadway but also the goods sold at market) in an attempt to render it productive. Before we leave New Amsterdam and the Castello Plan, I’d like to direct your attention to what appears to be a missing tooth. If you look along Broadway, just North of Bowling Green, there is a void which could be a park. It’s not a park, but it’s the closest thing to one, it’s ‘The Cemetery of HeereStraet’ of which Phelps says:‘There is nothing in the records to

indicate when this plot of ground was set apart for a burial-place. None of the early chroniclers mentions it....’ xiiiThe market had to be legislated, but the cemetery finds no place in the records; as if no one thought it worth mentioning because it had always been there. Of course cemeteries do precede memory in mysterious ways. But for all this mystery a cemetery is really just a house, different from every other house no doubt, but no more different than a corpse is to you or I. Corpses have to be separated from living bodies yet remain accessible to them, but in recompense for the trouble they cause, they offer certain amenities to the living. In fact the corpse, just by being a corpse, creates a unique kind of space: a non-exclusionary, accessible allotment to which all possess natural affection and natural right. In other words, very much what we recognize as public space today. Greenwood Cemetery: Model for the Good Life

‘When the body of Major Andre was taken up....it was found that the skull of that officer was closely encircled by a net-work, formed by the roots of a small tree, which had been planted near his head. This is a natural and most beautiful coincidence.’ xiv Many of New York’s public spaces began life as cemeteries. For instance, even on the sunniest summer day, there are more bodies below Washington Square Park than above it. xv Along with Bryant Park and others, Washington Square Park was a ‘Potter’s Field’, a term for common (read mass) grave sites that were one step in a cycle of death and public space. The cycle began with the Common Council’s purchase and designation of land for a cemetery, the cemetery would operate until it reached capacity (or more often well over capacity), be re-designated a park, and the next cemetery would open at wherever the city’s edge happened to be. It’s important not to mistake the working cemeteries of 1838 for those of today. These were dirt lots with little if any vegetation and a pervasive stench. Coffins would have been continually on view as a portion of the ground always laid open, awaiting the next resident. The model of small scale urban cemeteries could not accommodate the city’s growth. Over the first half of the 19th century New York’s population grew from 60,000 to 500,000, and was accompanied by nation-leading mortality rates which produced an explosion in the numbers of dead. The influx resulted in two equal and opposite tendencies. While the number of dead to be accommodated tended ever upwards, the value of land tended to


push unproductive uses to the city’s edge and beyond. The cemetery had to innovate, and how it did foreshadowed two dominant themes of urban development in the next century. As graveyards packed into the dense city could only grow down, the city’s vertical development was sub-terranean before it was super-terranean. J.C. Loudon, a prominent urban reformer and horticulturalist, describes burial grounds, ‘(in which) the graves are dug very deep, and several coffins, sometimes as many as a dozen, or even more....are deposited one over another.’ xvi More importantly for public space, the cemetery also foreshadowed the ‘flight’ from city to the suburbs. Starting with Boston’s Mount Auburn (1831), and followed by Philadelphia’s Laurel Cemetery (1836), and New York’s Greenwood Cemetery (1838), corpses began giving up their urban environs for the relative health and repose of the country, just as their live counterparts would do 100 years later. David Schuyler points to four factors which led to the relocation of cemeteries: the disrepair of existing churchyards, the belief that urban cemeteries endangered public health, the insatiable demand for city land, and a fourth, and somewhat mystical factor, the ‘acknowledgment of the psychological impact of scenery.’ xvii Now one of these things is not like the others. It’s by no means self evident that the soft science of psychology deserves any place at all amongst the problems of rigor mortis, yet every proponent of the rural cemetery distinguishesthe first three factors from the fourth. Loudon separates ‘the disposal of the remains of the dead in such a manner as....shall not prove injurious to the living’ from ‘the improvement of the moral sentiments and general taste of all classes, and more especially of the great masses of society.’ xviii America’s first landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing, separates ‘the fact of burial-places’ from ‘the awakening of human sympathy and the love of natural beauty implanted in every heart.’ xix Jacob Bigelow, who was largely responsible for Mount Auburn, separates ‘the gross abuses of the rites of sepulture’ from ‘the quiet verdure of the field....where the harmonious face of nature reminds us….that to die is but to live again.’ xx Joseph Story, who gave the dedication at Mount Auburn, separates ‘the duty of the living to provide for the dead’ from the ‘higher moral purposes and more affecting considerations which belong to the subject.’ xxi And D. B. Douglass, originator of Greenwood Cemetery, separates a ‘consideration of the health of the city’ from ‘the formation of local attachments and local interests.’ Even in selecting the name ‘Greenwood’ its founders distinguish the cemetery as a ‘place of repose’ from ‘a mere depository for dead bodies.’ xxii The first three factors could be solved by moving the cemetery anywhere outside the city, but the fourth hints at what’s really at stake in that relocation. In ‘psychological impact’ reformers move beyond the mere solution of health and sanitation problems and into conceptions of death, art, and landscape that will reconstruct the ground out of which these problems arose. Their aim is not only a new kind of cemetery, but a new kind of public that the cemetery will help to create. Althoughnothing seems more natural to us today than the association of cemetery with nature, in 1831 this idea was entirely foreign. Dr. Jacob Bigelow recounts the early difficulty at Mount Auburn:

‘So rooted was the attachment to this objectionable, but inveterate custom (urban interment), that a change of place from the city to the country was not effected without difficulty....At that time there was no ornamented rural cemetery....moreover, the subject was new, the public were lukewarm, and....the community were strongly opposed to the removal of the dead from the immediate precincts of populous cities.’ xxiii Scenery therefore - which only after its apprenticeship with the rural cemetery would become inseparable from public space - had two roles to play: it attracted people to the cemetery by making the cemetery attractive, and then, along with the grief of mourning and


the art expended on monuments, exerted a civilizing influence in opposition to ‘rowdyism and ruffianism’ of the common people. Scenery was the source of gentlemanly virtues and healthy rural enjoyments which stood opposed to the ‘dissipative’ pleasures of the city, and it transformed the cemetery into an attraction of theme-park proportions. The cemetery became so attractive in fact that the cemetery-as-burial-ground was soon overwhelmed by the cemetery-as-attraction. Downing says that 30,000 attended Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery each season (at a time when its population was only 90,000), and twice that number at Mount Auburn and Greenwood. xxiv John Sears claims in his book that by 1860 400,000 to 500,000 people visited Greenwood each year. xxvFor alltheir reluctance to be buried in the country, citizens were eager to visit what must have seemed like the pleasure ground of some aristocratic estate suddenly flung open to them. That people came to Greenwood must have affirmed the founder’s efforts, but that they tended to arrive in something other than the reverent frame of mind they had imagined caused them some consternation. The early rules of Greenwood allow us to measure the distance between the founders and the visitor’s idea of the cemetery as a public space. There were rules concerning access; defining who, when, and under what conditions access was to be granted. Rules concerning use; both specific (‘No person or party having refreshments will be permitted to come within the Grounds.’) and general (‘Any person disturbing the quiet and good order of the place by noise or other improper conduct will be compelled instantly to leave the Grounds.’) There were rules concerning horses, vehicles, monuments, and tipping the Porter, but perhaps most interestingly there were rules that defined a new relation to nature. ‘All persons are prohibited from picking any flowers, either wild or cultivated, or breaking any tree, shrub, or plant.’ xxvi While much effort had been taken to produce the appearance of wilderness, this appearance was not to be mistaken for wilderness as such. Visitors were expected to appreciate rather than appropriate nature; to comport themselves as they would in a museum rather than as they would in a meadow. Just as it would be difficult today to convince a museum patron of the need to act in a museum as if they were in a meadow, it must have been difficult to convince a cemetery visitor to act as if the landscape was a picture. This required more than nature’s subtle influence, a definite training was necessary, one capable of moving from a public that was externally legislated to one inscribed within the habits and inclinations of every visitor. Greenwood’s informaltraining consistedin explicit restrictions, and theimplicit expectations underlyingthem. This does not in itself differentiate it from our earlier example of New Amsterdam,both spaces have rules, but their structure is very different. New Amsterdam’s rules are positive statements (uses are defined),whileGreenwood’s are negative (misuses are defined).This may seem minor, but every husband trying to pick out an anniversary gift will sense the difference. If your wife says, ‘I would like X….’ everything is fine, you may still fail, but the expectation is unambiguous.‘Do this’ is clear because the expectation is embedded in the rule. If however your wife says, ‘Just don’t get me what you got me last year….’ she has only given you evidence that expectations exist, without telling you how to meet them. In the same way the cemetery visitor is told what not to do, but not what to do. Moreover, what they should not do always suggests a mistrust of the natural inclinations.‘Don’t pick the flowers’ means, ‘We know you want to pick flowers, but don’t.’‘Don’t pick the flowers’ demands interpretation, after all, the flowers must be there for some reason.But does it mean the opposite is expected? That one is expected to get on hands and knees and worship the flowers? Or is one expected to flirt with indiscretion by touching but not picking? The visitor cannot know, but must strive to know, must constantly consider the use they make of the space in relation to all the other uses being made of it. The counterintuitive effect of this difference is that visitors gain much more freedom, but that freedom requires the knowledge of attitudes, dispositions, and responsibilitiesthat are


as dogmatic as any rule. Visitors were now responsible for the use they made of public space in a way they had not been before. Proponents were not bashful about the self-improvement they expected, or about the larger social implications of their claims. At the inaugural address for Mount Auburn, Judge Joseph Story, argued directly in terms of ‘human improvement’, saying:

‘....the duty of the living to provide for the dead....is not a mere office of pious regard for other….There are higher moral purposes, and more affecting considerations, which belong to the subject. We should accustom ourselves to view them rather as means, than as ends; rather as influences to govern human conduct, and to moderate human suffering, than as cares incident to a selfish foresight. It is to the living mourner….that the repositories of the dead bring home thoughts full of admonition, of instruction, and, slowly but surely, of consolation also....If this tender regard for the dead be so absolutely universal, and so deeply founded in human affection, why is it not made to exert a more profound influence on our lives? Why do we not enlist it with more persuasive energy in the cause of human improvement?’ xxvii The rural cemetery is neither ‘mere pious regard’ for the dead, nor indulgent ‘regard for feelings belonging to our own mortality’. It uses people’s‘universal and deeply founded affections’, to coax themoutside the city where nature ‘exerts a profound influence....in the cause of human improvement.’The cemetery ‘governs’, ‘moderates’, ‘admonishes’, ‘instructs’, and ‘slowly but surely consoles also’. If we return to Schuyler’sfour factors we can now say, while the first three produce a new kind of public institution, the fourth institutes a new kind of public. In 1853 Downing asked, ‘If 30,000 persons visit a cemetery in a single season, would not a large public garden be equally a matter of curious investigation (and) would not such gardens educate….civilize and refine the national character?’ xxviiiScenery and cemetery had nursed one another in their infancy, but the necrophilia inherent in the cemetery-asattraction couldn’t last. The increasing presence of the dead,in what was after all a working cemetery, took its toll on one’s enjoyment. The cemetery would return with its scale, its scenery, its reformative aims, and an idealist-romantic notion of landscape. It would return with everything it had learned in the country, but without the dead who had prompted its education. Vaux & Olmsted ‘But how shall such an establishment be supported?’asked Downing in 1853. After all, it was the lack of economic productivity that had caused the cemetery’s move to the country, andparks would only sacrifice what little the cemetery produced. Downing suggested they could be financed like cemeteries, through the creation of joint-stock companies, and in a sense this is what occurred through the use of eminent domain.There is not timeto recount the circuitous politics by which Central Park was taken by eminent domain. I will only say that it was unthinkable to bargain with so many individual landowners and eminent domain provided a way around this. Eminent domain forcibly took the private property destined to become Central Park, but it also forcibly vested every tax-paying citizen in this unprecedented venture. The cost of public space was now taken on by society as a whole which meant that, in theory, the ageold distinction between the proprietors of public space and the public it servedmight vanish. Up to this point, every public space had been administered by a subset of the publicclaiming to representit -in New Amsterdam,the colonial authority, at Greenwood, the founders - but now the public appeared ready to act on its own behalf. Two models thus presented themselves. The park could pursue anegalitarian agenda based on shared proprietorship, or it could find some new basis for a renewed commitment to the administrative model. As


coincidence would have it, or necessity would have it,both views were held by the winners of the competition to design Central Park, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, although one came to dominate the other. That a unified design came from two menwith backgrounds as different and views as divergent as these is a wonder. Vaux had been trained as a draftsman and handpicked by America’s leading landscape architect, A.J. Downing,to partner in his design firm.Olmsted had no professional training. He had been a contributor to horticultural magazines, a writer, traveler, and gentleman farmer, but had no design experience. It would be natural to assumethat the experienced professionalfavoredadministration, and the literary amateur egalitarianism, but the opposite was true. For Vaux the park was ‘the big artwork of the Republic,’ xxixan artwork that would be to New York what the Gothic Cathedrals had been to the cities that built them.Describing the park’s conditions of success he said,

‘without widespread appreciation of the possibilities that are within reach of every class, galvanized action is worthless however smartly it may be got up; there must be genuine lifeblood flowing through all its members, freely and vigorously, or nothing good will be achieved.’ xxx For Vaux the park was republican in the truest sense, aninstitution through which the public instituted its own notion of public space. His egalitarianism was comprehensive but not naïve; regarding vandalism he said that it‘should be carefully repaired at once and costs set down to profit and loss as part of the necessary expense…’ Olmsted believed that Vaux’s egalitarian ideal could never get off the ground because the public would never be able to agree onwhat a park was.The fundamental dilemma of the egalitarian ideal was that it gave agency to all, and authority to none. In 1881, over 20 years after beginning work on Central Park, Olmsted still held this view saying,

‘I have lately known the world “park” applied to the protecting belt of a reservoir, to a fishpond, a sea beach and a jail yard; to scores of things which have the least possible of public interest in common….Scores of times I have heard plain country people….describe something they had seen as “park-like”….what did the word mean? Nothing in the least practical.’ xxxi The park wanted administration if there was to be a park at all.For Olmsted there was no contradiction here, the public simply did not exist apart from an administration capable of defining and shaping its interests. On his view,citizens, in their own enlightened self interest, wouldrelinquish their agency to specialists capable of administering what they would only destroy. He says,

‘…the public in its own interest….should see to it that the (park) problem is as soon as possible put clean out of its own hands, in order that it may be taken up efficiently by a small body of select men…until this is done, the danger that public opinion may be led….to overrule the results of comprehensive and impartial study, is much greater than in most questions of public interest.’ Just as in the cemetery, theresponsible public is that public which profoundly mistrustsitself. Olmsted categorized ‘the park question’as one which it was best to‘put into the hands of

somebody who is able to take hold of them comprehensively as a matter of direct, grave, business responsibility.’ xxxiiIn Olmsted, administration of the public becomes aware of itselfas such and seeks to transcend those ‘ordinary organizations and municipal agencies’ which are ‘unsuitable for the purpose’ of a park. Their unsuitabilityis a product of their commitment to ‘private and local and special interests’, i.e., just those interestsat the heart of the egalitarian ideal.


While Olmsted’s debt to the cemetery is obvious – even to the point of mimicry, as when he says, ‘Visitors to the park, should be led to feel as soon as possible that wide distinction exists between it and the general suburban country’ xxxiii – there are also crucial differences. While the cemetery’s reform agenda is certainly on display in many of Olmsted’s views – for instance when he says ‘all that is necessary is to force into contact the good and bad, the gentlemanly and the rowdy for the good and gentlemanly to prevail’ or ‘a large part of the people of New York are ignorant of a park, properly so-called. And will need to be trained to the proper use of it, and restrained in the abuse of it.’ xxxiv – there is also a strain that is lessconcerned with reforming the publicand more concerned with locating what is already unified in them. It’s not only that each citizen will be made to conform to an ideal, but that each citizen already possesses an ideal more fundamental than they themselves are capable of expressing. The role of administration is to express this ideal and then ensure that the myriad private extensions of it are not allowed to destroy its shared core. In a discussion of the value of a park Olmsted presents an almost comical illustration of what the people’s “inconsistent and contradictory” desires would look like if allowed to manifest as uses:

‘Suppose the brickyard is fitted for a parade ground, the marsh for a rifle range….the ground taken for a cemetery….a museum and public library, an armory, a hospital, poorhouse, high school, conservatory, camera-obscura, prospect tower, botanic and zoological garden, archery, lawn-tennis and croquet grounds, billiard-house, skating-rink, racket court, ten-pin alley, riding-school, Turkish bath, mineral springs, restaurants, pagodas, pavilions, a mall, terrace and concert garden.’ xxxv The great irony, Olmsted says, is that after all this was accomplished, the public itself, who would seem to be fully outfitted, would themselves be unable to form any assessment of the value of such an amalgam. This is because the public is not to be found in the amalgam, but in a unity which underlies it, but is unknown to it. This is the reason why although ‘objects other than the cultivation of natural scenery may be associated with a park….all such objects should be held strictly subordinate to (natural scenery).’ xxxvi Every particular use of the park, from a ‘zoological garden’ to a picnic, threatens to dissolve it into an amalgam of ‘inconsistent and contradictory’ desires. Particular uses (the boy playing baseball, the girl picking flowers, etc) are the behavioral expressions of the public’s‘irreconcilable impressions’ of what a park is. If all such expressions were allowed there would be no park and no public.The use of all (the egalitarian ideal), is the use of none, and in providing for none Olmsted believes he’s provided the one class of use that can be allowed. Appreciation of “the beauty of natural scenery” (which he opposes to the beauty of nature), reaffirms rather than threatens the unity that underlies public space. Olmsted’s notion of use is rather peculiar to us today, but it has a mad consistency about it; because ‘the public demands, expectations, and standards (are) mixed, inconsistent, and contradictory’ the use of public space must be ‘held for purposes always remaining to be determined.’ xxxvii Use is infinitely deferred so as not to destroy the unity that makes it possible.What remains for the park patron are uses that do not occupy, that leave the park available by infinitely deferring its occupation. But here we have come full circle because for Olmsted this is the only way to ensure the egalitarian ideal. Conclusion What we see in looking back on these episodes is that public space is not a place; but an idea and even an ideal that as Olmsted knew over 150 years ago is ‘irreconcilable, inconsistent, and contradictory.’ Ideals are like this because theycome from us, we just make them up, sometimes so convincingly that we seem not to have done so at all, but they color


our experience. This is why the eviction of the shantytown seems to produce what the eviction of the encampment seems to threaten, and why Olmsted believes the use of everyone precludes the use of anyone. Olmsted would say that if you’re serious about ensuring the ‘availability’ of public space, you can’t allow its ‘contestation’. He would say you can have the availability of contestation, but only if you eliminate the contestation of availability. In my view he was a little too ready to side with availability just as we’ve been a little too ready to side with contestation. That we did side with contestation at Zuccotti Park, and that this was a threat to at least the traditional notion of public space should be admitted and investigated rather than denied. Protests are allowed in public space because like everything else they come to an end, until the tent that is. The tent changes everything because it’s just what they say it is, an occupation. It remains when I’m gone, staking my claim and appropriating the space for my exclusive use.This has some interesting implications,because tents remains in place, things like maps become necessary, and Occupy Wall Street did produce a map whose simplicity should not fool us.It is no less a claim to the park than the Castello Map was a claim to Manhattan. For a long time the protester’s slogan was ‘We are the 99%’, but after the eviction they started saying‘Take back the Commons’which I think more accurately describes their intentions. The commons as an alternative ideal helps us explain the way they used the park. It used to be that you’d occupy whatever institution you were protesting, but at Zuccotti the protesters did something very interesting. They saw that a direct confrontation of this sortwould be unsustainable, and therefore found a space within the institutional space that was available to them. As a result they got the best of both worlds, a sustainable protest without sacrifice of symbolic effect, but this too has some strange consequences. For instance, they end up occupying what’s already theirs, and were even encouraged to do so by the police who allowed the occupation because it was so much easier to keep an eye on them.In this sense the occupation played a role defined in advance, putting nothing into crisis but the public space which allowed it to happen. But isn’t this what sustainability does? Doesn’t it negate the need for crisis andallow the group to attend to its own homeostasis?Isn’t this what we saw in the protestor’s administration of Zuccotti? In the endless policies, codes of conduct, media relations, symbolic languages, committees, working groups, democratic mechanisms; all of which made one wonder if we were witnessing a protest or the founding of an alternative society. But perhaps the two aren’t so different,maybe what was attempted at Zuccotti was the institution of an alternative ideal, something like the commons of old, a shared, negotiated, but nevertheless exclusionary public space. The barriers were telling in this sense. What did the police guard there? I would say they guarded Olmsted’s universal availability from this notion of the commons. And that what we were witness to was déjà vu on a societal scale, just as in 1857, the encampment was evicted, the land not only cleared but cleaned in order to reaffirm a commitment to Olmsted’s abstract subject who uses space without occupying it.

Aaron White lives in New York City where he has worked with firms such as Mark Rakatansky Studio, Easton+Combs Architects, Graftworks, and Servo. He teaches seminars and studios at Pratt Institute and Parsons. His research focuses on the history of New York City with a special interest in the changing relations between public space and property development.


Illustrations

01 _1639 Manatus Map

02_ 1653 Prototype View (New Amsterdam)


03_ 1660 Castello Plan

04 Central Park flowers


05 Central Park transverse roads

06 Shanty Town


07Zuccotti Park

i

New York Police Department.Statement given in advance of Zuccotti Park eviction. 15 November 2011.

ii

Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 138.

iii

Reinhold Martin, ‘Occupy: The Day After,’ The Design Observer Group, (Dec. 2011) <http://places.designobserver.com/feature/occupy-the-day-

after/31698/> I.N. Phelps, The Iconography of Manhattan Island vol. 2, (New York: Robert H. Dodd), 1916, 181.

iv v

ibid. 182-83.

vi

Julia Colton, Annals of Old Manhattan 1609-1664, (Boston: Heintzemann Press), 119.

vii

The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674, (New York: Knickerbocker Press), 1897, 19-20. For instance, see Karl Marx, Capital vol. 1, chapters 27-29.

viii ix

The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674, (New York: Knickerbocker Press), 1897, 38.

x

Ibid, 16.

xi

Ibid, 33.

xii

Ibid, 23.

xiii

Ibid, 221-22. Jacob Bigelow, A Discourse on the Burial of the Dead, Quoted in The History of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, (Boston), 1860, 192.

xiv xv

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.Washington Square Park: Phase 1A Archaeological Assessment, 2005, 24.

xvi

John Claudius Loudon, On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries, (London), 1843, 2.

xvii

David Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 1988, 41.

xviii

John Claudius Loudon, On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries, (London), 1843, 2.

xix

Andrew Jackson Downing, Rural Essays, (New York), 1853, 155.

xx

Jacob Bigelow, A Discourse on the Burial of the Dead, Quoted in The History of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, (Boston),1860, 195.

xxi

Joseph Story, Dedication of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, September 24th, 1831.

xxii

D.B. Douglass, Exposition of the Plan and Object of the Greenwood Cemetery, (New York), 1839, 11, 17-18.

xxiii

Jacob Bigelow, The History of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, (Boston), 1860, 4-5.

xxiv

Andrew Jackson Downing, Rural Essays, (New York), 1853, 157.

xxv

John F Sears, Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century. (University of Massachusetts Press), 1999, 98.

xxvi

Greenwood Cemetery, its Rules, Regulations, &c. (New York), 1843, 13-14.

xxvii

Joseph Story, Dedication of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, September 24th, 1831. Andrew Jackson Downing, Rural Essays, (New York), 1853, 159.

xxviii

Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 136.

xxix xxx

Ibid, 139.

xxxi

Frederick Law Olmsted, A Consideration of the Justifying Value of a Public Park, (Boston), 1881, 7.

xxxii

Fredrick Law Olmsted, Public Parks and the Enlargement of Towns.(Boston), 1881, 55. Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 239.

xxxiii xxxiv

Ibid. 139, 239.

xxxv

Frederick Law Olmsted, A Consideration of the Justifying Value of a Public Park, (Boston), 1881, 9.

xxxvi

Frederick Law Olmsted, A Consideration of the Justifying Value of a Public Park, (Boston), 1881, 20.

xxxvii

Ibid. 7, 13.My emphasis.


02 Andrew Atwood & Anna Neimark ABSTRACTION RETURNS: A GRID PROPOSAL FOR THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN

The Map of the City of New York of 1811 by the Commissioners superimposed a grid onto the Island of Manhattan (fig. 1). The drawing neither accounted for irregular edges of its shape nor the topography of the island. It rendered the lines of former streets, houses, and fields as dashed. Ordering the orthogonal grid of blocks independently of geography, history, and memory, the Commissioners defined an autonomous urban form. Now consider Krauss’s emphatic description of the grid as one of modernism’s founding myths: “In the spatial sense, the grid states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. It is what art looks like when it turns its back to nature. In the flatness that results from its coordinates, the grid is the means of crowding out the dimensions of the real and replacing them with the lateral result not of imitation, but of aesthetic decree…” i By ordering the city to the shallowness of a gridded plane, the Commissioners unknowingly added urbanism to what would become central to the aesthetic discourse of modernism. They preceded the discipline of art by one hundred years. Their drawing brought abstraction to bear on the everyday lives of millions of people who would eventually inhabit that island. The map defined a distance, a sense of estrangement, between the city and its inhabitants through an object and concept of representational order. In the two centuries that followed, the distance between the drawing and the city appeared to close. Although we purposefully interpret it as an aesthetic ordering system, the grid fulfilled the Commissioners’ pure instrumental reason: a parcelization of the city for the real estate market. The island was fully turned over to Capitalist speculation. What might have been abstract turned into kitsch. “And so life is reckoned as nothing,” writes Victor Shklovsky. “Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war…” And yet, “the technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.” ii To reopen the Manhattan grid to abstraction through representation, we subject the island to conventions of orthographic drawing and projection that estrange its now familiar form. In the three studies that follow, the urban object is summarily reconstituted through a mechanical reduction of resolution: extrusion. What emerges is a template for urbanism, governed not by the figure-ground plan, but by the flattened, gridded skyline. The models project the city from the outside in, describing it as a monumental whole made up of discrete parts.


In the first model, Manhattan is divided into parcels according to variations and anomalies found in the original plan (fig. 2). Once the iconic districts are outlined in plan, each one is treated as an internally closed system, defined by two internal skylines – one on the southern, and another, on the eastern edge (fig. 3). The independent elevations, when projected through one another, reproduce a recognizable, yet inaccurate, model of the island (fig. 4). The irregularities tie this abstraction to quasi-real zones in the city, yet the union of the two projected skylines produces an uncanny sense of distance. Attached to its original reference, the exercise maintains as much as it alienates. The second model takes Manhattan to its lowest level of resolution. While the most recognizable image of the city is the skyline, an extrusion along this line delivers a radical estrangement from the real (fig. 5). The seventeen parcels of the first abstraction are reduced to one undifferentiated block in the second (fig. 6). Describing Manhattan as one volume through its three faces, the island plan and its two skylines, produces a pure plaid (fig. 7). None of the exceptions preserved in the first model exist in the second. Extrusion does not average. It does something else, favoring extremes. The model of the city does not recover the original; the form only retains the character and name “New York.” The final study gives the island a new form of discontinuity through a grid of evenly spaced two hundred acre parcels (fig. 8). As with previous models, each cube is then projected from three drawings only, crossing two hundred skyline segments through one another (fig. 9). When the cubes are placed together, the elevations do not match (fig. 10). Only the street grid lines up to connect the superblocks into a continuous urban fabric. There are visible seams. The cubic parcels resist being brought together into one unified model (fig. 11). Each one is a mini Manhattan, governed by its own internal logic. This final reduction estranges the island through an alienated form of its own composition – the grid. Yet the new blocks resist conforming to the effective standards of efficiency, property, and function. In gridding the grid of Manhattan once again, we revisit the moment of the Commissioners’ original abstraction.

.

Andrew Atwood has lectured at SCI-Arc, Rice, UCLA, Cornell, USC, UVA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Michigan. He recently led an ACSA panel on “The Agency of Drawing and the Digital Process” at MIT. His installations include 5 Doric Columns at the Pacific Design Center and Cone Ceiling at the Beijing Biennale. He has worked and consulted for Belzberg Architects, mos, and BIG. He holds a BA in Political Science and Studio Art from the University of Richmond and an M.Arch from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). His research can be found at atwood-a.com. Anna Neimark teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). In 2011 they founded First Office, a design studio based in downtown Los Angeles (firstoff.net). Their forthcoming publications include essays in the Think Space CityScapes Pamphlet and the inaugural issue of the journal, Project. Anna has lectured at the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), MIT, and UCLA. Her research on the Soviet canal system was exhibited at the WUHO gallery and will be published in the forthcoming issue of Future Anterior. Prior to joining the faculty at SCI-Arc, she was at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA/AMO). She holds a BA in Architecture from Princeton University and an M.Arch from the GSD. She is originally from Russia and a 2004 Soros Fellow.


Illustrations:

01 A Map of the City of New York by the Commissioners Appointed by an Act of the Legislature. 1811


02 Manhattan divided into districts by grid orientation. Plan.

0 3 District elevations. Axonometric.


04 Manhattan reconstituted from district parcels. Model.

05 Manhattan skylines, east & south. Elevation.


06 Skylines. Axonometric.

07 Manhattan reconstituted from skylines. Model.


09 Two hundred acre grid elevations superimposed onto the existing street grid of Manhattan. Axonometric.

10 Manhattan grid. Model.


11 Twenty-one of the two hundred acre Manhattan grid tiles. Model.

Rosalind Krauss, “Grids,” October, Vol. 9 (Summer, 1979), p. 50 Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique,” 1917, in Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis, Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), p. 12 i

ii


03 Benjamin J Smith EVALUATING THE MANIFESTO

Introduction Two conceptual models can be considered as methods of architectural critique and architectural productionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the polemic and the manifesto. Both manifesto and polemic have been used as means that provide opportunities as well as limitations for architectural discourse. The ambition here is to outline some of the values of themanifesto, opposed tothepolemic,as a method for disciplinary action within architecture. Acting as a diagrammatic apparatus, the manifesto has the potential to describe specific qualities that architecture can consider, which can then be executed and evaluated with precision that isotherwise difficult to achieve. Alternatively, the polemic is an instrument of critique that requires attack and controversy to establish its credibility. While it is important to recognize architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limitations and downfalls, the opinion being suggested is that rather than shutting down a discussion it is more generative and creative to build on, develop, and evolve a contemporary discourse that is additive, self-critical, and precise with clearly defined ambitions and stakes. Rather than residing within a vacuum of critique, a manifesto can grow the discourse and expand its network acting as a node within a broader field. Thought about in this way,manifestoes can be dialectical, relational, participatory, and reciprocal.In a contemporary creative culture that is surrounded by ideas of participationwithin a network, that believes in the importance of work that is open source, and that views the transformation and evolution of ideas to occurquickly, a manifesto is able to establish a platform to test and execute an agenda that is flexible and dynamic because it is articulate, specific, and interpretive. This paper is arranged into three sections that consider the manifesto as a conceptual tool to structure and organize architectural ideas. The first section analyzes manifesto and polemic through a theoretical interpretation of the two terms.The second section discusses the manifestoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to suggest a game through its constraints and how it institutes a context of play. The third section looks at John Hejduk, whose work through the Nine Square articulates a rule set that acts as a manifesto for architectural production that bridges play and constraint opportunistically.

The Problem of Polemics and Potential of Manifestoes A drawback ofarchitectural polemicsis thatwhen polemicsadvance a particular view of the discipline they tend to construct a reductive dogma. With that dogma,polemics make claims for how architecture is, what architecture insists, and where it should go. Polemicizing the elusive character of architecture makes its potential, which isexciting and compelling, something that is formed and no longer in a state of opportunity. Polemical ambitions


become static, whether they are formal, ideological, theoretical, technological, etc.Somegeneralized examples of disciplinary polemics could include the social tenets of a utopian Modernism, the solipsism ofa syntactical project, the environmental imperatives of LEED mandated sustainability, or digital fabrication’s impulse toward mass customization.As polemics, these examples act as ends, with little or no pushback or dialogue. The problem is not in the ambitions of these projects, instead, the problem is that when these ambitions become polemicalthey reduce alternative opportunities and possibilities. This is because polemics about architectural disciplinaritysuggestone-sided value statements where the currency of the discipline lies.This situates the importance of architecture in a narrow and exclusionary way.A polemic claims that architecture is this, not this. An additional difficulty with polemics is that they are oftentimes framed by debates, a format that figures winners and losers. It seems that architecture does not need to operate like that and could benefit from simultaneous logical pursuits. Defining architecture’s discipline through a winner of a debate seems to compromise the many interesting possibilities for architecture by determining a singular expression or ideology for discipline. Instead, disciplinary architecture should engender conversation and situate what a conversation for architecture is between colleagues, classmates, scholars, architects, and designers. Polemics for architecturedo have value. They can be persuasive at formatting propositions for thinking about and making architecture. However, what is disagreeable is the presumed authority of polemics that are rooted in a seemingly negative discourse, structured by debate, attack, and controversy. Architecture is more interesting when it operates through argumentation,logic, or poetic invention when proposing an agenda for discourse.A polemic that focuses disciplinerelies on being antagonistic through controversy and attack. One analogy that demonstrates this is a simplistic example of a polemic—if you don’t eat your vegetables you will be unhealthy. Comparing this to a manifesto’s logic, the manifesto might state something like this instead—we eat vegetables because they are healthy. In this example of a manifesto statement the ambition is as transparent and the stakes are as clear as the polemic.The manifesto is as much a value statement, but less pejorative than the polemic. The manifesto articulates one possibility of being. This proposes that for the topic of architectural disciplinarity,a polemic for disciplinarity is necessarily and operatively reductive by its dogma, whereas a manifesto makes its dogma operatively opportunistic. A manifesto can become operatively opportunistic with its dogma bythe way that it allows something to be posited. The act of positing produces something, an idea or an object, and makes that something actionable. A manifesto recognizes a desire for the way something can be and outlines a course of action, a set ofsteps, to reach that desire. Architecture can be dogmatic as long as it knows that it is and remains open to opportunities that arise. This kind of architectureis self-conscious and can transcend its outcomes if a more preferable alternative is made evident. In this sense, dogma opens up opportunities for architecture to evolve and contradict. This way of using the dogmas of a manifesto is not negative. Instead, dogma can become a positive architectural reaction, a response to a clearly defined set of conditions. This response makesthe instantiation, evolution, and/or contradiction of the manifesto’s terms coherent and effectual by being a clear demonstration or resistance to its claims. What this way of using a manifestoimplies is that nothing is ever fixed, including knowledge and understanding. Points of view can always change and adapt. Learning does not stop. A manifesto suggests that ideas be put out there. This characterization of the manifesto proposes experimentation and testingthe validity and logic of its ideas and products, so that perhaps the work of tomorrow can contradict, build off of, challenge, and change the work of today.


Polemics suggest poles and ends. A manifesto is not an end, buta means. A manifesto establishes rules and allows ideas to fester, germinate, and transform. A manifesto plays easily with ideas, but lays a groundwork from which those ideas can be tested. A polemic does not encourage play; rather, it encourages competition. To be creative, play is necessary. The discipline needs to encourage play because then it can continue to evolve and shift, omni-directionally, without becoming stagnant or settled.

Manifesto As a Game of Constraints Another way to describe the potential of a manifesto is to suggest that it can be thought of as a game; that it can experimentwith the conventions of architecture and can be used to think about how those conventions could be played. Making the analogy to practices of architecture as a game offers a reading of architecture that has distance from, as well as an additional clarity, to the subject that it takes on. Distance through a game of architecture is established by structuring the formal and configurational operations relative to a set of rules. There are many rules within architecture, which span from being normative, to novel, or to arbitrary. Some of these rules include technical rules such as line-weight, scale, and orthographic projection; compositional rules such as symmetry and asymmetry; and even seemingly banal rules such as up and down. What becomes interesting is working within the constraints of an architectural vocabulary and how possibilities emerge from those rules. Playing with rules or constraints provide opportunities to create new qualities from architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conventions. When architecture is thought of as a game it becomes once removed from the architect. The conceptual distance the architect creates, sees the work through a manufactured and abstract lens that allows critique to achieve a specific kind of clarity; clarity being aided by the results of the work bearing a relationship to the rules that generated the outcomes. Seeing architecture as a game also allows it to foster novel outcomes that can become anything, but that anything is still reflected back against the context that the game situates. Games help to integrate knowledge and develop agility. This is because a game makes puzzles central to their nature. They instigate novel opportunities for thinking because they introduce mystery in compelling ways. A simple explanation of this situation is the example of a board game such as Cranium. A stimulating challenge in Cranium is the sensosketch, which asks a player to draw things likea barcode, the Panama Canal, or Antarctica with their eyes closed and within a one-minute time interval as their partner tries to guess correctly what they are drawing. That kind of puzzle does not prefigure a singular response to achieve the desired outcome, there are countless ways that a player can arrive at the correct answer and it requires intelligence coupled with an economy of creative expression to achieve it. In this way, Cranium establishes a manifesto for the potential outcomes through the description of rules and how the players adhere to them. In this game it does not claim the way to the result, rather, it poses constraints that facilitate creative thinking for how a result can be achieved. Playing games form tacit understanding and shapes natural and instinctual intelligence. Games help to generate methodologies and strategies to work through complicated ideas and provide explanations for abstract concepts. Games of architecture can also be seen through methods and strategies of play, albeit through a more complicated synthesis of elements than in a board game like Cranium. In ways not dissimilar to the sensosketch, architecture becomes a conceptual fabrication that assembles fragments of information with particular ambitions. From elements and pieces a resultant construction is produced relative to the conceptual idea of the project.


The constraints of a manifesto provide a deliberate format to synthesize and orchestratearchitecturalconsiderations. Manifestoes allow rules to become actionable and the aesthetic product can be evaluated against those rules. In a creative work, this evaluation process is critical and sees the work from an objective point of view, which can validate or invalidate either the object created or the rules that were instrumental in producing it. There is a framework that is established from which creative work can evolve and develop. Rules that structure a work of architecture compel the designer to be simultaneously objective and subjective. The rules structure the conditions of production, but do not structure what can be imaginatively and creatively produced. This also factors into the aesthetic appreciation of a spectator, by being able to access a work by knowing what factors contributed toits production.

Hejduk’s Games: A Design Manifesto John Hejduk’s work can be related to the ideas about manifestoes that can be played like a game. Hejduk’s work is examined here through its experimentation with the codes of representation. Codes of architectural representation are techniques, or sets of techniques, that communicate, organize, and express ideas; oftentimes, ideas related to forms and their configuration in situated or abstract space. This way of thinking about representation has emerged as a convention of architecture, a trope that has established a firm position. From this stable position, some architects, like John Hejduk, have learned to destabilize and challenge that convention by their experimentation and exploitation of the inherent possibilities within the medium of representation and its means of communication. The Nine Square is a didactic exercise Hejduk developed at the University of Texas at Austin with Colin Rowe in the 1950s, which used a matrix of nine squares organized by 16 columns. Hejduk proposed this kind of problem to be used by architecture as a way to become familiar with a specific set of elements and conditions of architecture, giving those elements stakes. Hejduk described 16 elements that the Nine Square can consider—he does not limit this list to these 16 elements—but these elements are: ‘grid, frame, post, beam, panel, center, periphery, field, edge, line, plane, volume, extension, compression, tension, and shear, etc.’ i In this way the field of representation and composition is used to digest architectural conventions through drawing. These elements that Hejduk lists can be seen as architectural opportunities loaded with potential through the ways that they are organized and combined. The Nine Square problem is a unique diagram and generative architectural game because rules are given that can be performed and formal potentials can be explored. Given ruleshelp to structure architectural form.Five of the Nine Square rules are ‘1. full panels, 2. ½

panels (horizontal and vertical), 3.combine full and half panels, 4. curved panels and half circle, 5. combine full and curved panels.’ iiWith rules like these and given conditions such as the grid as a substrate and the 16 architectural elements Hejduk identifies, the exercise becomes a way to play with spatial configuration. Through the Nine Square, Hejduk explains a range of potential outcomes that ‘falls between two poles, one of complete fluidity and one of complete containment.’ iiiTo work on architecture in this way takes on real issues of architectural composition and the generation of form. To do this successfully establishes a skill set that can take on a great range of topics and produce imaginative ways to address them. One topic that is figured in this game is between the rigidity and plasticity of forms and their subsequent experience within a viewer’s imagination. The rules, established by architectural conventions, articulate ways that topics like this can be played out, tested, and evaluated. Stan Allen calls this ‘systematizing practice.’ iv Allen says,Hejduk ‘enacts systematic thought not only within the


institution—according to an already given set of rules—but as the production of new rules (or new institutions) according to the logic of his own practice, which provokes and exceeds theoretical description.’ v

Hejduk’s Texas Houses aredrawing projects that utilize an interpretation of the Nine Square and embed his design with clarity through a precise response. For example, in Texas House 5 he had clear intentions—

‘confront[ing] the problem of the nine squares in an asymetrical condition. It introduces the

Mies problem of floating shapes and floating conditions in a pure nine square structure. I wanted to start warping the architectural section by setting up right angle conditions, where the elements would warp as well as the void space, not just physically but by the tension of the pointal conditions.’ vi

He gained understanding and architectural possibility through progress, analysis, and critique that was not conceived of a priori. Like the generative nature of games, the outcomes were not established before playing. According to Robert Somol, a condition like this separates Hejduk’s work from Peter Eisenman’s, claiming that ‘rather than pursue a

codified language of architecture, Hejduk more accurately engages the writing of architecture.’ viiThis is suggested by the figural capacities of architectural form that Hejduk composes to produce a narrative through architectural elements. A more contemporary example that helps to illustrate this point of architectural conventions and how those conventions are played is an installation by the architect Wes Jones that was exhibited at the Southern California Institute of Architecture’s gallery in Los Angeles in 2004. Jones suspended a grid of columns approximately one inch off the floor and mechanically attached them to a gantry that was operable, reconfiguring spatial relationships in the X- and Y-axes. For the installation, a computer program controlled and allowed the columns to constantly move, shifting the columns’ positions at slow speeds and making the spatial displacement barely noticeable. The columns produced a perpetual reconstitution of the spatial environment and the ways that configuration altered and participated with the visitors’ spatial experience. Jones’ example suggests a creative approach to the way that architects play with and exploit architectural conventions. The game of architecture can innovate and re-articulate the rules that structure its conventions and transcend normative experience through them. It is this kind of experimentation that seems to parallel the opportunities that exist between the tensions and conflicts established by Hejduk’s Nine Square. Hejduk’s work exposes questions that are hierarchically prioritized and are relegated to the particular problems of a particular project. It is a didactic working method that realizes that not everything goes into each project, that it is sufficient to choose and to prioritize problems for a particular project. From this manifesto of prioritizations Hejduk is able to work on specific problems and play out his ideas through a rigorous structure until intuition and sensitivity is built. The craft that emerges becomes a formal vocabulary that can be evaluated against the terms he established and can be tested against how well the character of those formal relationships provoke or establish architectural meaning. This kind of logic asserts the value of the manifesto that is advocated for in this essay—the ability to identify territories of architectural exploration aided by rules to encounter them through play.


Conclusion This paper has offered the manifesto as one method for architectural production through the means to develop, articulate, and understand what architecture is—meaning that architecture is able to define the territories and the values of its explorations on its own terms. The ambition was to show that by engaging qualities of play, architecture takes on and structures a complex game that is significant for the expression of space, form, and experience. Conceiving architecture in this way lets it take on difficult questions and test and experiment in organized ways. This can lead to provocative outcomes that may not be possible otherwise.

The architecture of John Hejduk offered an exemplary way to evokethe ambition of the manifesto. His work did not shy away from the imposition of rules and the creative potential that is achieved through that tension, his rules established ways to play with conventions of architecture, and his games with representation openedalternative forms of architectural expression that articulateda method and were precise ways to evaluate outcomes.

This discussion of the manifesto has proposed one way that architecture can cultivatea creative and analytical sensitivity. By not only setting conditions and establishing rules, architecture can create a system for interpretationthat achieves clarity through play.

Benjamin J Smith received his Bachelor of Arts at St. Olaf College and his Master of Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). At SCI-Arc he was awarded a distinguished graduate thesis for (_)junct, advised by Coy Howard and was selected by SCI-Arc faculty as the 2007 recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi medal. He is currently a candidate in the Doctoral Program in Architecture at the University of Michigan, advised by John McMorrough and Daniel Herwitz. Benjamin has worked for Morphosis Architects in Santa Monica, California and Paris, France, and George Yu Architects in Los Angeles, California. He has been a guest critic at SCI-Arc, Woodbury University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Michigan, and has had work featured in publications and exhibitions.

John Hejduk. Mask of Medusa. (New York: Rizzoli,1985), 37. John Hejduk. Mask of Medusa. (New York: Rizzoli,1985), 38. iii John Hejduk. Mask of Medusa. (New York: Rizzoli,1985), 38. iv Stan Allen. “Nothing but Architecture,” in Hejduk’sChronotope, ed. K. Michael Hays.(Princeton Architectural Press: New York, 1996), 83. v Stan Allen. “Nothing but Architecture,” in Hejduk’sChronotope, ed. K. Michael Hays.(Princeton Architectural Press: New York, 1996), 83. vi John Hejduk. Mask of Medusa. (New York: Rizzoli,1985), 40. vii R.E. Somol. “One or Several Masters,” in Hejduk’sChronotope, ed. K. Michael Hays.(New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 103. i

ii


04 Célia Joaquina Faria

“HOMED”: TO BE OR NOT TO BE? AN “HOMEINGFESTO”

*CLARIFICATIONS HOME: Not just as a thing but a symbolic construction in space. “HOMEd”: The one who appropriates the home making it his, while discovering affection (to feel), evaluation (to judge) and cognition (to think). “HOME-ing”: Transforming the space into home while used and interpreted by the “HOMEd”.

*PURPOSE Nowadays there are multiple ways to inhabit the space in order to create the sense of home. According to typology, this sense is different between who lives, for example, in a Neutra´s house, a Corbusier’s apartment building, a ghetto or in the street. But there is a great similarity between all, the process of “HOME-ing”. Along the past architecture history, there all several iconic examples of what we call “home” that doesn’t reach the set of goals, requirements and needs, through whose satisfaction allows to accomplish the fullness of the act of living. In this way the concept of home is central to reflect about place in order to identify the processes that lead to the practice of a “qualified” space. It is needed to question about the thinking and making the place of home as a result of the human experience. The final purpose is to clarify what devices can be used from positive and negative manifestations of this process in the past in order to make them operative in the practice of everyday life on future “HOME-ing” projects.

*RECOURSE To isolate the “HOME-ing” process, the observation of the sense of home experience is focused in several representations of the idea and concretizations of home analyzed in diverse cultural, artistic and architectural contexts. To achieve the “HOME-ingfesto”, the positive contents (balance between space and living) are going to be organized according to three components: existence (human), experience (phenomenon) and meaning (architecture).


“HOME-ingfesto” I © Célia Faria, 2012

“HOMEd”: to be or not to be? This is the central question of the contemporary architecture, when the discussion about domesticity emerges as a result of the threat of erosion of identity of places, by superimposing the global, the juxtaposition of a system of relationships, objects and signs that modernity built irrespective of the particularities of the different cultures in the proposed site. The idea of a “HOME-ingfesto” relies on the need to question and explore the thinking and making the home as a result of the human experience, from a cognitive and affective point of view, using devices based on past manifestations (positive and negative) of the “HOMEing” process in order to make them operative in projecting future “livable” homes. The only way to make architecture operative is through the construction of meaning by the experience of dwelling and attribution of meaning to space, regarding that architecture is an experience. The home results of that construction in space, through the manifestation of territoriality and ownership of a particular space on which the body has a certain behavior. The notion that homes are the people is one of the universalities of anthropological condition of architecture, and if the house is an extension of the person, it is also an extension of the self. According to Bachelard, the space of the house is inhabited not only in everyday life but also in the imagination. The body and the home linked conceptually and physically, are the loci for dense networks of meaning and affection, generating cognitive models used to structure, to think and to experience the world.


As built form, home is the physical support of sheltered space and the setting for the representation process, and has to respond effectively, as a usage device, to the habits, desires, expectations, etc, of the individual. While a symbolic construction, it is the way to realize the idea of "livable" home resulting from the relationship between reality (typological space) and fantasy (ideal space).

“House” (1993) Rachel Whiteread I © Sue Ormerod, 1993 i Conceptual framework Among the concepts of HOME, “HOMEd” and “HOME-ing” there is a complex relationship of mutual implication. And these are the actors in the symbolic construction of space and therefore in this manifesto argumentation. HOME: Not just as a thing but a symbolic construction in space

“Palestine Wall” (2005) – Banksy ii Architecture, to address the functions of human life, needs to provide the quality of domesticity to the space, this is, has to create conditions for the individual to assign meaning based in a sensitive interpretation of space. "Home-ing" space in order to make the space home.


The space defined by the home is a qualified space, as this qualification becomes recognizable by those using it as a place that welcomes domesticity. "Not the house as a thing, but the house as the home address, as a symbolic construction of space. Because, to that extent, my house is a storehouse of memories and expectations. ...The house becomes, therefore, the form where housing develops (as an act of living) of those who use it in accordance with their respective statutes within the group, family or otherwise, to which they belong.” iii The home form is not reducible to materiality, design or organizational logic. It is a kind of narrative that confirms and renews itself through every event in the life of its inhabitants, because remaining identifiable as a form, and identifies who inhabits from the types of use that allows. We appropriate the home giving it the character that should be in accordance with a program which is not in the element, but only in the mind of the individual. What "at home" implies is not the form that inhabitant discovers while inscribes his actions, but the form that suggests the actions for which he finds a certain way of inhabit.

“HOMEd”: The one who appropriates the home making it his

“Playtime” (1967) – Jacques Tati iv The inhabitant to experience the world tends to represent himself and make representations according to his codes, and then this world becomes a set of meaningful representations. The concepts of identity and culture are fundamental in defining inhabitant, while individual belonging to a context which is distinguished from the other. The individual results from the idea of transparency between culture, society and identity. And culture is substantive to man and is part of being. It is a system of shared symbols through which one interprets reality by giving meaning to human life and consists in a total of learned and developed patterns by humans and is endowed with two fundamental characteristics, the adaptive mechanism which is the ability to respond to a certain context according to change of habits, and a cumulative mechanism, in the sense that the


modifications suggested by a generation to the next, transforms through deletions and additions to the most suitable aspects to survival. “HOME-ing”: Transforming the space into home while used and interpreted by the “HOMEd”.

Hutong – China (2009) I © Movingcities.org v

The cognitive and affective values determine the intensity of the sensation "feel at home" through the construction of psychological processes of transaction with domesticity, which involves the discovery of meaning through perception, attachment, appropriation, meaning and rooting that form our reactions to space. The world is captured by the stimuli that reach the senses, and this captation, which affects the whole body, presuppose an active role of the subject that transforms reality into a meaningful representation. The human body acts on the environment where it operates and, therefore, needs to feel the context where it lives to formulate appropriate responses to what was felt. It is, then, indispensable to the body, a regulating neurological mechanism for the information transfers between the interior and exterior of the body.


The perceptive construction is the construction of meaning, which comprises, inseparably, structural and cognitive specificities. To realize it, a prior knowledge is applied, consisting of the knowledge acquired in previous perceptual experiences and the one provided by culture. Every perception is sensory, and reveals itself in the way that information, about what is happening around, is received and perceived through the senses. This transfer of knowledge and cultural learning happens because of the possibility of communication. Thus, in spite of every human being feel certain phenomena uniquely and specifically acknowledges that these phenomena have invariant features, beyond their individual subjectivity, and which are substantially defined the same way by their peers. And, like all human beings have different bodies, different appropriations individual, cultural and social reality, different spaces and times of existence, it can be concluded that the perceptual experience that each individual develops their own and is unique. Regarding the attachment, its presence appears when there is an affective link between space and its inhabitants. The attachment default is influenced by factors constituent of personality of each one interfering in the social development of the individual. In the architectural field, is from the moment the space, as a form, refers to something other than itself that we can talk about sense or meaning in architecture. In architecture, the meaning is the relationship between the content and the user, and resides in structures that generate this relationship. The significance of architecture is the result of an experiment that involves the attribution of value to categories of meanings that shape our reactions to space.

The process To argument about the “HOME-ingfesto” it is needed to observe the sense of home. In this case several representations of the idea of home in diverse contexts can be focused, because we are dealing with a theme that is transversal in different disciplines: social, architectural, cultural, etc… To understand this process, the relation between space and living must be balanced and organized according to three components, that can be called the “EX” factors, and these factors are explained through the previous concepts: -

Existence - related to human context – “HOMEd” concept

-

Experience - related to meaning in architecture - HOME concept

-

Expectation - related to the phenomenon - “HOME-ing” concept

On the other hand, these factors are related to indicators that will allow evaluating their intensity in the mentioned balance: -

Existence – subjective indicators – individual data (identity, culture, psychological)

-

Experience – objective indicators – architectural data (geography, environment, functional)

-

Expectation – satisfaction patterns - mental processes (affection, appreciation, cognition)


To organize and make convergence between these components can be used a scheme that allows ranking each one of the indicators, for example, by interpreting the constellation of attributes method developed by Ekambi-schmidt. This method hierarchies the intensity of the characteristics that a home should have, based on the experience of home by the individual.

Constellation of attributes – Ekambi-schmidt vi

In every different context, the “HOME-ing” process develops in the same way, meaning that the “EX” factors components are always present. The difference remains on the intensity of this presence. In this sense, each “EX” factor can be evaluated through the corresponding data, by detecting the intensity of responses that are given by the subject towards each factor, when asked about them.


The process (2012) I © Célia Faria With this theory, past and present situations of the idea of home can be analyzed and evaluated. It can be exemplified with some different representations of the home space and consequent measurement of factors intensity. This analysis was developed upon an enquiry made to several individuals from four different situations, approaching the following themes, within each factor: -

Existence – individual data

Identity: the home role facing the expression of the individual’s image of himself. Culture: the home role facing the projection of the individual’s image towards the society. Psychological: the home role facing the influence of individual’s behavior. -

Experience – architectural data

Geography: the importance of the chosen location of the home. Environment: the fulfillment of the comfort functions of the home. Functional: the effective response of the home to the functions that occur in it. -

Expectation - mental processes

Affection: the influence of the home on the happiness of the individual. Appreciation: the changes the home needs to concretize the expected idea of it. Cognition: the achievements of the home about the “feeling at home” sensation.

And the four situations illustrate different kinds of home experience present in the contemporary society. The idea was to incorporate diverse “feeling at home” contexts.


SITUATION: Homeless

Homeless in Lisbon (2012) I © Célia Faria

Situation: Homeless (2012) I © Célia Faria


SITUATION: Guetto

Favela in Rio de Janeiro vii

Intensity levels - Situation: Guetto (2012) I © Célia Faria


SITUATION: Apartment building

Unité d’Habitation – Berlim – Le Corbusier (1959) I © Célia Faria

Intensity levels - Situation: Appartment (2012) I © Célia Faria


SITUATION: House

Sonneveld House – Rotterdam – Brinkman and Van der Vlugt (1933) I © Célia Faria

Intensity levels - Situation: House (2012) I © Célia Faria Final reflections First conclusion, the highest levels of intensity related with experience (architectural data) correspond to the apartment and house situation. And of course, this is an obvious conclusion, in the sense that the balance between the responses that the space of home should proportionate to the individual is better achieved in an apartment or house form, because of its planning.


Second conclusion, related to existence (individual data), all the four situations are very balanced, meaning, that the presence of this factor is fundamental in every context analyzed within this theme. Third conclusion, the mental processes related to the expectation factor, corresponding to the symbolic construction of home are very similar in each situation. And this third conclusion verifies the main issue of this “HOME-ingfesto”, this is, the transactions between individual and his construction of the sense of home occurs independently the constructed space in presence. However for the intensity levels to be more balanced is the experience factor, associated to architecture, which requires more attention and work. The world in which man lives, somehow a kind of mental world, is just a set of meaningful representations that identify the wearer, related to domestic scale, the home, where the subject is exposed fully. “The meaning comes when you can create specific meanings in the architectural object.” viii It thus outline a model of reading about the construction of meaning where the concepts involved in the experience of living space is organized, as a consistent set of interrelationships between space, actions and individual where factors can be combine, allowing the distinction between positive and negative manifestations of domesticity through the delineation of a set of criteria of cognitive and affective order, pursuit achieving the quality of domesticity in space, with the aim of establishing indicators relate to the architect, the object and the user, in order to make homes "livable". Some final questions emerge from these conclusions: How can domesticity be translated, in use, by human experience and what properties the home gets with the "HOMEd"? How the construction of meaning that the object assumes before the conscience of the individual, happens through arrangements relating to mental processes? How can arguing about the concept of "livable" home, addressing its conceptual dimension, can innovate the ways of project? The answers to these questions should be given by this “HOME-ingfesto”. If they are, the purpose of this argumentation is achieved! CéliaFaria, architect and PhD student in History and Theory of Architecture at the CIAUD of Lisbon Technical University. Has a Master degree in SpaceStudies and Dwellin Architecture with a thesis entitled "The construction of the architecturalplace.The significance of space through the view ofthe individual's experience" (2009). Was a winner of the UTL / SantaderTotta prize for the best students of the Technical University of Lisbon (2009) and a founding member of MB477, arquitectura e território. Faria won the 1st prize in theEuropan8Competitionin Palmela – Portugal (2005), an Honorable Mentionin theinternational competition forideas for"To boostthe banks of theTagusRiver" (2007) and Honorable Mentionin the competition "Tektónica: street24h:(re)see the center" (2006).Was also invitedto give Architecture Theory lectures at several Architecture Colleges in Portugal and made contributionsin international conferences, publications and exhibitions.

i

Chris Townsend, The art of Rachel Whiteread (Thames & Hudson, 2004), 118

ii

“Palestine wall”, accessed November 19, 2012, http://www.banksy.co.uk

iii

José Duarte Gorjão Jorge: Lugares em teoria (Lisboa: Caleidoscópio, 2007), 96

iv

“jacquestati_playtimestill_1967”, accessed November 19, 2012, http://ayounghare.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/the-citys-denizens-remain-submerged-in-a-

pristine-cityscape-characterized-by-transparency-honesty-and-efficiency-in-playtime-the-modern-ideal-appears-at-its-logical-end-everything-is/ v

“Hutong”, accessed November 19, 2012, http://www.movingcities.org

vi

Ekambi-Schimdt, La perception de l'habitat (Paris: Éditions universitaires, 1972), 35

vii

“favela-faces_792729i” accessed November 19, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/theweekinpictures/2599738/The-week-in-

pictures-22-August-2008.html?image=5 viii

Peter Zumthor, Pensar a arquitectura (Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2005), 10


05 César Losada Romero

SENSATION, SIGN, SITUATION. A Manifesto for informational impressionism and performative morphogenesis "The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Introduction: The quest for a hyper-paradigm The articulation of the complex socio-economic, political and cultural situation of contemporary societies poses a huge challenge for the normative knowledge historically constructed by our civilization, most of whose disciplines are trying to reshape their epistemological principles in order to optimize their management of the specificities of the world today. However, Western thought seems abducted by its inability to establish new holistic paradigms: On the one hand the Academia is trying to save the optimistic and affirmative rationalism of modernity but on the other hand is forced to take into account the severe criticism, perhaps inexcusable, deployed by the most serious postmodernist thinkers. As an undead, the legacy of the Enlightenment theoretical corpus seems to have died without issue, atomizing knowledge in a constellation of seemingly dissonant fragments of speeches but, basically, chaired by the ghost of a modernity whose severe dogmas still resonate in the moral and deontological horizon of the different intellectual practices. Within architectural discourses, the so-called “eclipse of Modernity by Environmentalism” still lacks a serious reformulation of the Being-in-the-world that emerges from the current atmosphere of turbulences. The sterile debate about the continuity or discontinuity between modernity and post modernity, between industrial age and information age - a debate that is sadly confined to the inbred forums of Academia - is unable to address the complex issues facing contemporary territorial management. This Manifesto is attempting to leave behind this apparent dichotomy between modernity and post modernity by seeking a transversal perspective on both categories, updating rationalism for an era in which the subjective can not longer be reduced to a contingent residue detached from objectivity. The evolution of contemporary architecture can be read as symmetrical to the multiple cultural processes that have been taking place during the complex set of events that we call "globalization". The inertia of the contemporary city growth and dwelling overflows the normative epistemology we inherited from the Modern Movement, which had been founded


according to the specific challenges of its heroic period: in the transition from nineteenth to twentieth centuries the main goal was the setting up of optimum conditions for the expansion of the Fordist middle class within the industrial city, during a period in which urban growth rates were probably the largest and fastest of all human history. Later events such as post-war reconstruction and the ongoing dependence on petrodollar economy represented situations characterized by highly expansive processes of occupation of territory, exposing a dialectic between nature and human space determined by technical, material and experiential conditions that we should put into review, namely: the specific features from which Modern architecture emerged may have been surpassed by later developments -a dislocation of our preconceptions of space and time, the individual and society, the local and the global- so profoundly that we can’t possibly be aware of its cultural implications yet, but that in any case we should put most inherited axioms into crisis. After the global housing bubble burst, the scope can no longer be dependant on the logic of expansion processes, but rather on phenomena of transformation, modulation, mutation, reshaping: these new conditions require the replacement of the metaphysics of Being on which modernity is founded, by the metaphysics of Becoming, in order to configure a paradigm that transcends the split between objectivity and subjectivity on the horizon of our news spatiality and temporality. Rather than a “Paradigm”, we may be looking for a “hyperparadigm”, a cluster of open-ended approaches to existential space design, and capable of dealing with the specific features of transformative courses in a World understood as a set of multiplicities. In order to review the validity and legitimacy of classical architecture theoretical standpoints, we must analyze whether their foundations are as plural and diverse as we often take for granted, or if the mainstream of twentieth century treatises refer ultimately to the same paradigmatic axioms: although the formal features of actual buildings seem to evolve in accord with the social demands, such apparently constant evolution may be only the surface of a very rigid corpus of theories and practices anchored in the same principles for almost one hundred years. The long term tradition of architectural thinking that connects Viollet-Le-Duc with Rem Koolhaas, Le Corbusier with Aldo Rossi, or even Camilo Sitte with Peter Eisenman, seems to have deployed disconnected discourses that have sufficient autonomy as to be considered independent paradigmatically, but that are in fact articulated around a series of common metaphysical considerations. Modernity relies on a set of concepts so habitual that architects take them for “natural” and “necessary”, when in fact they are contingent, and derived from very precise epistemic conditions. By updating these ontological assumptions we look forward to retrieve the endeavor of post modernity, or an aggiornamento of rationalism that, in accordance with contemporary cognitive sciences, surpasses the conception of the world of a field of objects and studies reality as a field of events. In many levels, what was called post modern architecture wasn’t post modern at all, but a merely iconic masking unable to bring Modernism’s fundamental core forward. One of the thinkers most radically critical of the positivist consensus on the structure of reality has been Gilles Deleuze, unorthodox philosopher that is often considered mistakenly a mere post-structuralist or post-modernist doxosopher, but whose most profound ideas are grounded on the Stoics and Spinoza, namely, the materialist philosophy tradition that relies on the creative power of pure immanence as opposed to dogmatic, dualistic determinations of Platonic transcendence. Beyond the recurrent topics about deleuzianism -flows of desire, abstract machines, schizoanalysis or control societies (ie, the work he developed along with philosopher Felix Guattari, that rendered him as an enfant terrible of contemporary counterculture) Deleuze is a "classical" philosopher whose early works aimed to reformulate the principles of what's called "classic image of thought" in a very rigorous and systematic rhetoric. This question was posed mainly in his seminal "Logic of Sense" and "Difference and Repetition", books that grounded their philosophical program on a new conceptualization of the difference, trying to overcome the definition offered by Hegel dialectic, and thus “freeing difference from its submission to identity, uniqueness and repetition”. Such a strategy offers


interesting implications on how we can consider the constitution of reality and therefore space and architecture. Contrary to popular belief, Deleuze was still a rationalist whose goal was not to supersede modernity, but rather to update its foundations in line with contemporary science and discourses. His ideas will serve us as the starting point of this speculation on the potentials of Sensation, Situation and Sign as critical, stimulating concepts or tools to reconfigure obsolete theoretical presumptions about how to think architecture.

Beyond objectivity Objectual Western Thought has been determined by the categories proposed by Aristotle in his concept of hilemorphic substance, whereby entities existing in the world would be determined by their form plus their material: according to this test system, the objects "in themselves" (considered independently of cognition or human consciousness) arise from the confluence of raw material and a given formal diagram that determines their specific characteristics. This hilemorphism principle has been crucial throughout the history of Western architecture, whose idea of "form" as an extensive and geometric articulation of raw, indefinite material has been kept from the treatises of Vitruvius to certain texts of Peter Zumthor or Steven Holl. This paradigm of thought will ground the logic of the project as the management of the extensive distribution of architectural elements in Euclidean space. Items or entities are thus considered under certain mathematical and epistemological assumptions later continued, expanded and profiled by Descartes and Kant, whose ontological systems will become the core of the standard modern thought. The Cogito as conceived by Descartes radicalized the split between subject and object of knowledge: in his philosophy, consciousness is transcendental to the world, so that the "res extensa" or mindindependent substance is regarded as alien to the subject. The subjectivity implicit in the dictum "I think therefore I am" sets the basis of a rationality that is considered omnipotent and unique, whereby positive knowledge is attained by the mode in which the human cognitive apparatus harmonically objectifies the raw sense data provided by a world that is in itself rational and objective Continuing with this approach, Kant established the difference between the "phenomenon" (objects as presences in consciousness, subjective entities processed by rational cognition) and the "noumenon" (the object itself, in the world, as existing previously and independently to consciousness and under stable and objective conditions). As we see, the intellectual tradition of modernity is built on certain dualistic categories that establish a paradigm based on binary dialectic between complementary concepts: form versus substance, object versus subject, objectivity versus subjectivity, difference versus repetition, along with others as reason versus feeling, individual versus group, or body versus spirit. One of the most controversial statements in Kantian metaphysics is the universality and individuality of the subject, an assumption which was built on the precarious axiomatic logic of modernity and that has been harshly questioned by the post structuralist enterprise. In the philosophy of Kant, correspondence between phenomenon and noumenon, between reality as it is "in itself" and as it is presented to consciousness, depended on the existence of


a transcendental ego, a universal and ideal subject whose powers allow him to develop a standard construction of reality through objective language, based on the so-called “a priori conditions of cognition”. The epistemology that Kant as developed in subsequent reviews of reason and judgment are based on a certain conception of time and space that will be central not only to metaphysics of classical modernism, but also to the standard scientific thinking prior to the Quantum revolution: relying on the perfect and stable correlation between universal conditions of objectivity and the capacity of the transcendental ego to capture it in accurate manner, the space will necessarily be considered as based on the metric attributes derived from the axioms of Euclidean geometry, while time is conceived as "chronos", an abstract temporal container whose evolution is constant and independent of the motion of objects. Kantian metaphysics presupposes the general space-time structure of reality as the foundation of any possible act of cognition: the stability of the correspondence between noumenon and phenomenon guarantees the possibility of positive rational knowledge of the world as a field of fixed objects. This system will be very fruitful for the development of modern science, which will use these universal definitions of time and space, notwithstanding such a cosmogony present numerous philosophical problems, mainly related to the subjective and emotional experience of reality as determined by individual conditions (and thus contingently constructed): the modern concept of Knowledge didn’t allow for the coexistence of different truths –a consequence that’s unacceptable nowadays, since one of the biggest challenges in the Globalization era is the acceptance and harmonization of the plurality and multiplicity of ideologies and truths. In this regard, the philosophy of Hegel will serve as a bridge between classical modern epistemology and the later development of phenomenology, the system that tried to deal precisely with these problematic Kantian presumptions about universality. Edmund Husserl, the great supporter of phenomenology, is especially critical of Kant's "dogma of faith", the aforementioned presupposition of a stable transcendental ego that echoes the actual constitution of the world from an exogenous but omnipotent standpoint. Rethinking Hegel's phenomenology, Husserl overcomes the split between noumenon and phenomenon, reconsidering the fundamental structure of the world by setting the focus on how reality is in fact given: as actual experience. From his philosophical approach, "real" objects are not considered as in themselves, but as entities that are realized only in conscious experience rather than in some noumenal and unattainable “world”. His strategy of "epoche" (or observational, cognitive distance from the entities) consists on the evaluation of phenomena as they are purely presented to consciousness, radicalizing the radical objectivism / subjectivism separation characteristic of modernity, and thus abandoning the assumption that one can speak of an objective reality, independently of the actual conditions for reflective apprehension. Based on Brentano’s concept of "intentionality" (according to which consciousness is always consciousness of something, necessarily defined by content and unthinkable as an autonomous or empty structure), the entanglement of subject and object becomes absolute, setting up the basis for a phenomenology that some may relate to Hume’s empiricism. However, Husserl's philosophical system still maintains the validity of the transcendental ego that Kant prefigured, as "bystander" liability of a reality that is still outside, beside the self. Subsequent phenomenologists will solve the problem of the subject transcendentality by dissolving the ego as an epiphenomenon of experience. The subject becomes not an autonomous and purely active agent that constructs reality through his mind or in his mind, but the result of passive, residual processual synthesis centralized in a body. Husserl´s precarious philosophical project will be accomplished –or at least nuanced - by the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, whose "Phenomenology of Perception" lays the foundations for a materialist approach to experience drawing on the body's role as protagonist agent of perceptual or relational intercourses between the individual and the world. Therefore the self and the world become stewards and conceived as mutually determined, mediated on the common ground of the body. The Kantian model assumed an "objective" component to experience (raw perceptual impressions as direct testimony of the noumenon) and other "subjective" (the formalization of entities through


intellectual and rational reflexivity), while Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of the body merges both categories under the consideration that phenomena and consciousness are constituted by mutual intentional processes that exceed the split between the mind and its content., but also between the mind and the world –whereby both domains collapse in the body. This lead to the ontological primacy of the situatedness of the body in the world. In order to clarify this point of view without resorting to complex philosophical rhetoric, we will use one of the most remarkable of all time ethologists, Jacob Von Uexküll, whose work tried to establish the physiological principles from which the animal constructs its individual milieu disregarding the friction between "inner world" (subjectivity in the modern sense) and "outside world" (noumenal objectivity). For this scientist, each animal constructs its only reality based on its primary survival needs, using sensory devices that allow for the interaction with its environment getting specifically, strictly what it requires to sustain its existence. That partial and intentional reality that each specimen builds for himself is a result of the interaction between its demands and the environmental conditions, is what Uexküll called "Umwelt" or significant environment: a real but not universalizable territory, locally determined by the subject, whose categories of understanding are a result of the symbiosis and mutuality established between an animal and its environment. That is, each individual determines his construction of what reality is, inasmuch as the individual is the result of the possibilities and the determinations that his milieu is imposing on him. The "Umwelt" is, for the individual who produces it, the whole of reality, full reality. Deleuze will take from Uexküll one example that shows how this process is structured: the tick has only a few physiological apparatus of cognition, so that its access to "reality" is reduced to a minimum sense of touch and smell. Its whole existence consists in clinging to a tree waiting for a potential host to pass under, for the detection of which the tick has the sense of smell. When the animal approaches, the tick’s perceptual system alerts and it is dropped on its new host. The interaction with the world is strictly limited to this set of processes by which the animal established habits and limits of reality, which takes the form of a territory by means of the affections of the subject. A subject that not only produces its reality, but that is reversely and simultaneously determined by it. These ideas entail obvious consequences on how to think the relation between the subject and the world: in Descartes and Kant´s gnoseology reality is detached from the observer, while according to Uexkull´s model there’s not such separation, for the mind is embodied in the world in a relation of radical continuity and mutual co production. The ethical implications deductible from that standpoint imply overcoming the utilitarian, mechanistic exploitation of nature, given that nature and culture are ultimately one and the same domain, and the ontological substance of which we are made. The territory is an extension and the self and vice versa, as the result of the mediation of both in experience. Furthermore, If reality and the subject are mutually constructed my means of relational and specific affects, the task for theoretical discourses is finding a manner to braid those partial and individual “umwelts” into a common sense of reality, surpassing the relativism that many have deduced from such atomized, discrete and localistic definition of the real. This enterprise is especially crucial during the complex dynamics of the Globalization and its difficult articulation of singularities under the threat of falling into totalitarian thought or exploding in incompatible fragments of discourses. This debate about the entanglement of the individual and the common, the singular and the normal, has been central not only to the recent political movements or academic philosophical world, but also to architecture and urbanism, disciplines whose most urgent endeavor is establishing a hypothetical "science of the habitat " or at least a comprehensive dialectic of singularities for a global “chaosmos” where everything is diverse, but connected. However, some poststructuralist thinkers sought conceptual alternatives from which to overcome transversely the paradoxes of modernity and give way to new kinds of thinking multiplicity, although they have generally been misinterpreted by architects, who have tried to translate literally into space some of the


more complex concepts with unequal fortune. A typical example of this misunderstanding would be that of Jacques Derrida, involuntary father of the movement of the "deconstruction" whose formal pirouettes were a very superficial, downgraded interpretation of his complex analytical system. And another example of fertile paradigm would be as mentioned the implicit "philosophical system" deductible from the work of Gilles Deleuze, whose ideas serve to continue spinning the genealogy of this manifesto.

Deleuze´s aesthetics and Ranciere´s “Distribution of the sensible” As mentioned, the Deleuzian philosophical project tried to dodge the paradoxes of modernity by overcoming its axiomatic construction of critical theory by means of conceptual couples reduced to a binary logic low. As Martinez Quintanar exposes in his book on this topic, Deleuze cancels the distinction between principle and rule (Plato), determination and determined (Aristotle), condition and conditioned (Kant), position and positioned (Hegel), constitution and constituted (Husserl), and Heidegger's appearance and appeared. The complexity of the system retrieves an idea of "Truth" close to that of Nietzsche, in which truth is a creative instance, a movement rather than a fixed point, and thereby an open-ended process that allows for the coexistence of parallel, multiple truths. To carry out this ambitious intellectual project Deleuze departed from the metaphysical system of Spinoza, whose materialistic foundation of ontology was extended and nuanced by deleuzian re-readings of Leibniz (differential series), Bergson (time and duration), Nietzsche (the desire and the eternal return) and the Stoics, through a radically immanent strategy that was called "transcendental empiricism", a complex analytical system from which to deduct the whole of his ontology, ethics, politics and aesthetics. Deleuze continued Uexküll´s ideas about cognition, pointing out that thought, as a creative activity, open to new things and unleashed by the problematic, has its germ in perceptual phenomena, addressed by the logic of experience. Philosophy can thus be summarized as an aesthetic, beyond the border between the perceptive / affective and the political: the struggle for the understanding of the world and the potential transformations of reality relies on the contingent production of Objects by the pure differentiation of the sensible. Pure immanent experience provides us with the raw material with which to build new configurations of objectivity: taken from a purely political standpoint, this is the foundation of contemporary activist mottos such as “There´s a war on for your mind”, that takes account of this more contingent approach to the cognition of objects and its dangers. The scope of so-called “noopolitics” is then to question the parameters that determine our processes of visualization, recognition, affection and communication and to what extent are personal or regulatory. For Deleuze, against Kant´s purely rationalistic and correlationist gnoseology, the construction of reality takes place in the realm of feeling, or blocks of "percepts and affects" before the establishment of an objectivity as a “set of measurable truths” in opposition to a subjective realm. As long as conscience is crossed by flows of pre-personal and impersonal forces and modes of affection, “reason” loses its purity and certainty. Kant distinguished between sensitivity as the form of possible experience (transcendental aesthetic) and a theory of art as a reflection on actual experience, while Deleuze considers that the overall


aim of art is to "produce a feeling" in which the genetic principles of physiological feeling are identical to the principles of artistic composition. Art’s biggest subversive potential consists on its capacity to permanently put into question Aristotelian hilemorphism, namely, to explore and refigure the way in which the perceived substance is organized by our conceptual apparatus of recognition, by the power of feeling to reveal the "being of the sensible" or sentiendum, and even to produce new kinds of rational truths. Therefore reality, even objective reality, is the result of never ending perceptual processes in perennial selftransformation. Understanding the real is an affirmative aesthetic act, a labor of active design with no final point. Although skeptic about many deleuzian assumptions, contemporary French philosopher Jacques Ranciere proposed a concept that describes very accurately some issues of the deleuzian constructivist, post-phenomenological model of cognition: the distribution of the sensible. Radicalizing Deleuze´s criticism of Kantian objectivism, Ranciere refers to the way in which common social codes determine and delimit the potential modes of perception, by distributing the division between the visible and the invisible, the sayable and the unsayable, and thus setting the basis for a normative objectual reality conceived as oppositional. Artistic creation is then the strongest of all political weapons, for it is able to question the dogmatic distribution of identities by disturbing their foundation on the sensible. Art is then the speculative enterprise of guessing how the world could be by re-encountering it as a tabula rasa. Such a step would require regarding the formal field of objectivity from an upper pre-formal metafield where affects, feelings and impressions can still run free, untied from consensual dogmas about the identity of the perceived: the immanent domain of sensible experience. In a sense, this can be interpreted as similar to deleuzian philosophy of difference, although they differ in the role they attribute to discourses, among other issues. Can this conceptual articulation deal with the kind of programmatic challenges that contemporary architecture and urbanism are facing? The focus of these ideas is set on the potential creative power of experience, a long forgotten domain in architecture since Vitruvius´”firmitas, utilities, venustas”.As mentioned, the phenomenology of reality is transversal to such taxonomies, whereas its conceptualization of “beauty” or “function” do not regard them as separate instances mediated by reason, but as circumstantial and historically determined modes of affection mediated by memory and culture. Many architects have focused some of their investigations on the topic of phenomenology –such a Steven Holl, Peter Zumthor or Juhani Pallasmaa, while on the theoretical world Gaston Bachelard´s book “The Poetics of Space” has been highly praised as an influential reference for contemporary aesthetics, but Deleuze´s or Ranciere´s most original contribution emphasizes the importance of “sensation” as a mean to take account of the potentials of experience.

Impressionism and architecture The plurality of aesthetic, political and phenomenological challenges offered by the concept of sensation has not reached in architecture the same fertility and acceptance that has


found in other fields of collective expression. Oversimplifying the complexity of this matter, we can speculate that most accurate expressive language for sensation should have much to do with Impressionism: plastic languages that aim to overcome the notion of hilemorphic "form", by researching the intensive properties of experience, rather than the extensive ones. One way or another, the foundation of the different impressionisms relied on the game of pure perceptual phenomenon, in the early, founding moment of thought in which the encounter with the world still has not been codified in a formal molar regime. That strategy has been prolific in painting and sculpture, in literature or cinema, classical music and electronic noise ... but perhaps surprisingly there has never been an "impressionist architecture", an especially baffling fact given that other avant garde movements (from Futurism to abstract expressionism) did have an echo in the founding of the classical modern canon. As we tried to give, actually that disinterest towards impressionism by modernism is not surprising, because their respective aesthetic approaches stems from different metaphysical assumptions. While the modern movement posed a rational and Cartesian order as the guarantee for the values of Beauty, Goodness and Truth – an order that is apprehended by the subject’s intellectual reflection-, impressionist landscape prevailed the show of the diffuse as the ultimate exhibition of real experience, pre-reflexive and pre-formal. While avant-garde architecture demanded the rigorous ordering of edges in exact Cartesian metric, the Impressionists included the foggy city in sfumato, with fuzzy boundaries and barely distinguishable components. While modern space-time was measured with categories belonging to natural science, Monet or Cezanne described time phenomenologically as the becoming of existential and emotional durations, irreducible to the chronology of Newton ... The gap between impressionism and modern architecture is that while the first attempted to extract the purely intensive from its extensive determinations, the second has endeavored precisely on a language in which the trial parameter remains the logic of extension. Or what is the same: Impressionism operates by the de-realization of the objective, while in modern architectural doctrine the project is mainly conceived as an object. This dichotomy between sensation and objectuality according to Deleuze serves to explain the issue of individuation, one of the key concepts on the cognition of any territory or milieu. The raw material of perceptive impressions comes as an undifferentiated and continuous field of intensities, upon which the consciousness distributes contingent boundaries between objects: the mind “cuts” reality into pieces by means of processes of individuation, or production of formal objects, according with Ranciere´s distribution of the sensible. But this process of individuation is what actually produces the subject’s aforementioned umwelt or significant territory, by singling differences and obtaining local and partial objects under relations of discontinuity. Individuation creates assemblages of sensations grouping them under the same form and the same identity. According to Deleuze, this creative process should be dependant on the potentials, intensities and affects offered by the sensible experience, which in turn depends on the memories, knowledge and prejudices of the knower. Namely, each individual traces a map upon the neutral, undifferentiated surface of experience as a mean to set the distribution of local objects that best fit his needs, so that “form” (and its correlative “identity”, or “unity”) is a matter of recognition, whereby affective and relational conditions are prior to objectivity. While sensation is an unmediated and spontaneous condition of the body, formal recognition is highly mediated by common normative codes of individuation. Sensation is “molecular” in deleuzian terms, while form is “molar”, characterized by binary relations of exteriority. These complex conceptual articulations may seem rather abstract, but we are ultimately reflecting upon the viability and legitimacy of the current idea of the individual “Project” as commonly understood in architecture. Architects take for granted the idea that the “objective” individuation of continuous space is as the sum of individual, discrete “projects”, both at the domestic and the urban scales. The “Project” is considered the natural distribution of objectual identities, as long as each project is conceived as a unity of form,


production, management and destiny. The practice of projecting architecture is therefore correlative to its foundation in objectivity, in the sense that designing a building, a gadget or a city involves matters of formal coherence, compossibility and individuality: the scope of the project is to obtain a unitary Object, defined by its relations of exteriority but mainly by its inner coherence: the result of this mode of thinking is a discontinuous urban territory whose pieces are objectual projects. Space is therefore considered not as a pure multiplicity, but as a discrete aggregation of pieces, each of which is conceived solely by the internal logic of its unifying form. As correlate to this mode of producing the idea, architects often sublimate the “Idea” behind the project, or a unifying distributive diagram and transcendental composition order that legislates every projectual decision and that provides the project its aforementioned unity and uniqueness. Deleuze is very skeptical about any attempt to “unify” experience under one single law, so this general consensus among architect about the legitimacy of the ruling “Idea” must be put into question: therefore, this critique is against the whole concept and characteristics of the Project and the parameters under which we design it and evaluate it. Maybe all this seems too abstract, but will be better understood if we examine phenomenologically how our relationship with the territory is. The daily routine that takes us from home to work and from there to any entertainment space, moves us along spatial sequences that are transverse to each building, which we walk only partially and disregarding its unity or coherence. Our movements across the city are not “from building to building” but “from situation to situation”. The daily tour includes a bedroom, a hallway, a bathroom, elevator, sidewalk, parking, streets, parking at my workplace, the lobby of the office building, my office, the road again ... Our experiential relationship with the city is done through "fragments" of buildings, sequences of movements in which the inner coherence of individual building is indifferent, and the unifying “Idea” behind it, is irrelevant. While modern architecture assumes that an office is fundamentally related to other parts of the building containing it and its physical environment, in our everyday experience that same office would be more related to my house, my street, the way to her ... Namely, the city forms a spatial continuity can be individuated from discretionary logic of "buildings", but according to Ranciere´s concept of "distribution of the sensible”, it could be considered alternatively as organized according to other variables. Rather than a succession of buildings (or selfsufficient, formally coherent objects), a territory is an assemblage of images and events. Deleuze called these kinds of intensive domains “planes of composition”, inasmuch as the “soil” that guarantees its continuity is not positional, but relational. According to the usual criterion used by architects to evaluate spatial composition, a "good project" is one whose parts form a intrinsically harmonious entity with appropriate relationships with its environment, but mostly legible locally (i.e., individually). The paradigm of judgment of a building or a city remains, for architects, its intrinsic logic, the way in which the sum of the parts result in a higher-order device whose purpose is to function as an organism or a machine defined by its limits and boundaries. The key point of evaluation is the coherence between parts. But as we have seen, this demanded coherence is irrelevant for the dweller, whose relation to the city establishes its own transversal, partial and rhizomatic connections between parts from different buildings, different projects, and different objects. An umwelt emerges from a sequence of sensations, affects, expectations, requirements, events, where the individuation of entities on the continuous space is traced by the specific necessities of the subject, and unfolded from his singular point of view: his feelings, sensations or sentiendum. Rather than visual, sensation is haptic, transversal to senses. Such considerations draw the conclusion that impressionist thinking can still be a fertile way of exploring the affective constitution of the real. We must make clear that our use of the word “objective” means “constituted by objects”, as opposed to the modern epistemological sense of true and measurable. Therefore, the giant leap that impressionism can provide is


re-thinking the Project by using intensive parameters or categories, so that the individuation of objects can be open to the dweller’s interpretation and determination. Impressionism reflects not on individual objects but on contingent situations of space time, where the wholeness of the multiplicity emerges from its specific conditions of affection and not from the stable and self-sufficient metrics of its parts. Significative landscapes are therefore the result of the active act of composing sensations differentiated by their singularity, and not by articulating parts objectified by their individuality.

Situationism and morphogenesis We started this analysis of the individuation of space in discrete projects from a phenomenological perspective, but now we are dealing with issues that bring about strong political consequences, in the sense that this objective discontinuity of space that we are criticising is determined by the conditions of ownership of each part of the territory –as Deleuze puts it, metaphysics is always correlative to very pragmatic, materialistic modes of living. The self coherence of a project is parallel to the way it manages the possibilities of accessibility, namely, the formal boundaries of a project deploy a set of barriers between what is common and what is private. Individuation is not only the distribution of identifiable formal parts, but mainly the stratification of potential accessibility and visibility, inclusion and exclusion. Actual space is continuous, while architectonic space is stratified and modulated by socioeconomic features of ownership and power as denounced by Foucault or the Situationists. Indeed, the concept of “Situation” can still be used as a revulsion against normative, objective modern architecture, given that while modernity proposed the idea of “function” as a rational, foreseeable set of conditions for the practice of formal design, “situation” is open to the contingent, the transversal and the sensational, for it is the immanent actualization of potential, partially unpredictable functions. The basic difference between “function” and “situation” is that while the former is ideal and synchronic, the later is material and diachronic. To further address this concept, again we must reconsider the principles of individuation in architecture through extensive projects. Modernity set the basis for the machinic or organic conception of the unified building, whereas each project is structured around operational demands that are listed as a function or sum of functions. According to the machinic or organic unifying diagram characteristic of modernity, each project is structured around operational demands of a plurality of requirements, establishing a morphogenetic principle according to which the correlation between form and function is straightforward and static, taking for granted that both domains –the functional and the formal- can be ruled by a single holistic “Idea of the project”. However, to raise the program of needs in terms of a set of functions involves defining a set of potential uses that in fact will never take place as expected. Moreover, as mentioned contemporary architecture can no longer rely on a stable set of hypothetical functions, because over the life of a project it will undergo transformations, changes in use, additions, alterations and mutations of all kinds. Furthermore, the occupation and dwelling of space does not take place as a “sum of functions”, but as the crossing of very diverse potentials that converge in the same situation, or under a certain spatial and temporal context. As the Situationists said, (situation) “it's a

moment of life, concretely and deliberately constructed by the collective organisation of a


unitary environment and a game of events". Constructing a situation thus implies collective construction of a moment - collective involvement in and modification of all the aspects of a moment in time, from the decor to how those involved are acting.” This interpretation can be read in Debord and Constant’s own, revolutionary terms which saw in the construction of situations the possibility of reinventing the subjective relation to space through the creative research of the affective powers of each encounter, each unplanned process, each crossing. However, we can speculate on the possibility of understanding the notion of "constructed situation" in a less revolutionary mood, as daily events, spontaneous and domestic, are in themselves situations, which are given simply by the fact of living and interacting with society and space. Facing the mechanistic univocal, stable and deterministic understanding of "function" as a property inner to objects, the "Situation" appeals to the chaotic, plural, metastable and open way that events occur, conditioned by coincidences and affections, way beyond any objective expectation, and whose predictability can be studied only in statistical terms. This approach overcomes the aphorism "Form follows function" without falling into relativism and post-modern contrivances game (Form follows fiction), by approaching the study of the occupation of architecture from scientific disciplines more open to the indeterminacy of the event, such as game theory, set theory, thermodynamics of metastable systems, homeostasis or dynamic processes of autopoiesis. In any case, the situation transcends the objectual determinations of formal spaces, and overflows the expectations of "functionality" as a foreseeable utilization of space. Superseding “function” by “situation” implies a new consideration of morphogenesis. We can no longer rely on the modern assumption of the correlation between object and form, because the multiple processes that converge in the interaction with the object (and in the object) set up a dynamical network of events in which the “function” is not an aprioristic demand, but rather a resulting feature of the immanent usage of space. “Function” is a never ending creative process, open to the specific temporal situations and the personal and social evolution of affects, requirements and even casual encounters. Thinking the Situation requires going radically temporal: while function is a matter of being, situation refers to Becoming; while function is stable and normative, situation us dynamical and unruled; while function is intrinsic to an object, situation is transversal to the objective. And while function lasts in time, the situation is radically ephemeral. And all architecture is ultimately ephemeral: modernity takes for granted some kind of persistence of the building’s essence across time, ignoring the fact that both its material substance and its potential uses are subject to inevitable aging processes, transformation developments, and constant strain. We’ve reached the point where architecture exposes its ultimate scope: the disposition of events in space.

Semiotics and the event Deleuze´s stake on the concept of the event relies on its immanent foundation in experience. As any other aspect of reality, the event is a constructive process, the result of a cognitive act of creation, based on the movement of signs. As he put it, “Everything I’ve written is


vitalistic, at least I hope it is, and amounts to a theory of signs and events”. Sensation and situation are mediated and intertwined by signs, which from Deleuze´s viewpoint are not a matter of meaning or sense, whereas his concept of signification is dependant on the material, immanent capacity of the sign to dynamically mediate our apprenticeship of reality. “Learning is essentially concerned with signs. Signs are the object of a temporal apprenticeship, not of an abstract knowledge. To learn is first of all to consider a substance, an object, a being as if they emitted signs to be deciphered, interpreted. There is no apprentice who is not “the Egyptologist” of something. One becomes a carpenter only by becoming sensitive to the signs of wood, a physician by becoming sensitive to the signs of disease. Vocation is always predestination with regard to signs. Everything which teaches us something emits signs, every act of learning is an interpretation of signs or hieroglyphs. Proust’s work is based not on the exposition of memory, but on the apprenticeship to signs”. His thesis therefore tries to surpass the semiotic conceptualization of the sign, transforming it into a very operative and physiological device, as opposed to some Semiotics traditions that approached signifying processes as eminently linguistic and representative instances. Each philosophical system has developed its own definition of the “Sign” depending on their respective axiomatic assumptions, but the closest to the deleuzian point of view is the semiotic theory developed by Charles Sanders Peirce. Unlike Saussure (whose semiotics where built upon the split between signifier and signified, or the immanent versus the transcendent), Peirce´s model allows for a much more physiological, impersonal concept of the sign, whereas it is understood as part of a universal field of possible significations that give birth to the events. “Sign” isn’t just the way human intellect encodes the intensities and capacities of an object in order to insert it in a language of differences, but the primary source from which the object is produced, thus involving both ontological and epistemological implications of high complexity. “Signification” is not only relational synchronically and diachronically, but also performative, as long as a “meaning” isn’t limited to representation and communication, but establishes the potential role of the sign in the event. Deleuze´s semiotics, under its layers of harsh and obscure rhetoric, is highly similar to aforementioned zoosemiotics of people like Uexküll, whereas for him the sign is a relational tool that informs the events: his concept of “information” not only refers to communicable content of a discourse, but to the actual production of reality. In-formation. Therefore, for what matters in architecture the most fertile concept of Sign is the one that’s used in scientific fields such as ethology, zoosemiotics or biosemiotics by authors like Kauffman, Beriberi, Varek or Maturana. These “natural semiotics” give account of the world as a semiosphere, where relationships between objects are given by signs, namely, by encoding and decoding information that in turn encapsulates potential events. That is, compared to the modern concept of "information" as an epistemological phenomenon, essentially intellectual and reflective (and therefore exclusive to human knowledge), contemporary science gives signs a universal ontological function that transcends the limits of the human act of knowing. The signs are no longer considered only symbols travelling in consciousness communicating a “meaning”, but the actual devices that channel natural energy flows, the interaction of affections and intensities between bodies. In its informational essence, the Sign is what gives way to forms. Peircean semiotics defined the sign as "whatever an object presupposes". As pure relationship, it works as a system of differences in which the object is constructed by reference to other signified objects, establishing the “regime” that traces the fabric of reality: from this point of view, signification operates establishing a set of expectations, reminiscences and associations between different and distant (both in space and time) objects, in which the significance of each depends on the other, in mutual co production. But the nuance that Deleuze brings to this concept takes its meaning from his critique of representation, trying to look outside the semiotic process of intellection or thinking, studying how the signs trigger events automatically by the mere actualization of their potential status. Contemporary study of signs examines how they report the object, and participate in the actualization of events.


Nevertheless, the most common architectural semiotics (as the work of Umberto Eco, Yuri Lottman or Maria Luisa Scalvini) often emphasizes the merely symbolic and representative nature of signs, as if they needed a conscious act of thought to actualize them. However, the concept of "pushmi-pullyu representations" proposed by Ruth Gabriel Millikan offers new possibilities to study the semiotic space. The type of signs proposed by Millikan are both descriptive and prescriptive, ie not only transmit information but they actually trigger the event, because the sign “orders” and “commands”. This proposal relates semiotics with various organizational processes of natural structures such as DNA or autopoietic crystallizations, in which the information determines the different modes of growth and the spontaneous development of forms. Deleuze, when he sought to overcome the Cartesian and Kantian rational subject, opened the door to this kind of semiotic analysis, in which the signs become prior to conscious mediation and are valued as material processes, operating according to the property that linguists call "performativity": the mere construction and enunciation of a sign makes it an event. Signification in architecture happens not by producing representations, but interfaces.

Conclusion. Sensation, Sign, Situation Behind these abstract-looking analyses, underlies a triad of concepts whose correspondence we have only sketched, but that allow us to "read" reality surpassing objectual thought: the world becomes interpreted as a field of intensities ranging from it through differences that shape signs and sensations that determine the potential of situations to occur. An analytical system that tries to do without thinking objectual and so avoid the problems of Aristotelian hilemorfisme. Facing positivist and rationalist metaphysics of modernity, contemporary cognitivism proposes a definition of territory traversal to the difference between objectivity and subjectivity, where events are determined so that affective perception and action, feeling and production, are parts of the same topological, intensive process, which overrides the primacy of form. Reality is no longer exploded in objects but in visions. The intelligible recovers its natural sensible foundation, classifiable and comprehended by a postphenomenological triad of concepts. The horizon of this intellectual step is the quest for a pluralistic approach to the art of space design –and the art of living, by a more symbiotic relation with nature. And, perhaps more dramatically, to leave behind the role of “Starchitects” and academic discourses as the only legitimate court to evaluate the “quality” of a project: what we are reformulating is the nature of the project itself. We therefore intentionally avoided any reference to actual “auteur” buildings and architects namedropping, as a logic consequence of our understanding of the territory, which is focused on its communal nature, its holistic continuity and vitalistic apprehension. The fragmentation of reality in identifiable objects is irrelevant in a world where an empty bottle can become a lamp, and a prison be transformed into a discotheque: objective essences are ephemeral. One of the conclusions of this speculative manifesto is the radical criticism of any sort of abstract language in architecture, inasmuch as an abstract relation with space is impossible. Dwelling and acting in space requires its creative figuration. Common architecture thinking


evaluates the territory from God’s eye view, judging each objectual fragment (ie, each building) from a paradigm in which the primary endpoint is the internal coherence that unifies the project as a whole. Our analytical system aims to decompose the project as an experiential assembly, made up of intrinsic and extrinsic connections with close and distant points, subject to the fluctuations of time, and whose understanding is not done thoughtfully by the intellect but experimentally by the perception. The semiotic dimension of architecture should abandon its former culturalist and academic matrix, and be reformulated from the new biosemiotics investigations in which the power of signs lies in their performativity. Our paradigm is materialistic and immanentist, dealing with disciplines such as ethology or set theory, and inscribed in the ongoing cultural shift of post humanism and post realism. i

Cesar Losada Romero, graduate Architect in A Coruña, has developed a long carrier as freelance writer and blogger, submitting a collision of electronic music, architecture, metaphysics , conspiranoia, post-politics and horror B-movies. His award winning blogperotuaestolellamasarte.blogspot.com has recently been replaced by his new project: Pleasure Industries. He has just finished a collective book for Barcelona publisher Ariel, focused on contemporary uncertainty in relation to reality apprehension, and collaborates with underground political and counter-culture collectives and associations. He doesn’t read architecture magazines, because he loves real, everyday architecture too much, and has no professional relations with any university or academia.

i

Bibliography

De Landa, Manuel. Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy. London; New York: Continuum, 2002. Deleuze, G. (1990). The Logic of Sense, tr. M. Lester. New York: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition, tr. P. Patton. New York: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia, tr. B. Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Foucault, Michel ‘The Confession of the Flesh’ interview, Power/Knowledge Selected

Interviews and Other Writings, ed. Colin Gordon, London, Harvester, 1980. Hardt, M. (1993). Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, ed., Tom L. Beauchamp. Oxford Philosophical Texts. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999. Kant, Immanuel, and James Creed Meredith. The Critique of Judgement. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1952. Merleau-Ponty, M., 1962 (first published in 1945), Phenomenology of Perception, trans. by Colin Smith, London: Routledge and Kegan. Merleau-Ponty, M., 1967, “The Primacy of Perception and Its Philosophical Consequences,” Readings in Existential Phenomenology, Lawrence, N., O’Connor, D. (eds.), New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Press. Merleau-Ponty, M., 1968, The Visible and the Invisible, Claude Lefort and Alphonso Lingis (eds.), translated by Hazel E. Barnes, USA: Northwestern University Press. Perez-Gomez, A., 1983, Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Ranciere, Jacques, The Politics of Aesthetics: the Distribution of the Sensible. translated by Gabriel Rockhill, London, Continuum, 2004. Ranciere, Jacques. ‘Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art.’ Art and Research, No. 2 Summer 2008., http://www.artandresearch.org.uk/v2n1/ranciere.html, accessed 1/012010. Ranciere, Jacques. Aesthetics and Its Discontents. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009. Uexküll, Jakob von 1982. The Theory of Meaning. Transl. of Uexküll 1956 [1940] by Barry Stone and Herbert Weiner. Semiotica 42 (1): 25–82. Uexküll, Jakob von 1985. Environment and inner world of animals. Transl. (in selection) of Uexküll 1909, 1921 by C. J. Mellor and D. Gove. In Burghardt, Gordon (ed.): Foundations of Comparative Ethology. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 222–245. Uexküll, Jakob von 2010. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans. With A Theory of Meaning. Transl. of Uexküll 1956 by Joseph D. O’Neil. Minneapolis: University of the Minnesota Press. Varela, F. (1999). Ethical Know-How: Action, Wisdom and Cognition. CA: Stanford University Press. Vladimirova, Elina; Mozgovoy, John 2003. Ecological semiotics: A set of problems and some biosemiotic traditions. SEED 3(1): 30–40.i


06 Daniel Köhler

READING HILBERSEIMER: PUNKTUALIZATION AS AN ARCHITECTURAL METHOD

Prologue

‘The point here is that the failure for change to occur despite compelling critiques of the dominant social order cannot simply be attributed to ideological mystifications. Social and political thought needs to expand its domain of inquiry, diminish its obsessive focus on content, and increase attention to regimes of attraction and problems of resonance between objects.’ i Architecture is about the Many, it is about an Us. Architecture can have meaning only if more than Two negotiate with each other on a longer term basis, which overreaches their own horizon and time span. As a Platform for a Collective, the architecture is a physical constitution or, at its best, a projection, transfer of society. It doesn't matter if you see the role of architecture in establishing a power regime or strategic counter-force from within, the architecture itself is an assemblage or works within an assembly of forms. Introduction When I took a step back from my monitor, with all its swarms, multi-agent-systems and dustparticle-distribution-machines, and began to search for a trace of assembling strategies in the history of architecture, I came across the art-critic, teacher, and urban-architect Ludwig Karl Hilberseimer. In a continuous body of work he researched on the Origin, Growth and Decline of Cities over nearly 50 years. His research was driven by his interest in the Nature of cities, in looking for the underlying patterns and forms the description of which gave him the possibility to make his own projection of the city of industrial age. His definition of city-architecture as absolute relations between its elements ii, itself constituted through the inscription of specific parameters, works on one of the basic set of problems in architecture: The Part-to-Whole-Relation. Within his model of architectural elements constituting architectural elements through architectural operations (yes: recursive poietics) we find a political agenda free from dialectics of subject and object, culture and nature; The Punctualization of public domains as the basic strategy for an object oriented architecture. Rectification of Hilberseimer Work Unfortunately, the works of Ludwig Hilberseimer are mostly referenced to when projecting the fatal consequences of modernism observed already in 1924 with just two renderings of his Hochhausstadt (or the Vertical City) schema. It is obvious that at first sight one reads the renderings as an architectural proposal for a functional determination without diversity iii.A continuous repetition of modernistic slab became a perfect icon for postmodern polemics on modernism. Condemned for its formal banality resulting from the repetition of abstract forms, these renderings are still used as a synonym for the deficient repertoire of functionalist architecture. Whereas every critique skipped that Hilberseimer already emphasized in the description of the rendering itself their


diagrammatic character. iv He addressed them explicitly only as architectural schemes inside an urban proposal. v The renderings are deprived from any traditional urban forms of public space, a reproduction of cells and the individual in the urban fabric. The formal approach of mass ornament, as argued Michael Hays vi,becomes the final consequence of mass production and assembly line. Hilberseimer projected here the Zeitwille of the Weimarer Republik in its last consequence. There is no wonder, that the renderings have still a frightening tension for us, because modernism argued as the negation of the bourgeois (humanistic) domain, it can also be understood as a kind of re-boot of the public agenda. In a positive reading, you can see these bare places without any traceries as a possibility for a new negotiation of public domains, a political agenda of an absolute architecture vii. In a negative way, it were exactly these bare conditions of modernism that were very fast annexed by totalistic regimes and became the architectural framework for the XX century horror. viii City as a democracy of architectural elements As an Art-Critic Hilberseimer described in numerous articles ix contemporary projects on the city and solutions they give to specific problems, adding his own concepts to it. Hilberseimer's city evolves like a collage in a coherent reading of collective work. For a project considered as a contribution to a wider area of knowledge there is no need to be rendered in a full-blown context. The fragmented impression of his proposals is a direct result of his kind of laboratory focus on solving urban problems. Grasped by other architects of his time,the abstractly and statically rendered city elements should be become contextualized, and redefined by their own artistic ‘Kunstwollen’ x. Over two-thirds of the content of his famous book ‘Groszstadtarchitektur’ (1927) is a catalog of modern projects that are aimed at demonstrating the Zeitgeist and development of new urban forms. Originally Hilberseimer collected these projects for the ‘Internationale Bauausstellung’ exhibition. The exhibition was organized on the side of the famous‘Stuttgarter Weissenhofsiedlung’and was supposed to represent the Weissenhofsiedlung as a condensed place of ongoing international movement. So,as it was with the ‘Groszstadtarchitektur’, the contemporary city as a condensed place becomes an assemblage of the Zeitgeist, the collective work of many architects.

01 the Groszstadt as the assembly of the Zeitgeist; left: rendering of the “Hochhausstadt”, right: Hilberseimer’s images of canonical “Groszstadtarchitektur” (Photographic material © Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago) Towards an Autonomous Architecture In retrospective, Hilberseimer described the architecture of the 1920s as a trend towards architectural autonomy.From the autonomous status of architecture, from the existence solely in itself, he draws the conclusion that architecture as an art could only be realized with a multiplicity of buildings, with the city itself. xiThe above ideas make it clear that


his‘Groszstadtarchitektur’ is not primarily a material expression of socio-economic conditions of the industrial age but more a simple formal strategy of disposition of architectural elements. Hilberseimer repeatedly builds his argumentation on a reading ofAlberti's ‘De re aedificatoria’ where architecture is ‘arising from three things, namely the number, the figure and collocation of the different parts. The architectural problem is then to join and unite certain numbers of parts into a whole, by an orderly and sure coherence and agreement of all those parts’ xii Two things are interesting here: at first, Hilberseimer never goes so far as Alberti himself, and aims for a final design in terms of a perfect element, a stable proportional condition without any possible disposition or subtraction of its parts. Where beauty, the aim of architecture becomes a repricational identical. xiii However, even more striking is his translation of Alberti's whole (orig. civitas) xiv, not literally as the city itself but, at the organizational level, as a coherence and agreement of all its parts. He takes here the Roman understanding of civitas as a political form of coexistence and projects it back on architecture as a strategy of disposition of architectural elements. In short: architecture as theory of assembly. Plateaus From this moment on, he builds on the concept of architecture as an assemblage; he is stuck in the situation when, as soon as he defines a part of the whole as an architectural element, the element itself has to become an assembly of multiple elements in itself. Every closer perception opens again the element as a proportional coherence between multiple elements. So, not only his city is described as a disposition of building cells. Furthermore, the building slab consists of multiple individual cells. The form of a slab causes by the needs and disposition of the apartments. An individual cell xv,an apartment, is in itself a sequence of differentiated rooms. And, the form of a room depends on the coherence between doors, openings, furniture and walls. In this way, with Room-House-Town-Region xvi Hilberseimer establishes four clearly defined ‘civitas’. Plateaus for negotiation of smaller singularities, architectural elements.

02 the establishment of different plateausallows us to see an unit as an assemblage of elements and as an element of an assemblage. (Photographic material © Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago)

In his first monographic publication ‘Groszstadtbauten’, he recognizes the city as an over and over repeating character. His Groszstadt is already everywhere to such extent that one can speak from an already completed urbanization xvii. The organizational plateaus enable him to perceive complexity under one concept that spans from the scale of an individual to his involvement into the worldwide over spanning economy of the industrial age. In such a way he creates a vertical coherence working within the limits and threshold of its units.


Variety becomes here an operation of zoom-in (and -out). Where bonds of an upper level and the needs or expressions of the lower characters becoming the agreeable topics of configuration. Definition Punctualization One who is familiar with the Actor-Network-Theory can recognize here the same pattern of using a network of relations enclosed in one actor. ANT as a critique on dialectic reasoning, can be technically defined as a material-semiotic method in the field of science studies. As a constructivist approach, it avoids essentialist explanations of events (true or false), by taking into account just actors involved in the creation of meaning both in a material or semiotic way. As a discipline, its research focuses on explicit strategies of relating different elements together into one network so that they form an apparently coherent whole. In social science, ANT is used as a descriptive method to depict agencies. In this context, agency is understood as the capacity of an actor to act, opposed to structure as referencing back to the forces that seem to limit or influence opportunities. The network evolves by virtue of the participating elements with each other. And, a logical conclusion is then that nearly any actor can be considered merely as a total of others, smaller actors. The evolution, use and perception of a network as actor is in ANT nearer defined by the strategy of ‘Punctualization’. John Law points out that as Punctualization we can describe an effect or the product of heterogeneous networks. It states that if a network acts as a single block, then it disappears to be replaced by the action itself and the seemingly simple author of that action. At the same time the production and cause of the effect is neither visible or relevant.Through its widely, habitual use a network pattern becomes a package, a routine. The Pattern can be taken for granted in the process of heterogeneous engineering and finally becomes a resource in it. xviii As Punktualization we describe the moment of embodiment, when elements becoming part of a larger entity constitute it. It is exactly this point of bifurcation between the notions of assemblage and entity that drives a hidden political agenda in the late work of Ludwig Hilberseimer, as we should see later. Of course Hilberseimer could not know ANT or even a particular concept of itasPunctualization. Whereas the origin of the term Punctualization can be traced back to theAristóteles notion of hexis (Greek: ἕξις) xix translated as an active condition, a deep and active disposition as constitution. Similar to the Punctualization, constrained to Social Science Aristóteles discusses hexis as practical acting, behavior in time. In the context of praxis he describes hexis as an arrangement of parts (comparable to the term agency) such that the arrangement might have excellence being well arranged or, in contrast, might be badly arranged. xx Here again, unlikely Alberti's treatise, there is not any outer dialectic evaluation included, hexis describes only the constitutional character. In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristóteles brings hexis directly in contact with poiesis.The term poiesis alone is described as result-oriented action that can change the practical acting and, by such detour, alter hexis. Analogue to the modern assumption of functional reasoning in architecture: poiesis forms hexis. But in the Nicomachean Ethics Aristóteles explains that poiesis comes into being through techne, the virtue (disposition) of making ('meta logou hexis poietike'). Aristóteles argues further that techne cannot be different from the making itself. As opposed to theoria, techne, as the virtue of a poietic object, is not anything descriptivenor is based on the need, purpose or nature but has its origin in itself. Knowledge derives from making and cannot be differentiated from the made object. The poietic objects are the basis for alasting posture, hexis of making (techne) itself. In short: hexis forms poiesis which alters hexis. An effective alteration of an architectural work can only be done through a self-reflection of its inner virtue, its hexis, arrangement of its parts. That means, architectural interventions are a zooming-in or opening (de-punctualization) of the common, reconfiguration of the expected architectural element.


From projective to inscriptive reasoning Over the time, a shift can be seen in Hilberseimerwork from a projective functional to an inscriptive historical reasoning. In Hilberseimer's case ascontemporary of the industrial age, his city was necessarily functional in the beginning which implies architectural form constraint by socio-economic relations. He connects the consequences of physical effects as a cause for social behavior and comfort. Well-famous are his sun-insolation studies where he connects in a linear relation healthiness and time of direct sun-insolation. (A common medical understanding at the time). As a necessary consequence, buildings are disposed to it. The private separation of persons and the linkage of one cell per individual is a conclusion of the medical understanding of better recreational effect in isolation. (padded rooms as the paranoid pentant). In his early proposals, Hilberseimer projects social, medical and political domains directly into architectural form. xxi During his American period, in 1940s, the embodiment of humanistic issues continuously dissolves in favor of historic descriptions. History is considered more as a pool of projects, level of complexity reached through the evolution of architectural strategies. Hilberseimer argues a column as a repeated sectional operation on a pillar, the concave shape of the cannelure amplifies the absence of material. The type of basilica as a result of scaling pillars leadsto the break in the ceiling, overlight and differentiation between sideand main-ship. The highly differentiated and complex structure of the Petersdom is interpreted by him as stacking the Pantheon on a basilica. In his reading of history, he builds up a hierarchy where one finds on each level of the scale an object as a result of multiple architectural operations on architectural elements.In a more and more profound, inter-relational way, elements work on each other, establishing new elements, wholes. xxii

03 Hilberseimer draws the history of architecture as architectural operations on architectural elements (Photographic material Š Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago) Synoikism exchanges the dialectic argumentation Hilberseimer opposes his city to the common modern city project canonically linked with Le Corbusier's â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Une Ville Contemporaineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (1922). Directly, by creating a confrontation between the Corbusier's project and his vertical city as a critic as if addressing the evolving traffic problem from the point of view of functional separation.Indirectly, positioned Le Corbusier his new city in contrast to the historic city; and the cut through the city as the symbol of the clearance from a bourgeois society. This concept is based on the negation of the existing. Ultimately, Le Corbusier translates this dialectic argumentation between new and old, or good and bad, architecturally into the opposition of a figure and ground. Later on, the most


modern architectural evaluation and critique will be based on dialectic pairs like figureground, private–public, open–close, box-pyramid xxiiiand so on. This list can be endlessly extended. Architecture is considered as dialectic difference. Contrary to Le Corbusier, Hilberseimer starts his argumentation and reasoning from historical perceptions. He explains that historically cities always grew from synergies of lives in bigger entities. From the shelter for a family, through the rural assemblies of clans, to the walled cities of the Greek and medieval times, each step had a bigger advantage for its inhabitants for trade, protection, and finally knowledge. Here the theory of assembly goes far beyond of being just a proper disposition of architectural elements. Drawing on a concept called Synoikism xxivheargues that a surplus willemerge as soon as multiple elements form a bigger entity. Here again, he closely follows Aristóteles definition of polis not only as a gathering or protection of multiple families and clans in one formation but also that the polis is the place that enables culture and knowledgedue to its number of constituting objects. xxvOn the contrary, the number is limited to the voice-strength of a speaker on the agora, which means that every produced effect of the city should produce a cause back on every single individual.

04 shifting from 3-dimensional poché-figuration to the linear grouping of elements

With the concept of the city as a constitution that provides growing benefits to its individuals Hilberseimer begins to draw, at the beginning of the 1920s, simple geometrical massings in the figure-ground dialectic developed as poché-figures as an outlining of a consistent group of figures (cells). In a figure-ground-diagram the technique of grouping multiple elements into one figure by marking areas opposed to the (back-) ground origins in the Ecole des Beaux Arts term Poché that defines the hatched areas of cutted parts in a section or plan xxvi. By this a poché-figure is a definition of a group from an outside point of view. As an observation it marks a border condition within a global context, but it is unable to reflect on the constitution of parts of a figuration. A poché visualizes the difference between the one and the other, but not between the one and the many. During the further recension on the Vertical-City proposal xxvii the critics nether catches up with the intended assemblic depth of Hilberseimer's proposal. Emphasizing the inhuman scale of the polis-size highrise-slabs, the architectural research is drown under the sociopolitical reactions. Consequently after 1925Hilberseimer moves from the volumetric poché representation to linear graphics. The form and laminar contrast dissolve. Areas are defined now by their densities, directions and characteristics of its lines. In the schemes of the settlement unit,he goes away from even drawing the architecture itself and just the streetsas the only feature that they have in common to ensure their relations. The drawings represent now a balance between a perceived entity or a smaller scale configuration of smaller elements - the moment of punktualization. The drawn relative lines is a good visualization of what Hilberseimer understood as the structure in architecture, i.e. a design method evolving not from a dialectic contrast but from a closer reading of existing objects and the recognition of their underlying structures. To this


end, he points out the similarities between different historic conditions, looks at their causes and consequences and identifies through comparison their underlying structures and patterns.The extracted structure is then the ‘(...) relation of parts, and finally as an idea of parts. Structure is the embodiment of a conception. The form of architecture is a consequence of the structure. Form is fact made manifest.’ xxviii The tayloristic tendency of his functional design can be read in this context otherwise: By placing the design concept on an edge condition like a minimal agreeable position (standard), the underlying structure could be evaluated. Never forget that his drawings similar to anylaws - just show the most extreme conditions under which they should be proven; the drawing is the limit of an agreeable situation. EmbeddingSpeculation During his course in the Bauhaus the students designed one-family houses on the one hand as an alteration of proportions and functional relations, on the other by their multitude in repetitive arrangements. In both ways, the insight in the collective condition alters the configuration of an element, or the potential of an element in configuration alters the character of the collective. The collective condition became a dialectic critique with the designed element itself. The urban field itself became an inherent property of the architectural element.

05 testing the design in a collective field condition original drawing by Pius Pahl, Bauhaus student in Hilberseimer’s course

In his redevelopment plans for Chicago, Hilberseimer introduces an operation which allows an individual pedestrian flow without the necessity for crossing streets. He engendered a transformation of the city pattern towards his settlement unit by a constant pattern of activity. xxixThe city is perceived here not as a static object but as something that originates, grows and declines in time. He describes often a city as an organism but goes here further then ‘the common part to whole reference’ and highlights the needs and causes of a city, without a city would distinct. The most interesting consequence is not that you perceive the city in relation to, or dependent on, something but the moving vector, the embedded need for change. Here the introduction of one operative strategy and its evolution in time opens the field for speculation on the whole. Urban Design becomes a perception, introduction and reconfiguration of elements, their unfolding, growth and decline. The master plan is then nothing but a projection, speculative map, amplification of multiplicities. The city is perceived as open entity constantly reconstituted by its elements. It is in this bifurcation between the entity and multiplicity of elements that we find a hidden political agenda in the later works of Ludwig Hilberseimer. Architecture is not only a cultural add on, formal play,


but through the architectural operation of Punctualization as the threshold of one to many, it plays an active part in the drawing agencies, their synoicistisc constitution, based on the needs of their individual parts.It becomes something rare in the times of separation, competition, explanations based on difference and dialectic oppositions. This I will call an environmental design strategy.

06 redevelopment plan of Chicago


Daniel Köhler currently works on his PhD thesis titled: “Rereading Hilberseimer: Bewilderness of Things”. He is a teaching associate at the Institute of Urban Design in Innsbruck under Prof. Peter Trummer and is a lector for computational techniques in architecture at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. He holds a Magister in Architecture, which he perceived at the Angewandte Vienna under Prof. ZahaHadid and Patrik Schumacher with distinction. Currently he lives in Vienna, where he and his friends work for their collective: lab for environmental design strategies.

iLevi R. Bryant (2011): The Democracy of Objects. Ann Arbor: OPEN HUMANITIES PRESS - An imprint of MPublishing – University of Michigan Library., p.211 ii For a more precise translation of an object-oriented-ontology for architecture, I will replace the term object with element. As Levi R. Bryant points out, an object can include everything: e.g. things, social agencies, organizations. According to NiklasLuhmann’s System Theory an element is an object as part of a communicative system, like here the architectural discourse. The term element should help to frame an object to just its architectural condition. iii Schumacher, Patrik, 2012, 'The autopoiesis of architecture.' 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, figure 1, p. 59 ivKilian, Marcus, 2002, 'Großstadtarchitektur und New City: Eine planungsmethodische Untersuchung der Stadtplanungsmodelle Ludwig Hilberseimers', Köln, p.45-77; in his PhD Marcus Killian spends a whole chapter for relieving Hilberseimer reputation from postmodern polemics. v Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1927, Groszstadt Architektur', Stuttgart: Julius Hoffmann, p. 18. Hilberseimer argues the vertical city proposal as a critical answer to the traffic problem in Le Corbusier's Ville Contemporaine, resulting from his functional separation. viHays, Michael, 1992, 'Modernism and the posthumanist subject: The architecture of Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Hilberseimer’, Cambridge, Massachusetts: mit press, p. 263. vii Aureli, Pier Vitorio, 2012, ‘Architecture for Barbarians: Ludwig Hilberseimer and the Rise of the Generic City’, AA Files 63, 3–18 at 18. viiiHays, Michael, 'Modernism and the posthumanist subject', p. 270. ix Harmut Geeken, 1980, ‘Der Einzige – Faksimile‘, Kraus Reprint, München L. Hilberseimer began 1919 to write for the Berlin Magazine „Der Einzige“, where he published several articles („Form und Individuum“, „Schöpfung und Entwicklung“), which contain already his theoretical framework. Significant is the imprint on the last page of every magazine: „Der Einzige (literally: the only one) don't knows any parties. He is standing on individualistic ground and fights against any mass-suggestion and mass-psychose. It is his opinion that the salvation out of our dranged present into a clear future can only be an appeal on the Ego, the going back to individuals like Stirner and Nietzsche, to develop their ideas (...)“. Concluding further: When Hilberseimer's proposals are standing on such an individualistic ground, architecture can hardly become a mass-ornament. x Hilberseimer often uses the term „Kunstwollen“(literally: will to art), which was first defined by the Viennese art-critic Alois Riegl (1858-1905). Riegl never really explained this term very precisely. But for the question how a permanent Stil evolves, he oppose „Kunstwollen“ to Sempers 3 determinants: purpose, material and technique. As an individual but contingent tendency of an age, nation or collective a “Kunstwollen” is able to drive stylistic development without respect to Sempers determinants. xi Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1964, ‘Contemporary Architecture: It’s Roots and Trends’, Chicago, Paul Theobald and Company, p. 104/ p. 116. xii Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1956, 'Mies van der Rohe' , Chicago: Paul Theobald, p. 36. xiii Mario Carpo, 2011, 'The alphabet and the Algorithm', Cambridge, MIT-Press xiv Hilberseimer is just referencing to the first book, Chapter 9: „Quod si civitas, (...), maxima queda est domus, & contra domus ipsa minima quaedam est civitas,“ Leon Battista Alberti, De re aedificatoria, Florenz, 1541, p.12. He never refers Albertis term of beauty, because any organizational form, driven by a right relationship between Material and Kunstwollen will be beautiful xv The term cell is understood here as an analogy to biology and the notion of a city as organism. A common reference in that time. xvi Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1945-1949, ‘Physical Planning, a textbook: Room, House, Site, And Town’, Chicago, Ryerson & Burnham Archive, p. 1. xvii Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1925, 'Groszstadtbauten', Hannover, Apossverlag, p. 8. xviiiLaw, John, 1992, ‘Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity’ 5, Systems Practice 5(4):, 379–93 at 384. xix Aristóteles, Nikomachische Ethik, 2006 , ed. Ursula Wolf, Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag; Spec. EN, VI, 4, 1140, 0-24 xx Aristóteles, Metaphysics, p. 1022. xxiHays, Michael, Modernism and the posthumanist subject, p. 263. xxiiHilberseimer, Ludwig, 1949, ‘Architecture: Structure and Expression’, pp. 19–27 xxiiiIn his lecture series “What can architecture do?” Jeffrey Kipnis shows how you can translate all architectural knowledge in any kind of dialectic figuration. More ironically he switches the political statement of figure-ground to pyramid-box dialectic. xxivHilberseimer, Ludwig, 1960-1963, ‘City Architecture: The Trend towards openness’. xxv Aristóteles, Politik, VII, 1326, a xxvi C. Rowe and F. Koetter, 1997, 'Collage city', 5th edn., Basel, Boston: Birkhäuser, p. 114. xxvii Hugo Häring, 1926, ‘Zwei Städte’, Die Form, p.172–5: critizes the artificiality and inhumanity of the Vertical-city. xxviii Hilberseimer, Ludwig, 1949, ‘Architecture. Structure and Expression', p. 1 xxixSpaeth, David, 1988, ‘Ludwig Hilberseimer's Settlement Unit, Origins and Applications’, in the Art Institute of Chicago (ed.), 'Ludwig Hilberseimer: In the Shadow of Mies', Chicago, Rizzoli, p. 64. Images: Photographic material included in 1, 2, 3, 4 © and courtesy of Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago Drawing 5 retraced by author, original drawing by Pius Pahl (Bauhaus course Hilberseimer) 1931, © and courtesy of Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago Drawing 6 retraced by author, original drawing by Ludwig Hilberseimer, 1955, © and courtesy of Ryerson & Burnham Archive, Art Institute Chicago


07 Daniel Luis Martinez

WHEN THE CATHEDRALS WERE BLACK: MIES’S SPATIAL COSMOLOGY For RMFH, whose early exit did not bring about any religious faith within me, but rather a deeper belief in the things we make.

Altar In the years immediately following the First World War manifestoes served as the conduits of spatial change. It was, despite the immense need for large-scale rebuilding and the onset of rapid industrialization, a time driven by shifting ideologies. Even Modernism’s great champion of construction, Mies van Der Rohe, built surprising little during this time, choosing instead to set the limits of what he would not build. As early as 1924, we find Mies declaring that, ‘Although our understanding of life has become more profound, we will not build cathedrals.’ iThe statement is not all together surprising. By the early twentieth century the cathedral had becomeone of many inherited architectural typologies that Mies and his avant-garde contemporaries decided to reject outright. The gothic cathedral in particular, though conceived in a genuine moment of architectural poignancy, came to symbolize the antiquated will of a past epoch. For Mies, the superficial imitation of such a language could only result in ‘formal emptiness’ ii, which had to be replaced by a new logic far more attenuated to the spirit of the current age. In fact, it was this early period in Mies’s career when, armed with a few radical collages and some rather terse essays, he resolved toreimagine architecture all together. These heroic intentions seem to culminate rather nicely in that now classic ceremony at Barcelona in 1929, where the king and queen of Spain christened not just a pavilion but an entirely new spatial paradigm.The chronology of events conceived with such linear clarity, coupled with Mies’s emigration to America in the 1930’s, has by now produced a wholly separate phenomenon. It


is the fully acceptednorm to split Mies in two and the modes of bifurcation are multiple: Berlin and Chicago, De Stijl and Minimalism, Rational and Mythical, Berlage and Berehns, Nietzsche and Hegel, moral and amoral, relevant and not. The list goes on and the story, quite honestly, seems to fit; for it is the Chicago years that produce something more streamlined and focused than the earlier, asymmetrical compositions of the 1920’s. This is the time, after all, when Mies’s practice took on a series of autonomous explorations continuously for thirty or so years. Yet even then the aim was split in two. According to Mies’s biographer Franz Schulze, these can be categorized as ‘the distillation of architectural structure in the universal tower’ and the ‘universalization of architectural space in the clear-span pavilion.’ iii The question seems inevitable, whether it is possible to find some connective tissue at the source of such deep cuts. In 1968 Mies cast a life-long glance back at his career when prompted by his granddaughter Georgia in a rare interview and expressed the desire to have, at least once in his lifetime, constructed a cathedral. iv Though seeming to contradict his earlier position, it is, I would contend, far more theoretically revealing to assume it expresses an evolution of the very same doctrine; a doctrine essentially concerned with form, though in Mies’s hands the issue slips into matters of formlessness. He was in fact engaged in a very peculiar kind of spiritual building from the beginning. If an altar frames the threshold of delivery, generating a place where ritual acts unfold and beliefs are effectively sermonized, then Mies built his altar from the immaterial worlds of doctrine and drawing. It is the assumption that Mies remained anchored to certain convictionswhich allows us to gain an important foothold in our understanding of his work today, though you’ll have to permit one last dichotomy. There are, as I see it, two avenues leading towards a richer understanding of Miesian space: experience and faith. That is to say that we can gain access by being there or we can endeavor to believe what he did for a moment and, more importantly, make something of it. The scope of this essay deals entirely with this latter path and yields one possiblearticulation of his uniquely spatial cosmology. If anything at all stands to benefit from this type of investigation it is the architectural process, which I believe makes the perpetuation of such beliefs possible in the first place. Given that Mies commonly defined architecture as, quite simply, the ‘Building Art’ [Baukunst], it will be necessary to traverse the world of art along the way.This might also serve a more practical purpose because the truth is, aside from a very small chapel on IIT’s campus, he never constructed a sacred space in the literal sense. What we do know is that Mies increasingly dedicated his late career to the production of immensely singular volumes, the most impressive of which, at least in terms of sheer scale, was his proposal for a Convention Hall in Chicago. The last incarnation of this process is the New National Gallery in Berlin which, beyond its symbolic value as a return to Germany for an estranged native son, also embodies a particularly interesting point in the architectural evolution of some quite substantial and austere roof planes. Furthermore, and here I am following Schulze’s suggestion, the New National Gallery, as, ‘a house of art and thus the secular counterpart of a sacred space,’ v deserves, at least provisionally, the analytical shift from museum to cathedral in order that we might uncover thenear religious fervor of Mies’s views. Ad Reinhardt once suggested that, ‘No one in his right mind goes to an art museum to worship anything but art.’ vi Let us go then and make our pilgrimage. Iconography It is telling that Kasimir Malevich’s Suprematism does not end but begins with the black square. This is more evocative still when considering that he is not the only one to have turned to this daunting gesture in the previous century. In fact, it is after the Second World War, with Ad Reinhardt for instance, that the black square occupies an ultimate and final position for painting. The difference arises as a matter of context and ideology. Malevich, at the beginning of the twentieth century, is looking to reduce formalism to a ‘zero point’ in order to engender new spatial possibilities. The black square is the embodiment of his will


towards a newly reasoned intuition and a critical point of departure for his most influential work. There is an obvious link to Mies here. Malevich was also thoroughly enmeshed in the politics of his time, but it is not until mid-century that the direct commodification of abstract art becomes a truly socio-political issue. This was the most influential factor pushing Ad Reinhardt’s artistic process towards total reduction. In this broader context, political consciousness fuses with something totally ‘imageless’; an act of ‘art-as-art’ in Reinhardt’s own words versus any recognition of the ‘artist-as-artist’, which usually indicated that familiar first step towards the process of commodification that he despised. vii By the 1960’s modernist architecture had also begun its decent into the whirlpool of the free market. We are all familiar with its eventual associations with the highly competitive world of big business; that era of mad men whose identity became intertwined with glass and steel. None really ever reached an apex like Seagram’s but there are some reasonably good exceptions, along with a generous outcropping of shallow imitations. Actually, the Seagram building is no stranger to conflicts of authenticity. Remember that the Four Seasons, a lion’s den of business transactions for its ring leader Philip Johnson, proved in the end too unethical a setting for even the most ominous of Mark Rothko’s paintings. Nonetheless, what is relevant here is the inherent cultural climate around which certain responses were inevitably framed. Both Malevich and Reinhardt at one point hinge their creative output on the production of an icon and it is interesting that they might choose to describe their work with thisterm. An icon, above all else, is a symbol. It stands for something which it is not.Malevich’sanswer to the question of space is based primarily on process. ‘The artist must create as the universe creates, not what the universe creates’. viii The black square represents his commitment to begin this process with a void, yet the residual painting itself acts as, ‘The single and frameless icon of our time.’ ixI have already mentioned Reinhardt’s political invocations which situate painting as a form of activism. But his desire to create, ‘a free, unmanipulated and unmanipulatable, useless, unmarketable, irreducible, unphotographable, unreproducible, inexplicable icon,’ x also insinuates that an artistic process of negation can nonetheless formthe means towards creating something beautiful. The paintings still stand on the merit of their subtly manipulated tones and sense of structure. I want to be careful not to touch on the symbolic role of icons too much though, despite that symbolism has long been bound to the history of cosmology. This is mostlybecause, if the New National Gallery is, first and foremost, the gesture of a black square, it is most likely for its spatial promise rather than any symbolic content at all. We can trace the basis for this claim all the way back to Mies’s sparse writing of the 1920’s, which is ripe with aphorisms like, ”The building art is always the spatially apprehended will of the epoch, nothing else,” xi or, “Not formal trends but the mastery of real relations stands in the center of our efforts.” xii [My italics]These ‘real relations’ are, for Mies, undoubtedly spatial. The black square or the idea ofmaking something out of nothing relates to architectural discourse primarily through a kind of spatial indeterminacy. Like the black canvases of Malevich and Reinhardt, whose dark swaths induce perceptions of stability and fluctuation, the deployment of Mies’s black roof on the site of Berlin’s Kulturforum allowed him to elicit a reading of multiple possibilities from within the darkness. For Mies, the black square becomes a new kind of iconography. However, it is not enough within his cosmology to simply swap one object for another [the cross for the square or, for that matter, cathedral for museum]. Mieswascompelled to architecturalize such transactions.The New National Gallery expands the particular depth hinted at by Malevich and Reinhardton canvas into something more resolutely sectional and in no way less suggestive. Here the black square is raised up for us to enter and, while the open space of the main gallery is in facta continuously revolving theater for the arts, there is always one permanent player. Mies’s roof, the imageless mark of a gridded continuum, presides over it all.


There is nothing new about a Suprematist reading xiii of Mies’s work. In fact, Mies’s early days in Berlin introduced him to multiple avant-garde personalities and ideologies, all of which exerted some degree of influence on him and not the least of which was Kasimir Malevich. And it is through a shared cultural and political background that Ad Reinhardt’s ultimate paintings find a point of commonality with Mies’s own final work. It is significant that both men posed a made response to the inevitable onslaught of postmodernism’s cultural backlash just before leaving us for good. The stories here are all connected at one point or another through an engagement with the black square. However, it seems crucial to also draw that discrete distinction between art and architecture; one that Mies regarded as a ‘service to value’ and which is surely an offshoot of H.P. Berlage’s, ‘Building is serving.’ xiv But what exactly is the value to which Mies foundhimself unceasingly tied? Confessional We know that the New National Gallery is the long distilled outcome of a process of ritual making. This process sought the repeated deployment of a broad and overarching roof plane which granted certain possibilities for expanding and contracting space simultaneously [a radically different approach compared to Loos’s Raumplan or Corbusier’s notions of plasticity]. Mies’s atelier built model after model, all variations on the same theme until reaching the outcome in Berlin: eight pin-joint connections, symmetrical on axis but staggered from the square’s corners. More than all the other previous versions the roof is not part of a unified tectonic gesture but rather held up and objectified. Once hoisted into position, withthe space of the main gallery encased in glass, Mies’s space began its partial recession into the background of events unfolding. This movement is heightenedby instants where a carefully measured tectonic repetitiously dissolves into a larger whole. That a highly rational and internalized language can, at a larger scale, oscillate between itself and a greater context of activity requires a reevaluation of autonomy all together. DetlefMertins found similar ground when he wrote that, ‘Mies understood autonomy not as an isolated autopoiesis but as a kind of self-fashioning that is embedded in and responsive to context.’ xv It is highly relevant here to point out an important contrast between the views of Neumeyer and Mertins. According to Neumeyer, Mies, ‘aimed at liberating things from their isolation and transposing them into an ordering system that imparts a higher meaning to… otherwise disparate elements.’ xvi It is through the rigor of such tectonic commitment that we are brought to believe in,‘an architecture of spiritual references.’ xvii For Neumeyer, the emphasis is placed on Mies’s ability to bring the modern elements of his architectonic language into hierarchical unity. The premise is not unlike an analysis of a gothic cathedral, whose principles of construction, commensurate with a particular epoch’s means of production and material technology, evoke transcendental qualities. Yet we have, from the outset of this essay, endeavored to always take Mies at his word and therefore assumed some reciprocity between his early conviction not to build cathedrals and his later desire to have done just that. Mertins’ reading is especially relevant here because it shiftsfocus to the, ‘open space that demands and facilitates the production of being, as close to pure presence as possible.’ xviiiMies’s cathedral is empty. It requires something outside of itself, yet at the moment of intervention is able to push back and influence the activity.If there is holiness here, it is based on the process from which it was never really cut off. Mies is no upstanding moral hero to be sure, but his architectural methods contain the hallmark of something uniquely spatial and ethical. This idea seems to contradict current trends in architectural thinking, which in the name of ethics, reject autonomous systems as too internalized to relate to the specificities of place and the needs of others. Yet in Mies there seems to be a certain exception to this way of thinking. If we can shift towards an understanding of ethics not as a generalized philosophy of morals, but as a tacit and articulated background to our actions then ethics finds a means to anchor itself at the very heart of spatiality. Architecture strives on the investigationof something this multiple and


engaging. Mies was not infatuated with architectural structure in a traditional sense so much as he was concerned with the structure of our given forms of life. It is the reason why he knew already in the 1920’s that, ‘The building art is only vital when it is supported by life in all its fullness.’ xix It remains the corner stone of his spatial cosmology, which as a process of ceaseless making renders architecture capable of sustaining its rather unique epistemological model. There is a telling passage in a book that Mies valued enormously and kept in his personal library for years. It contains several drawings of the great cathedrals in France by Auguste Rodin, most of which are represented as a series of isolated details rendered rather beautifully in black ink. Despite their fragmentation, the most provocative drawings still manage to offer a sense of their embeddedness within a larger whole. The juxtaposition between drawing and text also reaches certain levels of interconnectedness when, as for instance, in the very first chapter Rodin writes that, “A cathedral is built on the principal of living bodies.” xx I can imagine no better adage for Mies’s final work.

Daniel Luis Martinez was born and raised in Miami, FL, Daniel Luis Martinez holds both a philosophy degree [B.A., University of South Florida, 2005] and a Masters in Architecture [University of Florida, 2012]. His research primarily deals with issues of disappearance and the construction of a platform for a spatial ethics within architectural discourse. “Almost Nothing: The Ethics of Disappearance” is the title of an extensive masters research project at the University of Florida exploring the work of Mies Van der Rohe as a possible scaffolding for a contemporary ethical framework; one which “articulates and measures itself against our actions, even at the expense of dissolving itself completely.”The work earned him the university’s top academic prize [the AIA Henry Adams medal]. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where he collaborates with Alessandro Orsini [Archi[te]nsions] and works as a junior designer for Guerin Glass Architects, PC.

i

Mies Van der Rohe, The Artless Word: Mies Van der Rohe on the Building Art, ed. Fritz Neumeyer (Cambridge, MA and London, The MIT Press, 1991), 246. Ibid. Franz Schulze, Mies Van der Rohe: A Critical Biography (Chicago: Univeristy of Chicago Press, 1985), 299. iv Ibid. v Ibid, 300. vi Ad Reinhardt, Art-As-Art in Art and Design Profile, No. 34( London, Academy Group Ltd., 1994), 21. vii Ibid. viii Charlotte Douglas, Suprematism: The Sensible Dimension, in Russian Review, Vol. 34, No. 3 (July, 1975), 278. ix Kasimir Malevich in Douglas, 280. x Ad Reinhardt, The Black-Square Paintings (1955), reprinted in Art and Design Profile, No. 34( London, Academy Group Ltd., 1994), 31. xi Mies Van der Rohe in Neumeyer, 245. xii Ibid.,262. xiii See Keneth Frampton’s entry for Mies in his volume, Modern Architecture: A Critical History (London and New York, Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1992) or Ludwig Hilberseimer’s brief essay Kasimir Malevich and the Non-Objective World in Art Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Winter, 1960-1961), pp. 82-83. xiv Mies Van der Rohe and H.P. Berlage quoted in Neumeyer, 57. xv DetlefMertins, Mies’s Event Space, in Grey Room, No. 20 (Cambridge, The MIT Press, Summer 2005), 64. xvi Neumeyer, 47. xvii Ibid. xviii Ibid.,71. xix Mies Van der Rohe in Neumeyer, 262. xx Auguste Rodin, Cathedrals of France (Conneticut: Black Swan Books, LTD, 1965), 3. ii

iii


08 Emil Jurcan

NOMAD PALACE 10 THESES ON ARCHITECTURE OF TRANSIT

Ten theses on architecture of transit are written as a part of the competition project for passenger harbor in the city of Split in the year 2011. Split is the second largest city in Croatia, right after the capital city Zagreb, and it is situated on the Adriatic coast in the region of Dalmatia. The city was formed after the fall of western Roman Empire, when a population from endangered nearby cities immigrates into an abandoned empires palace, built by emperor Diocletian around the year 300 (so the cities name Spalato on Italian comes form Palazzo, the palace). The multitude reorganized the palace into a middle age urban morphology and used the palaces walls to protect its newly formed local autonomy. Split became modern urban center in modern period, during socialist Yugoslavia, when its population started to grow rapidly due to a big industrial leap and development of passengers sea port, which is by now the third biggest in the Mediterranean Sea according to the number of passengers per year. Currently, almost all of industrial facilities are shut down and the city is frequently characterized in Croatia as a "case city", with its high level of unemployment, drug addiction and frequent neo-fascist excesses. The competition for redevelopment of passengers port, organized by the Association of Architects of Split in the year 2011 opened up many of these questions - the number of abandoned industrial buildings in the area is getting more bigger (one of them Dalmacijavino - was occupied by the workers in the time the competition was on), with the unemployement getting higher the citizens of Split are even more forced to move in search for work, education and welfare elswhere and using the port more frequently. If we add to that the tourists traveling toward the coast, the scholars from the islands, seasonal labor force, part time workers and all other migrants and immigrants of the semantic capitalism it is clear that the concentration of contemporary nomads in the port area of the city is by far greater than the sedentary population. The project "Nomad Palace" explores the typlogoy of space designed by flows of these contemporary nomads inside the ancient city core of Split:

1 - Split is a city that arouse out of the palace.

Split = Spalato = palazzo = palace Palace â&#x20AC;&#x201C; house designed for one person (Emperor Diocletian) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was transformed into a plural urban structure by the strength of the multitude that settled inside of it. By transforming it they made for themselves physical preconditions necessary for the development of local self-management, autonomy and democracy. The city didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t develop just from recycling the existing palace and its architecture. The form of the palace was transmitted in different areas of Split. Its geometry is present in several parts of the city such as housing complex "Split 3" built in the seventies (the


pedestrian street parallel to Palace`s Cardo), housing block called "Chinese Wall" from the fifties (the same length as the Palace wall), modern hospital (fictive prolongation of the Decumanus) and housing in Poljud district (in the same grid as the Palace). So the Palace is not just the birth place of the city – the entire urban space of Split is striated by its radiations. 2 - “In Split the building is analogically referred to the form of the city. From this follows that buildings can be designed analogically to the city.” Aldo Rossi The learning from the Diocletian Palace does not lay so much in the multiplication of its geometry, nor in repeating the same process today (modern squatters don’t refer to this specific case at all when they occupy abandoned building and transform it into an autonomous place). The contemporary message of this ancient event from which a new city emerged is: if the Split is a city designed analogically to the palace, the reversible process

would be to design a palace analogically to the city. 3 - Split is a platform for transit of nomads. Due to its location between the archipelago of Adriatic islands and the inland, the city of Split has developed into a sea port with 4 million passengers per year. With the collapse of industry, which was the key motor of development of the city in last 50 years, the citizens of Split are even more forced to move in search for employment, education and welfare. If we add to that the tourists from all over the world, who are travelling toward the coast and the islands, the students and pupils from the islands, seasonal labour force, part time workers and all other migrants and immigrants of the semantic capitalism it is clear that the concentration of contemporary nomads in the port area of the city is by far greater than the concentration of sedentary population. 4 - If the nomadic multitude transformed the emperor’s palace into the city, the reversible process would be to transform the city into the nomad`s palace. As the most numerous and also the most agile segment of contemporary metropolis, the nomad multitudes are capable to focus their energy (released through the movement and exploration) into a key moment of this reversion - the design of a palace analogically to the city. Although it was for a long time believed that the nomads are not familiar with architecture, it becomes more and more clear that the occupation of the territory by settling in-between two movements is the main characteristic of the nomad architecture. This retention demands a palace of expectancy, a palace of voids. 5 - Nomads demand space of flows, their palace is defined by trajectories, not walls.

“The trajectory of the nomad, even where it follows tracks or customary paths, doesn't have the same function as the path of the sedentary that parcels out an enclosed space for people, assigning each person a share and regulating the communication between shares. The nomadic trajectory is completely different: it distributes people (or animals) in an open space, one that is indefinite and non-communicating.” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine. The process which would be reversible to the parceling of the Diocletian palace in four equal segments by using Cardo and Decumanus would be to treat roads as trajectories that don’t rely on urban morphology but exclusively on the distribution of nomads through space. 6 - Nomad palace is a machine (not an apparatus). A machine is assembled out of elements each of them specialized for different function, which differences a machine from an apparatus - a structure made out of analogous parts (see state apparatus). The other characteristic of a machine is that it operates under human control therefore it is man`s kinetic extension, while apparatus remains independent from


any human intervention. If the people successfully transformed Diocletian palace into a municipal apparatus, the nomads demand opposite – the creation of a machine with whom they can navigate and therefore upgrade their distribution and movement. 7 - If the nomad machine demands unlimited space of flows then the territory ceases to be land and tends to become ground, or support to the movement. When the concept ground is detached from the concept ofland then it seizes to be a commodity defined by categories such as plots (which translates the land into a real estate system). Ground then becomes a support that bridges the barriers and enables fluctuations. The Nomad Palace develops such pedestrian public territory above the traffic infrastructure. This lifted soil allows free drifting above cars and trains and it creates nodes of the nomadic machine on the junctions of trajectories. These nodes then become ideal places for train and bus station or sea port terminal. 8 - By detaching itself from the ground the Nomad palace develops a smooth space. To develop a palace out of city we need to reverse the process once more. If the city of Split was created by striating (reconstructing and densifying) the space of the existing palace then the reversible process would be smoothing the space of the existing city. The unique force that holds together the disperse space of the Nomad Palace is the movement. The Palace is connected by a multitude that scatters through it and forms an accumulation of content only in places of dense concentration of movement. These places are gravity black holes in the continuous smooth space of the Palace. 9 - If the Nomad palace is a smooth space then its structure is merely the result of overcoming gravity, regardless of the content or form. The nomad`s inventions, such as the tent, influenced the development of support structures, suspended architecture, tensegrity, temporary balloon systems and many different superstructures. The common characteristic of all these tent forms is the coverage of space (temporarily or permanently) regardless of what kind of activities are taking place under it. 10 - Made as a smooth space of movements, without walls of apparatus, the Nomad palace is not a shelter but the machine that enables escape; from leisure, poverty and control. The Palace is designed of all sorts of nomads – tourists, precarious workers, unemployed, migrants, immigrants, scholars, adventurists... They exchange their experiences inside the Palace; some of them are searching for a better life, work and well-being, while others are hoping to find something new through a voyage, something that doesn’t belong to their world. However, one thing which enables them to create their own immanent space is the common urge to escape from the present.

Epilogue in Croatian only:

Obrazloženje natječajnog rada: Rad baziran na neadekvatnim i prostorno neprimjenjivim filozofskim postavkama niti u jednom segmentu ne doprinosi artikulaciji prostora istočne obale. Neskromno nastojeći postaviti teoriju arhitekture, služeći se pojmovima i riječima koje po principu kolaža ili verbalnog patchworka spaja u tzv. „teze o arhitekturi“, otkriva nesnalaženje u prostornoj primjeni svojih tzv. teoretskih postavki. Rad karakterizira pokušaj da se prostor strateški definira, da mu se odredi svrha i razlog. Međutim, iznesene teze, a pogotovo nominirani korisnici i predložene namjene, u kontradikciji su sa samim sobom, a pogotovo s ovim vrijednim gradskim prostorom. Autor na osnovnom nivou brka pojmove kreirajući „palaču nomada“ sa svim svojim semantičkim i konotativnim značenjima, negirajući


na nivou teorije klasične prostorne elemente, a istovremeno gradeći čvrste i realne strukture s jasnim funkcijama i sadržajima. Baratajući pojmovima koji su međusobno u kontradikciji (nomadi i grad, aparat i struktura, i sl.) i koji su istovremeno u potpunoj suprotnosti s pojmom grada, autor svejedno ne uspijeva stvoriti prostor željene socijalne osviještenosti niti uspijeva ostati konceptualno dosljedan. Gradeći kompletnu infrastrukturu, velebnu zgradu kruzerskog pristaništa i kongresni centar, autor nema potrebu razmišljati u ekonomskim okvirima, a bez obzira na deklamirano ljevičarski pristup nije u stanju suspregnuti svoj sitno buržoaski arhitektonski ego i potrebu da ipak napravi najveću kuću u Splitu. Nedosljedan rad na nivou pamfleta, u kojem autor s vidnim nedostatkom promišljanja, kako o prostoru gradske luke tako i o teoretskim osnovama na kojima ga bazira, pokušava postaviti strategiju razvoja ovog i šireg gradskog prostora. Competition Protocol – Final Report of the Competition Jury, Split, July 2012

01_red peristil-1968

02_palace-transformed


03_transition machine

04_nomad palace


05_roads

06_the machine


07_areal view

08_palace-detached


09_smooth space segment

09_body of the machine


10_exit view

Emil Jurcan is an architect currently working in an engineer cooperative Praksa in Pula, Croatia. As a member of several collectives, such as Temp, Pulska grupa or Civil Initiative for Muzil, he has participated in different actions of re-appropriation of public spaces, urban self-organization and development of abandoned territories in Pula based on citizens common use and management. As part of Pulska grupa collective he participated in organizing an international conference „The Post-capitalist City“ in Pula 2009 and in representing Croatia at 13th Biennale of Architecture in Venice 2012 under the title „Unmediated Democracy demands Unmediated Space“.


09 Internationale Situationniste + Ethel Baraona Pohl, César Reyes Nájera TRANSCODING SITUATIONISM Updating dérives around SI Manifesto*

Cancha, Buro de Intervenciones Públicas This text is not ours... but is written by us all. It is a subversion with some updates of the Internationale Situationniste Manifesto [1960] plus minor additions borrowed from Marshall McLuhan, Julio Cortázar, Georges Perec and the Invisible Committee. Even though the resulting cocktail must appear explosive, most of their postulates seem urgent in current days when the management of our cities reveal the consequences of following capitalist guidelines more than equity, social and relational criteria. Such management has had its repercussion in the form, the representation and the human interactions within the city i [1]. So, this is arena to take actions, we should realize that in the end the crisis is just a way of governing and itʼs up to us to legitimate it or not. While transcoding implies any loose in the quality on the information due to the transfer between devices or supports, our intention is to generate communicating vessels from such Manifesto to the urban society we are interacting with. In this case, the fragmentary message characteristic of SI provides useful units of atomized information to transcode to contemporary citizens thus facilitating the occurrence of serendipitous connections to strengthen urban networks of dreams, desires, emotions and on site procastination. Keywords: Situationism, Urban, Evolutive, pro-am, Relational, Architecture.


…....................................................................................................

"If youʼre bored, youʼre doing something wrong" Richard Dawkins The existing system cannot subdue the new human force that is increasing day by day alongside the irresistible development of technology and the dissatisfaction of consumerist imposed uses in our senseless social life. Distraction in this society cannot be distributed amongst a range of variants, but only rejected en bloc with this very society. The idea of progress has to be suspended until the whole system recover and start pulsing rhythmically with social relations. What are the organisational perspectives of life in a society which authentically "reorganises roduction and distribution on the basis of the free and equal association of the prosumers"? Work would more and more be perceived as means for socialisation of vital goods intended to strengthen social mesh instead of enhancing individualism. Thus liberated from all economic commitments, liberated from all the odious debts and responsibilities from the past, humankind will exude a new surplus value, incalculable in money because it would be impossible to reduce it to the measure of waged work. The guarantee of the liberty of each and of all is in the value of the game, of life freely constructed. The exercise of this collective ludic recreation is the framework of the only guaranteed equality with non-exploitation of man by man. The liberation of the game, its creative autonomy, its latent constructive conflict supersedes the ancient division between imposed work and passive leisure. Under the existing dominant society, which produces the miserable pseudo-games of nonparticipation, a true civic and urban activity is necessarily. The emergence of the species ludens (humans playing interactions in the streets of the city) as if moving within Constantʼs New Baylon would leave behind the bourgeois metropolis and generate a megastructure of relations, affections and dissensions. Sometimes it might be classed as criminality. It might be semi-clandestine. Or it even might appears in the form of scandal. So what really is the situation? It's the realisation of a better city, which more exactly is provoked by the human interactions not by increasing infrastructure. A step beyond individualism until reaching awareness of the collective realm: From Us to our family our neighborhood our education our job our government our city our regions our planet... the planet and us within the planet


Within this scenario every agent formerly known as architect will become a hacker, i.e., inseparably a producer-consumer of total city creation, which will help the rapid issolution of the linear criteria of expertise. To address such activity it wonʼt be necessary to go to Academia... at least in the way we are used to do. Everyone will be a designer [from domestic to urban realm] so to interact, with a multidimensional onnection of tendencies, experiences, or radically different "schools" — not successively, but simultaneously. Henceforth, we are attending to an autonomous organisation of the prosumers of the new culture, aside from the political and ideological organisations which currently exist, as we all together can dispute institutionsʼ capacity to organise anything other than the management of that which already exists. But institutions cannot prevent what they are not able to imagine. From the moment our collective organisation goes beyond the initial experimental stage and become aware of its critical mass, its most urgent objective should be the seizure of the cities. From there, connected at a world level, subvert the bureaucratisation of cities management now expressing the deep inter-relationship of systems engaged in the conservation and the reproduction of the same obsolete model (even disguised with techno-smart and environmentally friendly discourse).

The riposte of the revolutionary citizens to these old conditions must be a new type of action. By means of autonomous communes that have been trained in local management of available resources and used to exchange experiences in open source platforms linked to other communities; the next step would be a putsch to the other pillar of the system: the financial framework currently favoring predatory tactics based in speculation and inequity relations between corporations and citizens and also between inhabitants of different regions while leaning their “wellness state” in the spoliation of other regionsʼ resources. As such financial system is completely destitute of any sensible usage outside our subversive perspective, we find our seizure of this apparatus justified before our contemporaries. And we will have it.


We are resolved to take over financial system, at least in its world-manipulating form, and in contrary favouring the formation of local trade and exchange networks. Given the financial collapses of the beginning of the XXI century, this would be one of the works which would prove most significant in the clarification of a long series of demands and actions. This financial coup d'etat would led to the suppression of the surplus layer of politics interested more in meet the commitments with private corporations and speculative financial actors rather the service of citizens. What would be the main characteristics of the new culture and how would it compare with essential urbanity? ● Against the spectacle of individual progress, the realised situationist urbanity introduces the recognition of “the other” and its differences as essential step towards collaboration. ● Against preserved education, it is posed learning through direct experience with relational civic interactions, conflict management and “doing with others” strategies. ● Against particularised design, it will be a global practice with a bearing, each moment, on all the available elements. Naturally this would tend to collective production which would be without doubt anonymous (the claim of exclusive authorship would reveal suspicious and works will no longer be stocked as commodities but as means to reach collective goals). The minimum proposals of these experiences will be a revolution in behaviour and a dynamic unitary urbanism capable of extension to the entire planet, and may become the key to access to all parallel universes created by a new conscious observation of all micro-ordinary events of the city. ● Against unilateral art, situationist culture will be an art of dialogue, an art of interaction, an art of conflict as enabling force. The enclosed era of primitivism and isolated design solutions must be superseded by complete communication and open peer to peer tools to reach dynamic equilibrium between opposites in a given urban system.

At micro-ordinary level, everyone will become a coder generating the conditions for its playful existence to insert and work within the urban system of interactions. It will happen that when opening the door and going where the street begins, it wonʼt appear the already known houses aligned in the moulded sidewalk, but a living forest where every moment “can be thrown like a magnolia and where the faces will born when looking at them". ii This violent emotive possession of the streets will provide exciting treasures for those drifters taking the challenge to explore alien quarters and neighbors. iii We have just move inside what will historically be the evolutive urban dimension. The role of amateurprofessional —of adhocrat— is again a specialisation up to the point of social and mental interaction, when everyone becomes a node in the sense that the new system will remain in the strength of its connections. This task will be slowly filtering into to the society without a permanent division of labour, thus generating activities for which we havenʼt invented the names yet. To those who don't understand us properly, we say with an irreducible will: “We await the turning point which is the inevitable liquidation of the world of economic progress, in all its fictional forms. Such are our goals, and these will be the future goals of urbanity"

“It is the business of the future to be dangerous” A.N. Whitehead


Ethel Baraona Pohl. Architect, writer and blogger developing her professional [net]work linked to several architecture publications on projects and theory. Contributing editor at Domus, Quaderns and MAS Context, among other blogs and printed magazines. Associate Curator Adhocracy | Istanbul Design Biennial. She is co-founder of the independent publishing house dpr-barcelona Cesar Reyes Najera. Architect. PhD in Bio-climatic Construction Systems and Materials. Co-founder of dpr-barcelona. His work seeks a thermodynamic approach to architecture focusing on social issues. His research deals with the development and application of lowtech biomaterials for architecture.

i ii iii

Lara Schrijver. Radical Games. Popping th Bubble of 1960s始 Architecture. NAI Publishers. Rotterdam 2009. Julio Cort谩zar. Historia de Cronopios y Famas. Afaguara. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 1965 Simon Sadler. The Situationist City. The MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts 1998.


10 Heena Kokel

“ARCHITECTURE” THROUGH USER’S PERCEPTION The reason I am presenting a paper at a conference involving architectural manifestos does not lie in a claim to be an academic or an activist who makes ideal architectural contribution. Rather it is because I am an aspiring practicing architect and therefore concerned and have various questions. What the term ‘Architecture’ means? Specifically what does ‘Architecture’ mean at the scale of city? Is, ‘Architecture’ at such large scale of city, successful? How can we know if one city is better that the other? Is there any method to evaluate such comparison? What is that makes the smaller scales much more objective than that of city? What is lacking at such large scale? These are the questions that occur to every learned as well as to every naive and untrained mind. These questions are ‘multi-linked’ to each other forming a web showing no sign of quantification or objective answers. As a result, the way we look at the cities, it is difficult to analyse or classify them, and their quality is not readily measurable or debatable in any terms, what is good or bad is very much a matter of opinion. This paper only begins to answer this web. This paper i aims to illustrate that ‘Architecture’ at the city scale is not sufficiently evolved because it fails to read, understand and act according to ‘user’s perception’. It will further explore this missing connection between city and it’s user. Finally this paper will propose a few new methods to record, document and thereby read cities and illustrate it with an example. ‘ARCHITECTURE’ To understand the role of ‘Architecture’ at the scale of cities, we shall have to widen our frame of vision and begin discussion from the very meaning of term ‘Architecture’. The etymology of the word ‘Architecture’ is rooted via Latin from Greek wordarkhitektōn, from arkhi- 'chief' + tektōn 'builder'. But today, ‘Architecture’ is no longer defined by a set of rules, regulations, or styles. Nor is it restricted to the art of building “Buildings”. It has always been whatever we, as designers, have wished to make of it. ‘Architecture’ by its pursuance and practice has widened its reach and impact across various exclusive directions. It has been influencing research, history, graphic designing, product designing, interior designing, urban planning, city planning, conservation, temporary structures, photography, film-set making and numerous other fields. So Architecture is a wage cloud of skills, creativity and craftsmanship hovering over process as well as product of planning, designing and construction.


In this day and age, it is politically incorrect to articulate the class snobbery inherent to this notion of ‘Architecture’; but it would also be difficult to claim that there is no residue of this attitude, which sees ‘Architecture’ as quaint and primitive standing apart from a jazzy world of ‘Dubais’ and ‘Shanghais’. To understand, what lacks at larger (city) scale for ‘Architecture’ to consider and act for, we shall draw a parallel of its two very evident domains. This might sound like comparing apples and oranges but we are not comparing the domains themselves, we are comparing the larger attitude adopted to study these domains. We shall compare how we study a piece of furniture- ‘chair’ to how we theorize and study about cities.

0 1 Studying chair through ‘use’ More than learning about the material, durability, history or physical parts of the chair like legs, back or seat of the chair, the most intuitive, sensible and necessary assessment is how body occupies or sits on the chair. While ‘Use’ remains the method to study something objectively, on the other hand the theories and methods to study cities show a different involvement. Kevin Lynch ii, through his writings and diagrams, dealt with methodologies to read the cities; through images; the patterns that are formed by the sensations, by the biological sense of time and how these affect the way we view and change the cities. He wrote about the placement of buildings or objects in the city, and how they orient us. In order to learn about cities Lynch classified city-image into 5 types of elements: Paths Edges Districts Nodes Landmarks Gordon Cullen iii, on the other hand through his drawings captured the emerging and ever changing views that structure and reveal urban experiences and relationships between different components of the city. Thus, identifies movement and sequential images as important tools to read cities. According to AldoRossi iv, construction is a process that is inseparable in value to time. The development of the city about artifacts or a group of them in a certain locality constitutes the nature and morphology of the city and this frame of reference helps Rossi to define ‘Urbanism’.


These three very renowned and important methods to study cities help us to learn about any city in a singular- physical or intellectual manner. The important observation from comparison of the method to study a “chair” to that of a city are the aspects that are studied. The chair is studied intuitively,based on its use, considering ‘user’s perception’, while cities are not.A city can neither be studied by its mere physicality nor by a singular experience of movement or its evolution. Also the perception of the city cannot be a visual by itself; visuals can only be part of the wholesome perception. It must involve how one walks, talks, works, transacts, commutes, interacts, plays, prays, enjoys, visits, etc within the city; upon that itshould be quantifiable. To have a new innovative method to deal and design at the scale of city the first thing we need to learn and adapt is todocument existing cities with a much evolved method for a wholesome perception of a place. PERCEPTION Environmental perception is a cognitive and coherent process that involves perception of elements and their relationships. Here each and every element is an expression that is corelated to the notional and the physical realms of space as well as response. Even if one identifies the elements of the environmental perception, it is not quite possible to pin down any one as the reason for every particular impression that helps to build up the perception of the place or a city. So there is a need to develop exercises rather than theorizing and developing standard elements, sets or domains.Method devised here for documenting the perception are inclusive and not exclusive in nature; which means no exercise directly exemplifies any observations by itself; only when all the results from each exercise are observed together, relative conclusions can be drawn. Apart from this the method employed has to lend itself the possibility of quantification and ease of comparison with other places. 1.Physicaldocumentation:This exercise involves exhaustive documentation of the activities, which occupy the space along with the basic architectural documentation. 2. Land-use and Perceptive land-use: Land-use is about identifying the standard Land use pattern of the area. Here classified under a limited number of categories i.e. residential, commercial, institutional, parking, road and pedestrians road. And Perceptive land-use consists of dividing the whole study area into a grid, and plotting values for each individual grid unit, thus covering the whole area. So that a grid on one plan could be compared with its previously documented land use as well as another city. The basic unit chosen is of size 1m x 1m, which reflects the scale at which all values were plotted and the scale at which all responses were evaluated. Attributes should be assigned based on percentage of activities like residential, commercial, etc. If, however, two activity types co-exist then the activity that is ‘felt’ more by the observer (here author) should be assigned. 3. Common mistakes: If one person makes a mistake or flaw regarding direction, length, height, etc in a particular environment, It can be considered his fault but when same mistake is made by a number of people that can be considered as a useful information about how in general people perceive the environment. This method consists of learning about user’s perception of the environment by observing sketches of the area by a number of people- users out of random selection. 4. Sequence of references: Serial vision is one of the important features that effect the perception of the street as well as that of a city in a overall fashion. This exercise is about recording the way users remember the area in form of a sequence. Documentation ofsuch


verbal sequence that people use to locate any place can help in perceiving any area or city in a much richer and informed manner. 5. Constant, Variable and User: Identity of the place, especially in case of Indian streets consists of tangible and intangible elements. Like the average proportion of constant, variable and user in every city can also be an important information that can help us to compare and understand the image if the city. So this exercise comprises of finding a average proportion for that particular study area which can stand as a representation for that city. Among these five exercises except first two the rest are interview based. To exemplify the method and its impact we shall take two case studies.

CASE STUDY-1: JAIPUR

0 2 Jaipur walled city Location: Jaipur is a city, located south of Aravalli ridge in the dried up bed of lake between rivers Amanisha and Dhond. It is hot semi-arid climate region located at 26.92°N 75.82°E. It has an average elevation of 431 metres (1417 ft). Chhotichaupar: It rests within a street network and is linked by streets such as Gangori bazaar and Kishan Pol Bazaar on the N-S axis and Chand Pol and Tripolia Bazaar on the EW axis. Situated at a slightly higher level, Chhotichaupar presents a complex view of its streets, with juxtaposition of masses and bounding surfaces gradually fading with the illusion of the perspective. The existence of such an open setting gives the impression that the chaupar was not an omnipotent feature of Jai Singh’s architecture; yet it boasts of housing some if the important temples and religious buildings of the walled city. The centre of the chaupar is decisive restful space. A spectacular positioned spot, which instantly records the topographical and monumental, features in the profiles of the distant Nahargarh Fort, the looming hills and the Iswar Lat. This passive central space is in deep contrast to the bustling activity at the corners and more so to the continuous circulation of traffic and pedestrians. Thus centre is both peaceful and visually satisfying. The facades of the Chaupar expose two different zones. A 360° vision establishes the ubiquitous arcaded shop-front at the street level and the deep recessed mostly residential band rising above the rear of the shops. The extroverted nature of the commercial zone is in marked contrast to the introverted recessed surface. In the corners of the Chhotichaupar, one can find the


religious elements manifested in the body of large temples and way-side shrines. The characteristic steps rising from the chaupar make the religious buildings distinct from the secular ones. Most of the exercises from now onwards are based on a survey taken by author through method of random sampling to document the most variable perceptions.

03 Survey samples.


1. Physical documentation

04 Physical documentation of Chhotichaupar 2. Land-use and Perceptive land-use ChhotiChaupar is a active market area with shops, religious buildings, hawkers, vendors, bus stop and of-course a big number of people through out the day. In assigned land use pattern of the area we can see that aspects like pedestrian area, parking, shops as commercial zone are neat and in organized fashion. Through this exercise we observe the space as a user (city-resident), who interacts within this space. Users are wandering for work, for pleasure, to take a bus, for shopping, to visit temple, or even to simply pass by. To such users at their scale the place shows much more than just the Land-use(l). Amalgamating activities within Chhotichaupar at micro scale bring about remarkable results in studying occupancy of area by every particular zone which can be seen in the following diagram:


05 Land- use(l) and perceptive Landuse(r) When such documentation and diagrams are compared the quantifiable micro-scale observations show up and observations as following and to take a close look the table further can be a good tool: Commercial increases by 68% Institutional increases by 56% Parking increases by 23% Road decreases by 2% Pedestrian decreases by 48%

06 Locating detailed areas within Chhotichaupar


07 Observing detailed areas withinChhotichaupar 3. Common mistakes To study the whole street Tripolia Bazaar when survey was conducted there were a few common mistakes made by a number of interviewees that came to notice. These mistakes give skewed facts about how people (users) notice certain features of environment more than the others. Such common mistakes can be important information to help us understand userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perception of the area. It was observed that when interviewees sketched the area 60% (15 out of 25) of the interviewees forgot to sketch the chaudarasta, which is a main street of the area just opposite to the Tripolia gate. While few drew it only after they were asked or reminded. Another mistake which seemed common and worth attention was that 20 % (5 out of 25) of the interviewees intuitively sketched chaudarasta closer to Chhotichaupar, even though it is exactly in the middle of street connecting Chhoti and Badichaupar. 4. Sequence of references Jaipur being planned in a certain way has very specific way to locating certain places. Overall from Appendix A1, when interviewees were asked to show way to Unainai Hospital (verbally), some didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know and rest answered which is documented. They located it with help of references in different ways, which help us understand their perception of the area and its landmarks. Jaipur has a rare way of locating place by using numbers. In Jaipur each shop has a fairly visible numbering, which helps people locate places with reference to any place very easily. Here interviewees referenced the hospital by using shop as a unit of measure for distance. References and landmarks are also subject to time (derived based on interviews). Buildings that hold importance as landmarks or references can be identified from verbal descriptions to locate Unainai hospital.


5. Constant, Variable and Users This exercise helped to understand temporal elements and user’s participation in formation of the physical as well as perceptual environment.

08 Constant, Variable and user At user’s scale (micro-scale) even the relatively temporal elements like food sacks hold value as references.The way users occupy a space shows their interpretation of that area for e.g. Arcade is adapted as a new shop and some of the parking area under the tree is occupied as vending area. The activities sometimes become such a strong identity of the place that though it being a variable factor in field, it holds more importance in unanimous perception of the area.Sometimes the activity related to physical feature also makes an environment of its own and contributes to bring out a vivid character of the area. When the observations from each of the five exercises are viewed together, one can draw the user’s image of this particular areaChhotichaupar, Jaipurin a literary form and realize the significance of studying a place, area eventually a city through ‘user’s perception’. Similarly when Jaisalmer was studied using these methods there was a literary image drawn of Gopachowk, Jaisalmer. Comparing observations from both case studies Jaipur and Jaisalmer gives more insight about the methods.


Conclusion (about the methods): The methods devised to document the user’s perception of the streets are based on survey. These being inclusive in nature are considerably difficult to interpret. Documentation of the study areas- Chhotichaupar, Jaipur and Gopachowk, Jaisalmer gives a common base to compare the user’s images of the cities. The observations like Jaipur having absolute references and Jaisalmer having relative ones can be drawn from such documentation. The directional sense is at loss in former due to symmetry and repetition, while in later the references identified are so close that user’s perceive space more a sequence. Such observations cannot be made using standard theories. It is revealed that the tools adopted by various standard studies and theories mostly undertake singular features. Considering the complexity, variables and users influencing the environment these tools (methods) can be adopted more successfully. The exercises devised are the final take away from this paper that encompass all the aspects relevant to understanding the image of the city including perceptual theories, kind of references. The conclusion here is unavoidable that perceptual document of a place offers much more than physical one. It would duly represent the user’s image of the city. There should be larger number of users surveyed for more and stronger observations. Also within a city more areas should be documented and compared to derive some common image for that particular city. Apart from this documentation of various cities on similar basis would give a good way to compare cities based on user’s perception. Such comparison of cities will give a substantial insight into city planning approaches and attitudes to incorporate user’s perception. Though this method is derived based on Indian context, it should be applied to document various cities to build up a contrast and understandingabout cities from various parts of the world.

Heena Kokel I was born and brought up in Ahmedabad- a city with history and culture, where through the routines a set of values and traditions are accrued into me. The School of Architecture, CEPT University has been a formal medium to imbibe every aspect of Design. I have developed a keen interest in aspects and roles of architecture as well as architects and more so in case of cities. I would like to further my understanding of cities and its architectural manifestations. Endnotes i This paper is based on Heena Kokel, Prof. Rajiv Kadam (Guide) The image of the city: A study of user’s perception of a street in Indian context [Thesis] Thesis submitted to School of Architecture, CEPT University for B.Arch degree in July, 2012 ii Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the city iii Cullen, Gordon. Townscapes iv Rossi, Aldo. Architecture of the city Bibliography Allport, Floyd H. .Theories of perception and the concept of structure. New York,New Delhi et: John Wiley & Sons, 1962. Burke, Gerald. Townscapes. Bombay: Penguin Books Ltd., 1976. Cullen, Gordon .Townscape. London: Architectural Press, 1962. Footprints : a comparative study of Indian cities. Vol.1. Ed. by Jairaj& others, Faculty Incharge Prof. Utpal Sharma. 2001. Ittelson, William H. Factors influencing the design and function of psychiatric facilities. Brooklyn: Dept. of psychology, Brooklyn College, 1960. Kostof, Spiro . City assembled : the elements of urban form through history. London: Thames & Hudson, 1962. Lynch, Kevin .Image of the city. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1993. Meiss, Pierre Von . Elements of architecture : from form to place. Trans. Katherine Henault.London, 1990. Powell, Lawton M. Ecology and Aging. Ann Aebor: University of Michigan, 1970. Zimmer, Heinrich. Philosophies of India.Ed. Joseph Campbell. Delhi: MotilalBanarsidass Pub. Pvt. Ltd., 2000. Witherspoon, B. Use of Illusions in Architecture, in AEC Daily, 2007 Unpublished work at School of Architecture, CEPT University Dave, Rajesh V. Jain, Kulbhushan B. (Guide). Urban spaces. [Thesis] Shanker, Shamini. Jain, M. K.(Guide) City squares : a study of Chhoti-Chaupar, Jaipur. [Thesis] Patel, Mehul& others. Settlement pattern : history and theory of urban design : Jaipur, Jaiselmer, Patan. [Students’ Work] Illustration credits: Fig. 2- Jaipur walled cityFootprints : a comparative study of Indian cities


11 Ishita Chatterjee THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS PREFACE ‘I would think here where everything is beautiful, and privacy is no issue, it would be a pity to erect an opaque wall between the outside and the inside. So I think we should build the house of steel and glass; in that way we’ll let the outside in. If we were building in the city or in the suburbs, on the other hand, I would make it opaque from outside and bring in the light through a garden-courtyard in the middle.’ 1949, Mies Van Der Rohe to Mrs Farnsworth

‘I mean the idea of a glass house, where somebody just might be looking—naturally, you don’t want them to be looking. But what about it? That little edge of danger in being caught. Sometimes a little kid masturbates because he wants to get caught.’ 1949, Philip Johnson

The Farnsworth house and the Glass house which were conceived as an extension of the plan accomplished much more than dissolving the boundary between the outside and the inside; they questioned dwelling at a fundamental level. What is a house? What can a house be?

‘Privacy no longer a social norm’ 2010, January 8 San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg during the Crunchie Awards

Facebook has transformed the way people interact with each other. The social networking website that started off trying to answer simple fundamental questions - how to connect? How to reach out? - has become a tool of change, the world over. While some nations have benefited from its ability to instigate a revolution, others, threatened by it, have banned it.

The above mentioned quotes introduce the three subjects of this essay namely – The Farnsworth house, the Glass house and Facebook. In the first scenario, the principal subject Mrs Farnsworth was subjugated by the other subject, her house – the Farnsworth house – and subdued to an object. In the second scenario, Philip Johnson, the owner, as well as the architect of the Glass house, was always in control of the house and hence didn’t play second fiddle to it. He oscillated between being the subject and the object as and when he desired. In the third scenario: within Facebook, there is an ongoing battle for control of information. Facebook maintains that it gives its users the freedom to decide whether it wants to be the subject or object but the irony here is that the even the inception of Facebook meant we i all became objects.


Separated by a century, diverse audience, disparate subjects, different objects, the three subjects have one thing in common; the object in all the cases is aware of being objectified. The properties of glass houses in the physical world and social networking sites in the virtual world have certain similarities as well as differences. Another thing that the three have in common is that they all pushed the envelope on privacy. The three subjects were pivotal in defining, redefining and challenging the concepts of privacy. They dissolved the boundary between the personal and the impersonal.

The concept of privacy is ever evolving. It alters with technological progress as well as changing social values and attitudes of society. The concept is also a relative one; it means different things to different people, societies, and countries, thereby making it extremely difficult to define the idea. Modernism ii led to structuring of society, and privacy became an important social issue. Privacy, as we know today, was born in 19th century. The modern iii view of privacy requires a well-defined separation between the public and the private. These issues are dealt with very differently in different countries. Each country’s history leads to a very different interpretation of this boundary. The two glass houses were built in a country (the United States of America) which was formed due to a dispute over this boundary iv. This essay analyses the two iconic and canonic houses, the Farnsworth house by Mies Van Der Rohe, the Glass house by Philip Johnson and compares it to Facebook. It looks at the concept of privacy in the 21st century, and whether it has evolved/changed in any way from the 20th century. The first and the second chapter give a brief background of Facebook and the two glass houses respectively. This helps in understanding the significance of glass houses during the 1950s and its implications today, in the age of Social Media. The subsequent chapters analyse the interface/window of the three subjects and discusses the issue of privacy through comparative analysis of the glass houses and Facebook.

1.0. FACEBOOK Facebook started off as a small, personal college community back in 2006 and transformed into a larger, impersonal social platform. It allows users to voluntarily divulge their personal information like location and activities to any of their friends and/or to the general public. As Facebook became more popular in the outside world, most users started feeling exposed as parents, bosses, teachers, employers and children all flocked to join Facebook.

Facebook has been transgressing privacy norms from the time of its inception and hence keeps finding itself in the middle of intense debates surrounding matters such as who owns the user’s information uploaded onto the site. Zuckerberg stated in his keynote announcing Open Graph that he wants to build a world where the default is social. But default settings are part of the reason Facebook is always in news. Facebook has made some serious socialnetworking infringements and has taken full advantage of people’s general apathy towards reading privacy rules and regulations. Whenever Facebook has updated its policies, it has set users’ privacy to the highest extent of exposure possible. The onus was then on the users to set it back to their preferred setting. If Facebook poses such a threat to their privacy, it would make sense that users would simply stop using it altogether, but clearly, that is not the case. The number of people joining Facebook hasn’t dwindled; the lack of privacy settings hasn’t deterred potential users. Statistics reveal that one out of every fourteen people in the world has a Facebook account. Despite the concern over lack of stringent privacy policies on Facebook, why are people reluctant to delete their accounts?


‘The mission of the company is to make the world more open and connected,’- Zuckerberg. Facebook’s success lies in its skill of weaving itself into the fabric of modern life. Zuckerberg believes that most people want to share more about themselves and their lives online. ‘The way that people think about privacy is changing a bit,’ he says. ‘What people want isn't

complete privacy. It isn't that they want secrecy. It's that they want control over what they share and what they don't.’ v Facebook has managed to deceive people into believing that one is in control. Over time people became comfortable exposing their vulnerable side to the public. Also, Facebook has become really good at making itself indispensable to its users. Losing Facebook hurts. People realised that the loss of being disconnected from such a large social platform is much more than their loss of privacy.

Another reason for not leaving Facebook would be the inability to do so. In other words there is a general perception that you can join Facebook but never leave. Facebook states – ‘in case you want to come back, we save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.) so that your account will look just the way it did when you left vi.’ Facebook lets you deactivate your account but not delete it. Off late, owing to the resistance and negative feedback from its users, Facebook has introduced an option to delete your profile once and for all. It won’t be surprising if only a handful of people are aware of this, as neither this news was circulated worldwide nor this seemingly easy to perform action is so easy after all.

With the introduction of social networking sites and monitoring devices, the social attitudes and values of this generation altered. Some say that the social norms of this age is something that has emerged out of the design of social networking sites, and some like Facebook’s Zuckerberg feel that the technology of social networking sites doesn’t control the social practices of its users. The definition of privacy provided by Zuckerberg is a very accurate hunch, as the world seems to be responding and agreeing with his ideology. Facebook has been very good at anticipating social behavioural changes rather than coercing people to open up and share private information. ‘Facebook has become a kind of

virtual pacemaker, setting the rhythms of our online lives. Facebook did not invent social networking, but the company has fine-tuned it into a science. vii’

2.0. BACKGROUND OF THE TWO HOUSES This chapter situates the reader within the context of the two glass houses. The Glass house was completed in 1949 and the Farnsworth house was completed in 1951.

2.1. GLASS HOUSES The glass wall had its birth in the picture window during Le Corbusier’s period, post-war American architecture. In the first half of the 20th century, architects worked with the idea of getting the outside in or dissolving the boundary between the inside and the out. This dissolving of boundaries led to a different kind of domestic environment that redefined the meaning of habitation. The habitants faced the challenge of dealing with visual exposure of their living space. Use of glass in residential buildings invited the gaze in. The house had now become a theatre set.


Glass houses challenged the social values and norms of 20th century America. Had the norms of social structure changed? Or had the stage for the performance and exhibition changed?

2.2. THE IDEAL HOUSE AND THE FAMILY ‘The test of American civilization is not the height of its literary, musical, or artistic peaks,

however important they are on the cultural landscape. It is the quality of the daily life itself... The greatness we search is greatness in the lives of our people. The true and the beautiful we try to combine with the good –and we call it the good life.’ Joseph A. Barry viii.

Advertisements, magazines and books of 1950’s America, advocated the happy family. Books like Benjamin Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby Care and Child Care became extremely popular. Advertisements for houses in home magazines turned the American house into an equivalent of the orgone box. Marriage and family life were celebrated in these mediums. The word ‘family’ became synonymous with a home comprising of husband, wife and children. An ideal home always housed a happily married couple with children. The introduction of television though, blurred the distinction between the private and the public to some extent yet looked at women as homemakers. Motherhood was showcased as a full time profession for women. The house focused on an environment which was conducive for bringing up a child. There was huge gap between the words ‘family life’ and ‘singleness.’ Social relationships outside the network of family (husband, wife and children) were not acceptable. Childless mothers were looked down upon and viewed with pity as people who missed out on the real pleasures of life. Single women and men were looked upon suspiciously and were considered mentally instable or homosexuals. The unmarried woman was seen as a ‘frustrated old maid’ who had ‘failed so seriously in her understanding of a woman’s role that she hadn’t even established the marriage prerequisite of having a home ix‘. Anne Parsons x mentions in her unpublished autobiography, ‘life for the unmarried person after twenty five or so is simply

not very easy because by this fact one is thrown out of all the better-worn social grooves so that even relatively simple things as what to do on a Sunday become impossibly difficult.’ She also writes, ‘For mainstream America the single woman was like some sort of poison in


the social system (that) has to be cast out’ and points out that she would be invited to the suburban houses for dinner only on rare occasions. During the same time, the presence of women was being increasingly felt as more and more of them started having careers, stamping an authority professionally. Also, television had revolutionised the way society looked at women. Women started getting noticed. Anti-gay sentiments were also gaining force during the early 1950s xi. It was predominantly amongst the middle class or the bourgeois that this sentiment was being noticed in. Concern grew that the gender structure of their culture was being threatened. They considered homosexuality as muliebral behaviour by men, and career oriented or single women were considered to have masculine characteristics. This led to codes of appropriate social behaviour to be outlined giving birth to questions about privacy and surveillance. Post-war America had coined a new word-‘normal’- and outlined new norms of the importance of being and appearing ‘normal’.

3.0. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE GLASS HOUSES AND FACEBOOK 3.1. SOCIAL STRUCTURE Farnsworth House: The Farnsworth house was built for a female client. The occupant of the Farnsworth house, Dr. Edith Farnsworth was an unmarried doctor who lived and worked in Chicago. When she decided to get the house built, she was in her mid forties and financially stable and secure. The weekend retreat would help her relax and relieve her from the stressful life she led as a doctor. She was painfully lonely and bored, according to her memoirs, and this weekend getaway would help her escape the lonely weekends she spent in the city. A house for a single, professional woman defied the popular home ideas and ownerships for married couples and challenged social acceptance. Ms. Farnsworth may have been a very successful doctor, but the fact that she was unmarried deemed her unsuccessful in the eyes of the society. Mies wanted the space to be left the way he designed it. He had envisioned the space to be without children, pets, or any other human being other than Ms. Farnsworth. The architect


was so insistent on keeping his composition of the space sacred that he preferred not even additional furniture be added to the house, other than the ones suggested by himself. In this regard, Mies had found the perfect client in Ms. Fansworth. She was single, and he may, through his acquaintance with her, realised that she didn’t plan to ever have a companion or children, though the lack of a companion being a consequence of the environment she had to live in, is very much possible. Ms. Farnsworth seemed to have been misled by the drawings and models of her house presented to her by Mies. She had played an active part in designing her house, and was in unison with him throughout the design phase. The model showed the walls to be opaque. One Sunday, during their visit to the site, when she enquired about the material used to construct the house, Mies replied, ‘I would think here where

everything is beautiful, and privacy is no issue, it would be a pity to erect an opaque wall between the outside and the inside. So I think we should build the house of steel and glass; in that way we’ll let the outside in. If we were building in the city or in the suburbs, on the other hand, I would make it opaque from outside and bring in the light through a garden-courtyard in the middle.’ In his quest to define modernism he exhibited Ms. Farnsworth’s single life to the world. Glass House: The client and the occupant of the Glass house was the architect Philip Johnson himself. Johnson lived in this house for about 50 years. The house was autobiographical and presented the alternate (with respect to 1950’s America) mode of living - the life of a gay man. 1950s’ American society did not approve of homosexuals, looking at the glass house with the same loathing air as the Farnsworth house.

3.2. CONTEXTUAL INTEGRITY This paper applies Professor Helen Nissenbaum’s theory of privacy as contextual integrity xii to analyse problems regarding privacy. In order to understand issues about privacy, it is important to understand the environment inhabited by an individual. Privacy is constituted by the reciprocal relationship between an individual and the environment. The informational properties of Facebook’s environment are different from the physical world, yet the contextual integrity and the networking within any environment are co-related.

The practice of privacy is a result of dynamics within the environment. As the social psychologist Irwin Altman explained in The Environment and Social Behaviour xiii: ‘Environment and behaviour are closely intertwined, almost to the point of being

inseparable. Their inseparability says more than the traditional dictum that ‘environment affects behaviour.’ It also states that behaviour cannot be understood independent of its intrinsic relationship to the environment and that the very definition of behaviour must be within an environmental context. ‘What is now called for (is) recognition that the appropriate unit of study is a people-environment unit.’ Here, ‘environment’ xiv means the properties and structure of a space, specifically those that affect user decisions, practices, and risk assessments within it, i.e., the architecture xv of the space. The architecture of a space affects human behaviour in the same way the design of a digital space affects human behaviour within that space.


Facebook :

Privacy allows one to maintain varying degrees of intimacy, basically variety of social relationships. Privacy entitles us the power to control what information people get about us and who gets it and thereby allows us to vary our behaviour with different people and maintain the various social relationships. In other words, it maintains the social integrity of the relationships. Usually everyone plays a different character within different social contexts. However, Facebook disregards any categorization of social situations or social groups and hence it becomes difficult for users to know who is watching. Facebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concept of friend is anyone one adds xvi. Hence, in an environment like Facebook, there is no distinction between social contexts leading to a collapse of the different worlds. This breakdown is what the theorist Helen Nissenbaum calls loss of contextual integrity xvii. Nissembaum argues that privacy is violated when individuals do not respect social norms of appropriateness and distribution. By appropriateness he means, what data may be shared in a given situation and by distribution he means, how and with whom data may be shared.


Different cultures or generations have different social norms of appropriateness and distribution. A major flaw of social networking sites is that it doesn’t allow segregation of audiences. It collapses complex social relationships; the different cultures and generations into one platform-the interface of the Facebook profile. It’s the design of social networking sites that contributes to this breakdown of social integrity.

Facebook does offer segregation of audiences through privacy functions on the page and by establishing groups. The degree to what one can actively exclude individuals is very questionable but as mentioned earlier the notion of having control seems to be working though it has been periodically met with resistance. But one should note that the introduction of the privacy filters has been strategically timed when people have accepted and got comfortable with the default privacy settings. The default privacy settings of Facebook were that the profile is visible to everyone. Though a person can create extremely effective privacy filters by categorising the friends (Facebook’s definition of friend) into its desired categories, it is impossible to emulate the nuances of social structures of the physical world. Filtration in the physical world can’t be the same as the visual world but it is slowly inching towards equilibrium. The nature of relationship in the visual world is influencing how people behave in the physical world too.


Farnsworth house and Glass House:

Miesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ideas concerning the exterior would have worked perfectly fine had it not been for the interior and the fame the house received. There were other factors too which contributed to the failure of the functionality of the house with respect to Ms. Farnsworthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience, during her stay in it. Mies had envisioned the site to be uninhabited open landscape and hence the issue of privacy and the outside gaze was not considered.

The house is located 55 miles southwest of down-town Chicago on a 60-acre estate site. It is situated in the middle of a grassy meadow and adjoining it runs the River Fox, south of Plano, Illinois. Here, the context becomes extremely important as unlike any office building situated in a commercial area, the house was not placed in an environment where it was vulnerable to the public view. The privacy needs of these two programs definitely differed, the Farnsworth house being a residential program and an office building being a commercial one. Yet, if a glass house (residential program) was to be placed in a context where the distance between two adjacent properties was extremely minimal and the social structure of the probable audience were different than its present context, privacy issues would have been different. The only way a glass house would work in the present context is if the distance between two adjacent properties is generally much more than in the city and also if the probable audience would be the residents of the houses nearby, thereby reducing privacy issues.


The Glass house was located in New Canaan, Connecticut within his own estate that housed other structures designed by the architect Johnson himself. It is located behind a stone wall at the edge of a crest in the estate overlooking a pond. Johnson had designed the surroundings in such a manner that the house was hidden from public view. The fact that the Glass house was built in his own estate allowed the architect to control the surroundings and design it according to his own desires, letting it remain unaltered for as long as he pleased or lived. Mies had merely placed the box in the surrounding; he did not design the immediate surroundings of the house. Hence, in the case of the Farnsworth house, the client did not have control over her surroundings. In 1968, the local highway department claimed a 2-acre portion of the property adjoining the house for a new, raised highway bridge over the River Fox. Farnsworth sued to stop the project but lost the court case. Ms. Farnsworth, though, faced plenty hardships during her stay in the house lived in the house for 20 years and sold the house in 1972, only after losing the court case, realising that the placement of the house beside a highway would have led to the complete breakdown of contextual integrity.


3.3. A MATTER OF IDENTITY

Identity is very closely related to image. Identity is what we are; it is defined as the state of being oneself or itself, whereas image is how one is viewed by people, which is undeniably influenced by how one projects themselves in front of people. Identity can’t be constructed but is constitutional whereas an image can be constructed. The construction of a person’s image takes place in a closet. The memory of oneself is usually made up of the image that one saw of himself /herself in the mirror in his closet.

The word ‘closet’ has two different meanings one as a place for storage and the other as a metaphor for the identity of a person. The term ‘being in the closet’ refers to a person concealing his homosexual identity from the public, and hence the gay rights movement’s war cry -‘out of the closets, onto the streets’. The former usage of the word closet refers to a room which is meant to house clothes, placed within a room meant to house people, essentially making it a room within a room. The smaller room - the closet- houses things that might disturb the organization of the bigger room where a person lives if kept there. In a way, the smaller room conceals contents from the public eye. The usage of the word ‘closet’ in the latter case signifies that the person is reluctant to publically claim his sexual identity. Both these meanings deal with storage or secrecy and display or disclosure, in their respective contexts.


For centuries, people have stored their clothes in cupboards or hung them by hangers inside them. The built-in closet is a relatively new variation of the earlier days’ cupboard, yet all these perform the primary function of storing and concealing clothes from the public eye. During the 1840s’, the closet itself was looked at as a shameful secret and was kept hidden from the view of anyone entering the space in which it was kept. During the 19th and the 20th century, too, the smaller room was kept away from the world. Only family members or close friends had the privilege to view the contents of an individual’s closet, almost always with the consent of the owner. No one is comfortable displaying the contents of their cupboard or closet to the public. It’s almost like revealing themselves naked. Hence, the closet was and is always placed in such a way that it is inconspicuous within the room. Its designing and basic architecture has always remained the same. In other words, its function to conceal its contents hasn’t changed.

Here, the ‘closet’ is about individuality. Though the contents in the closet are revealed to the public whenever the owner adorns them, rules of social context are followed. The choice of what is revealed to whom is connected to the varying degrees of intimacy. The closet helps an individual to follow and abide to the rules of contextual integrity. If we could imagine the closet being made up of glass, it would be a clear loss of contextual integrity.

Farnsworth house and Glass House: The plan shows the existence of two bathrooms and some space between in the Farnsworth house. Mies had provided bathrooms anticipating guests in the Fansworth house and he wanted to separate the only private, intimate space in the house - the bathroom from the visitors. According to Alice Friedman, the provision of two bathrooms suggested a desire to hide the modesty of the female body. The guest bathroom was meant to keep visitors from seeing ‘Edith’s nightgown; the emblem of femaleness, sexuality and the body, on the back of the bathroom door xviii.’ This also reveals Mies’ attitude, which was also the attitude of 1950s American society towards single women; that they had very little of their private lives to conceal and that only the nightgown, the sign of her body, was worth concealing.

Every person has a certain aspect of their lives that he wants to keep private and certain aspects that they are comfortable displaying to the public. The fact that Philip Johnson was gay was known to his circle of friends, students and critics. But like other gay men of that era, (before gay liberation) he was forced to wear a mask when he was out in public. The glass house signified the overt side of domestic life and the guest house signified the hidden side of it. The guest house played the role of a closet here.

Though the interiors of both glass houses were exposed to the world, making it vulnerable to the world’s eyes, the physical and the social context of the surroundings did anticipate only a particular category of audience. As seen in the case of the Farnsworth house, due to the development of its surrounding areas and the transformation of the house from a weekend retreat to an exhibit, owing to its fame, the architect was not able to restrict the audience to its anticipated category. This led to a loss of social integrity.


In both cases, the architect hid the closet and in a way hid his client’s identity. The walls, doors and furniture of the house might betray the owner’s identity but the closet would never. The closet in both the houses safeguarded their owners’ secret - the absence of a marriage gown or marriage bands.

3.4. INVISIBLE AUDIENCE Facebook: The way we behave and what we say often depend on the audience. People modulate their tone and volume of their voice during conversations depending on the sensitivity of the content and who is within earshot. People wear appropriate attire to any place considering social norms of the space and the situation. In the physical world, it is possible to comprehend social and architectural dynamics of the space and detect the audience, but in the electronic media it is not possible to do so. Danah Boyd has characterized this as a problem of ‘invisible audiences,’ noting that since ‘not all audiences are visible when a

person is contributing online, nor are they necessarily co-present it can be extremely difficult to fulfil normative expectations of social roles’ xix. Invisible audiences deceive performers as they do not allow situational awareness. Boyd describes ‘the inability to perceive audiences on Facebook prevents users from realizing their misrepresentations.’

The window of Facebook works both ways; just as the audience is invisible, so too is the performer. Users on Facebook have an option of shielding their identity from the prying eyes of parents, professors, police officers, and other guardian figures. Profiles on Facebook become the image of a person. The image can be constructed and hence a Facebook profile allows for role play. Therefore, people, hesitant to give out their real identities, either adopt a pseudo one or reveal less. On Facebook, (as also other social networking sites) people can hide behind a screen - the computer - and keep their identity hidden. Facebook’s recently added privacy filters gave the users an option to introduce categories and create privacy filters, facilitating profiles being controlled impressions for specific audiences.

3.5. EXHIBITIONIST VS. CELEBRITY Columnist Robert Samuelson, writing in the Washington Post, condemned social network sites as nothing but homes for ‘attention whores.’ ‘Exhibitionism is now a big business,’ He continued: What's interesting culturally and politically is that (the popularity of Facebook)

contradicts the belief that people fear the Internet will violate their right to privacy. In reality, millions of people are gleefully discarding or compromising their right to privacy. People seem to crave popularity or celebrity status more than they fear the loss of privacy xx.

Exhibitionists and celebrities have one thing in common: their personal information is exposed to the public. Exhibitionists are not embarrassed nor do they feel alarmed when their personal information is shown to others. Celebrities and politicians live a better part of their lives in a fish bowl; their privacy being threatened constantly. But they might have a sense of revulsion when their personal information is made public. On Facebook, personal information is shown to others by default. Does that classify all users as either exhibitionists or celebrities?


Danah Boyd mentions, digital natives are the first generation to grow up living in celebritystyle publics xxi. Invisible audiences have the potential to turn anyone into a celebrity, because they watch with unseen eyes, obscure norms of appropriateness, and lead to collision of contexts.

A lot of people had labelled Johnson as an exhibitionist. Johnson himself perversely boasted of the pleasure he derived precisely from the risk of exposure within the Glass House: ‘I

mean the idea of a glass house, where somebody just might be looking—naturally, you don’t want them to be looking. But what about it? That little edge of danger in being caught. Sometimes a little kid masturbates because he wants to get caught xxii.’ Johnson was an extremely influential and well known figure during his time. Apart from his circle of friends, architects, architecture students, art circle he was known in the media and press too. A lot of the popularity he received was owing to his own efforts in marketing himself. He craved for attention, unlike Ms. Farnsworth. The Glass House became a stage upon which Johnson performed and controlled the performance of his public life and the brick house shielded his private life from the public. Johnson enjoyed the ‘edge of danger’ and the risk of exposure precisely because he created both means to control and escape the gaze.

3.6. THE GAZE The window is a mediator between spaces and it also holds true in the case of electronic media. In the case of the glass wall, the window is no longer a puncture in the wall, but the wall itself. The function of a wall is to provide privacy (besides shelter and protection from nature) by blocking an outsider’s view of the inside of the house. The problem arises when this function of the wall is altered. Society, familiar with the earlier properties of the wall, finds it extremely hard to adjust to its new functionality. The glass wall exposes the vulnerability of its occupant to the prying eyes of the viewers. This wall is a place of the visual and a place of visual display. The glass window frames views to the outside when viewed from inside, but it also frames views to the interior of the house when viewed from outside. It turns the house into a theatre set upon which the daily life of the occupant is performed or enacted. The glass house didn’t represent domesticity, and it was incapable to function as a family house in the 20th century.

‘I can feel myself under the gaze of someone whose eyes I do not even see, not even discern. All that is necessary is for something to signify to me that there may be others there. The window if it gets a bit dark and if I have reason for thinking that there is someone behind it, is straightway a gaze. From the moment this gaze exits, I am already something other, in that feel myself becoming an object for the gaze of others. But in this position, which is a reciprocal one, others also know that I am an object who knows himself to be seen.’- Jacques Lacan

xxiii

.

Interestingly, the excitement of viewing is derived from a voyeuristic indulgence. Dorothy Kalins writes in her essay ‘the essential thing is that he must believe that if she knew she was

being observed she would immediately pull the shades. She must never know that the concept of privacy has been broken. Once she acknowledges that, he loses his pleasure of watching.’ During the day time due to the glare caused by the rays of the sun, the interiors of glass houses aren’t exposed to a great extent but after dark, the habitants are faced with the problem of being seen without being able to see.


One more interesting thing about looking is that if caught, people wouldn’t mind being caught looking at something rather than someone. This becomes extremely relevant in the case of elevators and subway trains. Staring at anything other than meeting co-passengers gaze is considered correct social behaviour. Here, the distance between the observer and the observed becomes very important. Dorothy Kalins writes about the high-rise, curtain walled office buildings which changed the space inside and the whole concept of privacy. Any two adjacent glass office buildings had access to each other’s interiors. But since the interiors of office spaces do not have much variety and looked similar to each other, it is almost like looking at a mirror image than looking inside a window. Hence, people didn’t stare at others working in these office buildings. Also, the office building being a public place in itself, people were aware of the fact that they were exposed to the view of the others present in the room and an addition of a few more pairs of viewing eyes did not affect them as much.

Farnsworth house: Sometimes it is not necessary that the observer is present outside the house. The mere thought that others can see us from any particular point makes us feel exposed. Mies failed to create a house that made its inhabitant feel protected. In an interview with House Beautiful in 1953 Farnsworth complained, ‘In this glass house with its four walls of glass I feel like a prowling animal, always on the alert. I am always restless xxiv.’ Ms. Farnsworth felt helplessly exposed. She wrote that she found it ‘hard to bear the insolence and boorishness

of those who invaded the solitude of (her) shore and (her) home.... flowers brought to heal the scars of the building were crushed by those boots beneath the noses pressed against the glass.’ Even though she did not meet the trespassers, the crushed flowers provided evidence of their presence.

In the case of the intruders, the consolation that their object of observation is the house and not Ms. Farnsworth herself relieved them of their guilt. They didn’t consider it offensive to intrude her privacy as the house had become an exhibit and as mentioned earlier, they considered it as observing something rather than someone.

‘Do I feel implacable calm?’ she repeated. ‘Even in the evening I feel like a sentinel on guard

day and night. I can rarely sit out and relax...What else? I don’t keep a garbage can under my sink. Do you know why? Because you can see the whole kitchen from the road on the way in here and the can would spoil the appearance of the whole house. So I hide it in the clothes hanger in my house. Any arrangement of the furniture becomes a major problem, because the house is transparent, like an x-ray.’

The Farnsworth house was extremely minimalistic and the interior lacked any drama or character other than a Miesian minimalistic interior showcasing ordered geometry. The positioning of the furniture had a lot to do with how Ms. Farnsworth felt. The furniture always drew the inhabitants gaze to the outside, reminding them that the wall is made of glass and people from outside can see you. Though the service core in the centre was the focal point of the house, yet it lacked drama. The vision or the focus of the inhabitant was always directed outwards. The house had started dictating how she would inhabit the space. The house started controlling her.


Glass house:

In spite of Johnson publically expressing his debt to Mies and mentioning that the Glass house is a derivative from the Farnsworth house, these two houses have a lot of differences. The most remarkable difference being that the transparent Glass house was paired with the opaque Guest house. Johnson in a way tricked his audience - though he maintains the glass house was never meant to be in isolation - yet he deliberately focussed on the Glass house and people conveniently forgot all about the Guest house. Plenty of criticisms and articles written about him and the glass house negate the existence of the brick Guest house. The glass house was about the outside whereas the Guest house was about the inside. The Guest house housed the private life of Johnson whereas the Glass house showcased his public life.

The arrangement of furniture in the glass house allowed for daily chores to take place without being reminded of the outside gaze. Johnson had positioned the furniture within the interior in a way that it created spaces within a space. He mentions in the book Glass house ‘so it’s a set of enclosed things’. The image 17 shows lights reflecting and creating a glow on the brick ceiling against the brick wall as also the glow of the fire place. Strategic placement of furniture and lights within the house lent a dramatic and sensuous character to it, unlike Mies’ ordered geometry. The drama within the house kept the inhabitant’s gaze directed towards the interior, and unlike the Farnsworth house did not remind them of the transparency of the glass walls.


The design of the glass house was not restricted to the glazed walls alone; Johnson had carefully designed the exterior landscape in contrast to Mies whose approach was an intervention within an uninhabited landscape. The interior layout and the surrounding landscape screened and denied visual access to the inside of the house. Provision was made to light the exterior of the house during night. The lights illuminated the lawn and the trees surrounding the house, exposing the outside to the inhabitants inside the house, when the house itself is extremely vulnerable to the intruderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gaze. Hence, in the Glass house the observer outside it was exposed to the inhabitants of the house at night unlike the Farnsworth house. For Johnson, the design of the Glass house was as much the exterior as the interior. EPILOGUE The Farnsworth house and the Glass house challenged the values of 1950sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; America. The conventions of domestic planning during this period were closely related to heterosexual norms of living. These two houses questioned the contested values of gender and sexuality. It raised questions about residential building typologies as patterns of domestic life. In a way, it revolutionized the way people lived. It made people realise that a family was not the only type of client a residential house housed. The lives of an unmarried individual and/or homosexuals that were shunned during this age were suddenly in focus. These houses were instrumental in bringing about a change in the outlook of American society towards singles and homosexuals. The Farnsworth house was designed for the occupant, the Glass house for the occupant as well as the viewer whereas Facebook was designed for the viewer initially and later transformed when met with resistance from the occupant. In this age of monitoring and surveillance, one thing that a person has control over is their true identity. Digital footprints are left everywhere on a daily basis - in hospitals, banks, airports, offices, supermarkets etc. An image is created everywhere, whether constructed or revealed. Everywhere thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a performance going on, there are eyes watching it and people are getting comfortable being watched. The concept of identity related to the closet mentioned earlier becomes relevant in this age, where people are habituated to living in celebrity-style publics. On Facebook, though people reveal their personal information to the public, they still hide behind a screen. People are not scared of exposing their vulnerable side to invisible audiences online, but, in the real world people are still hesitant. The last century has seen a rise in the use of glass in architecture as also in residential projects. More and more people are becoming comfortable living in glass houses. If not completely true, the trend surely shows that we are


heading towards an age of transparency. The closet still gives us an option to safeguard our identity from the public and keep it under wraps. The age of privacy might not be over, but the definition and concepts of privacy have definitely evolved. The entire world is tending towards one big stage. In today’s society, the boundary between private and public is becoming more and more blurred. This blurring of boundaries was instigated by the glass house and revolutionized by Facebook. Boundaries give an identity to all kinds of systems. Boundaries give us a sense of belonging and ownership. The ability to have control over one’s personal information is important here. Boundaries are essential to maintain integrity. Facebook does grant the world a front-row seat to all of our interests, yet it does offer you the choice to draw the curtains. The Farnsworth house didn’t come with the curtains, the curtains had to be installed, whereas the glass house didn’t need the curtains.

Ishita Chatterjee studied Architecture at Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture (Bombay University) and at Städelschule – Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Frankfurt) receiving the M.A degree in Advanced Architectural Design in October 2011. She has worked with sP+a; an Architecture, Urban design and planning firm in Bombay from 2007 till 2009 before pursuing her Masters in Architecture. She is currently working in China with the firm waa (we architech anonymous) in Beijing. She is a licensed architect in India and works free-lance too. i ii

We here refers to Facebook users

Modernist period- late 19th and early 20th century iii Same as above iv Dr. Ian Graham, “Putting Privacy in Context -- An overview of the Concept of Privacy and of Current Technologies” accessed July 20, 2010 http://www.iangraham.org/talks/privacy/privacy.html v Dan Fletcher “How Facebook Is Redefining Privacy” , Time newspaper, Section Businness and Tech, Thursday, May 20, 2010 accessed July 25, 2010 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1990798,00.html vi http://www.facebook.com/help/search/?q=how+do+i+delete+my+account vii Same as 5 viii Joseph A. Barry,” The Next American will be the Age of Great Architecture”, House Beautiful, April 1953. ix Alice Friedman. People who live in Glass Houses: Edith Farnsworth, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, and Philip Johnson. In: Women and the Making of the Modern House. 1998 pp 126-159. x The unmarried daughter of Harvard socialist Talco xi According to George Chaucney, professor of history at Yale University. xii Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy in context: technology, policy, and the integrity of social life, 2010 Jeffrey Rosen, the unwanted gaze: the destruction of privacy in America, 2000 (for a general application of the theory of contextual integrity to the Internet). xiii Irwin Altman, “The environment and social behaviour” 205, Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1975. Originally cited in Zeynep Tufekci, Can You See Me Now? Audience and Disclosure Regulation in Online Social Network Sites, bulletin of science, technology & society,Vol. 28, No. 1, 2008, p. 20-36. xiv Definition of environment by Chris Peterson.in his article Chris Peterson. 2010. “Losing Face: An Environmental Analysis of Privacy on Facebook” ExpressO http://works.bepress.com/cpeterson/2 xv Thaler and Sunstein’s metaphor for the ‘organization’ of the context in which people make decisions. Richard thaler & cass sunstein, nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness 8, Yale University Press, 2008 (definition of a ‘choice architect’). xvi In the context of facebook it means accepting someone as a friend. xvii Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy as Contextual Integrity : Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life” Stanford University Press, 2010 xviii As reported by Myron goldsmith in conversation with Alice Friedman, April 1988. xix Danah Boyd, Taken Out Of Context: American Teen Sociality In Networked Publics (Fall 2008) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California-Berkeley, School of Information), http://www.danah.org/papers/TakenOutOfContext.pdf., at 34. See also Grimmelmann, Saving Facebook, supra note __, at 1162, where he identifies the social heuristics of ‘Nobody in here but us chickens’ and ‘I think we’re alone now.’ xx Robert J. Samuelson, A Web of Exhibitionists, WASH. POST, September 20, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/19/AR2006091901439.html. xxi Danah Boyd, My Friends, mySpace. See e.g. Lamebook, http://lamebook.com (the functional equivalent of a shaming tabloid for Facebookers). xxii Lewis, Hilary and O’Conner, John “Philip Johnson: The Architect in his own Words”. New York, Rizzoli.1994 xxiii The seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book 1. Freud’s papers on Technique, 1953-1954. xxiv Wagner, George “The lair of the bachelor” In Architecture and feminism edited by Debra Colman, Elizabeth Danze and Carol Henderson. Princeton Architectural Press, 1996, pp.183-222. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bobbie Johnson. “Privacy no longer a social norm”, says Facebook founder. Guardian.co.uk, 11 January 2010. Accessed 11 March, 2010 http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy Friedman, Alice. “People Who Live in Glass Houses: Edith Farnsworth, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Philip Johnson.” In American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader, edited by Keith L. Eggener. Urbach Henry.“Closet, Clothes, disclosure”. In Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary introduction, edited by Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner and Iain Borden. The Architext series, 2000. Friedman Alice. “Architecture, Authority and the Female Gaze: Planning and Representation in the Early Modern Country House.” In Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary introduction edited byJane Rendell, Barbara Penner and Iain Borden. The Architext series. 2000. Wilson Elizabeth. Review of Sexuality and Space by Beatriz Colomina. Harvard Design Magazine, Winter/Spring 1997. Colomina Beatriz. “The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism”, In Sexuality and Space. New York, Princeton Architectural Press.1992 Keeler Mark R. “Privacy in the 21st Century: Nothing to Hide”. iUniverse 2006 Petty Margaret Maile.”The Edge of Danger: artificial lighting and the dialectics of domestic occupation in Philip Johnson's Glass and Guest Houses” In Proceedings of the Conference held at the University of Brighton 2nd to 4th July 2009. Kalins Dorothy. “Here's Looking at You: Voyeurism in New York”, New York Magazine, March 1969. Chris Peterson. “Losing Face: An Environmental Analysis of Privacy on Facebook” ExpressO Accessed 19 March, 2010 http://works.bepress.com/cpeterson/2/ Lewis, Hilary and O’Conner, John “Philip Johnson: The Architect in his own Words”. New York, Rizzoli.1994 PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS Image 1 Thermopane advertisement, Architectural Forum, August 1959. Image 2 Frank. Bros advertisement as appearing in Arts and Architecture, June 1953. The background image of the house by Craig Ellwood,Case Study House # 16 Los Angeles 1953. Image 3 – 8 and Image 13, 14 Paul Adams, The Real Life Social Network v2 Image 9, 11 Modern Architecture and Design News Magazine, Internet. Image 10, 11 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsapp/BT/GATEWAY/FARNSWTH/farnswth.html Image 15, 16 Photo Bucket, Internet. Image 17 From Stimmung at Seagram: Philip Johnson Counters Mies van der Rohe, Grey Room 20.


12 Juan MartĂ­nez Amores LIFETIME IN ARCHITECTURE

I have always believed that a tailored suit is not for life. The products have a shelf lifetime, if people do not buy, the economy does not grow, people always want something new. What happen if we applied a lifetime to Architecture?

Many countries have seen in building a model of economic growth in order to grow. What happens when that growth ceases to exist?. When no more to build, when the country has embraced the building as one of its major economic enrichment weapons? In these countries there is never a control, a regulation that allows a constant balance and lasting. All or nothing! This leads me to think that building can change the system, approaching the industrial world, in sectors such as textiles, food, technology ....Accustomed latter to stimulate consumption and sales balance. This essay is based on a useful life applied to any architectural element as if it were a product. In function of different parameters, a building for example, will have more or less years to live. In general terms the system would consist of a continuous movement in construction. Imagine a building provides a useful lives according to architectural quality. Once you reach the period of useful life is demolished to make way for new construction. Since everything will have a lifetime, some divisions are created in the architecture. The more you invest in quality, more years of life will reach an architectural product, can become part of the Patrimony.

Planned obsolescence is the lifetime that is given to a product at the time of manufacture. This theme has to be debated since the beginning of the industrial age. This system has always been criticized by consumer societies, but as time has demonstrated that planned obsolescence is a strong way to be a good balance in the markets. The documentary called buy, throw, buy, by CosinaDannoritzer, is precisely about this infinite production system. Emphasises light bulbs as the real war of life of the products. In the early twentieth century, the big factories at the global level lightbulbs began to invent more and more hours of use. Years later these same companies realized that this method is not benefited, they sold increasingly fewer, so backed off and began marketing lightbulbs somewhat more fragile and less durable.


Putting us squarely on planned obsolescence, we can call it as determination, planning and programming of the end of life of a product or service so that, after a period of time determined in advance by the manufacturer or a service company during the design phase of the product or service, it becomes outdated, nonfunctional, useless or unusable. (Wikipedia). We can say that planned obsolescence was born in 1932 when Bernard London proposed ending the great depression through planned obsolescence. Although it was in 1954 and thanks to Brooks Stevens, who laid the foundation stating that "It is the consumer desire to possess something a little newer, a little better and a little before it's necessary." As I mentioned at the beginning the motivation is to stimulate consumers to switch products or services by offering something new to better design. The consumer today, although know of the existence of planned obsolescence does not realize that the system is falling. A clear example are the smartphone, any model of any brand often progress product practically every year, knowing that there is no difference between a model and consecutive except small physical characteristics, but the commercials sell this product for its new design and improvement yield. In conclusion we can confirm that there are two groups of supporters and detractors. In favor of this method is the one that is intended to highlight in this essay, the market equilibrium. Contrary to born moral valueof selling a product to a customer knowing the date of expiry. My intention is to apply a certain extent planned obsolescence in construction. In this case, the moral value is lower because the customer would know from the time of designing your own home, how many years of service life could reach. The customer first thing should be clear is what he want, how he want and for how long he want. These are the three basic questions that should make any citizen. From this point would be adjusted to a number of parameters, to finally receive a grade for your home.

Take two examples. The first consists of a promoter wants to build houses to sell to young people with few economic resources. The first dilemma of the promoter is for whom were these homes. We can imagine that the developer you are looking for a quality home medium / low, using common materials and somewhat outdated, and leaving aside the unique architectural quality with the aim to successfully sell homes at an affordable price. Rated these parameters the agency responsible for evaluate these homes detects the characteristics of the project and determined such that the useful life will be 60 years. This project has helped improve the quality of the city has not used innovative materials, has not thought about the sustainability of the home itself, so that years of life are less than high quality housing. This does not mean it's bad housing, nor that morally each owner acquiring such housing have ignored, for example, the possibility that their children will inherit that household later. It means that at that moment and with those needs was required that type of housing

This case will probably comes closest to what we understand today as programad obsolescence. Compliments these years of useful life, will bring down the house giving the opportunity to raise a new building with different characteristics. From this point we could see the cycle of life in construction. It is built, destroyed and rebuilt. The second case I pose is that of a wealthy citizen. This man wants to build a luxury home to her son is getting married. He wants his son and his family may have all the comforts that


exist at the time, living in a highly sustainable housing and that the same has an innovative and modern. Father knows that will be spent a lot of money, but think that this house can achieve many years. The agency rate the product, considering the characteristics of the project and making the decision to grant a life of 120 years for example. It has taken this decision because the citizen has invested in sustainability, has used biodegradable materials and has achieved a high level architecture.

01 The jury Once arrived at this point, I would like to explain why this system could someday be applied to society. From then to think any change has to be some special motivation, something must change the current model. Fortunately or unfortunately, today, we all know that money rules construction. Who has money does what he wants and not lying if I say I usually just built following the most economical way of forgetting the quality. At first the expert agent in the design of any architectural element is the architect. His job is to translate the idea of the person has hired. We also know that this person, called a promoter. The promoter is the figure that provides the money for the project.

From my point of view and respecting any opinion, I think in many cases, the developer prepends his criterion to the professional. The result is that the architect, just leaving his true profession, becoming himself a slave owner mentality. This means a very poor architectural quality. I would like to make clear that this opinion is personal and does not mean to this always happens.

Now, it's time to talk about the benefits that are marking a lifetime to any architectural element. We know that the more you invest in the quality of a product, more years of life may reach it, even existing the possibility of being part of the patrimony of a city. Since then prices would adjust to the system, evaluating the execution mode, materials, its labor ... This would result in the creation of divisions arqutiectural itself, in terms of the parameters to we've seen before, such as architectural quality, use of materials, its mode of execution ...

Due to this cycle of build, destroy and build, would exist one dedicated to building companies and other specialized companies to destroy. Both types of companies would have a steady job due to the correct sector dynamics.


Now, we can ask, what would happen to so much of demolition waste materials? Well would not garbage. High need would arise investigation. New jobs for research and development in recyclable materials, sustainable, biodegradable ... With the aim of to be able to know what to do with the 100% of the materials to would be used for the work. This means that most companies would create jobs supplies materials to optimize their product development departments in R & D. ..

If we realize the same life cycle architecture would help not only stabilize the different sectors involved in the construction, but also it would help to direct each company to a particular function. Each company would have a particular place in the construction process. The architect once understood to is what the developer wants, could focus on doing their work comfortably. The construction company is devote to raising the buildings, destroying company would specialize in this process, gaining stability, thanks to the lifetime of the architecture. The factories, would have their manufacturing sector and research work alike. Always discovering new materials, studying the recovery of the same ...

The performance of a plot of land occupied would be very important for nature, because we would not need to build on virgin soil. It would not look like the construction field destroys the based for approving urban plans, so that a country would become an example of caring for the environment.

It would be very interesting to see how different neighborhoods there eclecticism, and in the same street there are architectures for different times. This means that good architecture always win.

As a final conclusion, it is my duty to comment for the last time, to the building would reach a high stability due to the cycle of life. i

Juan Martinez Amores, born March 21, 1984, inAlicante, Spain. Currently working for the architectural firm B&GArchitects. I also do freelance work. Having designed various projects as a bullringanda house. Along with these projects, I have also participated in a number of architectural competitions, both national and international. Finally, I am also in the process of developing my website. Graduated in 2010 from the Universityof Architecture ESAYT, Madrid. During2007-2010, I worked in the architectural firm ArchitectsArtem. i

Bibliography

- Documentary Comprar, tirar, comprar, by CosimaDannoritzer. - Documentary The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard - Documentary De la crisis a la transformacionby Jordi Pigem


13 Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thun, Dan McTavish

FRAGMENTARY UTOPISTICS: TOWARDS A MANIFESTO FOR A MEGAREGIONAL PUBLIC

Prolegomenon

I believe that architecture will never accept the cynically complacent pre-emption of futures. Against the hegemony of the anti-utopian, real-time thinking of our technocratic positivism and experiential nominalism, architecture by its nature continues to be anticipatory, -K. Michael Hayesi inexhaustible, and shared.

Too often slung as an insult by theorists and critics, and in recent times avoided by architects, the notion of utopia must be recast. Against the utopias of totalizing formal, social and moral vision, and in light of imminent transformations within global systems, visions of alternative worlds are again a disciplinary imperative. Positioned relative to a historical reading of literary and architectural utopias, a definition of 'fragmentary utopistics' is developed through the investigation of the Smithsons'Hauptstadt Berlin, Cedric Price’s Potteries Thinkbelt, and ‘Berlin: a Green Archipelago’, by O.M. Ungers et al. These utopian visions are situated in the world, confronting the on-the-ground realties of the city while simultaneously proposing alternatives within its spatio-temporal territory.Fragmentary utopisticsis figured as a manifesto through which to project a contemporary concept of utopia as a radical re-visioning of politics at the scale of the megaregion. Situated within ecologies and agents of North America's Great Lakes Megaregion, the manifesto leverages patterns of urban migration, mobility and the anticipated yield of a near-future renewable energy system towards alternate social ends and imagines a possible future for urban peripheries through this lens.

Structural Crises

Utopistics is the serious assessment of historical alternatives, the exercise of our judgment as the substantive rationality of alternative possible historical analysis. It is the sober, rational, and realistic evaluation of human social systems, the constraints of what they can be, and the zones open to human creativity. Not the face of the perfect (and inevitable) future, but the face of an alternative, credibly better, and historically possible (but far from - Immanuel Wallersteinii certain) future. Karl Mannheim, in his1936 Ideology and Utopia, famously declared that ‘with the relinquishment of utopia, man would lose his will to shape history and therewith his ability to understand it.’iii Since the1980s, Mannheim's caveat seemed to have little resonance, given that the West had seemingly accepted that there was no other rational (or democratic) alternative to the contemporary world capitalist system, and that history (in terms of radical sociocultural and political change) was declared to have ended around 1989.iv By that time, critics had largely dismantled the idea of utopia and utopian manifestos for the city.vUtopian visions for ideal societies had been taken to their grotesque and absurdist ends in counter-


utopian texts.vi Socialist utopias had been likewise discredited, in that they had not been able to adequately confront central questions of power and authority,vii and architectural utopias that shared related ideologies were exposed to be in the end complicit with capitalist structures.viii With the possibilities for ‘utopias of reconstruction’ no longer in the foreseeable future, design culture by the turn of the millennium had been left with two primary modes of engagement: the production of fantasy worlds through ‘utopias of escape,’ or surfing the neo-liberal waves in what has been referred to as ‘post-critical' or 'projective practice.’ix

01 Civil Dissatisfaction: Cairo, New York, and Montreal. (l-r photos by RamyRaoof, Doctor Tongs, Tina Mailhot-Foberge, creative commons usage permission, flickr) The global turn of events within the last decade - and especially since 2008 - has made it increasingly apparent that the declaration of ‘the end of history’ was perhaps premature. Sociologist and world-systems analyst Immanuel Wallerstein proposes that the violent fluctuations that we are witnessing globally - both economically and politically - are evidence of the world-system now ‘very far from equilibrium... [and that] [f]rom now on, we will be living amidst a bifrucation of systemic process.’xWallerstein argues that the historic revolution currently underway is not being spurred by an ideological watershed; rather, it is evidence of the capitalist world-system itself coming to a point of structural crisis. This tipping point includes a nearing of the limits of economic demand, the exhaustion of effective externalization of cost and exploitation (both in terms of populations and resources), the bankruptcy of institutions and states worldwide (which protect, maintain and lubricate the system), and widespread civil dissatisfaction and unrest leading to precarious social situations - from the squares of Cairo, to the Occupy Movement, to the streets of Montreal and Rome.xi(01) The economic crisis is of course not unrelated to the global energy crisis, whose imminent collapse has been widely anticipated since the 1970's, and whose bifurcation in the post-carbon era will have massive repercussions on the shape of human activities, cities and landscapes.xii The globe is also in the midst of a radical evolution in urbanization. For several decades we have been witnessing the worldwide emergence of not only megacities, but also of megaregions: continuously developed urban zones comprised of multiple major urban centers connected by shared economic linkages, settlement patterns, commuter labor pools, infrastructure and environmental systems, history and culture.xiii Due to their scale and diversity, megaregions challenge the functional efficacy of pre-established jurisdictional units - be they those of cities, electoral districts, states, provinces, and nations.


Decision-making regarding system-wide issues such as infrastructure, environment and labor requires alternative forms of governance,as well as a re-conception of implicated publics.xiv If the analysis of Wallerstein regarding the crisis of the current world-system is correct, not only is it going to be impossible to predict what sort of system will emerge out of the current chaos, but this point of systemic bifurcation is, according to systems-theory dynamics, also where specific, seemingly small actions can have system-wide effects at a massive scale.xv Simply put, our sociocultural and political future is no longer the inevitability that it appeared to be twenty years ago. What is more, actions taken in the present moment have the distinct capacity to radically alter our future(s). We argue that at this point in time, the serious exploration and re-examination of utopian manifestoes and visions as potential alternatives to our current situation are not the work of fanciful speculation but an imperative for the discipline. In the words of Henri Lefebvre, ‘Utopia is never realized and yet it is indispensable to stimulate change.’xvi In contrast to the totalizing visions of idealized sociocultural conditions typically associated with the term utopia, we put forth Wallerstein's neologism of utopistics: seriously explored and historically probable alternatives for ‘possible future worlds.’xvii

Utopian and Utopistic Forms Utopian social processes must‘crystallize into a material world.’xviiiMannheim, in his influential analysis of literary utopias, proposes a productive classification of four sociopolitical typologies: chiliastic, liberal-humanitarian, conservative and socialist-communist.xixOur investigation of utopias as formal typologies within the architectural genre through the lens of symbolic urban form suggest three dominant type-forms: the bounded encampment, the parallel framework and the grafted network.

02 Utopias of bounded encampment: More’s Utopia,1516, Frontispiece 1st Edition (Courtesy of Art Resource Inc.), New Harmony, 1826, Robert Owen (Courtesy of Art Resource Inc.) Masdar City, 2007, Foster &Partners (Courtesy of Foster + Partners).

The bounded encampment is the traditional form of utopia and a physical construct wherein the utopian community is physically separated from the outside, from the world system that is other. The boundary separation can be achieved via a medium (often difficult to traverse, such as water or space-time), or physically, such as through a wall. It is the physicality of the boundary that creates the divide that delivers utopia its characteristic of no-place-ness and that is the architectural act by which the utopia maintains its social integrity. Thomas More's Utopia and Plato's Atlantis were both islands with walls for additional protection, and walls typically bound constructed utopias such as New Harmony. Utopias based on exclusion (architectural and social) continue to be built and imagined in practice today, and can be witnessed in the privatized and gated communities for the privileged classes, whether they be Celebration, USA, Masdar, UAE, or Orange County, China.xx(02)


In the postwar period, a second type of utopian form emerged; one that might be characterized by the type-form of the parallel framework. This utopian architecture exists physically and temporally within the space of the city, but is conceived of as distinct from it. Parallel framework utopiaslike Constant Nieuwenhuys 's New Babylon and Yona Friedman's Spatial Paris literally floated above existing cities.Ideologically based in the open-ended, and often ludic, societal and architectural visions of the 50's and 60's avant-garde, these utopian frameworks were designed to evolve and change over time within defined physical and societal frameworks.xxi However, each ultimately maintains a relative otherness and separation from the world, re-enacting an exclusion from the world system, and disengaged from dynamic feedback and historical process with the global world system.

The third type-formcan be described as the grafted network, or,what the Smithsonsreferred to as a ‘fragmentary utopia,’in reference to theirHauptstadtBerlin proposal.xxii This is an alternative social and urban vision that is some-place, it is embedded and intertwined with the world.A fragmentary utopia is incomplete and anticipatory while also being situated and porous in relation to its surroundings, be they physical, economic, political, social or ecological. Because of these characteristics, we would argue that fragmentary utopias can be regarded as utopistic, exhibiting what Carl Popper calls ‘piecemeal engineering’ in his Open Society and Its Enemies, and aiming not at the establishment of a stable ideal condition or ultimate good, but rather positioned‘against the greatest and most urgent evils.’xxiii Fragmentary utopisticspresent not a total vision of space or society, but rather, situate themselves within precise historic and urban moments to act as platforms from which new societal processesand urban futures can be enacted through the confrontation and negotiation of individuals as a/in public.xxiv


Three Manifestos Toward a Fragmentary Utopistics Hauptstadt Berlin (1957-58), Alison and Peter Smithson

It is essential that the projects presented at the next Congress should not be banal attempts to provide the conditions considered ideal at the time of the Charted'Athens but that they should be ideal projects aimed at solving some of the issues which the Charted'Athens did not recognize and which are vital today. xxv Alison and Peter Smithson Alison and Peter Smithson wrote the ‘Doorn Manifesto’ of 1954 and ‘Framework 4’ of 1956, two documents which became the basis for the agenda of Team X.These manifestos were positioned in response to the functionalist visions emerging from adherence to the Athens Charter, the sense of depletion of meaningful human association in the post-war period and the tendency for modernist architectures to project ideals without considering the total complex of related communities and their habitats. In this context, form is the unique responsibility of the architect, and is to be considered ‘not a passive result of forces but a force in itself.’xxviThe Smithson’s 'Hauptstadt Berlin'competition proposal (figure 3) envisions an elevated ‘platform net’ that weaves through the war-ravaged urban fabric of Berlin, creating a permanently embedded physical and social scaffold for redevelopment. Positioned in contrast to the ‘tabula rasa’ schemes of urban reconstruction promoted by the second generation of modernists, this proposal tried to overcome social alienation through the design of a physical mobility and access network that wasenmeshed with the existing urban context.. Through the promotion and facilitation of mobility, the Smithsons saw the potential of greater human association and individual identity.

03 Haupstadt Berlin, Alison and Peter Smithson, 1957-58. (Courtesy of Harvard University GSD Special Collections)


Potteries Thinkbelt (1964-66), Cedric Price

It will be a catalyst, encouraged in its action by the educational side of the Thinkbelt. People well begin to demand an ever bigger improvement in their socio-civic environment and the entrepreneurial instinct will be awakened by the demand. - Cedric Pricexxvii

The utopistic vision of Cedric Priceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 'Potteries Thinkbelt' (04) is found in its democratization of new formats of applied higher education by leveraging mobility, flexibility and accessibility, and in its open-ended redeploymentof post-industrial infrastructures and communities. Price was concerned by the lack of adaptation in institutional learning, declaring that universities had become exclusive enclaves that provided knowledge for only a select few, and that this knowledge was also out of date with changing technologies and industries.xxviiiHe proposed to leverage the existing industrial and mobility infrastructure in England's post-industrial area of North Stratfordshire to create a mobile, adaptable and openly conceived public university for new technology education and applied research. Central to Price's argument was that in order to transform education it was necessary to address the spatial apparatus of education, as opposed to just focusing on its content and progenitors. Price's mobile, transformable campus network was made accessible through the existing rail infrastructure and Price imagined that this could transform the Potteries into a cybernetically integrated and interactive landscape that would develop new formats of think-tank research and inclusive higher education, available to the working classes and distributed throughout the region.

04 Potteries Thinkbelt, Cedric Price, 1964-66 (Courtesy of Art Resource Inc.)


Berlin as a Green Archipelago (1977), O.M. Ungerset. al.

The kind of coherence that the metropolis can achieve is not that of a homogeneous planned composition. It can be, at the most, a system of fragments, a system of multiple - Rem Koolhaasxxix realities…

The proposal 'Berlin as a Green Archipelago' (05) can be seen as a utopistic vision that embraces the void and the fragment as active ways of confronting urban depopulation and transformation within a strictly defined political area. Against the urbanizing tendencies of growth-based development, and the totalizing formal and moral urban visions of the Enlightenment utopias, ‘Berlin as a Green Archipelago’ proposed a city that would operate through a series of urban artifacts that coalesce legible built form and cultural (political) practices, interconnected through infrastructure(s). Set within a diffuse and shrinking urban fabric that would be promoted to further depopulate and deconstruct into a ‘green sea’ of informal metabolic processes; this could constitute anything from agricultural fields and hybrid natures to suburban zones and drive-in theaters - in other words, the void, the ‘highly charged nothingness’ of the contemporary city.xxxThis project imagines a framework for construction and deconstruction that allows for multiple urban realities and politics to emerge and coexist from within the system.

05 Berlin as a Green Archipelago, Ungerset. al, 1977. (Courtesy of the Ungers Archive of Architectural Sciences)


Toward a Megaregional Public

The utopian aspiration of this project is about the political use of it. This project is in itself ‘real’ and it demands a new political regime to be implemented. The essential aspect of this new political regime will be the assumption of responsibility towards the making of decisions - Brussels: A concerning the collective domain. Manifestoxxxi

The utopistic projects and manifestos of the Smithsons, Price and Ungers were all proposed at historic moments and locations when urban and social structures were in a state of flux and bifurcation. We argue that we are again at a moment of bifrucation, where urban visions for possible future world(s) are a necessity. What follows, is a proposal for an alternative future, a type of fragmentary utopistics, in the context of the emerging Great Lakes Megaregion (GLM). The work is not a complete urban schema, nor a totalizing vision it is instead a series of connected fragments that are simultaneously prototypical and specific. A network of architectural interventions is intertwined within existing conditions,operating as a lever for transformation and a stage for potential futures. Positioned strategically relative to specific values and systems, this proposal points towards a sociopolitical system that strives for the larger social aim of being ‘relatively democratic and relatively egalitarian’ for multiple actors; one that is conceived of as a ‘process rather than a form,’and comprised of institutions and systems based on performance and survival rather than exponential profit.xxxii The project takes on the context of the GLM, which spansUS and Canadian borders, encompassing the five Great Lakes. Megaregionsare defined as not merely statistical zones of high economic activity and urbanization, but as places where the necessity of the construction of new urban and ecological infrastructures, new political units and new forms of governance avail a fertile ground for imagining an alternative urban and social future.xxxiii The GLM is currently undergoing a range of structural crises that define its condition. These include: a downturn in the manufacturing base of the ‘Rust Belt’ on one hand and the projected acute increase in population within Southern Ontario (via international immigration) and other US urban centers (via national migration) on the other; the global transformation in fuel supply from primarily carbon-based to a matrix of fuel types including renewables, and their compatibility with existing patterns of urbanization; vast tracts of chronically deteriorating infrastructure, in some places largely abandoned and in others within a state of terminal gridlock; and vast population distributions living in low density peripheral urban zones, where the correctional idea of a civic life as prescribed by the proponents of New Urbanism is questionable, and in worst cases potentially catastrophic in its divisive political implications. Within this situation, we see a systematic point of leverage in the détournement of the significant renewable energy potential within the GLM towards alternative urban public ends.xxxivWhat if the potential yield from renewable energy resources could be harnessed,

not for maximum private profit, but rather for a retooling of current conditions towards a megoregional public?xxxv The project operates by directing the profits from renewable energy production towards a new public infrastructural network, overlaid upon the current right-of-way of major highways (the meta-system around which existing urbanizationin the region has been produced).xxxvi The proposal begins with a restructuring of the highway's constituent DNA from a simple, single-purpose and single-access surface to an intelligent network of bundled modes of mobility that can provide access for multiple vehicle types, conveyances and speeds: cars and trucks, renewable-grid-tied elevated high speed rail that could accommodate both infra-regional commuters but also specialized freight and personal lightweight vehicles, renewable power transmission, high capacity data transmission, fresh water supply and waste conveyance. This viaduct is networked with other local and


international systems of conveyance, transit and transport, so that it forms an open corridor, interconnected through open access for multiple populations and effectively collapsing timespace within the region. Recalling the proposals of the Smithsons and Price, infrastructure is appropriated for social and inclusive ends, bringing together multiple populations of individuals to constitute a megaregional public from which alternative political and social formations emerge, and for whom new modes of accessibility can be availed.

06 The Great Lakes Megaregion as a synthetic boundary that conflates the hydrologic basin with the RPA identified census boundary and that assembles implicated territories of reliance and exchange as a single geography. Renewable energy potential, and existing infrastructure are leveraged to implement a bundled regional conduit comprised of maglev transit, energy, freshwater, and waste distribution, as well and nodal developments at strategic points (authors)

Along its systemic length, sites of highway interchange become places where new developments can be implemented that explicitly frame confrontation and negotiation, i.e. public spaces. (06) Beyond points of transfer, these sites house new megaregional institutions and are anticipated to become the strategic platforms upon which the future forms of society and politics will be debated, developed and played out by the citizens of the region. Three interchanges are developed in detail: at Toronto, Detroit-Windsor and Chicago. (07) The interchange developments are both recognizable from and embedded within their immediate context;physically and operationally intertwined with other systems, each interchange is formally manifest as a distinct urban artifact and in this way maintains its utopian legibility. Each demands the question of how to represent and construct the public institutions of the megaregion: ubanistically and architecturally.They operate as architecturally legible form(s) and as urban stages, at times monumental, for promiscuous programs and a projective politics of resistance. It is through these fragmentary utopistic proposals and strategic architectural interventions that architecture articulates its agency as a cultural and political frame of thought offering alternatives relative to the hegemonic culture of late capitalism and its associated spatial byproducts as a mode of civic space production.


07 Actor Network Diagram: the infrastructural, ecologic, logistic and social actors and agents implicated in the situation of the Detroit-Windsor Crossing (authors)

Architecture should have little to do with problem-solving – rather it should create desirable conditions and opportunities hitherto thought impossible... - Cedric Pricexxxvii

The Gateway

Here we see represented the vast capacity of numbers of persons in space – especially in the psychological conditions spanning from distraction to modestly conscious social intention – to reframe their spatial relations to each other over and over again, over a surprisingly short span of time. - George Bairdxxxviii Located within the massive intersection of the 401 and 427 highways, adjacent to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, the Gateway rises as a monumental landscape: a modern acropolis constructed not for defense but for assemblage. (08) This is a place of collective citizenship, orientation, physical and spiritual life. The Gateway is a port of arrival as well as a space of public apprehension where the social questions of inclusion and exclusion are conflated within one ideal heterotopic complex. Here, new immigrants arriving by airencounter current residents and visitors to and from the megaregion.xxxix Networked with the surrounding city via an AirRail link, public transportation, private last-mile hybrid fueled vehicles and bicycle accessto the ravine system, the Gateway draws not only on the vast populations of the megaregion, but also on the highly diverse populations which have come to characterize the city of Toronto.xl The great arrival hall becomes a mixing chamber where residents confront the space between new ideals and established ones. Contained within


this megastructure are public assembly halls totaling over 200,000 seats: some take the form of Olympic-scaled stadia, rinks, and athletic facilities, while others accommodate congregation for religions and sects represented in the megaregion. (09) Gathering a diverse population, this space of theatres and temples acts as a crucible from which a sense of publicness and collective can emerge through social participation and play.

08 Figure 8. The Great Arrival Hall at the Toronto Gateway: new immigrants mix with current residents and visitors to and from the megaregion. Beyond, an international swim meet is underway (authors)

09 The Gateway at Toronto raises above the highway as a monumental landscape; within is a heterogeneous landscape of vessels for sport and congregation. (authors)


Adjacent to the spaces of gathering are research spaces for collaboration across the various public universities, government agencies and emerging industry sectors within the megaregion. The Gateway becomes a regionally connected think-tank of research into new methods of food production, agricultural science, kinetic medicine and nutrition. A new joint US/Canadian high-performance training center is also located here, where international athletes can train, resideand participate in the space of physical and cultural bodies. The complex is positioned as a host for international competitions, events and symposia due to its adjacency to two significant modes of international travel. The only question that remains is: who is the home team and who does one cheer for?

The Crossing

â&#x20AC;Śurban governanceâ&#x20AC;Śmixes together state powers (local, metropolitan, regional, national, or supranational) with a wide array of organization forms in civil society (chambers of commerce, unions, churches, educational and research institutions, community groups, NGOs, and so on) and private interests (corporate and individual) to form coalitions to promote or manage urban or regional development of one sort or another. - David Harveyxli

Located strategically at the USA/Canada border between Detroit and Windsor, the Crossing takes the form of a 2.4km long inhabited bridge spanning the Detroit River. (Figure 10) In resistance to the privatization and for-profit entrepreneurialism of governance and environmental stewardship, the Crossing houses the Centre for Great Lakes Governance which aims to re-establish politics through confrontation and negotiation of individuals and authorities in a newly-formed megaregional public domain. Located at its centre, at the virtually inscribed geopolitical border, this consists of a collection of assembly halls, attendant hotel and support programs, where representatives of the over 56,000,000 Great Lakes Megaregional citizens convene to determine policy and action on matters concerning the shared resources, environmental protection, regional labor, transportation, trade and other matters of megaregional importance that require cross-border collaborative decision-making, new policies and formats of governance.

An expanded free trade zone, container port and associated operational facilities is developed on the Windsor side of the Crossing, taking advantage of the water-based freight capacity of the Great Lakes. Across the river, in Detroit, a staging area for the deployment of off-shore wind turbines, which now form a major part of the megaregional economy, is created. Adjacent is a not-for-profit, extra-jurisdictional medical complex that takes the form of a large courtyard structure set a top a plinth, providing specialized treatment, as well as supporting medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. The compacted logistics zone avails a broad territory of aqueous and land remediation processes, while producing public recreational landscapes at the water's edge.


10 The Crossing at Detroit-Windsor is an occupied bridge that implicates highly complex regional material transfer as well as new forms of extra-jurisdictional accommodation (authors)

Completely accessible by the public, the megaregional maglev train stops mid-span, with shuttle servicing both ends and connecting to local transit. The entire space of the bridge is a free zone, where national citizenship - and hence certain conditions of inclusion and exclusion - is suspended. Intra-institutional research programs focusing on energy resources, aquatic and biotic systems, are housed in the body of the bridge. Health care is displaced from the interests of both corporate and government agents, and is rendered accessible to all citizens of the GLM. At the centre, individuals in formal and informal contexts govern and shape the politics of the region through propinquity and confrontation. (11)


11 The Crossing: The Centre for Great Lakes Governance Council where issues of freshwater and resources are debated (authors)

The Exchange

Questions of the commons, we must conclude, are contradictory and therefore always contested. Behind these contestations lie conflicting social and political interests. Indeed, ‘politics,’ Jacques Ranciere has remarked, ‘is the sphere of activity of a common that can only ever be contentious.’ At the end of it all, the analyst is often left with a simple decision: Whose side are you on, whose common interests do you seek to protect, and by what - David Harveyxlii means?

Located in a linear swath along the axis of Chicago's the Congress Parkway, the central axis of the 1909 Burnham Plan, and stretching from Lake Michigan over the I94/I90 Circle Interchange to the UIC Campus, is an assembly of (is)lands that are geographically central, yet morphologically peripheral to the city. Currently, multiple parcels along this urban transect are dedicated to large-scale infrastructure, parking and logistics, creating a functional and phenomenal threshold within the city. In resistance to the monopolization of the market for hegemonic gain and the systemic privatization of the city and its institutions, as well as the exploitation of common water resources by the city (specifically, in the case of the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal), the Exchange forges a place of free market exchange, open intellectual exchange and biotic exchange between urban and environmental systems. This new infrastructure encourages the politics and processes of a contemporary, synthetic nature to intermingle and intertwine with those of the city within a charged urban seam where both inflows and outflows materialize and become apparent, while producing a public space of appearance at the edge of the official city.


12 The Exchange in Chicago is an urban precinct of open and constructed spaces (authors) The architectural form of the Exchange is rhizomic. (12) It weaves through built and voided spaces of the city to interconnect a series of entry points through a common urban fabric and pedestrian access: a new maglev terminal atop the Circle Interchange, a redesigned bus terminal, extended connections at Union and LaSalle Stations, an expanded Van Buren Station and a new ferry port for regional lake travel are all interconnected with an elevated multi-passenger link. An open field ofinterconnected interior and exterior public space maintains the legibility of an urban precinct. Interwoven between the access points are a series of new spaces: a university commons above the highway links the UIC campus to the city; a complex for global freshwater futures trading is located above the LaSalle Station, diametrically in relation to the Chicago Stock Exchange; (13) an entrepreneurship and microbusiness incubator occupies the site of the old post office and includes a megaregional marketplace at street level. Amongst these, new housing developments bring a residential constituency and pedestrian daily life. The public armature also links a set of soft systems: an urban digester envelops the new Wacker Street off-ramps, aquatic stabilization processes combine with recreational space at the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and a network of urban parks and linear planted zones along the streets process rainwater. This mongrel urban architecture of competing concerns integrates the space of the market with new forms of ecological entrepreneurship, networks of common space and the support of multiple forms of open exchange.

A Crisis of Legible Form But wait - isn't the primarily legible form and scale of architecture described in this proposition simply complicit with the current system and not socially utopian at all - or worse, endemic of the pitfalls of utopia in its authoritarian and exclusionary forms? We would maintain that at its best, architecture crystallizes human ideas and values. The efficacy of architecture lies in its production of platforms from which a collective can emerge and not the reaffirmation of the status quo. In their clear delineation and explicit form, the interchanges establish themselves as apart from their context, yet in temporal and evolutionary interchange with it. In their distinct otherness, places of plurality are established, where multiple realities can coexist, and where publics may be actively formed.


For the monument. It is the only conceivable or imagined site of collective (social) life. It

controls people, yes, but it does so to bring them together...In their very essence, and sometimes at the very heart of a space in which the characteristics of a society are most recognizable and commonplace, monuments embody a sense of transcendence, a sense of being elsewhere. They have always been u-topic. Throughout their height and depth, along a dimension that was alien to urban trajectories, they proclaimed duty, power, joy, hope. - Henri Lefebvrexliii

Geoffrey Th端n and Kathy Velikov are Associate and Assistant Professors of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, and partners in the research-based practice RVTR. With studios in Ann Arbor and Toronto, RVTR operates as an experimental platform from which to develop work on pressing design issues that are transforming practice and theory. The work explores the agency of architecture and urban design within the context of ecological systems, infrastructures and techno-logically mediated environments and ranges in from speculative design at the scale of urban regions to installations of responsive and kinetic envelopes that activate energy, atmospheres and social space. RVTR has received numerous awards including a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture (2011), an R&D Award from Architecture Magazine (2010), the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council for the Arts (2009), the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers (2008). The work has been widely exhibited and published in Volume, MONU, New Geographies Journal, the JAE, Bracket, and in texts published through Routledge, Taylor and Francis and the MIT Press. Dan McTavish is a graduate student pursuing his Masters of Architecture within the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, and a researcher/designer at RVTR Ann Arbor. His research and interests explore the social and political projects of architecture.


Acknowledgements Project Team: Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov, Mary O'Malley, Dan McTavish, Colin Ripley, Adam Smith, Lisa Sauvé, Caileigh Mackellar, Richard Tursky, ZainAbuSeir, David Weinreich, Maya Przybylski, Mike Vortruba, Matt Peddie, Matt Storus, Sonja Storey-Fleming. This project has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Research/Creation Grant Program, the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Rackham Graduate School, and Ryerson University. The work is currently part of a solo exhibition entitled "Infra Eco Logi Urbanism" that first opened at the UQAM Centre de Design in Montreal in February 2013.

                                                            i

K. Michael Hays, ‘After Critique, Whither?’ Praxis 5 (2003), p. 18. Immanuel Wallerstein, Utopistics. Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century (New York: New York Press, 1998), pp. 1-2. iii Karl Mannheim, Ideology And Utopia: an Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner& co., ltd., 1946 [1936]), p. 263. iv The assertion of the hegemony of the capitalist system is apparent in Margaret Thatcher's famous 1980s quote ‘There is no alternative,’ quoted in David Harvey, Megacities Lecture 4: Possible Urban Worlds (Amersfoot, NL: TwynstraGudde Management Consultants, 2000), p. 57. The apparent (final) triumph of liberal democracy was then further articulated in Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, (New York, NY: Free Press, 1992). v Literary utopias, such as those of Plato, More, Bacon and Saint-Simon had been exposed to be fundamentally based on authoritarian, totalitarian and exclusionist principles. See, for example Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, [1971], c1966). vi Ricoeur cites in particular the counter-utopias of George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. See Paul Ricoeur, Lectures on Ideology and Utopia, (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 287-288. vii Ricoeur, Lectures, p. 298 viii ManfredoTafuri, Architecture and utopia: design and capitalist development. (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1976), pp. verify - or really entire text. ix Utopias of reconstruction and escape are articulated by Lewis Mumford, The Story of Utopias, (New York, NY: Boni and Liveright, 1922), p. 15. On the postcritical turn (and specifically its critics) see for example: George Baird, 'Criticality and its Discontents,’ Harvard Design Magazine 21 (Fall 2004/Winter 2005), pp 16- 21; Reinhold Martin, ‘Critical of What?’ Harvard Design Magazine22 (Spring/Summer 2005), pp 104-108; and Roemer van Toorn, ‘No More Dreams?,’ Harvard Design Magazine 21 (Fall 2004/Winter 2005), pp 22-31. x Wallerstein, ‘Structural Crises,’ New Left Review 62 (March/April 2010), p. 140 xi On the privatization of profit and the socialization of risk see for example, Alain Badiou, The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprising, (London: Verso, 2012); David Harvey, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, (London: Verso, 2012); Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, (London: Sage Publications, 1992) xii While there is substantial discussion of ‘peak oil’ (amongst shortages of other resources such as water), no one has been able to really imagine or understand the architectural, urban and social fallout should this energy supply fail. ‘No substitutes for oil have been developed on anything like the scale required, and most are very poor net energy performers,’ write Charles A. S. Hall and John W. Day, Jr., ‘ Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil,’ Scientific American 97 (May-June 2009), p. 237. xiii The literature on megaregions is substantial. For a fundamental reference see: Catherine Ross, Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness (Island Press, Washington, DC., 2009). xiv See Ross, op cit. as well as SaskiaSassen, ‘Megaregions: benefits beyond sharing trains and parking lots?’ K. Goldfeld (Ed.), The Economic Geography of Megaregions (Princeton, NJ: Policy Research Institute for the Region, 2007). and Judith Innes, David E. Booher& Sarah Di Vittorio, ‘Strategies for Megaregional Governance,’ Journal of the American Planning Association (2010). xv Wallerstein is not alone in his analysis: his theories are heavily based on the work of FernandBraudel. For another take on the scenario of structural limits of global systems, see Donella H Meadows and Jørgen Randers, The Limits to Growth: the 30-year Update (White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green, 2004); Both Wallerstein and Meadows base their thinking on the dynamics of complex systems. xvi Henri Lefebvre as quoted by, David Pinder, Visions of the City,(New York: Routledge, 2005) p.1 xvii Harvey, Megacities, op cit. xviii Harvey, Megacities, op cit. p. 78 xix Ricoeur, Lectures, op-cit., pp. 276-279 xx Robert Fishman has argued that 19th and 20th century suburbia itself was a kind of utopia. See Robert Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias, The Rise and Fall of Suburbia (New York: Basic Books, 1989) and Robert Fishman, ‘Global Suburbs,’ presented at the First Biennial Conference of the Urban History Association, Pittsburgh, PA 2002, p. 2 [accessed July 20 2012 at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sdcamp/up540/Fishmanglobalsuburb.pdf]. xxi For a more complete history, specifically on Friedman's project see Larry Busbea, Topologies: The Urban Utopia in France 1960-1970 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1970). xxii Alison and Peter Smithson, Urban Structuring, (Studio Vista: London, 1967) p. 75 xxiii Popper, Open Society, op cit., p. 158 xxiv On the idea of politics, publics and public space see for example, Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998); Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011); Pier Vittorio Aureli, ‘Toward the Archipelago: Defining the Political and the Formal in Architecture,’ Log: Obervations on architecture and the contemporary city, 16 (Winter 2008) p. 91-120; George Baird, Public Space: Culture, Political Theory, Street Photography, (Amsterdam:SUN Architectural Press, 2011) xxv Alison and Peter Smithson, ‘Draft Framework 4, 1956,’ reprinted in Jos Bossman, Team 10 1953-1981: in search of a utopia of the present (Rotterdam: NAi, 2006) pp. 48-49. xxvi Ibid., p. 49. xxvii Cedric Price, ‘Potteries Thinkbelt’, New Society, 2 June 1966, reprinted in Samantha Hardingham and KesterRattenbury, Supercrit #1: Cedric Price Potteries Thinkbelt, (Oxon: Routledge, 2007) pp. 14-17. xxviii Stanley Mathews, From Agit-Prop to Free Space: The Architecture of Cedric Price (London: Black Dog, 2007) p. 195. xxix Rem Koolhaas, ‘Imaging the Nothingness’ 1985, in Jacques Lucan, OMA- Rem Koolhaas: Architecture 1970-1990, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991) p. 156-157 xxx Ibid., p. 157. xxxi Berlage Institute, Brussels-A Manifesto: Towards the Capital of Europe (Rotterdam: NAi, 2007), 95 xxxii For these concepts see Wallerstein, Structural Crises, op cit. p. 141; and Wallerstein, ‘New Revolts Against the System,’ New Left Review 18 (Nov/Dec 2002), p. 39, as well as Harvey, Megacities, op. cit., p. 71 xxxiii For expanded descriptions of this project see: Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov, Colin Ripley, ‘Re-Centering the Periphery,’ in Volume 32, Centers Adrift, 30-37 and Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov; ‘CONDUIT Urbanism: Regional Ecologies of Energy and Mobility,’ in New Geographies 02: Landscapes of Energy, ed. Rania Ghosn (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 83-96 and Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov, ‘Post-Carbon Highway,’ in Fuel, ed. John Knechtel (Cambridge: MIT Press), 164-211. xxxiv The substantial wind energy generation capacity of the Great Lakes has been estimated at over 3.2 GW - over 20% of current US energy requirements. See Helimax Energy Inc. 2008. Analysis of Future Offshore Wind Farm Development in Ontario. Retrieved March 17 2008 from http://www.wrapwind.com/download/2008-11-helimax2006.pdf and Land Policy Institute. 2008. Michigan’s Offshore Wind Potential. (accessed March 17 2008). In 2009 the Province of Ontario launched bill 152, or the Green Energy Act. This establishment of the most aggressive feed in tariff program for renewable energy production: the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) FIT program for large scale renewable energy producers (>10 kWp) has resulted in the installation to date of 1413 MW of land-based wind farms, with an additional 719 MW in development (ISEO 2012), and 242 MW of photovoltaic installations approved (Ontario Ministry of the Environment 2012). OPA's MicroFIT program for small-scale solar energy producers (<10kWp) offers $0.802/kW with a guaranteed 20-year contract. xxxv This could be conceived of as something like an energy common. A precedent for this might be seen in the state-owned energy enterprises of the Petroleum Fund Norway which reserve a certain percentage of profits from oil extracted from the North Sea towards public funds for the Norwegian population. See http://www.arcticgas.gov/norway%E2%80%99s-different-approach-to-oil-and-gas-development. xxxvi Thün and Velikov, ‘Post-Carbon Highway,’ op.cit., 168-177. xxxvii Cedric Price, quoted in Hardingham and Rattenbury, Supercrit #1, op. cit. p.11 xxxviii George Baird, Public Space: Cultural/Political Theory; Street Photography (Amsterdam, NL: SUN Architecture Publishers) p. 105. xxxix Toronto received 92,000 immigrants in 2010 http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/research-stats/facts2010.pdf xl Half of Toronto’s population was born outside of Canada and is home to 36% of all immigrants living in Ontario and 42.4% of all visible minorities in Ontario. On Toronto’s diversity statistics see of example http://www.toronto.ca/toronto_facts/diversity.htm, ii

http://www.toronto.ca/quality_of_life/diversity.htm xli David Harvey, Rebel Cities op. cit., p. 100 xlii Harvey, Rebel Cities, op. cit. p. 71 xliii Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003) p. 22-23


14 Lee Aviv

DISMANTLING/RECOUPING: PETER EISENMAN’S ENGAGEMENT WITH CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE IN THE 1980S Proposing the End of the Classical in Architecture In The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, The End of the End, Eisenman was able to articulate a sweeping philosophy about architecture as a whole, which consists of seeing architecture from the fifteenth century to the present as three fictions that comprise an ‘abstract system of relations’ that continues throughout the Modern Movement. i The first fiction is representation, which was intended to frame meaning. For example, this includes the Renaissance representation of already-valued antique buildings and the simulation of this in post-modern architecture, as well as the representation of function in modern architecture. The second fiction is reason, which was intended to order truth. This involves the search for origins and predetermined goals, for example, the formation of a set of compositional rules, the creation of type forms, as well as function and technique as forms of rational origins. And the third fiction is history, which was intended to extricate the idea of the timeless from that of change. This consists of the use of preceding buildings as a source of the timeless, as well as modern architecture’s invocation of the zeitgeist as eternal thereafter. Around the time of this publication, Eisenman’s intellectual and design trajectory focused on directly overcoming these three fictions. Eisenman argues that ‘once the loss of self-evident value allows the timeless to be cut free from the meaningful and the truthful,’ then it is no longer necessary to produce ‘architecture by recourse to the classical values inherent in representation, reason, and history.’ ii He proposes and develops a method of textually reading and producing architecture (most directly applied in the Cities of Artificial Excavation), addressing architecture as a kind of writing, thus eliminating the classical concepts of origin and end as well as representations of an idealized past or future. The initial question that this endeavor raises is: do the results of this attempt to dismantle the ubiquity of classical architecture actually produce any new form of meaning or merely replicate the very conditions they are supposed to be in opposition to? Rethinking the Affirmation of Truth and the Dismantling of Classical Architecture Before further considering this question, it is important to address the arguments made in Eisenman’s text Misreading Peter Eisenman (1987). In this essay, which is retrospective of Eisenman’s earlier work, Eisenman identifies that ‘the history of architecture can be seen as

the continual rereading, and misreading, of the metaphysic of architecture through successive dislocations, and the subsequent institutionalization of each dislocation, which thereby reconstitutes the metaphysic.’ iii While Eisenman’s early projects would ultimately be continuous with this process, the question remains: how do his projects at this time break free from prior practices of stylistic innovation? Eisenman suggests that in other practices, the new was previously disguised or believed as necessarily being a dislocation, and was to serve institutions. In contrast, he suggests that


some of his earlier projects implement an alternative process of form making that is freed from functional considerations, resulting in unpredictable changes to the nature in the uses of the spaces. In addition, these projects implement a challenge to convention and the passive acceptance of the authoritative conventional object. Comparing these projects to the conventional object—whose referent is in ‘the human body, traditional or indigenous constructions, or some preformed classical system of meaning’—K. Michael Hays points out that ‘Strategies of defamiliarization and estrangement, by contrast [to the traditional],

attempt to make the processes of the object’s production and the mechanisms of its representation part of its content. The object does not attempt to pass itself off as unquestionable, but rather to lay bare the devices of its own formation so that the viewer will be encouraged to reflect critically on the particular, partial ways in which it is constituted, the particular ways it takes its place.’ iv Hays describes a rather ideal situation that requires a certain level of knowledge about disciplinary conventions, and ultimately relies on a certain level of clarity and consistency within the design processes. And this is not to say that Eisenman entirely dismisses conventional architectural referents, but rather estranges them (see Figure 1). For example, a cube divided into bays (characteristic of Eisenman’s earlier work) is an abstraction of the conventional or classical architectural object—although already powerful in its abstraction—that is further estranged through methods of shifting, rotating, etc. But this leads to a paradox, and to a retreat to the classical as non-fictitious. As architectural theorist Nana Last points out: ‘Eisenman’s epistemology remains under the

influence of functionalist thinking in his foregrounding of function (even in the negative) and in his not questioning the hegemony of functionalism in society…It is not so much the emphasis on function or object presence per se that brings Eisenman’s thinking in line with functionalist and positivist dictates, but his posing of these (or any) requirements as a priori.’ v This is not to be confused with the creation or use of classical rules of representation—for example, the replacement of perspective with axonometric projection, the use of classical bays and intervals, etc.—in these projects as it was necessary to their implementation of design processes. As art critic Hal Foster argues, ‘the form-making of

avant-garde design [during this time in Eisenman’s career had developed] to such a point that it had to confront (once again) its own modernist dilemma: how given this apparent freedom, to motivate architectural decisions?’ vi Once the imperatives of the Modern Movement became understood as constructed, or as ‘fictions,’ it left a more dangerous than liberating clean slate that influenced a desire for complete freedom in design among many architects. Foster continues: ‘It was largely an engagement with modes of representation

that saved Eisenman…from the willful shape-changing of [Frank] Gehry and his followers.’ vii

01 Eisenman’s columns in House I, II, III, and VI—abstraction of orders, formal dismantling of hierarchy of parts/proportion/symmetry/scale, etc.


The question remains: how does the use of the classical—or an estrangement of the classical—differ from the mutation of the classical? And this requires an acknowledgement of Eisenman’s text The Futility of Objects: Decomposition and the Processes of Differentiation (1984) in which he argues that the ‘futile object and the process of decomposition are no longer arbitrary objects and anomalous processes, nor a mutation of classicism.’ viii In this essay, he describes a process of ‘decomposition’ that avoids beginning with a ‘type form’ or a ‘ground zero.’ ix And one needs only to return to his early projects to witness a process from ‘ground zero’—the cube—followed by a series of mutations, often similar to classical conventions. Of course one can argue—as Eisenman does—that this process ‘has no direct

relationship to an ideal past but only a memory of that past, and a future that is only in the present. In a futureless present—an “immanent” immanence—there is a removal of the extrinsic, conventional identity and the significance of the object.’ x And thus the difference occurs in the reading of the object as requiring no particular experiential explanation, but a series of fragments, seemingly avoiding any kind of totalization of the subject. The contradiction of origin remains however, and is further complicated by statements such as

‘when [the capacity of meaning to be inherent in an object] is denied, it becomes the ultimate negation of the classical’ xi or ‘Decomposition proposes an autonomy that is as universal as the classical or the modern.’ xii So we find that the problem occurs when this endeavor replaces old ‘truths’ and becomes a new ‘truth’ in itself. To return to the essay Misreading Peter Eisenman, Eisenman states, ‘[Houses I through IV] depended on certain themes…—the search for the essence of the sign, the transformation of form to produce autonomy, and so forth—which were later seen to be

grounded in the very anthropomorphic metaphysic that they were intended to contravene. The search for essence and autonomy was none other than a search for an ultimate center and truth, and therefore contradictory to the effort to dislocate architecture from its metaphysic of center.’ xiii While one can argue (as Last argues) that Eisenman never fully moves away from the ‘metaphysic’ of architecture as requiring a definition—and once again, this is perhaps necessary to create a set of limitations—his retrospective response to the acceptance of ‘autonomy’ in his early house projects requires attention. As Eisenman suggests, the concept of autonomy—in this case referring to architectural meaning existing exclusively in the object—proposes an end and contradicts the goal of open-endedness in his endeavor. So how then does Eisenman propose a shift from this tendency? How does, as he suggests, propose an architecture that cannot be distilled into an essence, that does not refer back to an origin, that does not reify the functional object or impose a specificity of scale, place, and time? Eisenman argues that his work after Houses I-VI moves away from an established meaning toward more complex, multiple, and unforeseen meanings. He states that the work

thereafter ‘moves from a concern with the object as ideal essence…to the object as dislocating text, that is, to the incorporation of fiction and error.’ xiv He continues to argue that it is ‘perhaps best seen as a series of palimpsests, a dynamic locus of figures and partially obscured traces…they refuse any single authoritative reading. Their “truth” is constantly in flux.’ xv However, it is difficult to argue that the work at this time (in the 1980s)—while specific meaning is further obscured than in the early house projects—moves further away from the classical. Eisenman states that the ‘moralistic, modernist imperative of the early work—the

“stripping down,” the “baring of the essential elementness,” the “anti-functionalism,” the avoidance of typologies and so on—which, like the classical, affirmed rather than destabilized the institution—have become as common and “valueless” as any other association.’ xvi He continues: ‘fiction acknowledges itself as the absence of a singular truth, while continuously positing a variety of subversive “truths”; in other words, it decenters while it centers.’ xvii Although I am arguing that this process still reaffirms the role of the classical in


architecture, we shall see that it comes with further ambiguity between transformation of and retreat to the classical tradition.

Cities of Artificial Excavation and the Inversion of Classical Form Before further addressing this distinction, it is important to note how this discourse played a role in the formal decisions of Eisenman’s designs, particularly the series of projects later termed Cities of Artificial Excavation since they show little direct formal similarities to classical architectural elements. The first Cities of Artificial Excavation project is for Cannaregio in Venice (1978), which explores the designation of site and program, and as Hays notes, the project characterizes a shift in Eisenman’s work from structure to the ‘textualization of site.’ xviii The project attempts to avoid the reproduction or ‘simulation’ of the existing Venice to rather construct a ‘fictitious Venice.’ xix The grid from Le Corbusier’s prior hospital project in Venice is superimposed on the site, and variations of Eisenman’s prior House 11a are placed on the intersections of the grid. In addition, houses are scaled and placed inside houses blurring any clear ideas of function, once again, as being institutionally defined. The IBA Social Housing project in Berlin (1981-1985), located at the intersection of the Friedrichstrasse and the Berlin Wall, aims to ‘memorialize a place and to deny the efficacy of that memory.’ xx This involves the reconstruction of previous foundation walls through excavation, and the superimposition of the Mercator Grid in plan and the grid of the ground plane in elevation. Like at Cannaregio, there is a level of ‘fiction’ involved in the creation of the plan, based on the existing location and the surrounding area. While not necessarily part of the Cities of Artificial Excavation, the Romeo and Juliet project for the Venice Biennale in 1986 is worth mention here. The project incorporates a fictional narrative from the play Romeo and Juliet, in which the characters retreat to Verona, where the project is sited. Based on multiple versions of the play’s story, it is retold at different scales through architectural metaphors. Eisenman argues that this produces a condition where ‘Illusion and reality collide, and past, present, and future remain in perpetual flux.’ xxi This, according to Eisenman, creates a ‘text of between; a fabric of images referring to something other than itself,’ an ‘immanent text…not authorized by architecture’ but rather by the program and site. xxii In the project for the California State University at Long Beach (1986), Eisenman constructs a history of the site based on significant dates—for example, the settlement of California and the founding of the university. The forms are based on the overlapping of several historical maps, along with the superimposition of a future constructed by Eisenman. Once again, this suggests a blurring of a historical past, a present, and a fictitious future. The last of the Cities of Artificial Excavation projects, Eisenman’s design for a garden in Bernard Tschumi’s park in La Villette, Paris, France (1987) attempts to ‘replace the actual conditions of time, place, and scale with analogies of these conditions.’ xxiii The past in this project follows prior existing conditions of the site including an abattoir and city walls. The present is a scaled representation of Tschumi’s larger project surrounding the site, and on top of this a representation of Eisenman’s Cannaregio project is superimposed. So far, we have briefly addressed Eisenman’s proclamation of the end of the classical, his discourse influencing the Cities of Artificial Excavation, and their formal processes of design. But in order to make this argument clear, it is necessary to consider the theoretical development of these projects in relation to the parameters set forth in The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, The End of the End.


The ‘Non-Classical’ and the Problem of Certainty The French philosopher Jacques Derrida contributed to the last project of the Cities of Artificial Excavation for La Villette and his criticisms of Eisenman’s work require consideration here. While Derrida’s work did not directly enter into Eisenman’s theoretical trajectory until the early 1980s—and it is questionable to what extents Derrida’s work influenced or was appropriated to Eisenman’s work—Eisenman’s endeavor to move away from the foundations of classical architecture always had certain similarities with Derrida’s project to move away from the metaphysical foundations of philosophy. After working on the theoretical background for the La Villette garden project—this collaboration was proposed to both Eisenman and Derrida by Bernard Tschumi—Derrida contributed the essay titled Why Peter Eisenman Writes Such Good Books (1988). In this essay, Derrida describes Eisenman’s work as undermining visual and textual distinctions in architecture—‘architecture as a kind of writing’—an argument that is rather directly continuous with Eisenman’s own theoretical arguments at the time. In this text, Derrida proclaims that ‘Eisenman is, in the realm of architecture…the most antiWagnerian creator of our time.’ xxiv Derrida continues, ‘I propose to note that architectural

value, the very axiom of architecture that Eisenman begins by overturning, is the measure of man, that which proportions everything to a human, all too human scale.’ xxv And of course, this, as Derrida briefly mentions, can be directly observed in the design process for the Romeo and Juliet project, where the different narratives are superimposed onto the site plan without regard for their relation to a human scale. This design process exists as well in any of the Cities of Artificial Excavation projects. As previously stated, Derrida recalls that this process is to challenge ‘presence and origin’ in architectural representation and aesthetics. He suggests that Eisenman’s work ‘does not simply develop a metalanguage on (or about) a certain traditional authority of discourse in architecture’ but invents a kind of architecture that is free from the constructions of traditional discourse. xxvi Elaborating on the challenge to ‘presence and origin,’ Derrida explains his work for La Villette, particularly the nature of the title Choral Work, given to the project by Eisenman. The title—developed out of a process of aiming toward the criteria of being ‘economical,’ integral to the project, and indeterminate in its meaning—avoids the gathering of collective meaning in a similar fashion to the design of the project itself. The term ‘chora’—originally referring to Plato’s definition as a point of origin—altered to ‘choral’ offers indeterminate interpretations or ‘misreadings’ of its meaning and further guides the project through its varying readings, for example, the implication of a choreographic or musical dimension (later producing Derrida’s contribution of the form of a sieve—derived from Plato’s text on ‘chora,’ Timeaus—or lyre to the design). And thus, as Eisenman also suggests of his designs: this open-endedness ‘does not allow of totalisation.’ xxvii But there is more to this than just an indeterminacy of address. As Derrida states: ‘the

structure of our title…[has] the dynamics of an immanent invention. Everything is found inside but it is almost unforeseeable.’ xxviii One can argue that in the design of the project for La Villette, the inside here not only refers to the process of association but also refers more broadly to the ‘totality,’ the ‘whole,’ everything from Tschumi’s park, to the larger context, to the classical discourse of architecture. Thus the project is seen as a reinterpretation, a dismantling of its very foundations it seeks to depart from. And as Derrida points out, this process or ‘labyrinth’ has no presence and ‘never shows itself.’ xxix And therefore, it is not a truth. So far, this argument seems to describe Eisenman’s work well. However, this argument may perhaps not be as straightforward—even in all of its plays of words and associations—as it may seem. Before further complicating this argument, let us first return to Hays’s description of Eisenman’s work as a kind of ‘repetition’ with particular regards to the Cities of Artificial Excavation projects. xxx As Derrida points out, it is not necessarily clear which of Eisenman’s


projects Derrida is referring to in the prior essay, and although Hays’s description is more clearly directed, it applies to more than just the Cannaregio project, the focus of Hays’s essay. Hays argues that Eisenman’s work is not about the ‘new,’ but is about the repetition of the very conditions it must succumb to as a result of a change in ‘History.’ Or in other words, Eisenman has no choice but to be a part of the system that he is to an extent objecting to in his work. And Hays as well argues that the work would inevitably become dissolved in the system, a result that can only be explained as part of ‘History’s contradictions.’ As is previously explained in reference to Eisenman’s earlier projects, this operates through ‘strategies of defamiliarization and estrangement’ and these strategies continue to develop throughout the Cities of Artificial Excavation projects, although their referents become less determinate. Hays’s overall argument is incredibly significant and influential to the argument presented here, but it ends at the disintegration of Eisenman’s work in the late 1980s, and the consequences after that—although Hays alludes to them and they can be argued to be well-known by now—remain relevant as they increasingly continue in the realm of architectural practice. For example, the particular argument that Eisenman’s architectureas-drawing in the Cannaregio project has maintained its effectiveness as criticism by avoiding ‘the hard floor of building practice’ may not be as clear as it seems. xxxi In reference to Cannaregio (and also the Berlin project), Hays argues: ‘Here Eisenman

confronts, squarely and architecturally, what Benjamin Buchloh has described as “the essential dilemma” of conceptual art of the mid-1960s: “the conflict between structural specificity and random organization…” The random, arbitrary assignment, even invention of archaeological content in Venice and Berlin opposes the empty, geometrical tautologies of the grid; the historical permeability of concrete architectural form opposes the structure’s utter occlusion of any historical reference.’ xxxii This is difficult to disagree with but it presents a set of issues regarding the reception of Eisenman’s work. It should be noted as well that Buchloh was responding to a renewed interest in conceptual art in the late 1980s, and his criticism ultimately took form as an attack of it as always being tautological, a criticism that Eisenman’s work is not necessarily entirely exempt from. xxxiii Hays points out that Cannaregio, by remaining within ‘the problematic of representation’—the never-to-be-built— maintains its effectiveness. xxxiv However, this is no longer the case, and it is questionable whether it was in the late 1980s when Eisenman was continuing to develop the method introduced in Cannaregio. As architectural theorist Eric Lum points out: ‘For those projects

that exist solely on paper…[the] rapidly decreasing intervals between the initial publication of a project, its recirculation in media streams, and its inevitable imitation in architectural studios form a now essential economy of images in contemporary architectural culture.’ xxxv In other words, this form of production increasingly leans towards the influence of the reception of architecture as mere image-production. And while it may escape the problems that come with translation to a functional object, its inclusion in academic circles does not guarantee its independence from the more restricting demands of culture in general. Hays argues that Eisenman confronts this contradiction in the construction of the Berlin project: the contradiction of ‘the functionalization of the dysfunctional diagram and the aestheticization of the conceptual sign.’ xxxvi To return to Lum’s argument, the attempt to

‘negate the material aspects of…architecture has permeated its schematic diagram and photogenic appearance, suppressing the material particulars of its construction’ (although Eisenman would later challenge this in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, 19982005). xxxvii Lum points to another contradiction here—that the suppression of materiality can be more photogenic than an intentional challenge to materiality—and this contradiction permeates the majority of Eisenman’s work. However, Hays argues that Eisenman here

refuses ‘the destiny Eisenman himself had already predicted. Yet it is just this performative contradiction (the refused destiny, its cynical truth claim) that gives the built work its


power.’ xxxviii Thus, there is a thin line between critical repetition and tautology in the work here.

02 The ambiguity of classical and non-classical elements in Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, 1997-2005 The argument that Eisenman undermines the distinction between text and image in these projects comes with complication, and it is perhaps necessary to address another of Derrida’s criticisms of Eisenman’s work, presented as a letter that ultimately ended their collaboration. While Derrida’s letter can perhaps seem to contradict the first of his essays presented here and can be easy to ignore, it points right at the crux of Eisenman’s endeavor. And if one is to accept Derrida’s statement that he has ‘always tried to do it [looking for

whatever in a work represents its force of resistance] by respecting the individual signature of an Artaud, say or an Eisenman,’ then one should expect that Derrida’s provocative letter be intended as raising a series of questions necessary to continue Eisenman’s project. xxxix To return briefly to the argument made in Why Peter Eiesnman Writes Such Good Books, cultural theorist Julia Thomas suggests that the method Derrida describes in this essay, ‘the convergence of the textual and visual’ can be seen as ‘far from “outside traditional hierarchies.”’ xl She points out that some critics ‘argue that such “linguistics-based” theories

establish a textual model of the world that is hierarchical and even “imperialist.”’ xli Considering this argument, it is important to view the method described by Derrida alongside the questions he raises several years later. As the aesthetician Stephen David Ross suggests, Derrida in this letter

‘asks some of the most enigmatic and deepest questions that might be asked about any art. Even if we think that Derrida on the whole is playing with Eisenman, how can we ignore the questions he asks him? Especially what of glass?...In French, “glas” means funeral bell. What in art of death? What in architecture of glass?’ xlii In Derrida’s Letter to Peter Eisenman (1990), he suggests the possibility of the aestheticization of Eisenman’s method of design as developed in the Cities of Artificial Excavation projects, and he suggests as well an attention to the reception of his writing and design work. And from Eisenman’s change in design methodology in the late 1970s, as well as his writing in the mid to late 1980s (for example, Misreading Peter Eisenman), one can assert that Eisenman was perhaps anticipating Derrida’s proposition. In fact, in a postscript to the letter, Derrida describes Eisenman’s comments in an interview, in which Eisenman ‘spontaneously’ attempts to detach his work from ‘deconstruction.’ Referring to Eisenman’s use of the word ‘absence,’ Derrida states:

‘This discourse on absence or the presence of absence perplexes me not only because it bypasses so many tricks, complications, traps that the philosopher, especially if he is a bit of a dialectician, knows only too well…but also because it has authorized many religious interpretations, not to mention vaguely judeo-transcendental ideologizations, of your work.’ xliii This suggests that Eisenman’s work—as he argues of his earlier projects—can once again be seen to replace the preceding Modernist architectural discourse, just as that discourse can be seen to replace the preceding classical discourse, and the classical discourse can be seen to replace its preceding religious-based discourse. Derrida continues:


‘Whether it has to do with houses, museums, or the laboratories of research universities, what distinguishes your architectural space from that of the temple[?]…Where will the break, the rupture have been in this respect[?]’ xliv One would suspect that these provocative propositions and questions would essentially contradict not only Eisenman’s work, but Derrida’s as well. However, they are perfectly in line with both Eisenman’s and Derrida’s projects. In order to make this argument clear, it is useful to acknowledge the philosopher Richard Rorty’s criticism of Derrida’s project, and this criticism applies perhaps in a greater extent to Eisenman’s work. Rorty argues that aspects of Derrida’s early work (particularly before The Truth in Painting) often lead his project into traps of attempting to replace and therefore fall back into the very metaphysical foundations of philosophy that Derrida attempts to debunk. This is not to be confused with the endeavor to suggest ‘how things might look’ without the influence of metaphysics, but rather that it is countered by the implications of the negative as an only option. One example is Derrida’s proclamation that his notion of the ‘trace’ does not exist. Rorty suggests that ‘if you want to know what notion takes the place of God for a writer in the onto-theological tradition, always look for the one he says does not exist.’ xlv In this sense, Derrida’s concepts can have a tendency to eclipse normative thought, when in fact the relevance of his writing exists in its coexistence with or opposition to normative though. And of course, these concepts ultimately become ‘new “subject matter” for his followers.’ xlvi However, Rorty argues that Derrida later moves away from this tendency through the development of varying styles of writing relevant only to the discipline of philosophy. Rorty states that the consequences of this mean

‘giving up the idea that Derrida has constructed a “deconstructive method” which “rigorously” shows how the higher of a pair of opposed concepts…“deconstructs itself.” Concepts do not kill anything, even themselves; people kill concepts…It takes a lot of hard work to produce such special effects as “presence is just a special case of absence” or “use is but a special case of mentioning.” Nothing except a lack of ingenuity stands in the way of any such recontextualization, but there is no method involved, if a method is a procedure which can be taught by reference to rules.’ xlvii In this context, Derrida’s seeming contradictions in his criticism of Eisenman’s work begin to make sense. It is important to note as well the obsession with the concept of ‘deconstructivist architecture’ that was quickly spreading in architectural culture at this time. Jeffrey Kipnis argues that this marks a shift in Eisenman’s theoretical and design trajectory:

‘From then on, Derrida, once authority, then man, becomes an apparition, a specter of misdeed who haunts the architect.’ xlviii So the relevance to Derrida’s work is clear, but what about Eisenman’s? Derrida continues in the letter to raise additional questions, all related to the first. Derrida points out that he ‘will know all that you [Eisenman] will have said publicly.’ xlix In other words, what about the public reception, or even the discipline’s reception of Eisenman’s work? Derrida asks about ‘the sex appeal of the architectural forms’ in Eisenman’s work, and as previously mentioned, the suppression of materiality does not avoid this. And lastly, Derrida continues by asking why Eisenman never speaks about the direct relations between architecture and social and political situations. Derrida’s letter did not go ignored and spurred immediate response from Eisenman and his followers. Many argue that this suggests that Eisenman’s work needs to be more about the physical site, the direct context. His design projects were always about their sites. The houses functioned in contrast to their Victorian residential settings and were strategically placed on their properties. The Cities of Artificial Excavation projects were entirely derived from their direct sites and the sites’ larger contexts including their histories, even if those derivations were ‘fictitiously’ constructed.


Conclusion: Inadvertently Recouping the ‘Fiction’ of Reason This argument may come as a surprise due to the excess of fatigue and seeming futility that surfaces more and more as Eisenman’s work progresses: the struggle with the ‘new’ condition of architecture. And while Eisenman later moves away from some of the problems of the classical/non-classical distinction (for example, see Figure 2), this struggle still well presents the challenge that the dissolution of the object in modern culture poses for architects. l So to an extent, parts of Eisenman’s work—as well as several of his followers’ interpretations of his work—at this time can be interpreted as a struggle with Rorty’s description of the problem of implicating the negative as an only option. The discipline of architecture at this time as well was probably the only design-related discipline that turned to critiquing its interiority as a response to its political situation. While Eisenman’s particular response to this situation essentially took the form of one idea—and this idea is developed throughout his entire career—it was, however, necessary for Eisenman to address this situation—the dissolution of the architectural object—and aspects of his response form the crux presented here. But Eisenman’s method should not be seen as ‘new’ as one may be led to believe—just as Derrida’s ‘deconstructive method’ was not new—and formed the basis of architectural modernism before him. As Anthony Vidler points out, the various ‘inventions’ of architectural modernism before Eisenman also reinterpreted the foundations of architecture to confront immediate political situations. li As Vidler suggests, it has been part of the project of modernity since the late eighteenth century to seek questions that complicate and remain open-ended, avoiding the acceptance of the idea of an ‘end of history.’ Eisenman’s endeavor to open up the formal language of architecture is continuous with this process. Thus, these attributes that present his work as ‘new,’ as ‘only,’ pretend to offer closure to unresolved questions—they offer the ‘fiction’ of reason. The point is that Eisenman’s professed lack of ideology is entirely ideological (a condition all too common and unacknowledged in architecture today). As Derrida might put it, negativity has theological overtones. The ‘not classical’ is in a sense the classical. Or, in other words—and this is due partly to inevitability and partly to the nature of the work itself—the work’s role as criticism—as more than visual— is diluted to the point that it has, once again, fallen back entirely into the realm—the dissolution of conventional meaning—of the classical tradition.


Lee Aviv is a designer in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a Master of Architecture from Kent State University. He is currently a Master of Science in Architecture Candidate at the University of Cincinnati.

Peter Eisenman, “The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End” in Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988, p. 153. Ibid., p. 159. iii Eisenman, “Misreading Peter Eisenman” in Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988, p. 209. iv K. Michael Hays, “Repetition,” Architecture’s Desire: Reading the Late Avant-Garde, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2010, p. 55. v Nana Last, "Conceptualism's (Con)quests: On Reconceiving Art and Architecture," Harvard Design Magazine, Fall 2003/Winter 2004, p. 19. Last argues out that both Eisenman’s construction of disciplinary divisions and his acceptance of programmatic conventions restrict his practical intentions. As one example of an alternative, Last points out that Jorge Pardo’s “4166 Sea View Lane” (1998) attempts to blur both the distinctions between architecture and conceptual art as well as museum display and living programs—or, art and life. vi Hal Foster, “Neo-Avant-Garde Gestures,” The Art-Architecture Complex, London: Verso, 2011, p. 79. vii Ibid. To Foster, Gehry’s and others’ “vision[s] of expression and freedom [in design are] oppressive” because of their exclusionary nature supported by individuality and a continuity with spectacle culture. See also Hal Foster, “Master Builder,” Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes), London: Verso, 2002, p. 27-42. viii Eisenman, “The Futility of Objects: Decomposition and Processes of Differentiation” in Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988, p. 187. ix Ibid., p. 185. x Ibid. xi Ibid. xii Ibid., p. 186. xiii Eisenman, “Misreading Peter Eisenman,” Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988, p. 221. xiv Ibid., p. 223. xv Ibid. xvi Ibid., p. 223-224. xvii Ibid., p. 224. xviii Hays, p. 59. xix Eisenman, “Cannaregio,” Tracing Eisenman, p. 76. xx Eisenman, “IBA Social Housing,” ibid., p. 80. xxi Eisenman, “Moving Arrows, Eros, and Other Errors,” ibid., p. 118. xxii Eisenman, “Architecture as a Second Language: The Texts of Between,” Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988, p. 231. xxiii Eisenman, “La Villete,” Tracing Eisenman, p. 140. xxiv Jacque Derrida, “Why Peter Eisenman Writes Such Good Books,” in Reading Images, ed. Julia Thomas, New York: Palgrave, 2001, p. 172. xxv Ibid., p. 173. The references to humanism here as well as the title of the essay are references to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo. xxvi Ibid., p. 174. xxvii Ibid., p. 180. xxviii Ibid., p. 177. xxix Ibid., p. 180. xxx K. Michael Hays, “Repetition,” Architecture’s Desire: Reading the Late Avant-Garde, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2010, p. 51-86. xxxi Ibid., p. 86. xxxii Ibid., p. 72. xxxiii Buchloh names several paradoxes of conceptual art including the following: the annihilation of cultural conventions acquires conditions of spectacle, the demolition of authorship produces brand names, and the use of textual interventions ends by following pre-established mechanisms of marketing. Benjamin Buchloh, “Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,” October, Winter 1990, p. 105-143. xxxiv Ibid., p. 85. xxxv Eric Lum, “Conceptual Matter: On Thinking and Making Conceptual Architecture,” in Harvard Design Magazine, Fall 2003/Winter 2004, p. 10. xxxvi Hays, p. 86. xxxvii Lum, p. 8. xxxviii Hays, p. 86. xxxix Peter Brunette and David Wills, “The Spatial Arts: An Interview with Jacques Derrida,” in Deconstruction and the Visual Arts: Art, Media, Architecture, ed. Peter Brunnette and David Wills, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. p. 10. xl Julia Thomas, “Introduction,” Reading Images, p. 6. xli Ibid. Thomas is referring particularly to arguments made by art historians W.J.T. Mitchell, Iconology: Image, Text, and Ideology, Chicago and London, 1986; and David Summers, “Real Metaphor: Towards a Redefinition of the ‘Conceptual’ Image,” Visual Theory: Painting and Interpretation, ed. Norman Bryson, Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey, Cambridge, 1991. Mitchell’s “linguistic imperialism” here refers more specifically to Roland Barthes’s and Nelson Goodman’s claims for language as the model for symbolic systems, as well as Umberto Eco’s criticism of the “verbocentric dogmatism” dominating semiotics in the sixties. Summers argues that all the attention given to “what we mean by language” eclipses our acknowledgement of the inevitable power that image has in reception. xlii Stephen David Ross ed., Art and Its Significance: An Anthology of Aesthetic Theory, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994, p. 400. xliii Jacque Derrida, “Letter to Peter Eisenman,” in Art and Its Significance: An Anthology of Aesthetic Theory, p. 430. xliv Ibid. xlv Richard Rorty, “Philosophy as a Kind of Writing: An Essay on Derrida,” New Literary History, 2008, 39, p. 112. xlvi Ibid., p. 110. xlvii Richard Rorty, “From Ironist Theory to Private Allusions: Derrida,” Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, p. 134. xlviii Jeffrey Kipnis, “Introduction: Act Two,” in Peter Eisenman ed., Written Into the Void: Selected Writings, 1990-2004, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, p. xiii. xlix Derrida, “Letter to Peter Eisenman,” p. 431. l For an excellent collection of essays addressing some problems and significance of the classical/non-classical distinction, see Ernst Gombrich, Norm and Form: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance, New York: Phaidon, 1978. li This argument is made in Anthony Vidler, Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008. i

ii


15 Lucia Jalón Oyarzun

ACROBATS IN THE ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN In The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, The End of the End, Eisenman was able

‘…A book that functions as an experience, much more than as the demonstration of a historical truth.’ Michel Foucault

A series of photographs are lost in the media noise covering the 2009 Iran revolts following the country's general election. One year later young freelance photographer PietroMasturzo wins the World Press Photo. The picture becomes breaking news one year afterwards, a displacement in time, past and forward. The scene depicted is still happening and had happened exactly 30 years before.

In Search for Lost Time, Marcel Proust had written about the possibility of thinking of‘optical errors in time as there are in space’ so sometimesone could ‘see (…) double in time as one sometimes sees double in space’ - an optical illusion of memory i. This kind of stereoscopic vision allows for a perception of depth, a relief in time: anspatialization of time.

‘The silhouettes of the four girls on the roof seem taken from a Chinese shadow theater. They are very young. But any hint of frailty disappears when at night, at about half past nine, they sing in chorus the Allah-u akbar and the Morgdardiktator (God is the greatest and


Death to the dictator), just as their parents had done 30 years ago to escape the tyranny of the Shah.’ ii

‘WHOLE city is shaking with very loud screams from rooftops. Their loud voices calling only for God is filled with fear, hatred, and hope.’ iii [

Considering recent history as space brings forward a series of considerations, among them, the flattening of scales, the dismissal of chronological time or the bluring of epistemological frontiers. All of them contribute to the consideration not of scenes, places or moments in time, but situations understood as spatio-temporal meshes that we need to build and cross through words, reflection and action, all coming together in an entanglement of experience.

An immediate reconsideration of architectural practice when relating to writing comes forward. Architecturehas fallen hostage to theoretical abstractionsmany times before, not casually at times of economic crisis when legobricks are not found easily at hand. Thus, by keeping the world outside at bay,not finding it fun enough to become his playground, the architect has turned instead to the building of phantasmagorical scenes.But architecture, understood and practiced as spatial strategy, is formed and born out of experience and in consequence cannot be done without facing the world around.

Bracketed between a past buried by the weight of officialy manufactured discourses and a future blocked out by our own rising post-democratic ways, recent history becomes an ambiguous zone, not too different from the ‘state of exception’ notion described by Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Over the 20th century this has turned from being a ‘spatio-temporal suspension’ of the order of things, where the question was that of distinguishing what is inside or outside, to become an extended ‘complex topological figure’, an ‘area of indistinction’ that struggles to remain invisible. It is there that attention must be focused: there the acrobat is moving.

Nonetheless the objective won’t be to give an accurate legal description of the exception but to use this concept as a tool of knowledge. The minute description of these ambiguous situations will allow us to fix our stare at the cracks in which action becomes possible. It is in these sites or spatio-temporal meshes where thelimits closer to the political reconfigure themselves iv, revealing, however fleetingly, the body’s potential for action.

] We turn our stereoscopic gaze on these two moments, 1979 and 2009.We findfirst the two years of exception that followed the 1979 revolution, the disappearance of the previous order turned into opportunity. Thirty years later, from June the 15th to August the 16th, the city is forced to a state of exception in which the Revolutionary Guard controlled every single space and behavior within the city, however they could not prevent the continued rooftop chanting that every night contributed to create a commonscape in which the possibility of the political remained alive and out of reach.


The fact that exception might come to the fore in such diverse forms, in 2009 it is an exception that can be ‘legally’ understood as such v while in the post-revolutionary phase of 1979 the exception unfolds as contrast, forces us to reconsider the simultaneous in a new stereoscopic view in which understanding the presence of the past in the shaping of the present becomes essential. A form of spatial simultaneity for the times past and present.

The assertion of the right to a voice of one’s own had been brewing progressively in the years before the Shah’s overthrow. From that moment on, streets, parks, shops, changed and harboredan open and relentless debate on the possibilities of the new era, ‘everyone,

including the marginal poor, wished to claim the city through their physical, vocal and symbolic presence’ vi. The absence of any form of order after the old regime structures had vanished (police, secret service, even many Western businessmen were leaving the city) brought up the possibility of the city’s reinvention from new forms of use and a shared constitutive action.

Around old Shareza Street and the universities’s area the number of street vendors grew while books, newspapers and cassettes stalls sprouted everywhere. It was around them that citizens gathered together every afternoon multiplying the political debate and exchange of ideas while music and a festive atmosphere surrounded them. But only two years later, two years in which the city had doubled in size with those coming from all over the country following the promises offered by the revolution, a new order was drawn, one that took advantage of the (apparent) post-revolutionary power vacuum. ‘The sar-e kouche, or street-

corner sub-culture, in which young men would gather to socialize or pass time, was lost to the regimentation of city spaces by pasdaran and Khomeinisthizbullahi vigilantes’ vii, a number of organized grassroots groups of the revolution were instituted as the new order. The hardest years of the Cultural Revolution and the moral police in which Tehran would be once again key scenario precisely because of the impossibility of its control lied ahead. [

This spatio-temporal mesh is present space in which past and future combine in formless time. Key to understand this is the idea of ‘task’ or ‘use’. As Georges Bataille explained in his definition of the formless, the task of a dictionary should not be to give meanings, that is, to create a form in which to enclose a reality, but to give tasks viii. Thus, the experience of the acrobat, a body moving and acting on that formless plane, becomes tool of knowledge.

Before wefocus in the reconfiguration of those boundaries which are closer to the political a differentiation must be made between politics ix, that strange mixture of management and control organizing our lives and making subjects out of it; and the political understood as the potential for action (or inaction, remember Bartleby) underlying the individual body x.

There is no doubt that space seen from politics/policy assumes a characteristic shape with perfectly defined and referenced coordinates that make possible the illusion of an outside view, the eye, beyond the body, of discipline and order. On the other hand, the political as potential arises from the body, it is the body’s action that configures a spatiality of one’s own, it is its gestures that knits it together, it is its words and emotions that enrich its depths and it is its memory that emerges present.


The landscape resulting from the body’s doing is amultiple corporeality xi;MerleauPonty’sflesh of the world, a field of relations in which we discover ourselves enmeshed, not just placed; a field in which the limit is not frontier but bond, a common dimension xii. A disquieting ambiguous zone appears there where the individual spatiality is born out of the body through the actualization of its political potential and entangles with others to constitute a common spatiality, political action of the multitude.

] ‘It is said that De Gaulle was able to resist the Algiers putsch, thanks to the transistor. If the

shah is about to fall, it will be due largely to the cassette tape. It is the tool par excellence of counterinformation’, Michel Foucault xiii.

In the early twentieth century Tehran's life revolved around three key institutions for the production of its social life: the bazaar, the mosque and the royal palace. The bazaar, which acted as the social heart of the community, was a ‘socially coherent and independent’ xiv universe of its own in which everyday thousands came together seeking for the most current and accurate information about the city. The bazaar and the mosque were also closely related, every bazaar having a mosque associated to it, through a close alliance of mutual support in their social, political and economic affairs. In 1977 when the resistance movement against the Shah begins to gather around the exiled Khomeini’s figure and message, the organizational and economic network the Shi’a religious establishment counted on is going to become its main means of dissemination and implementation not only through mosques but also relying on the close rapports between these and the bazaars that were going to function as message’smultipliers.

The organizational possibilities offered by this network of spaces where close and personal encounter took placewas combined with the use of new technologies such as cassettes or Xerox machines, thus rapidly multiplying the movement’s recruiting and coordination potential. Since 1976 cassettes carrying Khomeini's voice began to circulate through Iraq’s borders where he was exiled. Then, in 1978, already from Paris, the system was perfected and two recorders were always running by his side. The messages were then sent to Iran via telephone lines or tape-to-tape recording xv. Once these arrived to Iran its multiplication and dissemination was immediate. It was the simplest way of production with the greatest potential of copy which became a rapidly expanding trendin a country in which cassette players were commonly found:

‘one can find, outside the doors of most provincial mosques, tapes of the most renowned

orators at a very low price. One encounters children walking down the most crowded streets with tape recorders in their hands. They play these recorded voices from Qom, Mashhad, and Isfahan so loudly that they drown out the sound of cars; passersby do not need to stop to be able to hear them’ xvi

The role of sound, the recorded voice and its surroundings, linked to the Shi’a tradition, helped relate these tapes to a common memory and a shared experienceinstantly increasing the reach of the messages, spreading them to much of a population which was still unable to read the pamphlets and open letters that apeared through the use of the new Xerox machines. Thus, the intensive use of these new technologies helped to strengthen and amplify a message already prevailing in everyday relationships in mosques and bazaars,


facilitating organizational tasks and coordination of many of the protests which were to continue until the overthrow of the Shah: strikes, bazaar’s closings, demonstrations, etc.

Thirty years later, the Green Movement that emerged throughout the 2009 presidential elections was to be named by the Western media as the Twitter Revolution xvii. If in 1979 the role of Khomeini‘s tapes was to make audible and present inside the country a message from the outside with the intention of organizing and coordinating a political movement, in 2009 Twitter was to become the tool that symbolized and recognized the importance of keeping alive and heard in the outside the voice of the many inside. The need for witnessing and for the other’s listening in order to build a common voice. If thirty years before collective action coalesced around a shared world created by an external and single voice, in 2009 no such singular voice arises but a multiplicity of singularities generating a white noise in which the acrobatmust try to navigate xviii.

In his book The practice of everyday life Michel de Certeaumakes a distinction between the idea of strategy and that of tactics1. The first one, he explains,‘claims a place subject to

enclosure that can beconsidered of one’s own, a basefrom which relations with an exteriority can be managed’. On the other hand, tactics are defined as the action that ‘cannot have a place of its own, nor therefore with a border that allows to distinguish the other as a visible entity. Tactics have no place but that of the other’. Tactics thus become the acrobat’s and the multitude’s rightful instrument, there where there is no other place to base its actionbut the body in its relation to the rest. In this situation thestrategist’s objectives disappear in favor of the immediacy of doing. The notion of failure or success for collective action changesaccordingly.[

In the early '70s, a strange group of acrobats is taking advantage of a New York’s Soho the rest of the city has turned its back to. In this strange backside of the city full of seams, cracks, gaps and opportunities, Gordon Matta-Clark is running Food on the corner of Prince St with Wooster. In 1970 in the same Wooster Street Trisha Brown transforms space with Man Walking Down the Side of a Building. One of his acrobats walks forming a perfect perpendicular to the street and facade of a building as the forces and stresses upon his body and world are reconfigured. Gravity becomes a different force, no longer pulling the body down but helping its movement forward. It is the acrobat’s body and its means of mediation with the surroundings that generate a new field of relations, a new spatiality that reconfigures all coordinates set.


Shortly after the experience goes on through the walls, this time, of an interior space in the Whitney Museum. The number of dancers increases with harnesses and ropes tying them to the perimeter of the room: the possibility of shared movementappears.


Harnesses, ropes, hooks are all part of the acrobat tools, capable of transmitting forces, creating strains, reversing planes and perverting gravity, but so are the surfaces, the facade walked down by the Man Walking Down the Side of a Building, so are gaps and obstacles (fire escapes, windows, cornices)... But all these conditions and tools should not be thought asexternalto the acrobat’s body, something that is used while remaining external, but like other bodies part of thisflesh of the world in which his body is enmeshed.We want to focus at the these bodies disposition, because they are listening, prompting, opened to possibilities, generating tensions and responding to the relationship with others. So, as Keller Easterling describes,'disposition locates activity, not in movement, but in relationship or relative

position.’ xix

The value of the outwardly obvious comes to the fore, dimension and presence, the appearance of the outside in relation to the body, and this same outside, defined by the presence of other bodies. In 1962 Tony Smith presents Die, a 72-inches steel cube, the size of the human figure. The external geometric shape is becoming body. A year earlier, Robert Morris had acknowledged the dimension of memory inherent to every single body with his work Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, a wooden box containing and repeating the sounds of its own construction.These simple forms convey 'the idea of simple exteriority' xx through their presence, their weight, their erosion…, the idea of meaning or reality as something to be discovered through a process of psychological introspection gives way to the weight of the bodies, to the world of what’s outside. Quoting Wittgenstein these artists start to claim that the meaning relies in action, in use xxi.

'A simple but effective spot',that is howRaphäelZarka describes Free Ride, another of Tony Smith’s sculptures of the 60s. It does so as he analyzes the geometry of simple forms in relation to the action of the acrobat-skater xxii. The use of the word ‘spot’ is of big interest here, this is not a place, a built form, neither an abstract point, is a singularity in space that could be defined as something of aspatial moment.


In ancient Greek there were two words to define time, chronos and kairos. The first referred to the linearchronological time and it is this idea that survives most strongly in our present quantitative conceptions. The second imprints a qualitative component into an idea of an intermediate time, the right moment in which something takes place. We can think then not only about the possibility of the right time but also of its implication with a right space. This spot the acrobat’s body is going to put into use brings forward the political as potential for action opening up the possibility of its actualization: ‘The kairos –the opportune moment that

ruptures the monotony and repetitiveness of chronological time- has to be grasped by a political subject’. xxiii

] The occupation of the public and the enclosure in the clandestine body brings forward the apparition of the acrobat. Given its peculiar non-class but religious condition the revolution was present ‘in all social classes, and in all places and all urban spaces’. Gradually the open public spaces of the city are transformed into controlled interiors while the imprisonment of sociability and communication into the built interior turns the house into neighborhood xxiv. The private world is going to become refuge for a common voice that keeps talking.

A new form of segregation unfolds producing a reversal of the traditional uses and limits associated with the concepts of public/private. If the interior space (andaruni) wastraditionally the space of women’s seclusion while the public (biruni) was the field of men’s action, segregated life fully occupies nowthe outsidewhile the possibility tocross and mixtakes place inside. Thus, the interior is going to takeon many of the features that until now had defined the relationbetween the public and the political (communication, information, celebration, ...). If the new urban interior configured by the strict moral laws and codes of behavior becomes the scene for the official regime politics/police demonstrations, the private world becomes a field for the common,house of the political and communicative and affective space for social reproduction xxv.

This interior space that had been the world of women for centuries was also going to suffer a serious transformation.The traditional architecture built around courtyards, rooftops and other commonspaces within the urban fabric offered her diverse possibilities of sociability, while in the new westernized neighborhoods of apartment blocks there was a single line frontier, thedoorway beyond which the territory of the basijbegins.

From that border line outwards veiling becomes again mandatory only two years after the revolution, and nearly fifty years after the law forbidding it was first adopted. But with the gradual incorporation of women into the outside world during the 80s and 90s, the disciplinary boundary of the interior must become mobile. Thus the veil becomes a form of ‘transportable andaruni’ xxvi, the enclosure merges its destination with that of the body, and it is precisely in this limit where the paradox arises, closure becomes opportunity with the birth of the clandestine body. ‘The hijab is immunity, not a limitation’ was one of the slogans used to show the benefits of its wearing, and the tool for the acrobat appears through the perversion of the hijab’s task, obtaining invisibility while escaping control and observation made the body political again, master once more of a space for action.

No claim is intended to defend the hijab’s mandatory use, but a call is made to analyze how the transition from a disciplinary form that requires physical restraint to control the bodies


towards a control society that approaches them up to the point of infiltration, opens up a new possibility for the relocation of forms of power.It is worth recalling the explanation offered by Michel Foucault in 1977, that

‘resistance must offer the same characteristics as power: ‘being as inventive, as mobile, as

productive as it (...) Like power it organizes, coagulates and consolidates. (...) Like it, it comes from below and is strategically distributed.’Resistance does not come from outside of power.’, and he goes on, ‘resistance is not ‘prior to the power it opposes. It is coextensive and absolutely contemporary to it’’ xxvii.

In this way, the fact that this tensional field is not produced outside of the body, but in direct proximity to it prevents the neutralization of its political potential due to the distance to the object of its action. By closing in up to the extremes, to the depth of the skin, the relationship becomes more subtle and complex dismantling the traditional forms of resistance and political response, but enables the acrobat for a renewed action and with that, the rising of the multitude. [

The acrobat recognizes the importance of the exteriority he’s playing withbut is not lookingfora hiddenmeaning or interpretation. In his doinghe is actualizing the potential of the politicalby producing a constantly renewed shared reality, a common, in which his knowledge becomes arepertoire of tactics that activate and enrich his relationship with the world xxviii. Repertoire understood as body memory. The practice of the acrobat cannot be resumed in a manual becausehis know-howis not of discursive nature, and precisely because of that itis too often ignored for not being worthy of interest xxix. His gestures, skills, tools and knowledge must be experienced from a body whose moving center of gravity recomposes its own spatiality with each step. The only way to approach this through writing comes from its minute description, paying close attentionand recognizing its importance to the smallestof details: writingbecomes experience.

Gesture is sign turned into flesh. Sign that is capable of communicating and summoning xxx, of opening a crack and thus a possibility for disorder. Improvised, though recognized by a common body memory, gestures are used to communicate by the twelve dancers of Trisha Brown's Roof Piece which took place in theSoho in 1971. Distributed throughout the rooftopsof eight blocks going from White to Prince Street the weaving of a common spatiality is performed through theacrobat body’s own doing. In their movementthe dancer entangles with the bodies around (water tanks, floor and wall surfaces, cornices, chimneys,...) in a singular spatial construction that resonates and multiplies in the recognition of the distant acrobats.A new landscape is produced, a new and common spatiality.


This leap from the individual body to the creation of a shared spatiality helps us understand the condition of the multitude as multiple body, thus allowing us to move away from concepts of collective action based on the doings of a single body like the mass or the party xxxi. The multitude is not characterized by its pertaining to a rigid identitarian definition (nation, ethnicity, religion,…) but by its own constituent activity, its production of a common. This idea extends the traditional notion of the commons in favor of one more‘dynamic,

involving both the product of labor and the means of future production. This common is not only the earth we share but also the languages we create, the social practices we establish, the modes of sociality that define our relationships, and so forth.’ xxxii


From the recognition of the new dimensions of the common (everyday practices, language, emotions, memory,...) we can understand why we have called this common as the actualization of the political. It is the undergoing and shared production of the bodies in which the potential for action is actualized that allows us to understand the spatial role of the body, and by extension, of all those dimensions that define it.

Once described the acrobat in Trisha Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Roof Piece, we will now, thanks to the wonderful photography by Mangolte Babette, pay attention to the rest of the 'bodies' that are part of that common roofscape. First some questions arise, before our stare gets lost in the immensity of possibilities and conditions of the newly discovered landscape. Recognizing the figures of four of the acrobats, from the foreground to a mere silhouette blurred by distance, we ask for their arrival. How is access to the rooftops gained. We can see a set of fire escape stairs in the blockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facadeon the foreground. Going upby the surface of thefacade.We can see tooseveral constructions covering the end of inside staircases. A connection crossing the block from the inside. Any method will haveto pass through this intermediate strip inhabited by the enclosed, the private and hidden. The first path runs throughits periphery, the second closest to itscore. Step by step, floor by floor, the spaces turn away progressively from the street noise. In the fire escape staircase the relationship with the ground plane is not lost, the body knows it is going up and vertigo becomes a risk. Through the indoor pathit is not hard to lose track of the height, how far one isgoing up so that once at the top there is the possibility of surprise and disorientation. Once access to the territory is gained, we can try to understand how movement occurs through the obstacles and the voids. No two identical planes or homogeneous heights exist. There are inclined planes and curved surfaces, built bodies of different sizes and heights, walls between adjacent planes, and all kinds ofdivisions, some surmountable some insurmountable. Among the latter, the void of the streets below. This roofscape obviates any difference between what is public and what is private (mere legal constructs imposed on a reality that escapes through its seams), nonetheless a landscape of accessibilities understood as possibilities of use lies before theacrobat.


Visibility too plays an important role in the weaving of this landscape that is born. This is well evidenced by the four acrobats present in the photograph, but also there suddenly arises in the heart of the city, where it was no longer expected, the possibility of an horizon with the dimensional effect on experience it produces. Planes occur, from foreground to background, conditions are defined through proximity and remoteness. Realities hidden behind an obstacle are discovered through the simple movement and relocation of the body. And there is a use factor always present, one that makes us remember the street down there: the rooftops can be too the site of the sniper xxxiii, the place to observe and control hidden in the invisibility of heights.

] ‘stevelabate RT @BreakingNews Iran has restricted all journalists working for foreign media from reporting on the streets, says AP. #iranelection’ /‘Iran_Updates 9:42 in tehran everyone yelling allahoakbar on roof tops. #iranElection’ xxxiv


PietroMasturzo, a freelance italian photographer, went to Tehran shortly before the 2009 election with no more protection than his camera. During his first days there he covered the events and movements that took place in the streets, but he was detained and all his photographs confiscated. Under these circumstances he had no choice but to take refuge in the homes of students and members of the opposition that took him in xxxv. It was not a rare practice during those days when the interiors that had become during the previous two decades the true centers for social reproduction of Tehran became a clandestine city of intense activity and solidarity:

‘5:19 update: From an Iranian American and NIAC member in California: I just talked to my relatives in Tehran. The atmosphere is just like in 1978-79. Sporadic demonstrations continue throughout the city with tires and other objects burning in the streets to dissipate the tear gas. People have left their houses’ doors unlocked for demonstrators to have a safe haven to escape when the riot police attacks them. The solidarity and unity of the people is amazing.’ xxxvi

Thus, by chance or necessity, he discovered that along him the voices of citizenry had taken refuge there too, in that hidden but vibrating reverse of the city, because in the streets of the city they were silenced through the violence of their state. That is how a strange new perception of Tehran unfolded in front of his eyes every night, at ten, at eleven, at midnight…, with the potential to harbor and awaken the voice of a multitude drawing a unique soundscape every single night:

‘The silhouettes of the four girls on the roof seem taken from a Chinese shadow theater. They are very young. But any hint of frailty disappears when at night, at about half past nine, they sing in chorus the Allah-u akbar and the Morgdardiktator (God is the greatest and Death to the dictator), just as their parents had done 30 years ago to escape the tyranny of the Shah. Suddenly, from a nearby building, a powerful male voice is seconded by two or three more fluted, childlike ones, maybe a father and his children. They respond by repeating the motto. As if they had agreed on the script, other neighbours come together. Through the windows of the staircases their figures can be seen, lit up, rushing to the rooftops. At ten, it never fails, someone joins with a trombone to the protest.’ xxxvii

It is through the capture of this image that Masturzo will win the World Press Photo one year afterward. And even if it is women again who star this picture, the traditional inhabitants of the rooftops, it is not only them climbing up there every night to find the horizon for political action and invention they cannot find elsewhere. There are young people, elders, children, men and women coming together every night up to these roofs to call out and feel the answers. It is society as a whole who has lost its frame of action having been dispossessed of their lieu par excellence: the public space of the streets is no longer theirs, it has become the property of a state that silences their voices through direct and indirect forms violence. [

For a long time the possibility of collective political action has been tied to the existence of a public space that harbored it, so in front of the proclaimed crisis of public space we have tended to consider the epistemological category rather than reality. And in the end, public


or private are both two forms of property, the first owned by the state, the second by an individual or organization. Both based on the enclosing of reality and therefore in a delimitation of the reach of the common which is, at the same time, result and feeding of the political.

Thus the possibility of the clandestine action in situations where the production of the common is blocked is once again located in the body. We should not fall in the temptation of inventing a new category with which to order the chaos outside, stop talking about the public space as the place for political activity to substitute it with a hypothetical new space under the new and promising term of the common. What needs to be done is to understand what happens in that leap from an individual spatiality to the constitution of a common one, help out the acrobats in their search and practice of new singularities, skills, movements and knowledge to bring into their repertoire. Simply to remember the importance of what a body can do .

] ‘Iranian youths arrested for public water pistol fight in Tehran’ xxxviii.On July the 29th, 2011, over 800 people took part in the Water Guns Festival in Ab-o Atash Park in Tehran, an event organized through Facebook that ended up with the arrest of several of its participants by the police. They were accused of displaying an ‘abnormal’ behavior and unIslamic principles.

In his text Tehran Paradox CityAsefBayat closes the description of the city by summarizing the most recent urban policy applied to the capital of Iran, and he does so with a significant conclusion, ‘to govern, they need to undo the city’ . Undo like someone who takes down piece by piece the stage where a play has just taken place, taking away all those instruments that might be of use to the body of the acrobat in his quest to keep alive his ability to find simple but effective ‘spots’.


Lucia Jalón Oyarzun is an architect by the ETSAM School of Architecture of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and Master in Advanced Architectural Projects by the same university. There she is now the Coordinator of the MArchII in Advanced Architectural Projects and Teaching Assistant at the “Landscape Lab” at the same program.At present she is preparing her PhD thesis as member of the Cultural Landscape Research Group in the same University. Her research interests focus on the relation between the political and the spatial construction of the common, the relationships between body and the built environment and the understanding of architecture as experience of knowledge and research. i

Shattuck, Roger. Proust's binoculars; a study of memory, time, and recognition in A la recherche du temps perdu. New York: RandomHouse, 1963.

Espinosa, Ángeles. “La fractura de Irán.” El País Domingo, June 21, 2010. iii Twett recovered by Andrew Sullivan in “Live-blogging Day 8”, The Dish in The Atlantic network, June 20, 2009, http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2009/06/liveblogging-day-8.html iv The state of exception or state of emergency affects, with some variables depending on national laws, the regulation of mobility, speech, right to information and privacy. v “In an extraordinary security measure, the Revolutionary Guards took full control of the city for two months, from 15 June to 16 August, while tens of ii

thousands of security and paramilitary agents were stationed in strategic streets and squares. Within a few weeks, 4,000 protestors had been arrested, at least 70 killed, the reformist media shut down, and free communication in the city virtually suspended; by the end of the year, the total number of detainees reached 10,000.” In Bayat, Asaf. "Tehran: Paradox city". New Left Review 66 (2010): 99-122. vi Bayat, Asaf. "Tehran: Paradox city". New Left Review 66 (2010): 99-122. vii

Ibíd. Bois, Yve-Alain, and Rosalind E. Krauss. Formless: a user's guide. New York: Zone Books, 1997 Ranciere, Jacques. Disagreement: politics and philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. x Agamben, Giorgio. Homo sacer: sovereign power and bare life. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1998. xi Gazapo, Darío and Concha Lapayese. La construccion del paisaje...: entre la interioridad y la exterioridad. Pamplona: DAPP Publicaciones Juridicas, 2009. xii Garcés, Marina. IntroductiontoEscritos politicos: Guerra de Argelia, mayo del 68, etc. : 1958-1993by Maurice Blanchot. Madrid: Antonio Machado Libros, 2010. xiii Afary, Janet, Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: gender and the seductions of Islamism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. xiv Rahaghi, John. “New Tools, Old Goals: Comparing the Role of Technology in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the 2009 Green Movement”. September 25, 2011. TPRC 2011. xv Ibíd. xvi Ibíd. xvii “Several key events during the Iran protests (…) exemplify the importance of Twitter as a dissemination tool, such as the US department request to delay routine maintenance of the Twitter servers”, quote from “@Twitter from StateDept: delay upgrade to aid Iran protests”, Law and Disorder, June 17, 2009, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/06/twitter-from-statedept-delay-upgrade-to-aid-iran-protests/ xviii On the failure of traditional media to cover the events see Twitter 1, CNN 0”, The Economist, June 18, 2009, http://www.economist.com/node/13856224?story_id=13856224 xix Easterling, Keller, “Disposition”, in Hauptmann, Deborah, Warren Neidich, and Andreas Angelidakis. Cognitive architecture: from bio-politics to noopolitics ; architecture & mind in the age of communication and information. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2010. xx Krauss, Rosalind. Passages in modern sculpture. New York: Viking Press, 1977. xxi Krauss, Rosalind, “La problématique corps / esprit: Robert Morris en series”, in Robert Morris. Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 1995, quoted inZarka, Raphae l: Free Ride. Skateboard, mecaniquegalileenne et formes simples. Paris: B42 Editions, 2011. xxii Zarka, Raphae l: Free Ride. Skateboard, mecaniquegalileenne et formes simples. Paris: B42 Editions, 2011. xxiii Negri, Antonio and Michael Hardt.Commonwealth. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. xxiv Amir-Ebrahimi, Masserat. “Conquering enclosed public spaces”. Cities, Volume 23, Issue 6, December 2006: 455-461. xxv On the role of communications and satellite dishes in Tehran see the article “Territory Jam: Tehran” an essay by RudabehPakravan in The Design Observer, accessed November 4, 2012, http://places.designobserver.com/feature/territory-jam-satellite-tv-and-public-space-in-tehran/35018/ xxvi Amir-Ebrahimi, Masserat. “Conquering enclosed public spaces” xxvii Revel, Judith. Diccionario Foucault. Buenos Aires: Nueva Vision, 2009. viii ix

xxix

For a wonderful study on the description of the minute see the lectures on Zhuangzi by Jean-François Billeter in the Collège de France, Paris 2000. Billeter, Jean-Franc ois. Lec ons sur Tchouang-Tseu. Paris: Allia, 2002. xxx Agamben, Giorgio. Profanations. New York: Zone Books, 2007. xxxi “Es Baruch Spinoza el primero que plantea el concepto de multitudo, en su filosofía política. Para él, "la multitud representa una pluralidad que persiste como tal en la escena pública, en la acción colectiva, en la atención de los asuntos comunes, sin converger en un Uno, sin evaporarse en un movimiento centrípeto. La multitud es la forma de existencia política y social de los muchos en cuanto muchos: forma permanente, no episódica ni intersticial." Virno, Paolo. A grammar of the multitude. Los Angeles, Calif: Semiotext (e), 2003. xxxii Negri, Antonio and Michael Hardt.Commonwealth. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. xxxiii Neda Agha-Soltan became a symbol of the protests when a video of her death uploaded to YouTube circulated in just a few hours all over the world. ‘They stepped out of the car. “We heard one gunshot, and the bullet came and hit Neda right in the chest,” he said. The shot was fired from the rooftop of a private house across the street, perhaps by a sniper, he said.’, quote from “In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests”, The New York Times, June 22, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/world/middleeast/23neda.html xxxiv “Latest Tweets on Fallout from Iran's Election”, Time Magazine, Monday, June 15, 2009, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1904742,00.html xxxv "Me habían detenido y desde las azoteas pude contar lo que estaba ocurriendo", El País, February 12, 2010, http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2010/02/12/actualidad/1265929208_850215.html xxxvi “Live-blogging election unrest, day two”, NIAC Insight, National Iranian American Council, June 14, 2009, http://www.niacinsight.com/2009/06/14/election-unrest-day-two/ xxxvii Espinosa, Ángeles. “La fractura de Irán.” El País Domingo, June 21, 2010. xxxviii “Iranian youths arrested for public water pistol fight in Tehran”, The Guardian, August 4, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/04/waterfight-pistols-iran-arrests?intcmp=239


16 Luis E. Carranza

LONGNESS OR, THE PROBLEM OF LENGTH

At a certain thinness, architecture acquires the properties of Longness. The best reason to broach the Long and Thin is that given by dejected porno stars: “because it doesn’t matter how long it is, it’s just how you use it.” The long and thin could be the angst of architecture.

It seems incredible that the length of a building –its linear extent in space from one end to the other; its longest horizontal dimension; its duration or continuance in time– can express an ideological program that made it operate independent of the will of the architects. Of all possible categories, the Long and Thin seem to deserve a manifesto to counteract the clumsiness, slowness, inflexibility, and difficulty of contemporary architecture. After all, Longness instigates the regime of complexity that mobilizes the full intelligence of architecture and its related fields.

In 1978, an architectural Big Bang centered around conceptual ideas and technological breakthroughs retheorized the role of the skyscraper and its elevator without noticing the perpendicular complexities that emanated from it. A cluster of mutations engendered through (mis)reading that late-nineteenth century invention provoked the understanding of another type of architectural morphology. The combined effect of this (mis)reading was to see structures, cities, and forms that were longer and thinner –extremely longer and incredibly thinner– than ever before conceived and with a parallel potential to see how they could reorganize the social world, activate leftover spaces, and articulate infrastructural space differently through a vastly richer yet utterly more simplistic organization of program.


Theorems

Fuelled initially by the thoughtless energy of the purely existential assertion that length matters, Longness has been, for over a century, a condition almost without thinkers, a revolution without manifesto. Rem Koolhaas’ S,M,L,XL implied a latent “Theory of Longness” based on five theorems:

1. Beyond a certain critical length or dimension, a building becomes a Long Building. Such a length becomes a controlling and single architectonic gesture or the determinant of gestures. This triggers the relationship of all of its parts, but that is not the same as codependence: the parts remain, ultimately, committed to the whole.

2. The hallway –with its potential to establish the primacy of circulatory over architectural connections– and its family of related circulation elements [stairs, escalators, elevators, people movers, etc.] render null and void the classical repertoire of architecture. Issues of composition, scale, proportion, detail are now disputable. In lines, composition and compositional form –the “art” of architecture– have no value; they are useless in Longness.

3. In the long, the distance between core and edges is always relative; the facade can no longer reveal what happens in depth as depth itself does not exist. The humanist expectation of “continuity” is doomed: one end and the other become separate projects; dealing both with the instability of programmatic and iconographic needs and, simultaneously, as agents of disinformation since they offer the city the apparent stability of a singular object. The Long transforms the city from a summation of certainties into an accumulation, period. What you see is now organized by what you can see.

4. Through length alone, such buildings enter an amoral domain, beyond good or bad. Their impact is independent of their quality.

5. Together, all these breaks –with scale, with architectural composition, with tradition, with transparency, with ethics– imply the final, most radical condition: the long is the edge of any urban tissue. It overdetermines; at least, it coexists. Its subtext is context fucks.


Modernization

In 1929, Longness seemed a phenomenon of and for the New World(s). A sign that architecture had encountered a different audience, context, and means of manufacture. Le Corbusier’s early plans for Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and, eventually, Algiers signaled a new direction: one where architecture, infrastructure, and nature would fight to the death: vanquishing and succeeding simultaneously.

Against the background of Europe’s limited space and the restrictions of ground-level visuality, the shock of South America forced a reconceptualization of not only architectural and urban forms but of thought itself. Urbanism would cease to follow a strategy of the chessboard (City for Three-Million, 1922) in favor of one comprised of linked lines that organized the landscape and its inhabitation (Ville Radieuse, 1935).

Longness became a double polemic: on the one hand, it confronted earlier attempts at integrating and concentrating infrastructure and architecture (the skyscraper as seascraper, the seascraper as viaduct, the viaduct as system to organize, exploit, and extract from the territory); on the other, it addressed contemporary doctrines that organized systems of thought by which architecture is designed and represented.

Designers, until then, had surpassed the threat of Longness by theorizing it beyond the point of not only application but viability. Their contribution had been the “gift” of the linear city (Soria-Mata’s 1882 attempt at integrating technology and linking cities through a new form) and the Roadtowns (Edgar Chambless’ 1910 attempt at building architecture as continuous infrastructure): all encompassing organizational and built structures that ultimately questioned the autonomy of the city, of infrastructure, and of architecture from each other. Le Corbusier’s early plans were emblematic: their length related to the city and landscape like ribbons simultaneously aloof and attached; defining and denying the city below them.

Like the earliest examples of manufactured linearity linked to the construction of infrastructure –aqueducts, dams, roads, bridges, etc. that, in a way, operated under the principles of efficiency– Le Corbusier’s structures would connect points through lines and, in that way, counteract the conditions of the meander (present and disruptive in nature). Le Corbusier’s “infrastructure architecture” in Rio de Janeiro, responded though scale and, more importantly, ribbons that, as datums, addressed his earliest fears of the topography – “To plan here, as well waste my time! Everything would be absorbed by this violent and sublime landscape”– by improving it with a faultless horizontal… “a line that can harmonize with the vehement caprice of the mountains.” 1


Resulting from the effects of modernization and mechanization, Longness became a manufactured condition that stood against the neutrality of nature. After all, very seldom do we find (in nature) articulated long linear occurrences with clear beginnings and clear ends; one might think of a river as characteristic of this. Even Le Corbusier acknowledged that nature, thought, and progress did not operate in rational, linear ways when he developed his “law of the meander.” 2 In manufactured terms, the condition of linearity emerged with the development of techniques of arable land and efficiency in irrigation. Early cadastre maps show long linear lots that are arranged perpendicular to roads. These resulted in other linear spaces: leftovers from the organization of an uneven territory. Leftovers and slivers that, characteristically, Gordon Matta-Clark highlighted as prevalent through his Fake Estates (1974).

The resulting logic of the application of economy and efficiency was unmasked as the imposition of a logic that, in fact, was without logic itself. Perversely, the sheer demonstrativeness of this precluded the genuine logic that cities themselves aspired to without effort.

So marked was the generation that followed –my generation– supremely intelligent, modest, and unpretentious that what it sought was to understand the principles behind the laws and logics that not only demanded that buildings explore conditions of length and thinness but how to actually achieve them. Examples abounded: Le Corbusier’s Secretariat Building (Chandigarh, 1952-65), Bernard Tschumi’s Kansai International Airport (1988), Steven Holl’s Gymnasium Bridge project (1977), John Hedjuk’s 3/4 House and Extension house (1968-74), Vladimir Kaspe’s Humanities Building at the UNAM (Mexico City, 1952), Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum (Berlin, 1998-2001), Aldo Rossi’s Gallaratese (Milan, 1970), Mario Fiorentino’s Corviale (Rome, 1972-82), Rem Koolhaas’ Cordoba Congress Center (2002), Manuel de las Casas’ Health Sciences University Center (La Coruña, 1997), James Stirling’s University of Sheffield project (1953), Leonidov’s Magnitogorsk New Development Plan (1930s), Le Corbusier’s urban plans for Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Algiers (1929-30), James Stirling’s Rural Village Project (1955), Alvaro Siza’s Municipal Swimming Pool (Leça da Palmeira, Portugal, 1961-66), Roberto Burle Marx’s Copacabana Beach (Rio de Janerio, 1971), Pinós and Miralles’ Passeig Nova Icaria (Barcelona, 1990-92), Allied Works’ Maryhill Overlook (1999), Donald Judd’s Concrete Pieces Nos. 12-15 (Chinati Foundation, Texas, 1983), Francesc Torres’ Línea de la Verneda (Barcelona, 1999), etc.

In some cases, long thing buildings were hidden within more “traditional” forms: after all, what are Wright’s Guggenheim Museum (New York, 1959) and Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum project (1929) but long linear forms –the “endlessness” of the American prairie in the first; the expression of continuous human knowledge in the second– wrapping around a central axis.


Maximum

The absence of a theory of Longness –what can long architecture do or aspire to do?– is one of architecture’s most debilitating weaknesses. Without a theory of Longness, architects can only act as Lorena Bobitt’s: instigators of cruel systems to control building form whose result are stunted and are thus discredited.

Because there is no theory of Longness, we don’t know what to do with these buildings, we don’t know where to put them, we don’t know when we should design them, we don’t know how to plan them.

But in spite of its dumb name, Longness is the theoretical domain of the subaltern: in a landscape of control, measurement, disarray, multiplicity, the attraction to Longness lies in its potential to reconstruct the Whole as fragments of experience, to resurrect the relationship between site, infrastructure, architecture, and city, and to reinvent the collectivity possible through architectural and urban form.

Only through Longness can architecture disassociate itself from the exhausted artistic/ideological movements of post-modernism to regain its instrumentality as a vehicle for the transformation of the urban realm.

Beginning

Longness destroys but is also a new beginning. It can reassemble what it breaks; but it reassembles it into reconstituted fragments: experiential and locational.

A paradox of Longness is that in spite of the calculation that goes into its planning, it is the one architecture that engineers the unpredictable. By enforcing coexistence, Longness assembles maximum differences as differences and, in this way, articulates the regime of freedom of design and experience.

Only Longness can sustain a promiscuous proliferation of events outside the single container. It develops strategies to organize both their independence and interdependence through a large entity in a symbiosis that exacerbates rather that compromises the specificity of the architectural envelope and the urban or natural container. The artificiality and complexity of Longness lets functionality, use, and programmatic character be separate from architectural, urban, and landscape forms. Allowing for a kind of liquefaction, these elements react and recombine with one another to create new events, conditions, and relationships shaped by these new structures: Longness returns to a model of programmatic black magic where organs and materials are sewn together to create new beings.


Compositionally, long thin buildings respond to programmatic organization differently. In contrast to the ability of big buildings to be “taller and deeper … than ever before” and their potential for a “vastly richer programmation,” 3 thin buildings reveal; their thinness acts like epidermis and organ combined. One might even say that they are all facades. Like Potemkin Villages giving appearances of depth (over long spans of land), in reality, they are depthless. Their thinness provides for a straightforward organization of program –linear and adjacent– with complexity occurring sectionally. Like gene mappings, the information (program) is, in plan, serially arranged in a continuous line and, in section (when appropriate), with internal circulation as link. As in genes, these organizations determine their ultimate function.

At first sight, the activities organized by the long and linear demand interaction. Yet, it is the length alone that acts to keep them apart. Like homeopathic cures, the intensity of the program is dependent on their repeated dilution and distribution along their length.

Although Longness is a blueprint for perpetual longing it does offer degrees of serenity and even blandness. It is simply impossible to animate its entire length with intention. Its linearity eventually exhausts architecture’s compulsive need to decide and determine. Long linear buildings are ultimately forced to organize their program in zones; forcing the inhabitant or user towards those sections of the building they want to use. This is clear in Affonso Reidy’s Pedregulho (Rio de Janeiro, 1946-52). While democratic in the central location of its access ways and of its vertical circulations, the amenities are organized into various zones of the plan where light, views, and occupancies benefit them most. In section, likewise, the circulation is placed against the existing topography to allow the best views from the apartments. As is to be expected, long empty zones are left out, free from program.

Realignments

Longness is where architecture becomes both most and least architectural: mostly because of the way that it loses itself within the urban fabric to become the edges of city itself; least of all because of the loss of autonomy –it becomes the result of other forces such as, for instance, infrastructure and its conditions of linearity. Longness depends on the alwaysalready.

Longness is impersonal: no one will remember the architect, just how long the building was… or if it could have been longer.

No one sets up to ambitiously solve the question of Longness –there is no megalomania there– as it is only a surrender to the forces of the city, of the site, of technology. It promises architecture a kind of post-heroic status –a realignment with the edge of neutrality.


Because of the limited character of space within the walls of the long-thin buildings, the exterior context begins to act as part of a new interiority. This is clear, for instance, in SAANA’s Day Care Center for Elders (Yokohama, 1997-2000) that, by opening its walls, allows for the primary circulation to take place outside of the building envelope; although, for climatic reasons, it still permits the passage of the inhabitants through its length. Like socalled railroad or chorizo apartments, rooms are connected to each other, privacy is limited, and exterior circulation (the main stair of the apartment building, for instance) allows for the occupant to move from one end to the other without passing through each and all of the rooms. The circulation path in the long thin building allows us to pass through programs without much of mediation. If for Koolhaas, the elevator was the instigator of a new type of programmatic adjacency, the exterior space –as circulation– provides for the same programmatic shock; in addition to the climatic, aural, experiential, haptic, olfactory, and material shock.

Despite the seeming lack of depth, it should be noted that while long thin buildings might be mostly shallow, they do have facades that are other than that. These are, of course, the short facades. In most cases, these are perfunctory; in others, like the ends of the arms of Piazza San Pietro, they articulate the profile of a mass to be extruded in length. Had Bernini successfully completed that project as intended, the linearity of the arms would have turned out to be the edge of the endlessness of the universe.

Bastion

If Longness transforms architecture, it is because it defines a new kind of city. Like the Smithson’s Golden Lane (1952) or their “Principles of Urban Structuring,” the long building becomes an organizational device, a mere line that divides and defines the metropolitan edges; like a Chinese Wall enclosing and segregating simultaneously. Longness can’t really exist anywhere on the metropolitan plane. Not only is Longness incapable of establishing relationships with the classical city –at most, it coexists– but in the quality and complexity of the facilities it offers, it is itself urban.

Longness needs the city and the city benefits from it: Longness defines the city; it is the datum to the city; it preempts the city’s hastily defined boundaries. If urbanism generates potential and architecture exploits it, Longness expresses the generosity of architecture to assist in the urbanistic ideals.

Longness = architecture || urbanism

Longness, through its very dependence on the contexts, is the one architecture that serves as a dam against the desires of the tabula rasa: it takes inspiration from givens that have too often been squeezed, like turnips, for the last drop of meaning; it gravitates opportunistically to locations of maximum infrastructural possibilities or remains; it is, finally, its own logical conclusion.


The context begins to alter the perception of the building. This is not the same as the building that responds to the context or which reacts to it. The building as it is embedded into the urban fabric or natural environment is impossible to understand in its totality. Something that is easily read from an aerial vantage point becomes opaque as fragments of the context impede our view of it and proximity to it allows us fragmented glimpses of it. Longness is anti-gestalt.

In spite of its length, Longness is modest.

Because of the length, not all architecture, not all program, not all events can be swallowed whole. The needs continuously mutate along it, their strength is that they force the architecture and its experience to be too unfocused, weak in expressing its singularity, unrespectable as backdrop, defiant in its simultaneous occupation of multiple contexts, secret in its obfuscation of its beginning and ends, subversive in its attitude towards the organization of program, weak in its thinness alone, and too “nothing” and transparent. Length is the last bastion of architecture –its extension into the wild unknown. The ribbons of Longness will continue to be landmarks in the architectural landscape. Like the extended serpentined limbs of Parmigianino’s painting –flexible, mutable, indefinite– Longness is generated through the conviction that the goals and intended effects are more important than the effort needed to achieve them. Longness accepts its role as the benchwarmer of architecture: defining its place on the field and, through that, the very field and the players that occupy it.

Luis E. Carranza (B.Arch. University of Southern California, PhD Harvard University) is Professor of Architecture at Roger Williams University. He teaches design studio, theories and history of modern architecture, and the art and architecture of Latin America. His research and published work on modern architecture and art (focused primarily on Latin America) emphasizes the relationship and codependence of social, literary, philosophical, and theoretical ideas within the historical and material culture of architecture and design. His book Architecture as Revolution: Episodes in the History of Modern Mexico was published last year by the University of Texas Press. His forthcoming book (with Fernando Lara) Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology, Utopia will also be published by the University of Texas Press. Prof. Carranza has lectured at the Guggenheim Museum, the Tate Modern, Sci-Arc, etc. and his writings can be found in Casabella, Guggenheim

Museum: The Making of the Modern Museum, Praxis, Architecture Boston, Luis Barragán: The Quiet Revolution, etc. ___________________ Le Corbusier, Precisions: On the Present State of Architecture and City Planning (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), 244-245. Le Corbusier, Precisions, 142-143. 3 Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1995), 499. 1

2


17 MarijaMarić FROM THE STANDING POINT: WALKING CITY

From the Standing Point is a theoretical discussion on materiality of the city as a collective form of living. It is developed through comparative restructuralization of utopian model

Walking City (Archigram, 1964.) and traditional understanding of built environment. Here, Walking City is understood as a manifesto of our contemporaneity: an ultimate stage of individualism and freedom developed through exagerattion of our tendencies. In this system of absolute freedom, it seems that the only option to survive is in company. The question of structure, position, community and borders are used as tools for analysis.

Standing Standing point or traditional cityreffers to what we generally consider byurbanized built environment. It is the massive collective of people and built, together with all the actions that scale to ‘the full range of ways in which buildings and cities are experienced, such as habit, distraction and appropriation.’1

Traditional city is a material structure, that tends to occupy space permanently.2It is divided into static and unchangeable form - built, and dynamic and ephemeral content – lived. Therefore, traditional doesn’t reffer to any particular historical example, but preciselyopposite – it includes general understanding of built environment, traditional in the sense of its repeatable presence and regeneration throughout the whole history of architecture.3

Walking Walking point or Walking Cityreffers to Archigram’s(Ron Herron’s) utopian project of massive robotic urban structure of movable housing units, connected or disconected into larger movable communities, cities, metropolises.If traditional city represents a static, material structure, then Walking City is its irrational desire – dynamic, transformable and free. It is a radical exageration of ongoing social processes of atomization and individualization in liberal capitalist society, brought to the utopistic extreme. Here, utopia doesn’t propose an ideal design solution, but rather poses a question – What happends with the individual in the boundless world of absolute freedom? In such conditions, it seems that the only option to survive is in community.

Walking City as an expanded field Materiality as a tendency towards permanent could be seen as unin front of the sustainability4 of built environment. In his Immaterial Architecture, Johnattan Hill writes: ‘bound to each other, the architectural and the material are considered inseparable.’5 Precisely in this absolute and traditional connectivness of material and architecture, built environment is rarely requestioned or restructuralized in these frames.


Here, Walking City is understood as an ‘extended materiality’: the scale6 rather than the state of material and built. Controlled by free decision, it represents polarized urbanity divided into set of possibilities: from dematerialized flow of separate, individual units to absolutely materializedobject. Decision as an ephemeral act has an impact on the permanence of built. This way, the transformation of community directly influences the transformation of structure.

Walking City as a liminal field While expanding the understanding of material and action, Walking Cityas a notion places itself into the permanent transitory state. Constantly positioned between state 1 and state 2, whether on the level of material, position, community or border, it could be understood as a liminal state of the city, a ‘conceptual, ephemeral relationship between people and spatial environments.’7Following Turner’sdefinition of‘liminal space’ as a space of transformation between phases of separation and reincorporation; a period of ambiguity, of marginal and transitional state – we conclude that Walking City is liminality materialized. This position enables the observation of intensive, third behaviour that hapends in the space which is neither here nor there.

From utopia to heterotopia, and back ‘The most radical transformation in the relation between art and everyday life to have occurred since the sixties may be described as a transition from utopia to heterotopia.’8 The relation between two comparative models is positioned directly in this Vattimo’s point: Walking City is utopia, a radicalized manifesto of tendencies of traditional city. It is not utopian in the sence of ideal design solution, but rather criticism pointed towards individualized society. In extremising its tendencies, it becomes an ‘inverted analogy with the real space of Society’ a ‘society turned upside down.’9 Walking City is fundamentaly not a real place - it is a distant model, a rational approach towards irrational, but developed on avery real principles: atomization of individual in liberal city. At the same time, traditional city could be understood as heterotopia – a real place, ‘a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.’10

If Walking City was an inverted reflection for fragmented state of traditional city, then where is the expected direction of tendencies in current state of the city? Answer could be searched for in Augé’s conception of a non-place as a ‘space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity’11and further extended into Varnelis and Friedberg definition of a place as a material or virtual location.12 From utopia to heterotopia, and towards non-places of absolute individualism and immaterial community?

Materiality 1: From flow to the object

Traditional city is a material city. Beyond this over-simplified deduction, it also represents materialized immaterial: ‘A city is more than the sum of its inhabitants. It has the power to generate the surplus of amenity, which is one reason why people actualylike to live in


communities rather than in isolation.’13Thereason of the city is its immaterial quality, and its result is material quantity. Precisely because of materiality as the implying element of architecture – built environment is static system, which supports transformation only into the frames of ephemerality of its content. Thus, we conclude that the role of traditional city is to house action. Beyond this,Walking Citycould be interpreted as a tool for transforming materiality: ‘broadly, it is contended that architecture should not create fixed volumes of space to be mutely inhabited, less still shaped masses of masonry, but must provide the equipment for living, for being.’14Walking City introduces materiality as a consequence of an action, and not a frame to it. Archigram’s project expands the understanding of material: from flow, dematerialized, individual structures, decomposition of the city as collective, to absolute, totalitarian, composed and collective city as an object. What Blur Building15offered to architecture - the reqestioning of its basic foundations in both ‘immaterial architecture as the perceived absence of matter’16as well as its actual absence – is what Walking City represents to us. It is a conception of built environment without environment and without built.

Materiality 2: Deconstructing context Movement represents a constant and permanent process of the city (+Pol Virilio). In traditional city, movement is associated with the content – while physical structure remains static, dynamical element is connected with inhabitants and their everdayactions.This way, city is divided into permanent and ephemeral dimension. Walking City expands understanding of the system based on an inside movement to the movement of the system itself, by‘destabilizing the fundamental assumption that architecture is a static art’.17 Further, ability of the system to change its position redefines the notion of its environment. If context is defined as a set of economic, cultural, sociological and/or spatial elements of influence, then Walking City, through the dematerialization of its position, reconstructs the traditional understanding of the context. Here, context is defined by its absence and permanent state of transition. Dematerialized position of city as a notion, redefines it from settlement to megalomaniac organism, a transportable non – place. Environment becomes ephemeral, it even dissolutes, becoming the other place, unknown and dangerous for an individual.

Materiality 3: Community City could be observed as materialized community. In its basic understanding, it necessarily presuposes communal or plural existence. At the same time, city is an abstract or immaterial community: although we areliving in the city, we are never able to materialy perceive and experience it as a whole, as well as its community. Our direct and comprehensive association with community of inhabitants we belong to, is impossible – we perceive city as a fragmented and experience only separate sequences of its general context. This makes our perception of, and our belonging to the community relative.

This relativness of belonginghas been dispersed even further by capitalistic and liberal production and perception of society – atomization takes place on all levels; community is being dematerialized through the growth of the city and popularization of new media. This process polarizes space and society into two points – individual is on one side, while megastructures on all levels remain on the other. Everything between these two polarities is


dematerializing in a way in which one has no real influence or power over the system. Today, we can barely talk about succesfull spontaneous models of active community – without deepening further separation: ‘there is an advantage, not to be undervalued, in the existence of smaller communities, through which the aggressive instinct can find an outlet in enmity towards those outside the group.’18 Today, the effort to develop independent communal models in a big individualized system – is like hoping that eating the organic apple will cure the cancer. Here, Archigram’s model appears as materialization of absolute freedom of individual. It is the level of freedom in which decision materializes and dematerializes community. This, however is not new. The question is – what choices one has in the world of absolute freedom? What remains outside of the community? Is nature friendly?

Materiality 4: Borders In simplified terms, city could be defined as a summary of individual borders that occupy space and divide it into two basic categories – private and public, owned and not owned. In more simplified terms, these borders are what we perceive, understand and call architecture. In traditional city, our border (house) is a distant measure. We use it, we associate with it, we leave it and we come back to it. It is a passive element of our existence. Walking City expands, or perhaps – limits these borders into automatized, controlled, dynamic features, that are positioned not as a passive shelter, but as an extension of one’s body.19 In other words, architecture is individualized in the sense that it doesn’t even separate space into two levels, but only enclose one, private. While it strengtens the notion of architecture as a border, Walking City is about creating boundless terittory. It operates in a world without boundaries: ‘Walking City imagines a future in which borders and boundaries are abandoned in favor of a nomadic lifestyle among groups of people worldwide.’20Walking City is an ultimate tool for deterritorialization21and creaton of non-place.

Materializing conclusion Finally, Walking City could be understood as a manifesto towards dematerialized and dispersed society. Here, utopia is used as an educational tool: by irrationalizing rational tendency, it visualizes the possibility, making it more transparent and lively, and easier to understand the importance of the relationship between individual and community and individual and the world. This underlines the fact that only radical requestioning of society and its spatial manifestation can find a new way of dealing with problematic reality, no matter if this reqestioning is criticism or envisioning. One can ask – how can architect develop new social principles and values? Here, the significance of utopian thought in architecture remains unqestionable. While ‘Archigram was easily dismissed as fantastical, despite the detailing of its renderings and the investigative and predictive value of its projects’22 the quality and significance of universalized thinking in facing the problems represents the only way to observe the expanded field of architecture and the city.

In the world of absolute freedom and ultimate individualization, the question is – can one manage to survive alone?


Marija Marić, M.Arch is an architect, theorist and researcher based in Novi Sad, Serbia. After graduated from Theory and Research in Architecture and Urbanism, Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, she enrolled into MA Intermedia Research at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, where she currently prepares her thesis. Interested in methodologies of city and architecture, Marija has extensively published and lectured in this field.

Notes 1 - Jonathan Hill, Actions of Architecture: Architects and Creative Users(London and New York: Routledge, 2003) 2 - Here, permanent involves the notion of durability in architecture. Once built, architecture tends to remain in that condition. Average lifespan of the building is more than that of human. Thus, we almost never consciously perceive the change in our built environment. 3 - In dangerously over-simplified terms, the whole history of architecture is the history of built. Important changes on the levels of political, social, technological, but rarely the requestioning of materialization. 4 - Sustainability as an ability to renew itself in the widest sense of the term. 5 - Jonathan Hill, Actions of Architecture: Architects and Creative Users(London and New York: Routledge, 2003) 6 - Scale here implies the set of possibilities instead of one possibility. 7 -Catherine Smith, Looking for Liminality in Architectural Space (2000) 8 - Gianni Vattimo, The Transparent Society (The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1992) 9 - Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces. Heterotopias (1967) 10 - Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces. Heterotopias (1967) 11 - Marc Augé, Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Super Modernity (London -New York: Verso, 1995). 12 - Varnelis, K., Friedberg, A. Networked Place In Networked Publics (K. Varnelis, Ed., 2007) 13 - Gordon Cullen, TownscapeI(Reinhold Pub. Corp., London, 1961) 14 - Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture Without Architecture(The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005) 15 - Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York) for Expo.02 (2002.) in Yverdon, Switzerland. 16 - Jonathan Hill, Immaterial Architecture (London and New York: Routlege, 2006) 17 - Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture Without Architecture(The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005) 18 - Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929) 19 - Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Men (The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1994) 20- Peter Blake, Architectural Forum, 1968. 21 - When referring to culture, anthropologists use the term deterritorialized to refer to a weakening of ties between culture and place. This means the removal of cultural subjects and objects from a certain location in space and time. It implies that certain cultural aspects tend to transcend specific territorial boundaries in a world that consists of things fundamentally in motion. (Source: Wikipedia) 22 – ‘Archigram’s production took place mainly on paper, not on the ground.’Peter Cook commented in an interview in 1970: ‘A lot of our projects are highly serious and a lot of built buildings are a sort of bad joke.’ - Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture Without Architecture(The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005) Literature _Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture Without Architecture(Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2005) _Jonathan Hill, Immaterial Architecture (London and New York: Routlege, 2006) _Jonathan Hill, Actions of Architecture: Architects and Creative Users(London and New York: Routledge, 2003) _Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929) _Catherine Smith, Looking for Liminality in Architectural Space (2000) _Marc Augé, Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Super Modernity (London -New York: Verso, 1995) 75-115. _Varnelis, K., Friedberg, A. Networked Place In Networked Publics (K. Varnelis, Ed., 2007) _Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces. Heterotopias (1967) _Gianni Vattimo, The Transparent Society (Baltimore, The John Hopkins University Press, 1992) _Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Men (Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1994) _Gordon Cullen, Townscape(London, Reinhold Pub. Corp., 1961)


18 Michael Holt & Marissa Looby THE BILBAO FALLOUT: THE INCIDENTAL END OF THEORY AND THE DEATH OF POSTMODERN ARCHITECTURE

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Or was it merely a fad? The Bilbao Effect – a theory deriving from Herbert Muschamp’s 1997 New York Times article 1 – was a sinister and ultimately destructive phrase thrust on to a profession buoyed by economic prosperity. One simple phrase, almost flippantly applied to Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, was nascently adopted by the media and architectural profession alike as an instantaneous ideological and aesthetic strategy. It was easy: implement magically dazzling buildings as urban frotteurisms and a city will transform itself as a cultural hub, stimulating economic growth and metropolitan revitalisation. The blueprint for urban renewal was straightforward: eccentrically place the exuberant architectural object into an impoverished, post-industrial city. But, it was not essentially the immediate impact of the architecture that drew media attention; rather, it was the possible implications of implementing architecture in such a way that created an allure. Gehry, however, did not postulate a theory, he simply set out for a resolution to a problem: an architectural project that would put Bilbao on the map. He does not theorise, he just designs; he makes no qualms for it. He allows others to do the talking for him — whether it is Herbert Muschamp or Charles Jencks 2 who provide the perfect literary tonic to his otherwise artistic designs.

Contemporary architects may well disregard the Bilbao Effect as an archaic solution to a bygone problem; but the profession should not be so quick to judge when its subliminal effects are still ruminating. Its reverberations manifest not in the realm of aesthetics but in terms of theory. The Bilbao Effect label remains relevant but in variant form: the Bilbao Fallout; the Bilbao Effect was a celebrated urban regeneration device, but the fallout describes the toxic starting point of the death of architectural theory – incidentally conceived and accidentally destructive – and a dispeller of Postmodern architecture. Through a disciplinary lack of foresight, criticality and the devaluation of the role of the architect, the profession has destabilised itself entirely. --Bilbao – an industrial heartland on the banks of the Nervión River – was an Iberian shipbuilding nexus boasting a fully functional port as well as mineral-rich mountains. As production and industry shifted its focus to Asia, the city was rendered obsolete and it began to rank as a third or fourth-tier city, almost entirely inconsequential when in comparison to other much more illustrious cities across southern Europe. However, in 1997, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum created a shift in the balance. Not only did the American architect become the darling of the public media, he also rose to prominence as the most renowned practitioner in a field that otherwise was a little devoid of any notable


figures to the general public. The media latched on to the term as the definitive catchphrase in describing a shift towards an architectural culture that yearned for the grand gesture. The Bilbao Effect created the general acceptance that through the incision of flamboyant architecture a city can instigate cultural strategies for economic growth and urban regeneration; transforming post-industrial cities in to tourist locations. It was not essentially the immediate impact of the architecture that drew media attention, instead it was the possible implications of implementing architecture in such a way. In effect, it suggests that a museum is an actor on the world’s stage, able to coax audiences from far and wide, Muschamp writes ‘Bilbao has lately become a pilgrimage town. The word is out that miracles still occur, and that a major one has happened here.’ 3 The city maintains this idea: recognisable architects are entrusted with continuing a Bilbao Effect, and as such architects like Santiago Calatrava (bridge, 1997 and airport terminal 2002), Robert A. M. Stern (retail outlets, 2004), Zaha Hadid (masterplan, 2005), Cesar Pelli (office tower, 2007), Rafael Moneo (library, 2008) and Álvaro Siza (university auditorium, 2010) have haphazardly dropped projects on to the urban fabric. Following on from this phenomena, a number of iconic museums have spread across the globe. For example, Calatrava’s new (2001) wing at the Milwaukee Art Museum or the KIASMA Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art (1998) by Steven Holl; but failed to attract the number of visitors they had initially projected. One reason is that often impact studies overestimate the visitor figures of the future building 4, however, the reason can also be attributed to the fact that the Bilbao Effect should not be so readily implemented as a form of socio-cultural engineering. It is somewhat naive to assume that simply the resolution of a built project can overcome various econo-political or socio-cultural difficulties to any city, in any given context. Failure can only point to an ineffectual notion. Even Frank Gehry would lay testament to the fact that the phrase is nothing more than a vacuous moniker, externally applied. When interviewed for BBC Radio 3 programme in 2005, the architect was asked whether he thought Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao had exceeded what he would have dared to hope that a single building could do. In response, Gehry states that:

‘...[the city] asked for the Sydney Opera House. They said we want a building that does for Bilbao what the Sydney Opera House does for Australia. I didn't ever expect we'd achieve what we did, but it only was achieved because a certain amount of my talent...[and an] incredible client and incredible City government. And so you can't just go to a town and do what they call the Bilbao Effect.’ 5 Gehry did not provide the Bilbao Effect as a concept or an antidote to questions of urban renewal. Instead, it was a moment of artistic extravagance that defined an era, but, in turn, this began a slow burnout of architectural culture. The project’s after-effect was an appliqué of populist architectural ‘theory’; theory, in the loosest of terms, that was siphoned off from the building’s aesthetic and luridly applied as its communicative ability. This theory was swiftly adopted by the media; but, more disconcertingly, also taken on by architects. Gehry had inadvertently created theory from form, and architects followed suit. The fallout is the gradual destruction of contemporary architectural theory in terms of value and relevance in the wake of the building’s conceptual and aesthetic ‘effect’ 6.


Charles Jencks, on the other hand, has long since been an advocate of the Bilbao Effect as significant and pervasive. He states in The Iconic Building: The Power of Enigma that contemporary architecture strives for the landmark project almost by default and as a response to media desires. Jencks goes as far as to claim that:

‘...clients are insecure and society is completely pluralist and insecure, and doesn't know what it wants. But they (society and clients) do know they want a landmark. Weak belief plus the desire to have a landmark, plus celebrity culture, plus globalized capitalism, plus the art market's desire for the new all those factors together produce iconic buildings. This is why we're in an iconic building era, not because we want to be but people don't want to be.’

The notion of external influences on architecture are not exactly new, but it does crystallise the idea that in the present situation the architect is under the rubric of external forces – possibly more so than in previous generations. What reinforces the distinction between the past and the present, according to Jencks, is the relationship between architects like Peter Eisenman and Rem Koolhaas and the media. In developing a rapport with the media – augmenting public relations – architects are actually trailblazing their own devaluation. A point most notable in the post-Bilbao era, given the media’s lascivious use of the Bilbao Effect phrase as the hallmark of contemporary architectural theory; but a theory devoid of architectural substance or meaning. Instead of causing resistance through revolutionary vision or bold architectural statements architects maintain a status quo. More disconcertingly though, what can be seen through the Bilbao Fallout is that architects no longer have the desire to overthrow their elders or to ‘kill their father;’ instead, contemporary architecture operates in Reverse Avant-Gardism. No longer is it the case that the younger generation takes on the role of avant garde revolutionaries, instead they produce offspring that are simply mutations of their fathers; acutely evidenced in the genealogical sprouting of ‘new’ practices from patriarchal offices like OMA spawning BIG, REX, MOS, Buro Ole Scheeren, et al. Slavoj Žižek, the cultural theorist and philosopher, in discussing Jean-Claude Milner’s notion of the ‘stabilising class’ raises an equivocal point. Žižek states that the ‘stabilising class’ has replaced the old ruling class and in consequence there are sections of society ‘committed to the stability and continuity of the existing social, economic and political order – the class of those who, even when they call for a change, do so to ensure that nothing really will change.’ As opposed to dividing opinion, the leading architectural practitioners and academics steadfastly continue with complete inertia. Instead of opportunistic compromises and perpetuating old parameters, the discipline should rebuke or dissolve what is essentially a hegemonic ideology. Žižek gives a particularly prescient example, stating that:

‘[W]hen Margaret Thatcher was asked about her greatest achievement, she promptly answered: "New Labour." And she was right: her triumph was that even her political enemies adopted her basic economic policies. True victory over your enemy occurs when they start to use your language, so that your ideas form the foundation of the entire field. Today, when neoliberal hegemony is clearly falling apart, the only solution is to repeat Thatcher's gesture in the opposite direction.’


The Bilbao Effect epitomises the contemporary condition of Reverse Avant-Gardism. Whereas once the architectural profession believed in urban regeneration through extravagant built form; they now uphold ideologies imposed on to them by the outgoing generation. It is a heady acceptance of borrowed aesthetics mixed with a complete lack of critical enquiry or account. The offspring have an unwillingness to challenge the authoritative presence that hovers above them. The Bilbao Effect proposed a new approach: extravagant architectural expression as a source of profit, of regeneration, and of tourism. In adopting the phrase, the architectural language of the discipline – together with the dogmas appropriated by external forces – has in fact reformulated the foundations of an already decaying profession. It disqualified theory, unbuckling Postmodern ideology (for better or worse), to the point where it operated in marginal gaps in pop culture. Where contemporary culture allowed Postmodernism to act as a spectacle with the individual as passive audience; the present situation – labelled as Pseudomodernism 7 by Alan Kirby – encourages an individual’s action as a necessary condition of a cultural product. In the architectural discipline, Pseudomodernism certainly operates but the profession has yet to address the predicament in any way which extends beyond the conventional. It is postulated in this paper, then, that the Bilbao Effect was not a Postmodern episode, but a Postmodern epitaph: the onset of Pseudomodern ideology and the consequential death of architectural theory. Without the interpretation of critics like Jencks or Muschamp, or the prescribed public adulation, the building would not have reached such epochal status nor would it have conceived of the phrase - the Bilbao Effect. As Kirby states:

‘Postmodernism, like modernism and romanticism before it, fetishised [ie placed supreme importance on] the author, even when the author chose to indict or pretended to abolish him or herself. But the culture we have now fetishises the recipient...Optimists may see this as the democratisation of culture; pessimists will point to the excruciating banality and vacuity of the cultural products thereby generated (at least so far).’ Through an ideology based on globalised market economics, Pseudomodernism is without doubt consumerist and conformist: architecture follows suit, accordingly. --The Bilbao Fallout poses the problem that architecture has lacked a critical voice in the preceding fifteen years. Architectural theory – in its unfettered form – became redundant in the wake of the populist, grounded ‘theory’ known commonly as the Bilbao Effect. The Effect became so pervasive that it resulted in the idea that social ills could be resolved simply in the implementation of a singular built project – giving rise to an attitude of ‘build it and they will come.’ The ramifications, or the toxic fallout of this, is that the discipline and its discourse have neither theory nor aesthetic fancy remaining. The architect, as practitioner, surrendered their socially-esteemed position as design guru or urban master-builder simply by allowing themselves to be swallowed by a media frenzy; a trend that was incredibly destabilising in the longer term. What transpired was a vicious and carnivorous feedback loop: a brief with the desire for urban change; the resolution of Gehry’s flamboyant architectural project; an externally applied phrase in description of the project; the media’s wilful acceptance as to architecture’s now predisposed power; the general public’s newfound understanding of architecture in the contemporary; and, finally, the passing of the baton back to the architect in the form of a mantra – architecture should always aim to be the Bilbao Effect. Narrative was surrendered to pure built form; and, pure built form


consumed the notion of ever again designing theory. In essence, the Bilbao Effect was design-staged-as-theory that destroyed all other forms of theory. What, then, is the role of theory in contemporary architecture? In a society that (rightly or wrongly) does not want to be labelled or categorised into a particular style, like Modernism, Postmodernism etc, how can the architect critically engage in theory? Has the architect inadvertently obliterated rhetoric, narrative, ideology and, more broadly speaking, the framing of arguments? The Bilbao Fallout meant that a building can be reminiscent or visually equivocal to anything – a mermaid, artichoke, gherkin etc. ‘If it worked in Bilbao, it will work anywhere.’ Has the architect succumbed to external pressure? It buckled under the weight of anticipation for the next great, iconic move; whilst the profession idly salivated it incidentally witnessed the destruction of theory. Frank Gehry has subliminally crafted theory; not just extravagant, curvilinear form. He inadvertently pulverised design possibilities and annihilated theory. In fact, the very definition of the Effect, equaled theory’s own demise.

Michael Holt is currently the editor of Architectural Review Asia Pacific and is formerly a practicing architect and critic in New York. He is a graduate of the post-professional Advanced Architectural Design degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Concurrent to his degree, Michael was a teaching assistant for history and theory seminars. Michael was the 2010 recipient of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia, Dyason Bequest Travelling Art Scholarship for continuing research. Previously, he was a practicing architect in the UK; an assistant lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, UK; and, a member of the Tate Gallery team, Liverpool, UK. Michael contributes to Editoriale Domus, Metropolis Magazine, Blueprint Magazine and Columbia University’s online blog, Column. Marissa Looby is a practicing architect and writer. She graduated from the postprofessional Advanced Architectural Design degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (2010). At the culmination of the course, Marissa was awarded the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize for the best final semester design project; and, an Honour Award for Excellence in Design. Prior to this, Marissa was also the recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship for Architecture (2009-2010) and the 2010 Dyason Bequest Art Travelling Scholarship. She has taught undergraduate history and theory seminars and architectural design at University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Marissa has written for Editoriale Domus, Metropolis Magazine, Blueprint Magazine and Columbia University's online blog, Column. ______________________ 1

Muschamp, Herbert, “The Miracle in Bilbao,” New York Times, Spetember 7, 1997, accessed November 10 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/07/magazine/the-miracle-in-bilbao.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm 2 Jencks, Charles, The Iconic Building: The Power of Enigma (Rizzoli, 2005) 3 Muschamp, Herbert, “The Miracle in Bilbao,” accessed online 4 http://www.scholars-on-bilbao.info/fichas/MUSEUM_NEWS_The_Bilbao_Effect.pdf 5 Paraphrase taken from the The John Tusa Interviews: Frank Gehry, transcript, BBC Radio 3, September 5, 2005, accessed November 15 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/johntusainterview/gehry_transcript.shtml 6 Linguistically the term ‘effect’ is interesting to consider. Broadly speaking the word means to leave an impression, a mark; or, to produce a result or consequence to an action. The impression made far outweighs the consequence as the consequence was immediate and the impression far more long last and damaging. 7 Kirby, Alan. “The Death of Postmodernism and Beyond,” Philosophy Now, 2006, accessed online Novermber 15 2012 http://philosophynow.org/issues/58/The_Death_of_Postmodernism_And_Beyond


19 Nenad Stjepanovich LINEAR TYPOLOGIES – EXTENDED URBAN SPACE

In more telling article, “The Work of Architecture in the Age of Commodification,” Kenneth Frampton sees roots of the cause of the current environmental degradation. In more general terms a myopic psycho-political substrate is to be blamed for this prevalent social condition that most intellectuals easily shun. In the world of commodified societies wherein each individual stands for himself, the open-endnessin “analogy” and “anatomy” of architecture is lost. There is a definite avoidance [refraining] of confronting pressing issues within a socioeconomic order of the late modern society which we see as a primary cause of environmental degradation. Consequently, the stasis of this condition is exacerbated by mass media induced collective consciousness in which we recognize only a pseudo-scientific value of architectural processes. As Al Colquhoun formulated his own argument in response to GiulioAragan essay, “On the typology of Architecture.” He reminds a professional audience of the importance of determinate information. He describes this as the process of making voluntary decisions in the world of types, and these voluntary decisions constitute an ideological position within an operative autonomy of architecture. Profuse myriad of zoning and building codes add a complexity to the architecture without establishing specific design determinants. In a way these quasi-legal structures are responsible for an arbitrary formation and recombinant of different typologies within the context of ecology. Vidler argues for an open system based on the typological analogies similar to ‘the ontology of the city.’ Architecture in its autonomy delivers an inception of the world that is verifiable for example in engineering of the construct.

In Michael Benedict’s essay “Less for Less Yet” we can capture on [grasp] aporia surrounding the profession. In his analysis he acknowledges a wide commodification of the environment and consequently natural ecosystems that is bifurcated by an involuntary professional participation. Although Benedikt places the blame for this regrettable position to obscurity and self-inflicted the unimportance of an architect and the profession, he ignores the opportunity to explain how two party political systems effectively manipulates what society produces in terms of values and needs. In our recent interview Thom Mayne lamented the state of professional stature by evincing that the professional work output constitutes only 2% of the built environment yearly. If we look at the perennial struggle in the two-party system in which each contender is competing for consensus politics we could cynically construe an axiom that voters vote with their wallets rather than their ballot. This gratification in the public process is signified not by values but by what people want. Their needs and immediate values are prefigured by the production of commodities. According to Benedikt in mass media induced a market economy the context in structuralism terms is less and less relevant. Products are locked in constant competition for reinventing its pseudoscientific values and growing the consumer base. The architecture as a profession compares less favorably and consequently architects are less likely to be entrusted with the project of magnitude and importance that would bring the profession into forefront.


The system of knowledge is reflected in the information design standards and empirical data which can be treated in operational terms as the synartesis of recombinant actions. Only through the understanding of the typological relationships that is comprised of two parts — context (ontology) and programmatic needs (function), architecture can regain its creative and ideological ground. Social modicum in which ecological systems constitute design subjects validates a combination of different types in an order that is derived empirically and from referential information standards. Integral elements are modulated by structuring of different typologies —nature, system processes, mechanical systems, architectural components and energy perspective solutions. These are implemented through use of information determinants rather than a simple prescriptive rule included in the professional and scientific standard.

WPA 2.0 competition organized by the Urban Lab, an urban think-tank at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urbanism is based on the concept of typologies that are modulated with a different information (proscribed) determinants. The combination strategy organizes different elements of the program.

The sudden and tragic collapse of the I-35 Bridge in Minnesota brought the public’s attention to an ailing and neglected infrastructure. What seemed as a random event turned into a refining point in the presidential campaign. Subsequently this event became a framework for the new foundation or rallying economic and public support, something that was missing since the New Deal. What was a tragic event became a galvanizing moment in the new administration’s approach to the incoming financial crisis that almost brought down the whole global financial system. Likewise a new program embodied in the American Recovery and reinvestment Act of 2009 was compared to Emergency Relief Appropriations Act of 1935 which funded the Work Progress Administration. (WPA) This is the parallel behind the acronym WPA 2.0. Unlike the conventional competition brief City Lab asked design professionals “to create innovative implementable proposals to place infrastructure at heart of rebuilding our cities during the next era of metropolitan recovery.” The directive and concept of the design brief inspires a similar heuristic strategy that Vidler espouse in the Three Ecologies. Finally the framework of the project concerns itself with combining predetermined programs by engineering typological parameters and a site with explicit objective strategies. These strategies embody an architectural ideology of which Vidler speaks. From the initial submission of 200 international entries six finalist were invited to Los Angles to elaborate their conceptual idea through a collaborative approach of testing and exchanging ideas with engineers, ecologists, sociologists, hydrologists and urban and environmental planners. The resulting work was thoroughly based on schematic determinants of the concepts added during a feasibility study. While the physical context was represented by public spaces, interconnectivity, and urban elements, in the contrast to the official governmental program the City Lab design committee and the jury strived to incorporate an infrastructural framework within an urban and architectural exegesis of the competition brief. By using this method they were able to expand the definition. The title “Public Works” harkened to a social responsibility and governmental involvement on a large scale projects which predates the terms of the infrastructural project. The committer created 12 possible typologies or infrastructural types ranging from solar collectors, solid waste and recycling facilities to educational, mercantile and public centers to present project goals. Unlike official WPA policies that produced an parcelization of the land and incongruous urban space aggregate in the past which was aided by a regional planning code and FHA mortgaged western expansion, WPA 2.0 states clear goals: “The next generation of such projects will require an surgical integration into the existing urban fabric, and it will work by intentionally linking systems of points, lines and landscapes; hybridizing economies with ecologies; and overlapping architecture with planning.” In this bifurcation of


design goal specifications into typological components, committee favors the inclusion and mechanism of scientific exchange between different urban generators of economy, culture and natural resources. The idea is fuses into a bigger epistemological whole. More than just expanding possibilities for an infrastructure this conceptual framework insures that all proposals are linked within a larger ecology, for example a water estuary could be connected via infrastructure to the water reclamation centers for recycling and purification of grey and black waters integrated into urban infrastructural network and nodes. The infrastructure becomes just another layer in interconnectivity and the link between urban tissue (higher-density) and the regional ecology (low-density)

Ecology is a conurbation of urban (cultural), natural and production spheres — types of spatial environments that physically and ontologically connect. Each field or type relates to a different subject field and the project has to consider interrelationships between different ecologies at the conceptual level. No site can exist in isolation but is conceived in relationship to the functions of the different ecologies. While the open-endness and broader scope exposes a lack of contextual focus the committee’s brief is extremely explicit about the process that should be brought in to designing solutions, “…to go beyond the mere replacement of the ‘overtaxed’ and rundown infrastructure…” The bottom-line approach as termed in standardized prescriptive systems for a sustainable design: “to exploit the opportunity for such solutions to be leveraged, through nested scales of thinking…that catalyze a larger and more visible public benefit.”

The framework of the competition does not only promote proposals to merely have a public presence or multifunctionality, but to create a physical urban prototype adaptable to different climatic conditions and location with a mechanism (Anthony Vidler, The Third Typology, Oppositions 7, (Winter 1977) page 3) of providing linkages between different physical contexts, business investments, cultural exchanges and generate an economic and self-regulated growth within culturally diverse communities. The ultimate goal of the competition committee is to use the mundane site configuration or structure to regenerate urban space, economic values and natural environment. This becomes a nucleus of the sustainable site which otherwise would be disconnected from the design process. These predefined objectives are based not only on a determinant multifuctionality, but also on a symbiotic relationship between different types and elements within an infrastructure. In lieu of BREEM and LEED standards this could be considered a new approach to a sustainable practice, just like a scientific or heuristic approach to designing each typological element. In addition water was one of the under themes of the WPA 2.0. Water as a dominant resource in today’s cosmopolitan centers and urban regions becomes a generative catalyst, a type, which not only formalizes the actual structure itself, but goes beyond the understanding of preservation and collection and act as an agent of interconnectivity, interrelationships and exchanges. Water as typology can become a continuous system that embodies the growth of urban space and local economy. The competition tried to exemplifies this possibility in both stages of the competition as we will see in one of the submissions.

First project Carbon Tap project , a winning entry that was chosen unanimously, is based on government’s large scale involvement, predominately in terms of funding, in the costly renovation or building of the major urban structure. The whole architectural context is embedded inside ecology, production, sequestering and harvesting of atmosphere harmful gases and recalculating in the new production system of economic, biological and urban growth. By building a major infrastructure designer are rediscovering several of typologies within one type of structure, in this case, a concrete pontoon bridge, by recombining


functional type and reinserting the whole structure into urban system. The concept idea is simple, and it is based on recombining several typologies into a new design and positioning new structures at the specific point within urban space of the city, in this case above the transportation tunnels were due to the traffic pollution where there is the highest carbondioxide emission. In terms of sustainability the negative effect of urban space, congestion, and pollution is reversed into production of oxygen, biofuels, bioplastics and agricultural feeds. This winning project explores a new urban and ecological hybrid through a series of pier-like armatures that are linked to the existing ventilation system for the Brooklyn Battery tunnel between New York and Brooklyn. However this solution is applicable to a similar context and infrastructure in other urban locations or transportation nodes. Instead of transforming the existing form of the city this armature is designed to respond to projects’ sustainable goal of harvesting pollutants emission at concentrated points within urban space and converting gases into feeding the industrial scale vitro algal farms. Instead of production of pollutants the ‘pontoon bridge’ is a transformative infrastructural device that converts greenhouse emission into nutrients for algal city farms which consume most of CO2 gases. Furthering this urban concept infrastructural becomes an extension of the urban space that contains public spaces, parks, farms for growing produce which interlinks two different parts of the city. In essence the architectural framework becomes a generator for a larger generator comprised of several typologies that coexist in continuous reproductive cycles of production, consumption and growth – Public, Economic and Natural ecosystem are interchangeably linked and sustained.

01 Three Ecologies


02 WPA 2.0 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; CARBON T.A.P (Tunnel ALGAE PARK), Port Architecture + Urbanism, Winner

The second entry delves into water type construct as an architectural concept generator. Architecture or rather a formal configuration of the structure as a device that modulates water and water resources mechanism of circulation in multiple ways becomes a pivotal spatial and structural idea of this project. At the same time in the process of functional recombination, the monolithic structure produces different spatial forms and urban types that are interconnected functionally and physically through one medium or an agent of growth and production â&#x20AC;&#x201D; water.

Global scarcity of water supplies puts increasing pressure on water supplies. In these new climate conditions a more integrated and developed approach is needed in redistributing water resources both at the commercial and residential level. This project deals with a new 'infrastructure' of water reclamation and recycling centers that in terms of context creates a larger urbanistic whole. The agency of water production and reclamation institutes an agency that transforms urban and public space in which the water as a spatial and formal element plays the crucial role. Through remediation wetlands, hydro-phonic farms, shallow channels or reflecting pools in the public space water becomes an interactive urbanistic element that serves a larger programmatic purpose in conserving resources and energy in urban areas. In this system or reclamation and recycling of grey and blackwater, water is redistributed to various direct uses - mist platforms, solar-encased tanks, urban beaches, aquatic parking lots, reflecting pools and channels, and water-based landscapes.


03 WPA 2.0 — Hydro-Genic City 2020 AERSHOP, Finalist

Case Studies: Mumbai, Los Angeles In the past work of landscape painters evolved around pictorial quality that was observed in nature as an inspiration or an impression of the pastoral upon which an artist was free to build his own technique and style of painting. In Renaissance natural environments were rendered in order to project an order between natural and man-made environment. Often today, we are inundated with the contrived representation of ‘postcard photography.’ In my work I try to establish different, critical angle that is often shunned in media as opprobrium in the urban environment, although due to radical expansion and consumption of the late 20th century this also stands valid for suburban environments– pollution, migration, and urban squalor. Likewise, with constant industrialization and spreading of suburbs into untouched natural environments, fundamental qualities of rustic environment are impinged upon in many different ways –unsuitable appropriation of the land, deforestation, and contamination. In the 19th century industrialization large portions of natural land, forests, rivers were simply destroyed by pollution, excessive cultivation and dismal conditions of living. This ‘landscape’ often escapes popular or academic illustrations of realistic utopias in the 19th century which were embodiment of the new bourgeois cities. In the postmodern Metropolis socioeconomic problems were followed by more consumption of land and effectively soft-industrialization of the otherwise natural ecosystems. While viscerally these communities maintained semblance to the original natural setting by extensive use of roads, building and exploitation of the land it was irreversibly altered. These contradictions inside suburban landscapes are also focus in my work. It’s an attempt to expose multitude of false premises in which social and cultural objects operate.


04 Linear City — Containment and Exploitation of the Green House emissions at the production/living level - habitat. Agricultural production and natural reserve preservation at the ground level

In all urban areas of the developing world with an explosive population growth the city and governmental agencies ignore interconnectivity and cohesive processes between seemingly opposing typologies – the natural and built environment. Instead of inserting built social artifices in the context of ecology and different biosocial system the professional organization and leading experts tend to separate nature from the built environment as they exist parallel without affect and touching each other.

Professional bodies through its standardized manuals for energy and material conservation do not consider the problems in ecology interconnected with socioeconomic forces. Today, all prevalent tendencies in the building industry and spatial planning, puts an accent on the aesthetic of Green and environmental protection, not on the substance. Besides energy efficiency and systems for controlling use and resources rarely the professional bodies or agencies venture on a larger scale into a contextual relationship between different mechanical and living processes. Instead of harnessing forces of nature, tapping into enormous energy resources of morphogenetic processes in all categories of wild life, we treat the built environment and architecture as a subject separate from the natural order. In contrast to prescriptive solutions that are embodied in the Green aesthetic —double façade, brisoleis, recycled the content and materials, we are proposing a different and truly sustainable approach by relating different types with in the project’s building program. By incorporating or complementing a different metabolic mechanism such as bioenergy, biogenetics or morphogenetic into urban programs, we can create a new ecological system or parameters, in which design plays an operative role in conservation and preservation.

The majorities of the building projects use a formal or catch term to respond to an image of green-brand buildings. The strategies that address environmental building issues by the use of the Green logo only superficially deal with problems of the natural environment and its living typologies within a social habitat. Rather than testing the performance and technological results on the wider spectrum of services by using variety of sustainable


systems and type, the current green building practices project only the term sustainable at the level of the marketing economy. In ReynerBanham’s Four Ecologies the notion of ecology supersedes the today’s limited idea of an environmental quality and conservation. The object architecture does not exist outside of the natural realm and its processes. Instead of observing nature and culture in a binary process we should reverse the role and observe the artifice of nature as a cultural object and built form as a natural type. Rather than being limited by systems of energy efficiency and conservation, the logic of ecology encompasses a range of social and economic values in the context of urban environment. In the case of Mumbai and Los Angeles where public transportation has failed or it was dismantles becomes a pivotal idea for addressing the strategy of rapid growth. Understanding that the city’s socioeconomic morphogeneticis attributed to extension and density reduction. All growing and economically valuable urban space stretches builds up on periphery. All the while these cities especially in the developing parts of the world with a rapid growth of urban population through migration, heavily rely on automobile

We propose a new idea that embraces the strategy of recombining old typologies in a new urban form by restructuring formal structure of the city that is based on the street network, building blocks and interconnecting nodes - squares. This idea is based on the layered mechanism between three different productive urban elements — agricultural/green, transportation and living street level space. In essence the public space becomes a top urban tissue that has the best viewpoint, access to air and light. Transportation, the biggest producer of pollution in urban areas, is contained in the enclosed system of efficient roads that are part of the system for harvesting and collecting waters. These gasses in the biogenetic process are filtered through system into open space and natural environment. The housing, cultural and commercial zones that are attached on the main infrastructure have lower density and large green areas – parks, squares etc.

05 Linear City — Housing, Transportation and Natural habitat

We are facing a reversal of the idea of the tabula raster unknown natural stays at the same datum and under the same condition except the green resources such as farms, forest, and body of water are equally available to all habitants, not only designated to limited zones or urban periphery of low density – suburbs.


Conclusion: The system of knowledge deposed in the professional standards such as LEED or BREEM can be reiterated as synartesis of recombinant actions not as a series of blindly applied percepts of technical rules. Only through an understanding of typological relationships in the complex processes of production in the social and economic systems of exchanges, building context (ontology) and programmatic needs (function) can be met in the form of urban metabolism. Architectural profession can regain its relevant position rather than be a commodity of the post-consumer information production. The design process can become an agent for a creative recombination of integral elements, of which nature and consequently energy is implemented in the physical context and programmatic construct – ecologies, are defined upon determinate information derived not only from standards but through an empirical and critical observation. Research and development ultimately devoted only to the benefit of the economic growth annihilates values of other epistemological branches.

Nenad Stjepanović grew up in Belgrade and studied in Belgrade and New York. He studied architecture at the Cooper Union, and art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. During the studies, as a student-intern he has worked for smaller, but well-known bureaus, as well as for well-known construction firms – Cantor Seinuk Engineers and Diller Scofidio Renfro. In the studio of the American architect Frank O. Gehry worked at competitions and urban planning projects in Lisbon, Brooklyn and Milan and on the project of the Museum of Tolerance inJerusalem. After having returned to New York, he worked as an architect-designer and one of the project architects at the project of the new TKTS Booth in Times Square. Afterwards, he has worked as an architect-designer for the well-known New York bureau Kostas Condylis, which is mostly engaged inhousing tower design. He was a guest at several universities as a member of boards at the degrees presentations at the Pratt Institute, the New School and GSAPP, ColumbiaUniversity. He has been a guest professor at the Pratt Institute and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade. He published texts in magazines Nin, Forum, SAJ and The Architect’s Paper. Notes:

1. Kenneth Frampton, The Work of Architecture in the Age of Commodification,” Harvard Design Magazine, Fall 2005/Winter 2006, Number 23 2. PRAXIS: Journal of Writing and Building, Issue 13: Eco-logics 2012. 3. Michael L. Benedikt, “Less for Less Yet,” Appeared in the Winter/Spring 1999 issue of Harvard Design Magazine. 4. Anthony Vidler, “The Third Typology” Opposition 7 (Winter 1977); Expanded in Rational Architecture: The Reconstruction of the European City (Brussels: Eddition des Archives d’Architecture modern, 1978). 5. Alan Colquhoun, “Typology and Design Method,” Arena 83 (June 1967). 6. Anthony Vidler , “The Idea of Type: The transformation of the Academic Ideal,1750-1830,” Oppositions 8 (Spring 1977). 7. RaynerBanham: Four Ecologies — Los Angeles The Architecture Of Four Ecologies. Harper and Row. 1971


20 Neyran Turan AGAINST GROSS

When asked about the relationship between architecture and design in 1991, Oswald Mathias Ungers wrote: “I see myself as an architect as opposed to a designer. Design is about fashion and styling, whereas architecture is about construction, concepts, and space. Design has an excessive influence on architecture today. Packaging and consumption are replacing the real and the conceptual. What we are left with is ersatz-architecture.’i And, in 2004, a similar lament would repeat when Ungers commented on architecture’s social engagement at an interview: “Social problems cannot be resolved by architecture. Indeed you can only solve architectural problems.”ii

Were these expressions indicative of a firm conservatism against architecture’s lucrative relationships with other disciplines or a nostalgic pessimism for architecture’s impotence in the world? The answer would be none of the above. What lied behind these statements was a life-long research and speculation on architecture’s collective capacity to engage with the world (city, urbanism, environment) as well as with its owncore (history, autonomy) without resorting into naïve postulations at either extreme. This led Ungers to be dissatisfied with contained architectural dogmas of his time, all of which, in his view, were lost either within facts (world) or within the hermetic nature of the architectural discipline (core). He was ambitiously looking for a project of both-and-neither.

Perhaps nothing can represent this dilemma better than Ungers’s tenure in the United States while he was teaching at the Cornell University during 1970s as the chair of the Department of Architecture (1969-1975).iii During this time, not resorting to any particular discourse of its time would actually come with its consequences for Ungers. In an open letter published in 1979, Team X’s Aldo van Ecyk would criticize Ungers ruthlessly and blame him and others—such as Aldo Rossi, Leon Krier, Robert Venturi, Stanley Tigerman and Peter Eisenman—for “tying history into knot,…bending over backwards…[and]…twist architecture into something which it simply is not,” and in the end, “cheating” with architecture’s autonomy and history altogether.iv These words were written, of course, at the midst of and against to a rising postmodernist style in architecture and Ungers’s new direction with neorationalist and typological tendencies were quite controversial and disconcerting for the core of Team X thinking. Yet, Ungers’s alliance with postmodernism was equally uneasy—if not baffling—as his earlier association with the Team X group. For instance, at the infamous Charlottesville Tapes Conference in Virginia of 1982, Ungers would get strong criticisms from Philip Johnson, Leon Krier, Peter Eisenman and others for his recent MesseTorhau project in Frankfurt, of being extremely tedious, out of scale and compromising. During the discussion right after Ungers’s presentation of this project at the Charlottesville meeting, Krier would describe Unger’s situation as being in a “total despair doing big business.”v


Despite these anxious misalignments, one thing that remained constant throughout was Ungers’s strong speculative project for architecture’s role in the contemporary city. While various interpretations of his built work by others got stuck in the postmodernist readings of the representation of the fragment or the unfinished object, the very idea that haunted Ungers’s entire career was left out: his little known articulation of Grossform. The framework of his investigation was informed by, yet was fundamentally different from, his two direct encounters, against which Ungers would develop his architectural urbanism. First was his former encounter with Team X in Europe during 1950s and 1960s and the group’s emphasis on context (especially Smithsons’ “reality-as-found”), user (“human association”) and flexibility as well as their interest in structuralist and quasi-biological metaphors of growth and morphology. It was through encounters with the Team X group members along with the postwar building explosion in Europe that would initiate Ungers’s interest in the contemporary city. Second encounter was with Colin Rowe and his nostalgic contextualism at the Cornell University in the United States. Rowe’s focus on juxtaposition and symbiosis in relation to urban form enabled Ungers to develop a counter-project for the role of architectural form in urbanism.

These two encounters not only offered Ungers an important framework for the articulation of Grossform, they also formed by the basis of a speculative project for an agonistic architectural urbanism. In parallel, one can speculate on three ideas that were central to Grossform. First was the idea of variety-in-unity, i.e., the possibility to accommodate diversity in a project while still embodying a coherent framework. Framed around the idea of coincidentiaoppositorum (coincidence of antitheses and not their overcoming), Ungers’s project flourished during 1970s with an ambitious typological and morphological investigation on developing a language of variety in unity.viRegarding the this idea, Ungers wrote:

A new dimension of thought and perception is opened up if the world is experienced in all its contradictions, that all its multiplicity and variety, if it is not forced into the concept of homogeneity that shapes everything to itself. Only collectivized thought can aspire to unity, the free, individual spirit seeks contradictions, antitheses, heterogeneity….The theme of assemblage should not be confused either with arbitrary decomposition or with the casual products of a pluralistic conception based on laissez-faire. It is also in opposition to the present-day tendency towards a faithful and literal restoration of the past. Instead it is a question of making an attempt, in the sense of a humanistic concept to comprehend thought and action as a morphological whole made up of many different relations, and to give all intellectual potentialities a place, to unfold.vii

While Ungers’sGrossformwould transform into Bigness by his former Cornell student Rem Koolhaas during 1990s, the first part of the phrase "Gross-" (read: big) would be strongly preferred over "-form" by Koolhaas and strategically replaced by content: big scale and the multiplicity of program. Here, via Koolhaas, Ungers’s project was taken to another level by developing a language for content.

Ungers’s initial articulation for the idea of Grossform was via his 1967 essay titled, “GrossformenimWohnungsbau.”viii In this article, Ungers emphasized the main attributes of the Grossform idea, which were further developed through his tenure in the US. Grossformliterally translates as “big form” from German; yet in this article, Ungers went on to articulate that it was not so much the scale but rather the level of coherence achieved


within multiplicity that makes the Grossform relevant for discussion. The “bigness” of Ungers’sGrossform, then, was not so much about the large scale of forms, but was a totality achieved given capacity to contain diversity in a project. This point is important and would keep alive with him throughout. For instance, when discussing the gradual morphological attributes of the circle-wall proposed for his Morsbroich Museum project in Leverkusen (1975), Ungers wrote:

The conception of architecture is neither unitary or pluralistic, neither closed or open, neither rigid nor free….It is not based on a dogmatic position or a political programme [sic], but on the aspiration for an architecture characterized by conceptual and thematic restraint. It is conceived to prevent the rigidity of total order and also the chaos of total independence. ix

Here, Ungers’s articulation of totality with a contained multiplicity reminds Robert Venturi’s “difficult whole,” which aimed to create a unity through inclusion rather than the easier way through exclusion, and proposed complexity and contrast as opposed to the easy totality of the abstract box. Resorting to neither a “false complexity” (chaos, cacophony, incoherent arbitrariness) nor a “false simplicity” (boredom), Venturi would write that “architecture of complexity and contradiction has a special obligation toward the whole: its truth must be in its totality or its implications of totality.”xOne could argue, however, that nowadays it is becoming harder and harder to discern inclusion from false complexity within contemporary architecture and urbanism. In comparison to the ubiquitous obsession with complexities at all levels, the idea of agonism remains less scrutinized.

Before elaborating on Ungers’s agonistic plurality further with a focus on his projects, one could mention briefly the group forms of Fumihiko Maki, who perhaps was one of the first architects who was aware of the problem of the “difficult whole.” Maki theorized an idea of legibility in the context of large forms that were comprised of many units, presented in his 1964 mini-booklet titled Investigations in Collective Form: Three Paradigm.xi What came out of this research at the time was a taxonomy of compositional form (which mapped modernist composition techniques), megaform (by which Maki actually meant megastructure, a large frame with discrete and rapidly changing units which fit within a spine framework, for which he uses KenzoTange’s Tokyo plan as example), and, finally, group form, a collection of units linked not necessarily though a large frame as megastructure does but through certain operational qualities that build certain “linkages” between collective forms. According to Maki’s formulation, examples to these linkages would be a common medium such as open space, a limit condition that holds them together or a common feature that repeats in each unit. As Maki used the phrases of megaform and megastructure interchangeably, he was emphasizing the limitations of megastructure especially in the context of open and closed systems. He wrote: “The ideal is not a system in which structure of the city is at the mercy of unpredictable change. The ideal is a kind of master form which can move into ever states of equilibrium and yet maintain visual consistency and a sense of continuing order in the long run.”xii

It could be argued that it is exactly this search for another level of consistency or a “difficult whole” that made the group form necessary in Maki’s discussion. That is, replacing the literal spine or frame of megastructure with a more conceptualidea of the linkage, Maki aimed to define another form of coherence for the large form while allowing difference and plurality in its formation and use.


Here, one should note that the distinction between megaform and megastructure would actually become more evident in Kenneth Frampton’s discussion some thirty years later, in his lecture-essay titled Megaform as Urban Landscape.xiii In Frampton’s formulation, megaform continued to differentiate itself through its coherence and legibility, yet this time via a prominent horizontal profile and its contextual attributes of differentiation. In the context of the “space-endlessness of the megalopolis,” Frampton defined megaform as a dense large-form extending horizontally rather than vertically, and a form that is not articulated into a series of structural and mechanical subsets like megastructure as found, for example, in the Centre Pompidou. While taking architecture as the concrete measure of the city, the examples used in Frampton’s discussion were projects that present a search for typological specificity in form while aiming a confrontation with context. It is interesting to observe that Frampton’s discussion on megaform would actually be taken as a reference for its emphasis on symbiosis and neo-contextualism (i.e., horizontal continuation of the surrounding topography) for landscape urbanism rather than its emphasis on legibility (i.e., distinction from megastructure as well as his highlight on contextual contrast).

Different from the operational categories of Maki’s linkage, and the horizontality focus of Frampton, Ungers’s emphasis on Grossform was more on the very nature of multiplicity, or on the cohabitation of opposites. Initiated with his competition entry for the GrünzugSüd project (1962-1965), Ungers’sGrossform not only offered initial reflections regarding the idea of variety-in-unity and coherence for an architectural project, but also emphasized collection as a form of reduction rather than accumulation of an amorphous mass. The design problem of the GrünzugSüdproject was the redevelopment of a suburban district of Cologne. Ungers’s proposal was almost like a linear large wall, a collection of six distinct building typologies, each presented as a thematically classified city fragment whose clues were taken by a rigorous research on the existing context and connected with a reduced language of form.xiv

Connected to his research on variety-in-unity, second important idea for the speculation of Ungers’sGrossformwas a very specific articulation for the idea of context, developed initially with the GrünzugSüd project. Ungers’s context was a counter project to Rowe’s contextualism of the figure-ground dialectic, accumulative fragmentation and collage. Unlike Rowe’s Collage City, Ungers’sDialectical City was achieved through clear definition of the borders of each identity and separation without any overlap or symbiosis.xv More importantly, there was an inherent realism in Ungers’s architectural urbanism where context was not just an indicator of mere formal relationships as it was in Rowe. What was also specific in Ungers’s realism was that it was not prescriptive and full of fact-fetish. Rather than focusing on merely descriptive documentation of external systems in the city and positioning the architectural project as a consequence to that analysis, Ungers’s agonistic interpretation of contextsaw the city as a consequence of architecture. In his essay titled “Planning Criteria,” Ungers elaborated on his understanding of realism and its relationship to diversity:

The first criterion of my design is the dialectical process with a reality as found: a) The impulse of the design comes usually from a permanent confrontation with the environment as it exists as well as the acceptance of specific economic, social and historical conditions. b) The design process as a continuous experiment of knitting and fitting elements in so a complex grown and sometimes simply banal reality....[Another] criterion that I want to


demonstrate with the design is the plurality of solutions or the wide spectrum of the architectural interpretation of one and the same element…Implicit in this criterion is a catalogue of alternatives, in contrast to the usual attempts at an ideal solution. The projects are better characterized as fragments and partial solutions of a very specific area rather than ideal realizations of a platonic idea…Pseudo-ideological criteria like flexibility versus fixity or objectivity versus subjectivity, process versus object, form versus content or whatever antagonisms do exist as an ideological hang-up become relative in this ‘contimuum-concept’ as I call it.xvi

Here, what made Ungers’s approach unique was the willingness to tackle with the realities of world (context as environment) with a strong emphasis on architecture’s disciplinarity and history (context as core).xvii This allowed Ungers to freely experiment the intricacies involved within these two dimensions and build unconventional relationships between the two. If much of contemporary urbanism’s intrinsic theorizations during early 1990s were for the most part a reaction to the historicity and contextualism of the earlier generation (remember: the “fuck context” motto), it would do so via bypassing Unger’s understanding of context altogether and positioning the phenomenon of context as environment as a direct counter-project to classical interpretations of urban form and contextualism (i.e.Rowe).

Among the seminal publications that provide a helpful framework for the reemergence of context as environment during 1990s, or more specifically, the relentless logic of infrastructures and capital, and their relation to the city, one should mention Zone 1/2, the 1986 volume edited by Sanford Kwinter and Michel Feher that issubtitled The Contemporary City. A compilation of a wide range of essays from various architects, philosophers, and artists, the publication supported its understanding of the city as an elastic, flexible, and evolving assemblage of economic and cultural flows and material forces.xviii Here, a methodological update regarding the two prominent interpretations of context mentioned above would be pertinent: in Zone 1/2, architecture would shift from the historical context (context as core or, more specifically, “contextualism”) to a biological/ecological one (context as environment).As much as being a disciplinary repositioning of urbanism, the book was a proposal for a new speculative project for architecture in the city. This methodological turn was positioned as a critique of both the intrinsic morphological attributes of classical urbanism on the one hand and extrinsic socioeconomic laws of social sciences on the other.xix

Abovementioned two ideas of Grossform—variety-in-unity and agonistic context—can be observed in Ungers’s relatively unknown Landwehrkanal-Tiergarten District competition project (1973) for Berlin, which introduces the repetition of specific large-scale objects as multiple interventions on particular sites along the city canal in accordance with a new traffic plan for the underground subway system.xx The competition was for the development the city-band along the Landwehrkanal, which was located at the edge of the East Berlin border and in-between the Tiergarten Park on the north and the Tiergarten district, the historical housing and commercial area in the south. The area on the north was also known as the Kulturforum area, the new cultural center of West Berlin, in which Mies van der Rohe’s National Gallery and Hans Schaorun’s Philharmonic Concert Hall. In the project proposal of Ungers, rather than the comprehensive planning of the entire competition area, five interrelated yet distinct proposals were formulated for five different sites located in the area. (01)


01 GROSSFORM IS AGONISTIC WITH A PERVERT FANTASY OF TOTALITY. IT IS ABOUT VARIETY-IN-UNITY ENABLED BY ARCHITECTURE. Ungers’ Landwehrkanal-Tiergarten project (1973). Constellation of multiple interventions (left), and the site plan of punctual interventions positioned along the Landwehrkanal (right). Drawing by the author. Image credit: Neyran Turan.

In an earlier competition project for the Kulturforum area, the Tiergarten Museums project (1965), Ungers had already emphasized the fragmented character of the surrounding landscape of Tiergarten, enabled especially with the two opposing building characters of Mies’sNationalgalerie and Sharoun’sPhilharmonie, one being pure, the other being expressionist in language. This very dialectical condition would actually frame the basis of his proposal for this earlier museum project. Proposing the model of an “urban forum of contradiction,” the project was consisted of individual buildings that each had its own identity as a type in relation to their program yet the whole complex was united in the contradiction of the assembly of different events and parts.xxi

Going back to the separate punctual interventions of the Landwehrkanal project, first intervention of the project maintained the existing mixed use (dwelling and commercial) structure of the Tiergaten district and intensified density by proposing 8-storey ring-shaped superblocks that contained housing, department stores and hotels (same type replicated in various scales). Second intervention was a monumental cruciform-shaped complex which provided a below-ground square with subway station marking the transition between the center of West Berlin and the cultural institutions on the northern part of the competition zone while providing amenities such as a school, a kindergarten, shops and various social services. Third was composed of same-sized six perimeter blocks containing housing, offices, hotels, department stores, theatre and cinema providing a direct link to the Tiergartenpark on the north. While fourth intervention created an underground void (plaza) just across Mies’s National Gallery, fifth intervention proposed a square form cut in aligned with the street network and provided sports areas, shops and offices.

While each individual intervention in the project was specific and distinct as a shaping device for its context, the territorial collection of the typological variation of the large-scale objects and their relational contradiction created a totality, or a Grossform, at the scale of the city-territory. Here, rather than a variation on a particular type, the nature of the typological differentiation was based on each intervention’s specific context. Since these


specific interventions had a very simple and generic formal grammar, the unity among these interventions was achieved via reduction and abstraction within the formal language of the project as a whole. Similar ideas of abstract morphological variation could be observed in many other Ungers projects.(02)

02 GROSSFORM’S AGONISM CAN BE SUBTLE (FORUM OF SERIES)OR DRASTIC (FORUM OF CONTRADICTION). GROSS-IS ABOUT FORMAL COHERENCE BETWEEN PARTS, NOT ABOUT SCALE. Subtle differentiation in Ungers’ group houses project at Marburg.Variations on a type (left) and their position in plan (right). Drawing by the author.Image credit: Neyran Turan.

And finally, the third formulation of Grossform would be the taxonomy of scaleless modelforms, which Ungers named as ‘world as idea’. Since a small house, a housing block or an entire city could be a Grossform, as it was articulated in his ‘GrossformenimWohnungsbau’ essay,xxiiUngers’s investigations on Grossformwere not about large scale but rather speculations on a scalelessconceptualization about architecture.


03 Selection of spreads from Ungers’s book City Metaphors. Image credit: © UngersArchivfürArchitekturwissenschaft UAA This formulation was further developed into the idea of ‘city metaphors’ by Ungers.xxiii Compiled as a book titled Morphologie = City Metaphors, this work was initially exhibited at the “MANtransFORMs Exhibition” at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design in New York in 1976. The exhibition and the book was a series of analogical juxtapositions that each portray a city plan coupled with an image from an entirely different context. (03) Here, Ungers’s metaphors should not be confused with willful accumulation of images, as his project was


one of reduction not accumulation. Similar to the initial theorization of Grossformas a form of coherence among parts of a project, with the city metaphors formulation, Ungers expanded this agenda to a much broader framework, into a general methodology of conceptual and speculative thinking and design. In the accompanying text of his exhibition, Ungers wrote:

What all that means—thinking and designing in images, metaphors, models, analogies, symbols and allegories—is nothing more than a transition from purely pragmatic approaches to a more creative mode of thinking. It means a process of thinking in qualitative values rather than quantitative data, a process that is based on synthesis rather than analysis…Therefore, the cities as they are shown in the exhibition are not analyzed according to function and other measurable criteria but they are interpreted on a conceptual level demonstrating ideas, images, metaphors and analogies…There are three levels of reality exposed: the factual reality—the object; the perceptual reality—the analogy; and the conceptual reality the idea, shown as the plan—the image—the word.xxiv

Ungers’s city metaphors would be best exemplified with his “doll-within-the doll” formulation, for instance, a scaleless model-form articulated at a territorial scale with the Berlin Green Archipelago Project (city-within-a city), at a building scale with the Hotel Berlin Project (building-within-a building), and at a house scale with the Solarhaus at Landstuhl (housewithin-a-house). What would be important to note here is that with the “doll-within-the-doll” idea, the repetitive nature of variety was achieved again via the confrontation of opposites yet this time by keeping the perimeter limit intact and achieving an inward interaction. While stable (yet different) urban islands were spaced within an instable territorial void at the Green Archipelago Project, in the Hotel Berlin project, the flexible boundary between the circle and the rectilinear frame created space for various typological and programmatic juxtapositions (urban perimeter block, glass-house reception hall, access towers and inner rotunda). (04)


04 GROSSFORM IS A FORM OF COHERENCE ACHIEVED THROUGH A SCALES-LESS MODEL-FORM. Three Ungers projects with the same scale-less model of the “doll-within-a-doll.”Berlin Green Archipelago Project (city-within-a city), Hotel Berlin (building-within-a building), Solarhaus at Landstuhl (house-within-a-house). Drawing by the author.Image credit: Neyran Turan. These ideas were taken to a further level with Ungers’s Roosevelt Island (Welfare Island) competition project (1975). In this project, the scaless model-form is Manhattan itself and the replication of an original and its morphological repetition were emphasized by the multiple variety of four existing typologies of Manhattan (street, avenue, block, and park) placed on a miniature Manhattan grid on the project site. A variety of housing blocks—each with their own identity yet ordered to create a whole—are differentiated according to characteristics of size, typology (terrace or pergola), function (garden or penthouse), site orientation (facing


water, park or mall), and shape (“T” versus “U”). (05) For this project, Ungers writes: “The theme of reproduction should not be interpreted as a cheap trick aimed at giving the project a touch of wit. It is a serious attempt to translate the concept of an image and its replica architecturally, exploiting the idea of reproducibility as a possibility for a creative design. The project for the Welfare Island is an attempt to develop, through a new interpretation of the image, to a new expression that is not to be found in the original.”xxv

05 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE SCALE-LESS MODEL-FORMIS MANHATTAN? Ungers’sRoosevelt Island competition project (1975). Drawing by the author. Image credit: Neyran Turan.

+ + +

Why bring up this recent history on Ungersand why would that be relevant today? During the last two decades, architecture's engagement with the world has mostly been speculated as a scale or content problem. Take social participation, infrastructural urbanism, or sustainability, in all of which architecture’s role is reduced to either problem solving or ethical criteria. In parallel, architectural engagement is equated with a social, or a neoenvironmentalist do-goodism. While social participation marks a fascination with the informality of bottom-up organizations, for instance, infrastructural managerialism serves as an alibi for solving systemic problems. Triggered by global urbanization, environmental problems, and an emerging participatory culture of social networks and Web 2.0, these practices utilize “design research” techniques—mapping emergent urban phenomena with analytic tendencies—and focus on scenario thinking, programming, and indeterminacy.

Once historicized within the immediate past, the contemporary dilemma described above becomes nothing more than the newest version of an ever evolving disciplinary problem for architecture: the dialectic between architecture’s singularity (disciplinarity) versus its total immersion within external forces (interdisciplinarity), or between context as core versus context as environment. The former focuses on autonomy and favors disciplinary history and form, while the latter speculates on heteronomy and favors interdisciplinary engagement and program. The dilemma described abovenot only makes evident these dualities of context apparent again but more importantly their respective limitations. Within that framework, architecture’s relationship to urbanism plays a vital role.


While abovementioned contemporary tendencies of engagement have been natural extensions of recent discussions on the interdisciplinarity of architecture—which could be formulated as a contemporary version of the context as environment discourse—it was an idea that was timely and needed especially after the early 1990s. With their emphasis on content (program, scale, or system), these discourses have necessitated more and more articulation of content’s multiplicity if they were to relate to the world over time; and, architecture’s specific role within all this remained rather unclear. Although these approaches have both provided necessary interdisciplinary conversations between architecture and other inquiries; in parallel, however, at a much deeper level, political and formal significance of that very same empowerment has been less speculated. Accordingly, the question of disciplinarity for architecture has by and large been limited to self-referential attributes of exclusive singularity (fantastic icon). At the midst of expansionist tendencies of multiplicity and inclusion on the one hand, and self-referential attributes of singularity on the other, Ungers’s unfinished project haunts our generation.

Ungers’s project is daunting after an era on polemical yet ubiquitous large scales and contents: sexy complexities, wild urbanisms, programmatic diagram architectures, continuous surfaces, and other multiplicities.

Ungers’s dissatisfaction with his contemporaries has a paradoxical resonance for our generation. Rather than an overemphasis on architectural core (history, autonomy, form) or the world (environment, engagement, content), what we see in Ungers is a constant search for an architectural project that offers a third way between the two. For him, this third way had to be open to accommodate the heteronomy of life fully, but only through a rigorous and speculative project for architecture. A renewed agonistic project for contemporary architectural urbanism can only benefit from Ungers’s project as well as its many struggles and contradictions. In this third way, New Autonomies[N/A] would be experimented where the term would not register so much to a referral of an older definition (autonomy as retreat, as opposed to engagement) but instigate a yet-to-be-elaborated definition of disciplinarity for contemporary architecture, where engagement is neither perceived as a compromise nor as a celebrative immersion but understood as a specific and valuable content to relate to the world.

N/A awaits further speculation. N/As would not be scared of new questions regarding aesthetics, form and language while being still being extremelyrigorous in interdisciplinary dialogue. N/As would be ready for radical risks and productive failures. They would strive for radical anomalies between aesthetics and engagement.

Enough about reductive seductions. The time may have already arrived for anomalies of seductive reductions.


Neyran Turan is an architect, and currently an Assistant Professor at Rice University School of Architecture. She is the founding editor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) journal New Geographies, which focuses on contemporary issues of urbanism and architecture, and is the editor-in-chief of the first two volumes of the journal: New Geographies 0 (2008), New Geographies: After Zero (2009). Turan is also a co-founder of NEMEstudio, a research and design collaborative based in Houston. She has received her doctoral degree from Harvard GSD, holds a masters degree from Yale University School of Architecture, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Istanbul Technical University. Turan’s work draws on the relationship between engagement and aesthetics to highlight their interaction for new trajectories and disciplinary alignments within architecture and urbanism. Turan's recent and upcoming publications include articles and book chapters in 20/20: Editorial Takes on Architectural Discourse (AA Publications, 2011), Megacities (Springer-Verlag, 2010), ACSA: Flip Your Field (Chicago, 2010), ACSA: Where Do You Stand (Montreal, 2010), Cycles (ACTAR, 2012, forthcoming), and Architecture and Geography (Routledge, 2012, forthcoming). Turan has also acted as the assistant editor for the book, Joseph LluisSert: The Architect of Urban Design (with Hashim Sarkis and Eric Mumford, Yale University Press, 2008).

                                                            i

“O. M. Ungers,” Daidalos40 (June 1991): 74.

ii

Rem Koolhaas and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, “An Interview with O. M. Ungers,” Log 16 (2009): 83. iii Before moving to United States, Ungers taught at the Technical University of Berlin (1963-1969) where he also acted as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture between 1965 and 1967. For a brief documentation of Ungers’s teaching and pedagogy in Berlin, see the two issues of the ARCH+ magazine dedicated to Ungers: ARCH+ 179: Oswald Mathias Ungers. Berliner Vorlesungen 1964/65 (2006)and ARCH+ 181/182: Lernen von O. M. Ungers (2006). Also, for a close analysis and interpretation of some of Ungers’ss early projects in Berlin, see Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011): 177-227. iv Aldo van Ecyk “A Message to Ungers from a Different World,” SpazioSocieta 8 (1979): 63-64. Ungers was invited to the Team X-Berlin meeting in 1965, and following that, he was an active participant in the meetings and discussions. As the chair of the Cornell Architecture Department, he organized a Team X studio at Cornell in 1971-72 and invited most of the group’s participants to lecture and supervise studio work. Max Risselada and Dirk van den Heuvel (eds.), Team 10 1953-1981: In Searchof a Utopia of the Present (Rotterdam, 2005), 180. v Ungers’s response to L. Krier in the same discussion would be equally harsh: “Why should we not get involved in doing a building that has 45-square-meter rooms to show products? Should I say, ‘No, I am artist, I don’t want to get my fingers dirty?’ I spent ten years theorizing, and many people profited from that work. You know it perfectly well. You came as a little boy to my office and you profited too. You admitted it. But you know what? I decided to go back to practice, get my fingers dirty, and work with those big developers. And I wish you would do the same. Then we can talk again. But on this level we can’t.” The Charlottesville Tapes: Transcript of the Conference at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, November 12-13, 1982 (Rizzoli Publications, 1985), p.73 vi For Ungers’s urban theory of opposites, see O. M. Ungers, Dialectical City (Skira, 1999). For most extensive English writings on Ungers, see Andres Lepik, ed. Cosmos of Architecture (HatjeCantz, 2006), and more recently, P. Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, op. cit. vii Oswald Mathias Ungers, Architettura come Tema = Architecture as Theme (Milano: Rizzoli, Electa, 1982), p.35. viii O. Mathias Ungers, “GrossformenimWohnungsbau,” Aujourd’hui: Art et Architectures #57-58 (October 1967): 108-113.Former to that, the essay was initially published as #5 of VeröffentlichungenzurArchitektur(Berlin: TU Berlin) in December of 1966. Ungers initially delivered this text as a lecture in 1966 in Moscow during his field trip with TU Berlin students to the Moscow Architectural Institute. During this trip, Ungers and the students all met Ivan SergeevichNikolaev, one of the most influential constructivist Soviet architects of 1920s, who was the director of the Institute at the time. ix Ibid, 19. x Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (Museum of Modern Art, 1966), p. 16, 54. xi Fumihiko Maki, Investigations in Collective Form (St. Louis: Washington University Publication, 1964). ReynerBanham would rely on Maki’s very definitions in this booklet in his introduction to his book on megastructure: ReynerBanham, Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past (Thames& Hudson, 1976). Maki exhibited a creative dialogue between his Japanese Metabolist sensibilities of flexibility and growth on the one hand and the legibility emphasis of the New Monumentality discussions of his teacher JosepLluisSert at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design during 1950s. xii Maki, Investigations in Collective Form, p. 11. Defining urban design as the establishing of “comprehensible links between things” and thus “making an extremely large entity comprehensible by articulating its parts,” five operational categories of linkage were listed by Maki: to mediate, to define, to repeat, to make functional path and to select which could be physical or implied. Ibid.,p. 29. xiii Kenneth Frampton, Megaform as Urban Landscape (Ann Arbor: College of University of Michigan, 1999). Also see, K. Frampton, “Toward an Urban Landscape,” in D: Columbia Documents of Architecture and Theory 4 (1995): 83-94. xiv For more on the GrünzugSüd project, see Oswald Mathias Ungers, “ErlauretungenzumProjektGrünzugSüd in Köln,” in O. M. Ungers, ed. Team-X Treffen: 1965, Berlin (Berlin: Technical University of Berlin, 1966), pp.20-28. Also see Dirk van den Heuvel, “GrünzugSüd Competition, Cologne Zollstock 1962-1965,” in Dirk van den Heuvel and Max Risselada, eds., Team 10, 1953-81: In Search of a Utopia of the Present (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2005), pp. 154-155. xv For an illustration of Rowe’s contextualism see, William Ellis, “Type and Context in Urbanism: Colin Rowe’s Contextualism,” Oppositions 18 (Fall 1979): 327. For a brief history of contextualism, see Sandy Isenstadt, “Contested Contexts,” in Site Matters: Design Concepts, Histories, and Strategies, ed. by C. Burns and A. Kahn (Routledge, 2005), pp. 157-185. Also see Colin Rowe and Fred Krotter, Collage City (Cambridge, MIT Press, 1983), and Ungers, Dialectical City, op. cit. xvi Mathias Ungers, “Planning Criteria,” Lotus 11 (1976): 13. xvii These two interpretations of context are briefly discussed in: Dirk van den Heuvel, “Another Sensibility: The Discovery of Context,” in OASE 76 (2008): 21-46. As van den Heuvel argues, it is hard to unify various interpretations of context under one umbrella other than as a postmodern critique of modernist architecture and urban planning. Still, one could perhaps see Colin Rowe and Christopher Alexander as roughly portraying the two ends of the spectrum (historical/core vs. positivist/environmental context). For a brief reading of the disciplinary conceptualization of these two figures as harbingers of the paradigm vs. program (a priori ideals vs. empirical facts) dialectic in architecture, see R. E. Somol, “Dummy Text or Diagrammatic Basis of Architecture,” Risco5 (2007). Albeit calling attention to this dichotomy himself and noting the need to go beyond the dialectic in an essay written in 1982, Rowe would still support the paradigm (a priori ideal/type). See, Colin Rowe, “Program vs. Paradigm: Otherwise Casual Notes on the Pragmatic, the Typical, and the Possible,” The Cornell Journal of Architecture 3 (1982/83). xviii

Michel Feher and Sanford Kwinter, eds., Zone 1/2: The Contemporary City (Zone Books: New York/MIT Press: Cambridge, 1986). In the context of architectural and urban discourse, initial elaboration of these discussions could be observed, for instance, in: Lars Lerup, After the City (MIT Press, 2000);


Albert Pope, Ladders (New York Princeton Architectural Press, 1996); Keller Easterling, Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT Press, 1999); Alex Wall, “Programming the Urban Surface,” in Recovering Landscape, ed. by James Corner (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), pp. 233-249. xix This was hinted in the introduction of Zone ½ by the editors: “To draw a carp, Chinese masters warn, it is not enough to know the animal’s morphology, study its anatomy or understand the physiological functions vital to its existence. They tell us that it is also necessary to consider the reed against which the carp brushes each morning while seeking its nourishment, the onlong stone behind which it conceals itself, or the rippling of water when it springs toward the surface. These elements should in no way be treated as the fish’s environment, the milieu in which it evolves or the natural background against which it can be drawn. They belong to the carp itself…The following texts may be seen as an attempt to draw a picture of the city faithful to the precepts of the Chinese masters. This method differs greatly from the contributions of classical urbanism whose richest achievements remain circumscribed by their morphological or at best, physiological approach. It differs also from most attempts in sociology and political economy to conceive of the city as a site shaped by exterior forces, as a particular configuration of more general laws…While classical urbanism is devoted to the intrinsic analysis of a distinct object…, the social sciences perceive the city and its evolution as the product of extrinsic socio-economic laws…[T]he group of works assembled here seeks rather to let the “city” emerge…Its task is different: to delineate and, as far as possible, to define a political regime of the city. [italics in original] Feher and Kwinter, Zone 1/2, pp. 10-11. xx For further project details see, “Tiergartenviertel Project, Berlin, 1973,” in Lotus 11 (1976): 21-27. Also see “Oswald Mathias Ungers,” in DortmunderArkitekturhefte No.3 (Dortmund: Herausgeber und Autore, 1976). xxi For Tuergarten Museums project, Ungers wrote: “The theme of the project, fragmentation, fits with the surrounding landscape of the Tiergarten, which includes buildings of different architectural character: Mies van der Rohe’sNationalgalerie and Scharoun’sPhilharmonie stand against one another in a dialectical relationship, as thesis and antithesis…This contradiction between ceremonial and simple architecture, between different conceptions and historical epochs, between the complete and the fragmentary, gives rise to an architectural variety that at the same time is an expression of the quality of urbanity. While the situation of a village is a homogenous one, the life of the urban place derives from its wealth of discontinuity, of contradictions. The ideal model of an urban center is the forum, just as Schinkel used in his plan for the Acropolis, and it also forms the basis of the idea of the Museumsinsel [Museum Island] in Berlin. The project for the museums in Tiergarten is an attempt to give formal expression to a spiritual and cultural forum.” Ungers, Architecture as Theme, op. cit., p.57. Ungers’ss Court of Justice in Berlin project (1978) comprises another such investigation. For Ungers’s discussion on this the theme of contradiction in relation to the Tiergarten Museums and the Court of Justice projects see, Ungers. “A Humanist City – Berlin,” Design of the Cumulative City: Recent Traditions and Current Positions in Urban Design Theory - The Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture Series 1978 (Cornell University Publication, 1999): pp. 85-96. xxii Ungers, “GrossformenimWohnungsbau,” op. cit, (note 8), p.5. xxiii O. M. Ungers, Morphologie = City Metaphors (Köln: W. König, 1982). In the book, Ungers juxtaposes 100 various city maps throughout history with 100 non-thematic images, each image having a visual and metaphorical relationship to the map. Ungers assigns each coupling a title, a single descriptive word printed in both English and Germap.n. xxiv “Designing and Thinking in Images, Metaphors and Analogies,”MANtransFORMs Exhibition Catalog (New York: Smithsons Institute Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, 1976), p.104. xxv Ibid, 115.


21 Nick Axel & Pedro HernĂĄndez MANIFESTO OF THE COPYIST PARTY

A spectre is haunting Architecture - the spectre of Copyism Where is the architect that has not been decried as Copyist by its opponents in profession? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Copyist, against the most advanced representative professionals in Architecture, as well as its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact. I. Copyism is already acknowledged by all architects to be itself an aesthetic ideology. II. It is high time that Copyists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Copyism with a Manifesto of the party itself. To this end, Copyists from all discourses have assembled and sketched the following manifesto.

I. CONTEMPORARIES AND HISTORIANS The history of all hitherto Architecture is the history of historical struggle.

The past and future have stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that has each time ended, either in revolutionary reconstitution of history at large, or in the common ruin of contending architectural theories. Our history can be viewed as a complicated arrangement of significations of the present, in between the past we choose to recognize and the future it affords us to see. In the Renaissance we had classical architectonic orders for the reinvention of our ancestorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lost grandeur; in Modernism we have the abstraction of technological processes for the creation of a social utopia; in both of these epochs, again, the present is merely a connection between the past and an ideal future. The contemporary design methodologies that sprouted from the ruins of postmodernism has not done away with historical antagonisms. It has but established new antagonisms, new conditions of angst, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones. Our epoch, the epoch of contemporaneity, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified historical struggles. Architecture as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great discourses directly facing each other - Contemporaries and Historians.


II. HISTORIANS AND COPYISTS In what relation to Copyists stand in relation to Historians as a whole? The Copyists do not form a separate ideology opposed to other historical ideologies. They have no interest separate and apart from those of the historians as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles on their own, by which to shape and mould the historian movement.

The Copyists are distinguished from the other historical ideologies by this only: 1. In the specific struggles of the historians of different locales, they point out the common interests of history’s entirety, independent of all specificity. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of historical discourse against contemporaneity has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent interests of the movement as a whole. The Copyists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the historical ideologies, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of historians the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the historian movement. The immediate aim of the Copyists is the same as that of all historical ideologies: formation of the historical as a material discourse, overthrow contemporary supremacy, conquest of aesthetic ideology by the historian. The theoretical conclusion of the Copyists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer. They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing historical situation, from an ideological movement going on under our very eyes. The abolishing of existing proprietary relations is not at all a distinctive feature of copyism. All proprietary relations in the past have continually been subject to ideological change consequent upon the change in metaphysical conditions. The internet, for example, abolished the building’s proprietary status in favor of architecture’s intrigue. The distinguishing feature of Copyism is not the abolition of architecture generally, but the abolition of its barred intrigue. But contemporary barred intrigue is the final and most complete expression of the system of creating and appropriating buildings, that is based on ideological antagonisms, on the disregard of the many by the few. In this sense, the theory of Copyism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of barred intrigue. We Copyists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally using architecture as the fruit of man’s own labour, which edifices are alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence. Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned architecture! Do you mean the architecture of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of building that preceded the contemporary form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of capitalism has already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.


Or do you mean the contemporary barred intrigue of architecture? But does the inherent singularity to each building create any intrigue for the historian? Not a bit. It creates identity, i.e., that kind of intrigue which exploits singularity, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of singularity for fresh exploitation. Intrigue, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of identity and singularity. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. To have an identity, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in semiotic production. Identity is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all architects, can it be set in motion. Identity is therefore not only personal; it is a social aesthetic. When, therefore, identity is converted into common intrigue, into the intrigue of all architects, personal intrigue is not thereby transformed into social intrigue. It is only the social character of the intrigue that has changed. It loses its barred character.

Now let us take singularity.

Being singular is the base condition of a building’s existence, i.e., that quantum of means of appearance which is absolutely requisite to keep a singular building existing as a building. How, therefore, the singular building is appropriated by means of its being, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a meaningless life. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the joys of architecture, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of meaningful human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the being of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the singular building lives merely to increase an identity, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the hegemonic ideology requires it. In contemporary architecture, buildings are but a means to amplify one’s identity. In Copyist architecture, an amplified identity is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of singular buildings. In contemporary architecture, therefore, the present is dominated by the future; in Copyist architecture, the past lives for the present. In contemporary architecture identity is independent and has individuality, while the typical building is dependent and has no individuality. And the abolition of this state of things is called by the contemporaries, abolition of individuality and allure! And rightly so. The abolition of contemporary individuality, contemporary independence, and contemporary allure is undoubtedly aimed at. By allure is meant, under the present contemporary conditions of building, free affection, free activity and passivity. But if activity and passivity disappears, free activity and passivity disappears also. This talk about free activity and passivity, and all the other “brave worlds” of our contemporaries about allure in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with barred activity and passivity, with the fettered intrigues of Modernism, but have no meaning when opposed to the Copyist abolition of activity and passivity, of the contemporary conditions of architecture, and of contemporaneity itself.


You are horrified at our intending to do away with the barred intrigue of architecture. But in your existing architecture, intrigue is already done away with for nine-tenths of all buildings; its existence in the few is solely due to its non-existence in those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of intrigue, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any intrigue for the immense majority of buildings. In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your intrigue. Precisely so; that is just what we intend. From the moment when singularity can no longer be converted into identities, commodities, or signs, into a cultural aesthetic capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual intrigue can no longer be transformed into contemporary intrigue, into identity, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes. You must, therefore, confess that by â&#x20AC;&#x153;individualâ&#x20AC;? you mean no other person than the contemporarian, than ideological proprietors of intrigue. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible. Copyism deprives no man of the power to appropriate architecture; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to bar the allure of others by means of such appropriations. It has been objected that upon the abolition of identity, all singular buildings will cease, and universal nihilism will overtake us. According to this, contemporary architecture ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer solipsism; for those of its buildings who exist, yet do nothing, and the buildings of those who do anything and everything do not matter. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any architecture when there is no longer any identity. All objections urged against the Copyist mode of constructing and appropriating the built environment, have, in the same way, been urged against the Copyist mode of constructing and appropriating spatial ideals. Just as, to the contemporaries, the disappearance of ideological intrigue is the disappearance of architecture itself, so the disappearance of architectural discourse is to him identical with the disappearance of all architecture. That architecture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to build as a machine. But donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to your intended abolition of contemporary intrigue, the standard of your contemporary notions of value, culture, beauty, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your contemporary architecture and contemporary intrigue, just as your allocation of funds is but the will of your ideology made into a fact of matter for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the architectural conditions of existence of your ideology. The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of space and of emotion, the cultural forms springing from your present mode of building and form of intrigue - historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of society - this misconception you share with every hegemonic ideology that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of Modern intrigue, what you admit in the case of postmodern intrigue, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own contemporary form of intrigue.


Abolition of the author! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Copyists.

On what foundation is the author, the contemporary author, based? On identity, on the objet petit a. In its completely developed form, the author exists only among the contemporaries. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the author among the historians, and in public standardization. The contemporary author will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of identity. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of buildings by their authors? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace the reclusive genius by general intellect.

And your intelligence! Is not that also social, and determined by the cultural conditions under which you learn, by the intervention direct or indirect, of culture, by means of institutions, etc.? The Copyists have not invented the intervention of culture in intelligence; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue intelligence from the influence of the hegemonic ideology. The contemporary clap-trap about the author and intelligence, about the hallowed corelation of authors and buildings, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Contemporary Culture, all the authorial ties among the historians are torn asunder, and their buildings transformed into simple articles of knowledge and instruments of labour. But you Copyists would introduce community of amateurs, screams the contemporaries in chorus. The contemporaries see amateurs as a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the amateur. He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed is to do away with the status of amateur as mere instruments of production. For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our contemporaries at the community of amateurs which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Copyists. The Copyists have no need to introduce community of amateurs; it has existed almost from time immemorial. Our contemporaries, not content with having amateurs or knowledge of the historians at their disposal, not to speak of common standards, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amateurs. Amateur employment is, in reality, a system of amateurs in common and thus, at the most, what the Copyists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed and openly legalised community of amateurs. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of amateurs springing from that system, i.e., of standardization and exploitation both public and private.


The copyists are further reproached with desiring to abolish style and discourse.

The historian has no style. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the historian must first of all acquire aesthetic supremacy, must rise to be the leading ideology of discourse, must constitute itself the discourse, it is so far, itself discourse, though not in the contemporary sense of the word. Discursive differences and antagonisms between architects are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of contemporaneity, to freedom of knowledge, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of semiotic production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. The supremacy of the historian will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised styles at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the historian. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put to an end, the exploitation of one style by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between styles within discourse vanishes, the hostility of one style to another will come to an end. The charges against Copyism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changed with every change in the conditions of his urban existence, in his social relations and in his cultural life? What else does the history of ideas prove, than that spatial ideals change their character in proportion as the built environment is changed? The hegemonic ideals of each age have ever been the ideas of its hegemonic ideology. When people speak of the ideals that revolutionise culture, they do not but express that fact that within the old culture the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideals keeps even pass with the dissolution of the old conditions of building. When Modernism was in its last throes, the Modern aesthetic was overcome by a return to history. When semiotics and linguistics succumbed in the second part of the 20th century to technology and generative computation, populism fought its death battle with the then revolutionary contemporaries. The ideas of aesthetic liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave the expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of creativity. “Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and economical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, and economics, constantly survived this change.” “There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Beauty, Value, etc., that are common to all realms of culture. But Copyism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.” What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past culture has consisted in the development of ideological antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.


But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the disregard of one part of culture by the other. No wonder, then, that the cultural consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of ideological antagonisms. The Copyist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional proprietary relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional aesthetics. But let us have done with the contemporaries objections to Copyism. We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the historian ideology is to raise the historian to the position of ideological hegemony to win the battle of aesthetics. The historians will use its aesthetic supremacy to wrest, by degree, all identity from the contemporaries, to propagate all forms of affectivity in the space of the Discipline, i.e., of the historians organized as the hegemonic ideology; and to increase the total affective capacities as rapidly as possible. Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on proprietary rights, creative liberties, and on the conditions of contemporary life; by means of measures, therefore, which appear architecturally illogical and unfeasible, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old cultural order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of building. These measures will, of course, be different in different cultures. Nevertheless, in most advanced cultures, the following will be pretty generally applicable. 1. Abolition of proprietary relations for the construction of built form. 2. A centralised archive to hold all architectural documentation and representation for public resource and free access. 3. Abolition of all rights of authorship. 4. Confiscation of all design documentation and representation hitherto barred from public access. 5. Centralisation of architectural certification procedures in the hands of the discipline, by means of an open source construction standard with an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralisation of the means of construction in the hands of the Discipline 7. The documentation and bringing into archive of all buildings, and the improvement of knowledge generally, by the extension of surveyors in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability of all to architecture. Establishment of a public architectural services center, especially for cities. 9. Combination of architecture with construction industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between spectacular Architecture and building by a more equable distribution of affective space over the city. 10. Free education for all architects in public schools. Abolition of competitive amateur labour in its present form.Collectivization of education with other disciplines.


When, in the course of development, ideological distinctions have disappeared, and all experience has been concentrated in the potentialities of a vast association of the whole discipline, the public ideology will lose its aesthetic character. Aesthetic ideology, properly so called, is merely the organised aesthetic of one ideology for repressing another. If the historians during its contest with the contemporaries is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as an ideology, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the hegemonic ideology, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of architecture, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of ideological antagonisms and of ideologies generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as an ideology.

In place of the old contemporary culture, with its ideologies and ideological antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

Pedro Hernรกndez is an architect and blogger who tries to redefine his interests beyond the traditional labor market. His work focuses on landscape and architecture as political weapons, and how they prioritize certain ways of life. periferiadomestica@gmail.com | @laperiferia

Nick Axel is an unlicensed architect who uses design, planning, writing, and photography to expose latent opportunities for spatial praxis at the limits of agency in the contemporary city. His research interests are primarily oriented towards what comes after, and his work seeks to prep the ground for its becoming. nick.axel@gmail.com | @alucidwake


22 Pedro Pitarch Alonso FROM ORIGINALITIES TO SINGULARITIES [OR HOW TO LOSE OUR IDENTITY]

identity/ʌɪˈdentəti/ (lat. identitas). noun ( pl. -ties) 1. the fact of being who or what a person or thing is • the characteristics determining this • [as adj. ] chiefly Brit. (of an object) serving to establish who the holder, owner, or wearer is by bearing their name and often other details such as a signature or photograph. 2. a close similarity or affinity 3. Mathematics (also identity operation) a transformation that leaves an object unchanged. • (also identity element) an element of a set that, if combined with another element by a specified binary operation, leaves that element unchanged.

The role of the architect is perverse. There is a surplus of identity.

Architecture at the beginning of the XXI Century is an enclosed discipline that not just tends to perversity, but isolates itself by the mechanism by which it operates. Those mechanisms are debtors of the self-definition of the architect, the processes of architectural production and the attachment to identity. Contemporarity, coherence, reprogramming and interdisciplinarity are obviated terms within our supposed paradigm. On the other hand, continuity, staticism, permanence and artist, are self-definition of our attitude. Maybe we don’t like to admit it, but there is a surplus of architects. Or at least of the architect’s paradigm.A surplus of egocentrism. We do not need architecture. Not at least the one that remains unchangeable and imposes its traces over society. Moreover, what we really need is to wear glasses, and learn to read the conditions by which architecture operates in the XXI century. Learn to discern, within the mechanism of architectural production, those situations by which contemporarity arises. Learn to juxtapose those mechanisms within the society. Hence learn form juxtaposition. Learning by opposition to un-contextualized procedures, debtors of the self-definition of the architect’s role. We are wearing too many labels. Maybe it’s better to start forgetting about them…


It’s almost a problem inherit from a modern attitude, which deliberately shifted our optimism to utopia. It’s already been pointed out by latoureansonglines that we have never been modern, because it’s an attitude that denies contemporarity by a continuous process of definition, by manifestation of principles. Principles and roots.Roots and origins.Tabula rasa after tabula rasa. The fact is that Modernism radicalism reinforced cultural identity. Which claimed for highlighting supposed origins. We were supposed to search for the roots that will bring us back to a clear definition of what we were. Assembling our identity from a tabula rasa process of production. ‘Modernity confused products and procedures’.1 On the other hand, multiculturalism has tried to solve modernity’s problem within a quantifying perspective, but has not consider how contemporary conditions operate as in a topological regime, where a system of translation prioritizes quality over quantity.

01 Francois Bayle - points critiques [1960] Postmodernism just added a factor of multiplications, dispersing our roots, but admitting them. Post war eclecticism dispersed the aim for defining identities to define multiples. Although at the end, the problem was just divided, and the ego besides processes of producing culture as big as before. The roots were therefore denied, exterminated. But maybe we need neither to claim for them neither to delete them, but define an exodus, by which our origins would be metamorphosed and translated from one cultural language to another. Forgetting the claim for an identitarian discourse and aiming for an almost topological approach to our role within society. Tracing epistemological lines over our anthropological position as ‘semionauts of culture’. We are responsible for defining a language of translation. We are capable of setting out a topology that transcends neither from a modern identity, nor a post-modern, nor from a nonmodern one, but traces hesitation of wandering which focusing on a nomadologyun-defines roots and objectives. All these positions defined from modernity are based in a universalism effort for abstraction and generalization of methods. This Esperanto that would democratise a supposed common sphere just tends to eliminate singularities. In this sense, and operational movement as within a guerrilla principle arises as a way for explaining a new cultural territory. It is defined by the barter of signs through heterogeneous networks and the negation of what is clearly unmoveable, identifiable and definitive. Translation and exchange appears as practices that define how culture production works. Within this displacement behaviour a new criteria of translability emerges. Right of property was a evaluative identitarian method for modernity. Instead, as pointed out by Jeremy Rifkin, contemporary cultural habits impose ‘a shift to the right of access and


use’.2 It is clearly appreciable in practices of creative commons, musical crowd funding and computer programming. Contemporary culture operates then within a tape of significations, establishing unsettled codes which erase, within a common space for exchange, lines between discourse and shape. Cultural production would be valued with the trajectory of signs and not with the signification of them. Therefore protocols of codification for the signs are more important than the signs themselves. As pointed out by Bruno Latour local and global, nature and society are obsolete ideal concepts defining edges. The uncertain relational space that remains amid is what really defines the network environment of our traces. A shift of positioning among history is needed, thereby non-lineal settings would define a cultural production that discharge Euclidean space defining instead the songlines of an exodus. ‘From the monument to the document’.3 We would be reaching a space for horizontal negotiations, without referees, ruled by an exodus of transformations.

02 John Hejduk – Victims [1986] ‘Wouldn’t we be able to follow the thousand paths, of strange topology, that lead from local to global and back to local’4? Would our paradigm be nomad in a territory and defined by the traces of many networks? What if we could define a process of transplanting? What if we could define our exodus as a trace by which our roots do not belong to a position but migrate? What if we could produce contemporary culture in a garden of wandering?


03 Pedro Pitarch – despliegue genetico [2010]

Architect’s figure [the scale of ego]

‘Every scale can shrink and scale freely. By assimilating all sorts of scale into architecture, buildings may be transformed from coverings enclosed limited spaces, i.e. shelter, to environments extending indefinitely. That extension would probably be vague and ambiguous, its origins as a whole nuclear.’5

It’s a matter of scale. We live in a context in which human scale is obsolete. Or at least how modern attitude understands it. Nowadays it’s clear that human scale transcends far away from the measurements of human body. An exercise of defining a topological scale which prioritizes qualifications over quantifications is demanded. For as much, how much would our body measure? Could we find that topological modulor for measuring our society networks? Maybe, there is no one, but many. Maybe we are ruled by multiplicity. Scale is given among other factors by the programme, by the relations established inside spaces. By situations and context conditions. Consequently, nowadays even though our projects are measurable, concrete, most of the times they lack of scale. Architecture conditions are limited then to formal exercises. Quantified but de-contextualized. Programmatic and relational scales are not a utopian approach. They are present in architecture history, but not usually accepted within the paradigm. There are several projects in which compositional procedures are substituted by programming operations. Projects where processes of social, programmatic, relational and economical surgery are given priority over artistic habits and traditional human scale. In spite of capricious gestures of adapting shapes to functions, we can find examples that generate realities demanded by an augmented conception of what context is. Accordingly the site is not a site, but a map. A clear example is the Auditorium building of Adler and Sullivan [Chicago, 1889]. In this case study the scale is given by the project conditions themselves. Those conditions derive in a


programmatic assembling methodology which gives dimension to the project. The injection of the vacuum (the auditorium itself), within a matrix of peripheral programmes, entails an understanding of scale as a concept that arises over an architectural production focused on implanting a scalar anthropocentrism inside projectual contexts that do not follow human scale patrons. Nevertheless, this programmatic approximation is just one of the different approaches to augmented scale concept through history. The aim is not to purpose any kind of scalar tabula rasa which would migrate from anthropocentrism to programmatic. In spite of it, we should bet on an augmented scale concept, which would include different sizes within the same range. A scale that would prioritise relationships over quantifications.A continuous emigrational scale which within its nomad condition would eventually perform as another agent of the projects introducing the topological connection amid. Augmented scales.Projects with political scale. Projects with social network scale. Project with demonstration scale. Projects with city scale. In fact we see them everyday… don’t we? Let’s focus on the Netherlands. A first approach makes us tend to doubt about the internal coherence of this country in terms of its social, economical, political, demographical and geographical systems. Its metropolitan schizophrenia, its radical counterpoint of cities and its social congruencies arises as a complex manifestation of what public sphere means for this citizens. Therefore, reading its conditions as a country seems like an insane task with no coherence. “A country that does not operate as a country”. In spite of it, an approximation to the Netherlands as a city in a whole make much more sense. This city that we called “the Netherlands” suggests an effective model, which explains perfectly its internal scale. It defines a network of a huge decomposed city in which every single city behaves as a proper neighbourhood. Therefore, this citied-country approach discerns a scalar comprehension of its elements far more than what is labelled, but related to contextual conditions. An approach that attributes scale to the context. Hence it’s not the context that defines the scale, but the other way round. A country with the scale of a city. Another kind of scalersare suggested by contemporaity conditions. Less rigid scalers.Both for the architect himself and his projects.As well as the results of his production. Maybe with these augmented scalers the architect does not even produces results anymore but “in between states”. Whence, there would be elastic scalers. Scalers that allow deformations. We would produce then projects with cadavreexquis scale. We would become architects with heteronym scale. Indeed.


04 Sir John Soane – Bank of England [1792-1823]

Mechanisms of production: collectives and individuals [the Lernaean Hydra and the spider]

Architecture production mechanisms are linked to identity definition processes. Author architecture is created. Architecture for publications. Architecture becomes a signature. Moreover architecture offices, as systems aggregated by individuals, and due to its production protocols, lose their richness of collectiveness. Individuality does not necessarily means a drawback but whenever it is extrapolated to a collective that denies its multiple condition and camouflages as single. That is, the collective is ruled by a generative head (where schizophrenic processes are suppressed) and the production is delegated to many arms that execute the imaginary created by an individual collective, which does not deal with individuals’ particularities at all, but denies their efforts in a generic field. The pathology is quite clear and its origin, its root very identifiable. In contemporary architecture there is a dependency on images. A dependence on shape control.Obsessive– compulsive disorder on form. Ultimately, a professional reductionism is imposed by systems that come from the genesis of products (objects). We can find therefore, groups of people that lose their collective sense by accepting closes protocols of production in which the introduction of a rigid variable shifts collaborative work to a disguised chimera. All in all, the dream of the body with many heads vanishes and becomes a spider: a one headed body with many arms. Collectives that produce multiple objects but deny multiplicity, avoiding complexity of what is individual and singular. ‘One of the essential characteristics of the multiplicity dream is that each element varies incessantly and modifies its condition among the others. […] A multiplicity does not have


subject nor object, but just determinations, scales, sizes that cannot vary without changing the nature of the collectiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.6 To sum up, the architect should be a debtor of contemporaity. And as such, define himself within generative collectivism. Architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paradigm should be redefined as an agent within the gathering of many. The architect could be defined from schizophrenia. Even from the individualism of particularities, new mechanisms of production underline readings of our reality where juxtaposed situation work as complementary within a properly arranged scenario.Whence collectives are generated from aggregation of individual singularities.All n all, we should assume the first person of the plural and mix, at the same time, the pronouns.

05 Junya Ishigami â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kanagawa Institute of Technology [2010] To project as many. To project from schizophrenia.


Architecture in process [contemplative objects and open source systems]

‘A place to be generated in two periods of 30 years. An increasing place, an increment- a time in increment […] This catalogue of 67 structures is given to the City and Berlin Citizens. One possibility is that 67 structures would be built in two periods of 30 years. Other possibility is that none of them would be built. A third possibility is that only some of them would be built. The decision relies of the City and Berlin Citizens.’ 7

An inherit habit from our modern based paradigm is the production of almost contemplative objects, which converts architecture in a discipline that generates absolutely defined objects. That is enclosed designs. Unequivocal results. Architectural production should escape from the object and tend to shape an accumulative process itself, where products are in a continuous construction and definition. Whence it will be admitting new realities in the production process and the architect would be a debtor of reality. Constantly changing conditions and reprogramming of social ecosystems claim for it. As a matter of fact, contemporary society pleads for accumulation, perennial states and the loss of the attachment to the eternal. XXI century culture is defined as in process. However, it is not a culture of fleeting, but an open source system and in continuous construction. Architecture shall adapt. Architecture shall forget its rigid position generated by attachment to time. Although it’s not so much a Euclidean geometry condition, as many of these positions are misunderstood. Neither open shaped, nor blobby, nor extravagant nor fractal geometries are needed to generate open systems. It is more a matter of attitude. It is about adopting attitudes that admit adverse situations, which could be introduced in the generative process, and eventually become an optimistic value. We do not want to be utopian anymore, but shift to optimism. Maybe a mention to Sir John Soane’s Bank of England (London, 1792-1823) is quite illustrative at this point. In fact, it is a project in construction by definition. Which takes a city scale in it production, because it is coherent with changing necessities and re-programmation.Soane’s project loses the fear and therefore it wins. It is a coherent project with its reality. It’s a project with scale of palimpsest. It would be nice to define architecture almost as electronic motherboard making. That would mean an architecture that would offer possibilities, not just of adapting to augmented contexts, but to generate them. Generate a singular context. Or a complete different one.Because it would provide a platform for the dialog of the different agents that constitute it. A topological sphere of dialog defined from the political to the social, in which local and global tend to disappear and the landscape amid defines the project. In this sense, we could proportionate a hardware ruled by open source software, which admits injections of new agents and would reconfigurate by processes of aggregation and dialog. It would not be a generic non-temporal architecture, nor very concrete, but nomad within a site. It would admit time as another agent. Updating architecture for almost Bedouin agencying.

From originalities to singularities


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;During quite a while, within parenthesis that many have called modernity, we have become a sort of philatelic club, from which we have been contemplating how the world was constructed. Meanwhile we shifted from contextualize to deconstruction and from minimal to floating volumes, we have been witnesses of how new systems of human interaction flee to virtual public spaces as facebook or to ephemeral gatherings such as Glastonbury or Burning Man Festivals. Events that have achieve successfully what urban master plans, social housings and expensive singular buildings are way far to offer.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;8

There is a clear tendency in actual architecture to Superoriginality. Instigate by a spirit of distinction. Originality tends to be justified in terms of importation of mechanism from other disciplines. Interdisciplinary is then reduced to a catalogue of the original. Of what is new and surprising. The metaphor is obsolete. The literal translation of conceptual to physical ignores contemporary conditions. It ignores society complexity.Compositional mechanisms derived from a literal importation out of other disciplines, do also generate object. Enclosed objects in fact, which within a complicated make up ignore social complexity. They are still images of a product. And therefore the environment where they operate the better is the glass cabinet We are not interested in images. We are not interested in enclosed objects. We are not interested in fashions. In fact, what we are not interested at all is in being original. Because originality implies radicalism.And because radicalisim implies a tabula rasa. It implies distinction and definition, and we prefer hybridation and diffusion. We prefer to produce open systems, as we are not afraid of indefinition. As within the appearance of the nonfinished, of the inconcluded, underlies new possibilities of use. Since our projects would appear as contemporarities, and would be defined from singularities rather that originalities. Generating, as a consequence, not objects but systems, where the plurality of the individual finds a place. From the aggregation that achieves behaving as collectivity. For the sake of not having a surname but many.Depending on the moment.Even all of them at a time. Therefore, it seems like a proper aim not to define with gestures but with systems, which trace paths thought the non-clear territory between local scale and global scale. Ergo, phenomenological transparency of all agents is not just a purpose, but also a status to demand. We do not live in a generic city anymore. In fact, we have never lived in such a city. As long as reality is defined by its particularities, more than by generic principles. Our society is full of complexity that arises from its singularities. Which essentially are its nomad identities. Crossed properties between space and time are one of the main qualities of our generation. Time is not anymore appreciated as a catalogue where things are exhibit as in an isotropic space, but a territory from which we trace our paths. Contemporary culture is not anymore produced by tabula rasa. The manifestos were over long time ago. As well as postmodernism eclecticism. Contemporary society raise over a Deleuzean multiplicity to reach a complex compendium of systems in which singularities trace paths through culture. The architect paradigm vanishes and the aim is not so much to build objects but to construct society. Therefore it behaves as a semionaut of culture.


Exodus from one state to the other seems more like a coherent way to behave.

Whereas, contemporary architecture is defined by a migration from originalities to singularities. Contemporary identity is defined from singularities. Protocols and Post-Production

‘Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal: bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it to something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that what ir was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language or diverse in interest’ 9

Nevertheless, other attitudes are already present. We observe coherent flows of production. Coherency with contemporarity stands as a starting point for many professionals. Coherency with social reality, with political reality and with economical reality indeed. The activities of DJs, Web surfers and computer programmers imagine ‘the links, the likely relations between disparate sites […] diminishing the dividing line between reception and practice, producing new cartographies of knowledge’.10Their attitudes seem like a coherent behaviour. Their tools imply surfing in a network of signs.

06 Diller &Scofidio – Increasingdisorder in a dinningtable [2002] We reclaim a redefinition of the architect tools. Hence a revision of his instruments of production. These tools would generate operational procedures that define singularities amid states, despite of project’s images and concept defined a priori. It is well appreciated in objects as Mies van der Rohe’sNeue National Gallery (Berlin, 1965-1968). A diaphanous container, with free plan, where supposition of realities and programmatic variety are it starting points. All in all, a quest for flexibility in a concrete place. However, its protocols of use are so restricted, its internal politics so fenced that any possible discern apart from them is banned. Any fluctuation is prohibited. Therefore its material condition is overwhelmed by its use. Reality denies Mies.


Juxtaposing this example with Lacaton&Vassal’s project for Leon Auoc Square (Bordeaux, 1996) we can find a despreoccupation for spatial definition of conditions through materials. In this square the relevance of architectural conditions lies on protocols of use. This urban project arises from the definition of urbanity from collectiveness and scheduling between procedures. The project is not a concrete space or location, it’s not an object but a system that extends its limits within the political, the sociological, the economical and time. Precisely that square did not need any special material change, but a delimitation of the guidelines, social agents and behaviours that constitute the project itself. By including definition of protocols of use and production, architect’s tools appear more coherent with society. We would assume a much more contemporary attitude. Delimiting tools for users’ service and their intentions. Defining our work as a catalyser of a time vector, which constitutes our projects. We could eventually propose migration form originalities to singularities. Formal originality only generates a closed identity. It defines it by restrictions and ultimate enclosures. Contemporary identity, the loss of it, that non-identity, the path of the nomad, it’s consequently defined from singularities.

The role of the architect as a designer is obsolete. Architects should be a re-programmer. Hence, propose maps of systems that operate with conditions of contemporarity. Do not create. Do not impose. Taking the DJ and the computer programmer as a reference.Those who really are producers of contemporary situations by coherent mechanisms concerning reality. We claim for a retroactive reinterpretation of the ready-made as postproduced product, which is characterized by the invention of paths through culture. Generating behaviors and potential reuses. The paradigm of the architect is migrating from design to topological programming. From production to post-production.From the artist and the engineer as prototypes to the DJ and computer programming as types.

What if architectural production today could be compared to a collective sport, far from the classical mythology of the solitary effort?

What if we lose our identity?


Pedro Pitarch is contemporary music composer [C.O.M Caceres 1996-2008] and student of architecture [E.T.S.A.M. (Polytechnic School of Architecture, Madrid) 2007 - ]. He has been working as architect for OMA, Federico Soriano and Burgos+Garrido. He has done collaborations concerning multimedia installations with Izaskun Chinchilla, developing an approach to architectural conditions through non-paradigmatic and interdisciplinary tools. Therefore, audiovisual production and animation are some of the fields he has expertise on. At the very moment he spends his time in a peripheral position around architecture, establishing among other colleagues a collective research concerning the ways society traces paths through operative systems which produce contemporary culture.

CITATIONS 1 BrunoLatour, Nous n'avonsjamaisétémodernes : Essaid'anthropologiesymétrique, La Découverte, (1991, Paris, France) 2 Jeremy Rifkin, L’age de l’accès; la véritésur la nouvelle économie, La Découverte, (2000, Paris, France) 3 Peter Sloterdijk, Derrida, unégyptien, Maren Sell, (2006, Paris, France) 4 BrunoLatour, Nous n'avonsjamaisétémodernes : Essaid'anthropologiesymétrique, La Découverte, (1991, Paris, France) 5 JunyaIshigami, Another scale of architecture, Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc, (2010, Kyoto, Japan) 6 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Mille Plateaux (capitalismeetschizophrénie), Éditions de Minuit, (1980, Paris, France) 7 JohnHejduk, Victims: a work by John Hejduk, Architectural Association, (1986, London, United Kingdom) 8 AndresJaque,Wanna sleep with common people? Nociones de calidadparaunasociedadparlamento, Arquitectura, (2007, Madrid, Spain) 9 Thomas Stearns Eliot, The Scared Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, (1922, New York, USA) 10 NicolasBourriaud, Post-Production, Lukas & Stenberg, (2002, New York, USA)


23

PERSONAL INVESTIGATION LOG, CASE #273 Filed by: Reed P. Marnier


EVIDENCE:


I must admit I was equally bewildered and offended when I got into the office that morning and saw the case jacket sitting on my desk. Inside, all I found was what was described as “evidence”, of exactly what I had no clue, and a post-it note with an address and two words scribbled: “crime here”. I phoned my boss trying to find out any more information but after listening to the phone ring for a solid two minutes, I got up, gave up, threw the case in my bag, and slammed the door behind me. I thought I was done with this type of shit. At least it was sunny outside. Things had been slow, very slow recently. Of course, they blamed it on the “crisis”. But either way, as odd as this “case” was, it was something, and by that point I had been long hungry for anything that had a scent. On the way I glanced over the photos again, but I can’t say it did much. I mean, what were these? I honestly couldn’t even begin to guess what they were of, so to think that I was supposed to investigate a crime based on completely unintelligible evidence? To say the least, my enthusiasm was not at its highest. I get to the location. A door stood in front of me, and after looking around outside briefly and noticing that nothing on my evidence sheet was remotely similar to what I was finding, I gave it a nudge for it to swing open effortlessly. A subtle feeling that I actually may be able to find something related to the evidence here started to come over my body after stepping further in and hearing the outside noise start to fade. I held the evidence sheet in front of my face and started to look around the entrance - all I could glean were resemblances. Odd, isn’t it? I thought photos were supposed to show the thing itself. That slight whiff of familiarity was enough to keep my mind pursuing the case. Regarding how I was to proceed further, in front of me I found a ramp that led into the distance and stairs to my left. The stairs resonated the strongest with some of the photos, I could recognize the pattern of colors, so I took that as some sort of a clue and starting to walk up. As I’m traveling up the stairs I started to get this almost magnetic pull inside me - not really towards any one thing in particular, but a pull nonetheless. I check the photos again and I confirm some specific things depicted in the evidence7: the forceful contrast of colors; the gentle digestion of light by the white walls that excrete its texture; how this little world of life was captured in between two black elements surrounding above and below that seemed to protect themselves with its blackness from any sort of interference, throwing off what it doesn’t want to the omnivorous and starving white. While there were certain elements and characteristics I could clearly recognize, looking from the stairs back to the photo, back to the stairs, back to the photo, I couldn’t ever really say “this is this”. Even when I was able to find the weird, contorted point of view the photographer put themselves in to take the picture, it just wasn’t quite it This was certainly an odd phenomena that produced a weird, though intriguing, tension inside of me. The intrigue was not really in a logical way though, how I’m used to with these cases. I’m used to going to locations with the evidence in have in hand, and finding whatever it is that is in the documentation. And that’s in a sense what happened right there on the stairs, but there was something that arose inside me which told me otherwise. It wasn’t like putting together a puzzle; I found a “piece”, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, and it already fit into something. Maybe there was something else to this though - at the very least I certainly felt like there was; but as to what that thing was, I was possibly even more lost to giving an answer to that than I when I started out. This is the evidence, yes, but evidence of what? I know I’m here looking for a “crime”, but I had yet to find any sentiments or patterns that usually go along with it. After reaching the top of the stairs, I began to search for whatever I could find in my immediate surroundings. Flowing my eyes over the surfaces around me, a discombobulating wave of affect overtook my senses, as if a blinding light was being pointed at me. As I was


unable to focus my eyes on the shapes and shades of color in front of me, I was forced to grip the handrail for support and point my gaze down the hall to the right to a more tranquil space. This uncomfortable feeling was instantly subdued, and instead captivated my senses as I looked down a long hallway of blue and white. I looked for what I could find, floating in an oceans current between the two panes of color that surround me with their games of light and color. At the end of the hallway through an open door I could glimpse the sky, to which I started to drift towards. My gaze remained fixed on the horizontal slice of the outside world interrupted by the verticality of the passageway. As I approached the door, my movement jolted as a radiant warm glow began to leak from the framed edges my sight. A memory all of a sudden flashed through my mind: a photo. I unfixed my stare to look again at the evidence sheet. The vertical pattern that laid below the sky aided my step, which was at that point more delicate and calculated, as if I was expecting to find a culprit hidden around the corner. I entered the room with a certain degree of suspension. My arrival was greeted with an incandescent warmth that washed over my entire body. Enveloped in a textured orange fog, a gentle bump in the space to my left perturbed my being and drew me to the arresting finality of this captivating sensation. The corner felt almost violent at first, which feeling was quickly dismissed as I delighted in the dance of light and shadow as one became the other only to cease being at all. Finding myself in a sort of lull, I brought the evidence photos out again and confirm my memory3, finding myself with almost the exact view of the photograph. But I again felt the uncomfortable incommensurability of what was there in space in front of me, what I had just experienced, and the the image of exactly that. I looked in the corner for a while longer to see what else I could find, but without luck. As I got up and turned around, I noticed a slice of color tucked into the opposite corner of the room. Drawn towards it, I found the strange ball-shaped sculpture attached to the wall1. Using every investigative tool and capacity I have, it revealed nothing. Understandably frustrated, I passed my hand across the wall as I turned around to make my way towards the exist. As I was doing so, I opened my gaze onto the continuous breadth of sky that extended in front of me. A smirk came to my face as I stared at everything that laid outside below the sky, the place where I came from not even an hour ago, but which all of a sudden didn’t feel quite the same or familiar. With mixed feelings of pleasure and discomfort, I moved towards the door to leave the room when, without having to look at the evidence, energy rushed through my body as I found another clue passing through the hallway11, which at that point felt more like an interior sky than a mere passageway. Its billowing cloud-like whitish-blue ambiance quickly moved me through the space to land me beyond a series of wooden doors and in the midst of where I began my experience of this level. Holding onto the handrail once again, I slowly turned to take in my surroundings. Widening my gaze, I found myself in what must have been, I thought to myself, the center of the crime scene 5, 9, 12, 2. Looking around, I was surrounded by sensations of movement: up, down, forward, backward, horizontal, vertical; openings and paths in all directions: stairs, doors, ramps, windows, skylights; textures of all kinds: wood, glass, and concrete, but mainly just the abstract material of “color” and “light” Slightly disoriented, I placed my gaze on the familiar sky that laid beyond a glass door in front of me, as I had found it previously in the orange room, as a slice. Looking briefly at the evidence sheet, I was surprised to notice a lack in what I could see through this opening in comparison with all of the other paths. As my discomfort in the space where I was standing began to grow, I ventured through the door, not knowing what would follow. As I entered, I kept staring in front of me, fixated on the sky, in fear of the potential chaos around me. The sky here was bigger, more expansive, and kept my attention longer than I had expected. Turning to the left, I started to take into my view the vast space I was in. At


the end was a light orange wall that seemed to invite me towards it with the memory of the radiant room I had been in beforehand. Following its gesture, my eyes continued to rotate to the left through the glass pane that led to an uncovered space. With my eyes fixed on the stability of the sky which I found to surround the space I was venturing my gaze into, I could already tell, even without directly looking at it, this was a chaotic field of shapes, colors and textures in front of me. With a slight fear of leaving the neat horizontal frame, my eyes collided with a black impediment in the glass that left my eyes recklessly racing over what lay beyond the window in a scramble to find a place to settle my gaze. While I recognized certain elements from the spaces I had witnessed previously, I was quickly focusing not so much on one thing or another, of which there were (too) many, but opening the breadth of my vision to the overall composition of what lay outside and what created and framed it as such. After doing this I instantly started to feel more at ease as my senses began to apprehend the protruding white forms, which might have seemed violently disruptive at first, but when viewed in a larger scope felt joyous and playful. Relaxed, I turned back to investigate the space I was in, and to my surprise found that this was in fact the location of one evidence photograph8. Finding nothing at the columns base, my eyes were led up its height to a bar running above and over my head, crossed by a horizontal metallic band along the way, and back down towards the wall that lay behind me. Staring back in this direction once again towards the horizontal sky, I widen my gaze to a dramatic composition of lines, shapes, planes, colors, textures, and depths. Resulting in an oddly paralyzed state, I suddenly began to feel as if I would fall through the narrow window if it were not for being impeded by the protrusion of a fireplace and the solidity of its brick. This corporeal sensation seemed to ground the firmly asymmetrical composition of a cylindrical and square vertical column that intersect the horizontality of the sky’s frame and the black surface that lays beneath it. I don’t know after how many long, but I soon found myself snapping out of a trance-like state. My eyes move inside their sockets, while the rest of my body remained still. For a moment I forgot what I was doing, why I was there. I look down and see the evidence sheet on the floor. Bending down to pick it up, I think I started to get what it is that’s on the sheet. These photos are clue’s, certainly, but they are something in and of themselves, so much so that they are not things themselves, but more like the key to an unfolding process that goes on inside of me. I wondered though, how could all of these be related? What’s the crime? Is there even a crime? If not, which I began to believe at this time, being unable to find any inclination that a crime had taken place, why was this given to us as a case? I followed the column back up and around once again to face the courtyard anew. Pressing my hands up against the glass, I could not help myself from looking up. Everywhere else in this place, the sky was framed, by the walls, the surfaces, the planes, the architecture. There was never just the sky. But here, it was if the space itself was captured underneath, or holding the sky in its entirety. The horizontal frame of my surroundings was still there to my right, but was championed by the awesome dimension what truly lay above. Under the comforting blanket of the sky I step out into the midst of white forms abstractly mimicking the clouds above. A ramp to my left gestured at a connection between the ground where I stood and the sky to which I stared. Reveling in the enormity of things, I motioned towards its entrance to discover whatever it would lead to. As soon as I turned the bend at the midpoint of the ramp, I came to a halt. My eyes were split in two, one leading down towards whence I came, free to explore its familiar territory, the other held in abeyance between competing visions of the sky, one in front, the other above. A frame at the end of the ramp showed what the same thing as what awkwardly sat on top of it, but their comprehensible difference was astounding. I started my step once again, slowly continuing up the ramp with my eyes fixated on what was presented by the quadrilinear opening at its end. Moving closer to the top, what I saw changed dramatically.


Clouds move and deform faster than I had ever witnessed, and at a certain point, travel off so far into the horizon they become a blur. This gentle texture was eventually pierced by the haphazard forms that stand on the ground in the distance. As I reached the top and began approaching the frame, leaning my body over another white protrusion, I lose sight of the sky and the frame itself and find my gaze lost in the world that I came from. Taking a step back, I tilted my head back up towards the sky to repeat in reverse the visual gesture just forced upon me, to finally rest my gaze on the flat horizontality that lay infinitely and forever in the distance. I sat down on the ledge that once pushed me away from looking too far, which then served to comfort me after I did just that. Facing the other way, the struggle I felt approaching the top, which came to a climax just moments before, seems all to have disappeared. The place, its space, the scene, closely in front and beneath me; its neutral shapes and textures sitting below the sky floating above. I knew that further undiscovered intensities laid beyond the walls which were visible from the roof, but without feeling the need to do so, I felt a certain degree of comfort in just knowing all of these things, even in what I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know, but in knowing though that I could. I started to think about the reason why I was brought to this weird building in the first place: I had yet to find a crime, but I had found much else. Could it be possible that whatever I was finding was somehow the crime I was supposed to find? Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that have made me the victim? Standing up with a mixture of apathy and grave concern, I surveyed the surroundings as a conquistador stood on the ridge of a uncharted territories. Concluding that there is still much to discover, I start advancing down the ramp. On my way down, I recalled two pieces of evidence4, 10 laying close to the landing, but having concluded that following the evidence itself has only led me off the case, and being at that point determined to discover what was going on in this space, I forced my eyes to look elsewhere. I soon notice a covered alcove hidden in the corner to my left, directly across from the big room from which I entered into the exterior. Its distinctly uncharacteristic features let me so easily pass it over before now drew my attention like a black hole. Partially surrounded by the framed horizon, my stride was steady as I cautiously moved towards this new zone. Underneath and without the comfort of the sky, I faced an expansive white wall that filled up the totality of my field of view. Towards where this wall intersected with the horizon to my right, a door hung barely open, much like the front door when I first entered. I pried it open and found the sensation of the sky that I felt missing just before rushing towards me from all directions and overtaking my senses. Once they regained and moving slightly forward into the center of the room, I found a wall that I had just passed behind me emitting a rich and powerful blue. While the narrow window still was to my right, like a handrail for my gaze, its fragments of sky were appropriated and amplified to a degree it did not, and possibly could not, reach on its own. Turning to my left and leaving the horizon behind, I saw a window that presented the exterior world that lay just outside these walls awash in a glorious shade of cobalt6. After approaching the frame, I stared into everywhere I just was as if anew. The sky above was largely blocked by the wall that framed my view at the top of the ramp, and to my left I could still feel the continuity of the horizon from behind me. My eyes began to dance and play in the big room directly ahead, jumping from one stone to the next right in front of me, bending down to touch the overgrown plants in their boxes, running up and down the ramp to my right and weave in between the white horizontal lines that block me from seeing what it hides below. I wound up staying there for an unknown period of time with my gaze rolling over and under and into and out of every surface that laid before me with a joyous fluidity I could only dream my body had the capacity to do. Once I found my eyes running in circles, I broke the fixed frame and stepped back, falling into the blue wall directly to my left as it quickly begins to subsume my field of view. Pushing


myself away from the wall, I continued to stumble backwards, until I was running my body against the opposite wall and feel the indent of a door. Left open as well, the full weight of my body sends the door swinging wildly open and my body without support. Unsure of where I was , I quickly looked up to find myself on the floor in between a warm pink wall to my left and the familiar shape sky to my right. Ahead, I notice to the left a weird wave-like stone form shimmering in a light blue haze. As I got up to advance towards it, a deep tiled blue surface extended behind the podium. Before I got too close, I noticed it was awkwardly shaped to resemble the human body. I couldn’t help but have the disturbing image of a ritualistic sacrifice flash through my mind. I shook the ominous feeling off and leaned over the gray plinth to investigate its crevices further when my eyes were instantly drawn to a wet and damaged piece of paper lying in the corner this altar-like form made with the wall. I came to a halt and quickly realized what lay below me was the first thing that I had come across that was not the space itself. I carefully stepped over the ledge and proceeded to the end of the sea-like platform in order to document this evidence. Picking it up, I carefully unwrinkled the piece of paper to find it full of words on the inside.

Sitting down, I had to do my best to calm my nerves by looking out the window. This building was clearly abandoned some time ago, but it showed little signs of post-abandonment occupation. There were cracks in the walls all over, the few plants in the courtyard were certainly overgrown in their boxes, and weeds were growing in the crevices between the pavement, but no waste strewn, no graffiti, no remnants of violence or drugs, no broken windows, not anything; just this piece of paper. I must have read it three or four times over before I took my eyes of its words.“Historians of all Discourses, Unite!” it started to read.

“Oh this past no longer forgotten, why must I be forced to remember this present?! Dear future, where have you gone? My dreams long for you. But what have you done with history, with notions of originality? You speak loudly of history; you took history for your own! But why this, the icon? Why not the mundane, the everyday? It is not matter nor the form that was really copied here, but the significations. But there is no content here. But then what of that content? Why did it have that meaning in the first


place? It certainly doesn’t here... But that’s not important. What does it mean that the meaning once held is no longer held? Did copying it really make it disappear? Or was it something else? It was you dear sir we sought to find in this. There is simply nothing here, a void. Is history this void? Is it from here we can start to reterritorialize the present? Is this a new language that we must learn? If our pedagogy taught us what has been torn asunder, if it gave us a platform for the creation of meaning and significance, shouldn’t it be more a platform for the meaning and significance of creation? But there is a value to this. If anything, there is a value because of this. Is that why this copy was made? Is it because we missed a sense of history? Did we leave behind something in the past? Have we merely lost faith in our present-day aesthetic? Were we in need to verify the differences between then and now? Was it some sort of simulation, of history, of experience? Or was it a formal truth that needed restating? Was it a need that we knew no other way to fulfill? Historians of all Discourses, here we have United! But where has this Manifesto of the Copyist Party led us to? Is it where we wanted to be?” I was, to say the least, perplexed. I guessed that the first question I had to ask and answer myself was if the trashed note was in any way related to where I was, and maybe even more specifically, to the weird sensations I had been having since I entered. More than to solve the case itself, as it was unlike anything I had experienced before, I had the creeping desire to figure out what it was that had been happening to me. I played as if the two were intimately related, as if this weird space was built for a reason; maybe it was never even used - it certainly didn’t look like it was. Maybe it was just left to be found and experienced, like what I did. This little piece of paper, if that was the case, was the only actual clue towards an explanation of the weird powers I, and I presume others, had encountered here. It talks a whole lot about copying. And history. And property. But it was pretty clear from the outset that this place wasn’t anyone’s property, or at least not effectively so. The style of this place was quite different from the rest of the buildings in the city; the quality was much better, so it didn’t look like it came from here. I mean, if it did come from here, why would it be empty like this? But if it didn’t come from here, then where did it come from? How did it get here? And, why? Was it possible that this whole place I’m in is a copy? Could that be the crime? I don’t really know what that would even mean, but the note seemed to talk about copying buildings. But how can a building, a place, be copied? The design, I guess, but the design is so little! Sure I guess you can organize things in the same way as someone else did before, but how can you copy the way the light at 4:32pm reflects off the specific color orange used to paint the wall, and how it has aged over the past who-know-how-many years? How can you copy the smell, of the mold that forms after it rains? The noises you hear while moving from one room to the next, from the front to the back? I still couldn’t entirely answer if, and how, my experiences were in any way related or the result of a copy? If they were, does that make my experiences themselves not legitimate and real? How can you even say that the way one thing is arranged in space in relation to an other is copied? Who is to say that someone can’t do something someone else has done before? Sure it might have existed elsewhere before where it is being experienced, but does that make one any less than the other? Why is this a copy of something, and not that something a copy of this? Even if the way everything is related is somehow known and copied, including the surrounding environment, the animals,


the sun, the wind, the cards, those things don’t stay exactly as they are, so how can we say the original is still the original! Why did any of this even matter? Thinking about it all made me quite confused, so I decided to take the note with me for my personal records and leave. In a distinctively different mood, I found a hallway on the other side of the altar and followed it to a door that opens onto what lays below the ramp above, another ramp leading down. Moving towards its top I was back in the center of the crime scene again, in between the stairs and the big room that leads to the exterior. Apathetic at this point, I turned around to head down the ramp, largely still captured in thought and not paying much attention to my surroundings. When the ground became horizontal once again the door which I entered from laid directly in front of me. As I walked away, I turned to take another photo of the building from the street. Putting the dossier under my arm, I headed back to the office with a brisk pace, looking forward to sitting down at my desk and writing this to see if I come across anything in reflection that I might have missed in its midst. Well, here, now, trying to do that, I sadly I have to admit I have come to no further conclusions upon deeper retrospection. So with that, I will light myself a cigarette, close the dossier, and place it on top of the “unsolved” pile that seems to be multiplying in quantity like rabbits. I can only hope tomorrow will bring something more solid, and if I’m lucky, a bit less frustrating.

Reed P. Mariner, Detective Number: 43891-C. A wanderer and explorer of the city for both professional need and personal desire. He started working in criminal investigation after a failed career of investigative journalism, a profession that has served him only mildly better. Originally from Buenos Aires, he now finds himself on the other side of the cordillera.


24 Sarah Lyons THE SOCIAL FROM EMPATHIC SPACE | THE BLUR BUILDING

01 Blur Building Image Courtesy of DS+R At some point, most architects have been mystified by the media pavilion for the Swiss Exposition in 2002 by Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, and Charles Renfro. But before the project slowly fades completely into the past, the Blur Building is worth revisiting to make some clarity out of the haze. The phenomenon which is branded with the clever catch phrase: ‘formless, massless, colorless, weightless, odorless, scaleless, featureless, meaningless’ did lack static definition. Density in water droplets establishes a relatively large volumized space which visitors experience through interacting with a fleeting and loose dispersion of an otherwise solid material. However, the awe for and interest in the building is not strictly as a formal experiment or as a study of materiality; the physical production of the Blur could not have been the sole interest for Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Atmospheric to the degree of evoking sublime and enraptured feelings, the ephemeral diaphanous pavilion reveals greater ambitions for the architects, who have been previously engaged in social and political issues with art installations. Spatial qualities of the building stem from, among other things, visitors’ interaction with the Blur. This experience is crucial in projecting a point of view generated by the pavilion.

The Blur Building, iconically, has been mostly a product of the revolutionary use of material as spatial determinant. Projects of the recent past present great difficulty in determining or classifying a project as iconic because of a lack in deep evaluation and unrealized influence. But the Blur Building is an excellent example of an occasion to reevaluate empathetic qualities in buildings, which has been scarce in architectural conversations for decades. To


make a progressive step in claims of empathetic theory, the original sources must be reevaluated under the context of newer forms.

Imperative in comprehending the Blur Building and for clarifying the argument, the Blur as image generator must be disseminated. Infinite water crystals continuously being produced from the mechanized frame create a soft thickness. Variation in densities of this cloud constantly frames images. Catching light, disguising the presence of people, and changing according to climatic conditions are all variables that instigate a particular image from a particular point of view. While undefined geometry produces a high level of abstraction, the interpretation of the image from the cloud and the perception of various stimuli generate many of the emotive qualities of the media pavilion. Robert Vischer and Heinrich Wölfflin are two dominant figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries whose work is applicable to illuminating qualities of the Blur Building. However, the abstract nature of the pavilion also presents complication to these theories which are crucial indicators for revisions.

Both Vischer and Wölfflin’s theories deal with the imagination as crucial for translating architecture to empathetic concepts and experiences. For clarification purposes, an overview of Robert Vischer’s concept of imagination will be necessary. ‘Imagination is an act by which we mentally stimulate something that previously existed as vague context of our sensations as sensuous concrete form.’1Vischer is explaining a process in which the individual creates mental images from sensations. While this is a subjective process, the translation of images through the imagination requires a consciousness of self and implies an individual point of view.

Robert Vischer’stheories are in some instances contradictory with Wölfflin’s which will explain why past empathetic philosophies should be revisited. The Blur Building demonstrates the significant changes in architecture that can no longer be described by the work of Wölfflin and Vischer, among others. Both see the importance of the mental unification of architecture and human transference into architecture as experience. Vischer is a crucial figure to look at because he placed great emphasis on imagination and sensation. However, his work deals widely with the symbolic and with the production of metaphors to explain architecturally emotive characteristics. Because this aspect of his work is explained largely through ornamentation, direct implementation of Vischer’s work can be difficult to apply to the Blur Building.

Robert Vischer introduces an important position between sensing and imagining the object and the point of emotional interaction. Imagination allows for the opportunity to interpret forms and integrate stimuli. Vischer details more specifically visual stimuli; however, the concept can be further expanded by successfully arguing that other stimuli of sentient properties are also crucial. Continuing to make the connection between perception and emotion, Vischer elaborates by explaining the human needing to reflect and imagine a subjective view of human character into the sensation and form or project. For the purpose of the Blur Building, this is realized in several ways. Water vapor produces a sharper contrast in temperature and physical imposition on the body that spaces in less radical buildings. The temperature stimuli create intense moments of perception that activate the imagination. As the climatic conditions change, the temperature is both reminiscent of and changes the individual's body temperature. A warming or cooling on the skin could be translated to warmer or cooler feelings.2


Vischer also speaks specifically of ‘seemingly formless spaces (water, cloudless air)...as generalized stimulus [which is] empathized [as] softness and boundlessness.’3 Since the Blur is a cloud that does not completely control itself, Vischer may have argued that this project produces stimuli that evoke a greater variety of feelings. The imaginative activity around an object is entailed into a process in which every sensory experience produces an image of that event.4The sensory experience is the event the image is regarding. In this action, the viewer is projecting his self into the object. This projection is making an analogy of human structure to the form of an object related to human shape. In a simplified instance of the Blur Building, a weightlessness of the floating water particles gives a sense of lack of gravity and thus has feelings of lightness.

However, Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s pavilion presents some difficulty in adhering to the philosophy put forward by Vischer because the intensity of stimuli of the Blur Building could be contradictory. He argued a singular image has a singular type of feeling.5The cloud-like effects of the Blur have a variety of stimuli, none of which takes a primary position. The Vischer theory may take for granted that it is assuming one instance of sensation to result in one feeling without contradictory inputs. The color image and visual density of the cloud could be very different than the temperature and sound of the cloud. This more complex instance could reveal that determining emotive qualities can be explained by point of view.

While this describes many of the things that make the Blur emotive, it is important to look at another central figure for the progression of empathy theories. Heinrich Wölfflin’s work came a few years after Vischer and is often noted as more successfully analyzing sentient qualities of architecture. Wölfflin would have likely agreed with some of Vischer’s theories; he claimed ‘physical forms possess character only because we ourselves possess a body.’6 He also acknowledged Vischer’s contribution of lines not being static but rejected the concept of bodily stimuli.7

Wölfflin posits that we are able to relate form to emotions by using our own experiences to animate form. Use of Friedrich Von Hausegger’s study of sound as expression is crucial as ‘when we imitated the expression of emotion we also experience this emotion and we then unconsciously transfer our emotional response to the person or object.’8 This really means that we impress an emotion to a form thus that form represents the emotion, almost mimetically. For the Blur Building, this means the visual impediment contained within the blur uses the imagination to give figure in the shapes and forms of the cloud. Lower density instances in the blur and a more ethereal quality at a higher elevation could be indicative of a mood of weight and gravity. Or in another example of a more literal sense, brightness in color and warmth in temperature could be a more intense mood.

As we see, the prescriptive nature of Wölfflin’s analysis is more difficult to apply to the cloud-like forms of the Blur project. Curved lines, jagged lines, and straight lines are extensively described and evaluated on their emotional effect for viewers. But geometry like this, constructed in a much more abstract way through the blur ( if there is any geometry to be determined) is understood through individual subjectivity and point of view. The clarity of form cannot be determined as easily as many projects with more static materials. Evaluating claims of shape cannot be determined as it is only realized in the mind. Matter and form, which Diller Scofidio + Renfro hope to have absent, are vital to Wölfflin’s theory. Symmetry is almost impossible in the Blur Building. Wölfflin uses the formal tools to verify his theory but the abstraction of geometry demonstrates the difficulty with the now antiquated theory. The


discrepancy in forms Wölfflin discusses and those of the Blur Building stand as crucial signifiers that empathy theories are no longer sufficient as architecture is becoming increasingly more formally and materially complex.

The theories presented by Vischer and Wölfflin, among others of the late 19th and early 20th century have not been discussed in many years, even in light of more recent experiments. Vittorio Gallese, GiacomoRizzolatti, and Leonardo Fogassi scientifically proved instances of empathetic transference from their study of monkeys.9 But the Blur Building’s importance as icon is its challenges to these theories. The difficulties in evaluating the building according to these theories are an opportunity to think again about imagination creating empathetic qualities in buildings. Not as adequately addressed by German theorists is subjectivity and point of view. Wölfflin suggests that each building has a particular emotion associated with it.10 The Blur Building can easily disprove the singular nature of the theory because of the nature of variability in the cloud. The abstraction in form and the exacerbation of blurring depending on weather conditions and color perception from both reflections of the sun and visitor presence affect the images produced. These factors describe a variability that is determined by the individual point of view. The architecture is does not convey qualities of singular emotion during a singular moment.

The PastForward design competition hosted projects that revisited the iconic Blur Building and presented some interesting takes on the Diller Scofidio + Renfro project. The Cloud as Archive project presents a temporal analysis of the blur that would not have otherwise been achievable.11 The static nature of this version would at first analysis, seem a less potent version of the use of imagination. However, it just utilizes imagery available from the cloud in a different way: the narrative. Seeing a progression of images over a course of time is a narrative that is just as abstract and imagination-provoking as the cloud in the original version. At this point, it is important to note that this project also points out weaknesses in the empathetic theories of Wölfflin and Vischer. As the narrative has become a crucial design tool for the current architect, the philosophies of empathetic qualities are difficult to translate to this new concept. Mood is very much a result of the narrative structure and setting of architecture which is not addressed in either theories but is a more obvious way of qualifying emotive qualities in architecture that describes itself as narrative.

The Prehistoric Periscope project excellently grasps the importance of point of view.12 However, the formal devices for creating specific perspective view does not take advantage of the type of abstraction generated in the Blur Building. The viewing lenses distort scales of images and contexts of images through framing views. While the Prehistoric Periscope project is located on a body of water similarly to the Blur, it emphasizes not the localized view between visitors, but the view out to the landscape. Use of imagination is not in interpreting the form of the building or its qualities, but imagination is utilized in determining the relationship of context in the presented situation. The space that is architecturalized affects the views. This brings an interesting position that also complicates the theories of Wölfflin and Vischer. The two positions only address the architectural object and architectural form. The Blur Building understands the problems of becoming a part of the discourse of the architectural object versus being a strictly phenomenal presence. Rather than being given the title of the Cloud which would define the pavilion as an object, Diller Scofidio + Renfro name the project for it effects through the blur. The project for the PastForward competition and the Blur Building complicate the theories of Wölfflin and Vischer which assume the architectural object for their philosophies. Many current


architectural projects, as demonstrated by the blur in the media pavilion, are not easily understood as architectural objects.

The competition projects of the PastForward Think Space theme are helpful at looking at the complications of studying such a difficult topic of empathy theory. Each project approaches the ideas of an imaginative perspective and a point of view in a way that can be helpful in deciphering an analysis of the present. As long as a project allows for the integration of imagination, potential for emotive qualities will be present in architecture. This is crucial to allow for the projects like the Blur Building which do not express one particular emotion. So, to activate the imagination some perception and interpretation from images or stimuli is crucial. But the context with which the images and stimuli are formed is not as strictly necessary to allow for projects using narrative or lacking architectural object.

For the sake of progression, to this point it has been proven that buildings have emotive qualities that affect emotions. This having been widely accepted for some time, the Blur Building brings new complications to these old theories but also provide possibilities for updating the philosophies from Wölfflin, Vischer, and others. Updating these past theories may be an unconvincing task in itself for many architects. But the Blur Building also demonstrates the possibilities of relating the understanding of emotive qualities to other areas of architecture. The complexities and unusual nature of the Blur points to a connection of the empathetic qualities and social implications.

It is not unusual to think that Diller Scofidio + Renfro were very conscious of creating a unique social dynamic. The original proposal of the pavilion for the Swiss Expo included interactive raincoats for visitors. Depending on the physical distance between visitors, the raincoats illuminate various colors. The wearable spatializers were never realized. They were, however, indicative of the project’s greater social ambitions and certainly indicative of DS+R’s interest in image production. The incorporation of color and technology for visual perception shows interest in imagined point of view as part of social interactions.

For a first point of reference, the Cannon Bard Theory of Emotion is a primary example of emotions affecting actions.13Their theory states that emotion is a response to an event and that a following action is in response to that emotion. In the instance of the Blur Building the action would be the moment of being affected by stimuli. For their proposal, the emotive response is largely a subconscious process. The reduction of the theory to a straightforward summary is to allow for a starting point to describe the various ways the emotive influences the social.

The Blur Building has proved to instill notions of empathy through both physiological and psychological means. And as emotions are fundamental to our social philosophy, the Blur project is able to show social interactions affected through emotive qualities of architecture. Indeed, Anthony Giddens developed a structuration theory that stated social society is both generated through what the mind (imagination) produces and what is imposed upon society.14 Emotive qualities of the building and the activation of emotion through imagination are part of the psychological half of Giddens structuration theory. So the Blur Building influences our social interaction through altering the mental state of the individual. To maintain feelings of the sublime and enraptured, which are states of mood from


experiencing a cloud in an otherwise impossible condition, the visitors must maintain no assemblance of definite measure. Proximity to fellow visitors will clarify the blur and thus limit the abstract. Key here is also maintaining a production of abstract images that generate emotive qualities. Achieving this is possible if distances between visitors are maintained. Thus the Blur Building’s most notable social quality is separation as a result of the emotive qualities. This is radical difference produced by this media pavilion compared to other architectural projects; the determination of the social is from psychological action as opposed to merely a spatial or programmatic layout. The Diller Scofidio + Renfro pavilion lacks the division of space that would traditionally be an external agency affecting social and a quality of the other part of Giddens' theory. The Blur Building is a point of realization and is iconic. The project presents the necessity in reevaluating how empathy can enlighten our consideration of social space. The contribution of the project, which also is what makes it iconic in spite of its short history, is the empathetic and significant social contributions offered. The defining moment in revisiting the Blur Building is in realizing it is more than a material phenomenon but that it reveals the potential for empathy to contribute to something that is at the forefront of architectural discourse: the social.

Sarah Lyons is a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design candidate at Columbia’s GSAPP. She previously graduated with a B.Arch and B.A. of Architecture from Rice University. During the intervening year, Sarah worked as an architectural designer in San Francisco. Notes: 1 Robert Vischer.On the Optical Sense of Form. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 99 2 Robert Vischer.On the Optical Sense of Form. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 107 3 Robert Vischer.On the Optical Sense of Form. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 107 4 Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio. Empathy, Form and Space (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 23 5 Vischer does mention various types of feelings based on types of sensational phenomenon but does not further the concept by addressing conflicting feelings. Robert Vischer. On the Optical Sense of Form. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 102-105 6 Heinrich Wölfflin.Prolegomena to a Psychology of Architecture. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 151 7 Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio. Empathy, Form and Space (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994),150-151 8 Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio. Empathy, Form and Space (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994), 43 9 Gallese, Vittorio. “The ‘Shared Manifold’ Hypothesis,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2001): 33-50 10 Heinrich Wölfflin.Prolegomena to a Psychology of Architecture. Translated by Mallgrave, Harry Francis and Ikonomou, Elefrtherio (Santa Monica: The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1994),160-162 11 Andrei Olaru et al., “The Cloud as an Archive” (Project presented as part of the ThinkSpace Design Competition, 2012) 12 Marchi, Leonardo Zuccaro. “Prehistoric Periscope” (Project presented as part of the ThinkSpace Design Competition, 2012) 13 Cannon, Walter B., "The James-Lange Theory of Emotions; A Critical Examination and an Alternative Theory," American Journal of Psychology., 39. (1927): 106-124 14 Giddens, Anthony. “Structuration theory: past, present, and future,” in Giddens’ Theory of Structuration: A Critical Appreciation. edited by Christopher G.A. Bryant and David Jary (London: Routledge 1991), 201-221


25 Slobodan Anđelić THE ATHENS CHARTER

1943 crisis of nutrition crisis of democrasy communal crisis decaying of cities and citizens

8.The coming of the machine era has caused enormous disturbances in the behaviour of people, in their disposition on the earth, in their undertakings; the irresistible movement of concentration in cities in favour of mechanical speeds, the violent and universal evolution without precedent in history. The chaos entered the cities. 10. In narrow city sectors living conditions are harmful because of the following reasons: lack of sufficient space for living place, lack of green areas, and lack of maintenance of buildings (exploitation based on speculation). The situation is being worse by presence of inhabitants of low standard of living uncapable of undertaking by themselves any measures of defence (mortality raises up to twenty per cent). 12. Settlements for living are disposed along the surface of the city contrary to hygienic needs. 18. The disposal of buildings for collective use which depends on living is arbitrary. 31. When the free surfaces are large enough they are often wrongly used and consequently of little use for masses of inhabitants. 42. The connection between the living and working place is not normal any more; it demands long journeys. 60. The traffic lines should be classified according to their nature and built in function of vehicles and their speeds. 71. The majority of the known cities gives today a picture of chaos: those cities do not at all correspond to their function which supposes satisfying the primary biological and psychological needs of the citizens. 95. The private interest will be subdued to the society interest.

THE ATHENS CHARTER


1983

optical electronics arbitrary location of working place diseppearance of the industrial worker dissappearance of the speed and closeness problem victory of the society interest like „noah's ark“

8. The coming of the electronics-agriculture era has caused enormous changes in the behaviour of people, in their disposition on the earth, in their undertakings; the irresistible movement of deconcentration from cities in favour of close wireless circuits, the violent and universal evolution without precedent in history. the spirit of machine paid back its debt- it took on itself the problems of speed and closeness. 10. In cultivated natural sectors in the scope of optimal public communities, living conditions are satisfactory because of the following reasons: sufficient space for living place, absolute presence of green areas, and complete maintenance of buildings (exploitation based on conscious selfmanagement). The situation is being better because of equality of inhabitants (with leveled standard of living) capable of undertaking by themselves any measure to improve living in the community. 12. Settlements for living are disposed along the surface of public community in harmony with the natural conditions; the sun , green areas and the space are constants. 18. The disposal of buildings for collective use depends on location of public community in regard to the sun, green areas and environment. 31. The free surfaces are always precisely programmed according to the needs of the community inhabitants and consequently they are of optimal use. The working and free time depend exclusively on the agreement about the terms of active connection between the terminal and central station. 42. The connection between the living and working place is replaced by wireless circuit of the living-working place with the central station. Long journeys take place exclusively during the free time. 60. The traffic lines should get a new treatment- according to the complete transition to public traffic. 71.The majority of the existing cities changed its function and landscape. the population of public communities got a great number of the archetype „disneylands“ of the twenty first century which satisfy their secondary biological and psychological needs. 95. the private interest will be subdued to the society interest.

SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARCHITECT


2023

catharsis/collapse of the virtual economy revolution/ brutal overthrow of banks and stock exchanges / new bastille return of the secret/fierce breakdown of total communications evolution / corporate boards plant trees... barter exchange/ taste returns to food new emotions / return of bees

8.The advent of the post-revolutionary era has caused enormous changes in people's behaviour, in their disposition on the earth, in their endevours; the irresistible movement to abandon cities in favour of self-sustainable public communities, the violent and universal evolution without precedent in history. man is the knight again. 10.Optimised level of population growth, inexhaustible energy availability (nikola tesla), drinking water sourced from underground seas (mesopotamia, sahara, siberia, andes ...) are foundations for the new global order impartiality. After the death of greed, the scene is set for picturesque geometric dwellings, fertile fields and towers for alternative preservation of mental health. Staying replaced not arriving. 12. Residential zones are arranged in the exterior rings of the semicircular building (horizontal "unite d'habitation") with nikola tesla’s tower as the focus. 18. The zones for collective needs are arranged in the interior rings of the semicircular building (horizontal "unite d'habitation") with nikola tesla’s tower as the focus. 31.The expressive distribution of the fertile fields, the mirrors of clean water and the open forest zoo gardens, in convex dispersal outside the semicircular building provide both the means and the setting for free time. Education, adulthood, work and maturity - all virtuous stages are equal there under the legible night skies. 42. The connection between the living and working place is an unknown dogma. locating the utilitarian needs of the community is the matter of personal freedom responsibility. The chip of longing is embedded in everyday communication. 60. The shift to an all public transport system - magnetic, noiseless, fast, through tree-lined avenues... Speed riders have evolved into farming infantry. 71.All existing cities have changed their function and urban landscape. The population of these communities have been offerred numerous archetypal 21st century "disneylands" which satisfy their secondary biological and psychological needs. 95. The private interest will be subdued to public interest.

SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARCHITECT


1943

La crise de la nutrition La crise de la démocratie La crise communale La pourriture des villes et des habitants

8. L'arrivée de l'ére de la machine a causé des turbulences enormes dans la conduite des gens: dans leur disposition sur la terre: dans leurs entreprises: le mouvement irrésistible de la concentration dans les villes à l'avantage des vitesses méchaniques, l'évolution violente et universelle sans précédente dans l'histoire. Le chaos est venu dans les villes. 10. Dans les secteurs étroits des villes, les conditions de la vie sont nuisibles à cause de l'insuffisance de la surface suffisante de la place à vivre: à cause de l'insuffisance des terrains verds, et aussi à cause de l'insuffisance de la maintenance des bâtiments (l'exploitation basée sur la spéculation). La situation est rendue pis par la présence de la population avec le niveau de la vie très bas, la population incapable d'entreprendre elle même des mesures de défense (la mortalité atteind jusqu'au vingt pour cent). 12. Les bâtiments à vivre sont dispersés sur la surface de la ville au contraire de besoins de l'hygiène. 18. La distribution des bâtiments por l'usage collectif qui dépend de la place à vivre est arbitraire. 31. Quand les surfaces libres sont assez larges elles sont souvent mal usées et pour cela peu utiles pour la population. 42. La connexion entre la place de travail et la place à vivre n'est plus normale: elle exige des longs voyages. 60. Les réseaux de la circulation doivent être classés selon leur nature et bâtis en fonction des véhicules et leurs vitesses. 71. La majorité des villes connues donnent aujourd'hui une image de chaos: cettes villes ne correspondent du tout à sa fonction qui comprend la satisfaction de besoins biologiques et psychologiques primaires de ses habitants. 95. L'intérêt privé sera soumis à l'intérêt de la société.

LA CHARTE D'ATHÈNES


1983

L'électronique optique La location arbitraire de la place de travail La disparition de l'ouvrier industriel La disparition du problème de la vitesse et du voisinage La victoire de l'intérêt de la société comme „l'arche de noé“

8. L'arrivée de l'ére d'électronique et de l'agriculture a causé des changes enormes dans la conduite des gens: dans leur disposition sur la terre: dans leurs entreprises: le mouvement irrésistible de déconcentration en dehors des villes à l'avantage de circuits sans fil prochains, l'évolution violente et universelle sans précédente dans l'histoire. L'esprit de la machine a rendu sa dette – il a pris sur lui – même les problèmes des vitesses et des voisinages. 10.Dans les secteurs naturels cultivés, dans les limites des communions publiques optimales, les conditions de la vie sont favorables à cause de la surface suffisante de la place à vivre à cause de la présence absolue des terrains verds, et aussi à cause de la maintenance complète des bâtiments (l'exploitation basée sur l'autogestion consciente). La situation est rendue mieux par l'égalité de la population (le niveau de la vie nivelée) prête à entreprendre toutes les mesures pour améliorer la vie dans la communion. 12.Les bâtiments à vivre sont dispersés sur la surface de la communion en harmonie avec les conditions de la nature: le soleil, la verdure et l'éspace sont les constantes. 18. La distribution des bâtiments pour l'usage collectif dépend de la location de la communion publique envers le soleil, la verdure et le paysage. 31.Les surfaces libres sont toujours programmées précisément selon les besoins des habitants de la communion et pour cela elles sont d'usage optimal. Le temps ouvrier et le temps libre dépendent exclusivement d'accord sur les termes du circuit actif entre le terminus et la centrale. 42. La connexion entre la place de travail et la place à vivre est remplacée par le circuit sans fil entre le demeure – l'office et la centrale. Des longs voyages se déroulent exclusivement au cours de temps libre. 60. Les réseaux de la circulation doivent avoir un nouveau traitement – en concordance avec la transition complète à la circulation publique. 71. La majorité des villes existantes ont changé leur fonction et leur paysage. La population des communions publiques a gagné des nombreux „disneylands“ archétypes qui satisfont leurs besoins biologiques et psychologiques secondaires. 95. L'intérêt privé sera soumis à l'intérêt de la société.

SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARCHITECTE


2023

Catharsis / chute de l'économie virtuelle Révolution/effondrement brutal des banques et des bourses / nouvelle bastille Retour du secret / échec violent des communications totales Évolution / administrations corporatives boisent ... Échange de marchandises/ redécouverte du goût des aliments Nouvelles émotions / retour des abeilles

8. L'arrivée de l'époque post-révolutionnaire a provoqué des énormes changements de comportement des personnes, de leurs Déploiement sur terre, dans leurs entreprises; irresistible mouvement de quitter les villes en faveur des communautés auto-soutenables, une évolution féroce et universelle sans précédent dans l'histoire. L'homme redevient chevalier. 10. Niveau optimalisé de l'augmentation de la population, l'accessibilité énergétique inépuisable (nikola tesla), l'eau de mers souterraines potables (mézopotamie, sahara, sibérie, andes...) Sont les fondements de l'impartialité de l'ordre. À la mort d'avidité, sur scène est une géometrie charmante des habitations, des champs fertiles et des tours pour la prévention alternative en santé mental. L'absence est remplacé par le séjour. 12. Les zones d'habitation trouvent place à l'intérieur des anneaux extérieurs d'édifice semicirculaire („unité d'habitation“ horizontale) avec le tour de nikola tesla au milieu. 18. Les zones d' exigences collectives sont placées à l’intérieurdesanneauxintérieurs d’édificesemi-circulaire („unité d'habitation“ horizontale) avec le tour de nikola tesla au milieu. 31. Une distribution expressive de champs fertiles, de miroirs d'eaux propres et de zoo dans des forêts, dans une diffusion convexe hors d'édifice semi-circulaire, sont les instruments et la scène du temps libre. L'éducation, la croissance, le travail et la maturité – toutes les phases vertueuses y sont égales sous le ciel propre nocturne. 42. La liaison entre l'habitation et le lieu de travail est une dogme inconnue. La localité de satisfaction des besoins utilitaires de la communauté est dans le domaine de la liberté personnele responsable. Le chip de grande désir est incorporé à la communication quotidienne . 60. Le passage exclusif au transport public - magnétique, silencieux, vite, à travers les allées ... Les cavaliers de vitesse se sont transformés en infanterie rurale . 71.Toutes les villes existantes ont changé leurs fonction et paysage. Les habitants des communautés communales ont obtenu un grand nombre de „disnyland“ archetypique du xxie siècle qui répondent à leurs éxigences secondaires de nature biologique et psychologique. 95. L'intérêt privé sera subordonné à l'intérêt collectif.

SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARCHITECTE


1943

kriza hrane kriza demokratije komunalna kriza trulenje gradova i ljudi

8. dolazak mašinske ere prouzrokovao je ogromne poremećaje u ponašanju ljudi, u njihovom raspoređivanju po zemlji, u njihovim poduhvatima: neodoljiv pokret koncentracije po gradovima u korist mehaničkih brzina, žestoka i univerzalna evolucija bez presedana u istoriji. haos je ušao u gradove. 10. u stiješnjenim gradskim sektorima, uslovi za stanovanje su štetni zbog nedostatka površine posvećene stanu, zbog nedostatka zelenih raspoloživih površina, najzad zbog nedostatka održavanja građevina (eksploatacija bazirana na špekulacijama). stanje je još više pogoršano prisustvom stanovništva sa vrlo niskim životnim standardom, nesposobnog da preuzme samo od sebe odbrambene mjere (mortalitet dostiže do dvadeset odsto). 12.objekti namijenjeni stanovanju raspoređeni su po površini grada suprotno potrebama higijene. 18.raspodjela građevina za kolektivnu upotrebukoja zavisi od stanovanja je proizvoljna. 31. kada su slobodne površine dovoljno prostrane one su često loše korištene i stoga malo upotrebljive za masu stanovništva. 42. veza između stana i radnog mesta nije više normalna; ona zahtijeva velika putovanja. 60.saobraćajnice treba da budu svrstane u odnosu na njihovu prirodu a sagrađene u funkciji vozila i njihovih brzina. 71.većina proučenih gradova pruža danas sliku haosa: ti gradovi niukom slučaju ne odgovaraju svojoj namjeni koja bi se sastojala u tome da udovolji primarnim biološkim i psihološkim potrebama svog stanovništva. 95. privatni interes biće podređen društvenom interesu.

ATENSKA POVELJA


1983

optička elektronika proizvoljna lokacija radnog mjesta nestanak industrijskog radnika nestanak problema brzine i blizine pobjeda društvenog interesa kao noina arka

8. dolazak elektronsko-poljoprivredne ere prouzrokovao je ogromne promjene u ponašanju ljudi, u njihovom raspoređivanju po zemlji, u njihovim poduhvatima; neodoljiv pokret dekoncentracije iz gradova u korist bliskih bežičnih veza, žestoka i univerzalna evolucija bez presedana u istoriji. duh mašine vratio je dug- preuzeo je na sebe probleme brzina i blizina. 10. u kultivisanim prirodnim sektorima, u okviru optimalnih komunalnih zajednica uslovi za stanovanje su povoljni zbog dovoljne površine posvećene stanu, zbog apsolutne prisutnosti zelenih površina, najzad zbog potpuno prisutnog održavanja građevina (eksploatacija bazirana na svjesnoj samoupravi). stanje je još više poboljšano ravnopravnošću stanovništva (sa nivelisanim životnim standardom), spremnog da preuzme sve mjere za poboljšanje života u komuni. 12.objekti namijenjeni stanovanju raspoređeni su po površini komunalne zajednice u harmoniji sa prirodnim uslovima; sunce, zelenilo i prostor su konstante. 18.raspodjela građevina za kolektivnu upotrebu zavisi od položaja komunalne zajednice u odnosu na sunce, zelenilo i predio. 31.slobodne površine uvijek su precizno programirane prema potrebama stanovnika zajednice, te su zato optimalno korištene. radno i slobodno vrijeme uslovljeno je isključivo dogovorom o terminima aktivne veze terminala i centrale. 42. veza između stana i radnog mjesta zamijenjena je bežičnom vezom stana- radnog mjesta sa centralom. velika putovanja su isključivo u okviru slobodnog vremena. 60. saobraćajnice treba da dobiju novi tretman- u skladu sa prelaskom na isključivo javni saobraćaj. 71. većina postojećih gradova promjenila je svoju funkciju i pejzaž. stanovništvo komunalnih zajednica dobilo je veliki broj arhetipskih „diznilenda“ dvadeset i prvog vijeka, koji udovoljavaju njihovim sekundarnim biološkim i psihološkim potrebama. 95. privatni interes biće podređen društvenom interesu.

SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARHITEKT


2023

katarza/ slom virtualne ekonomije revolucija/ brutalno rušenje banaka i berzi/ nova bastilja povratak tajne/ siloviti krah totalnih komunikacija evolucija/ korporativne uprave pošumljavaju... robna razmjena/ vraćanje okusa hrani nove emocije/ povratak pčela

8. dolazak post-revolucionarne ere prouzrokovao je ogromne promjene u ponašanju ljudi, u njihovom raspoređivanju po zemlji, u njihovim poduhvatima; neodoljiv pokret napuštanja gradova u korist samoodrživih komunalnih zajednica, žestoka i univerzalna evolucija bez presedana u istoriji. čovjek je ponovo vitez. 10. optimalizirani nivo priraštaja stanovništva, neiscrpna energetska dostupnost (nikola tesla), voda iz podzemnih pitkih mora (mezopotamija, sahara, sibir, ande...) temelji su nepristranosti poretka. nakon smrti pohlepe, na sceni je dražesna geometrija nastambi, plodnih polja i kula za alternativnu prevenciju mentalnog zdravlja. ostanak je zamjenio nedolazak. 12.zone stanovanja raspoređene su u vanjskim prstenovima polukružne građevine (horizontalni „unite d'habitation“) sa tornjem nikole tesle kao fokusom. 18. zone kolektivnih potreba raspoređene su u unutarnjim prstenovima polukružne građevine ( horizontalni „unite d'habitation“) sa tornjem nikole tesle kao fokusom. 31.ekspresivna distribucija plodnih polja, ogledala čiste vode i šumskih otvorenih zoo vrtova, u konveksnom raspršenju izvan polukružne građevine, instrumentarij su i scena slobodnog vremena. odgoj, odrastanje, rad i zrelost- svi kreposni stadiji tu su ravnopravni ispod čitkog noćnog neba. 42. veza između stana i radnog mjesta nepoznata je dogma. lokacija zadovoljavanja utilitarnih potreba zajednice stvar je odgovorne osobne slobode. čip čežnje ugrađen je u svakodnevnu komunikaciju. 60.prelazak na isključivo javni saobraćaj- magnetan, bešuman, brz, kroz aleje... jahači brzina evoluirali su u ratarsku pješadiju. 71.svi postojeći gradovi promijenili su svoju funkciju i pejzaž. stanovništvo komunalnih zajednica dobilo je veliki broj arhetipskih „diznilenda“ dvadeset i prvog vijeka, koji udovoljavaju njihovim sekundarnim biološkim i psihološkim potrebama. 95. privatni interes bit će podređen društvenom interesu. SLOBODAN ANĐELIĆ, ARHITEKT


Slobodan Anđelić was born in Belgrade 1951./, gratuated 1975. from Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, Specialisation and working in Alvar Aalto Studio, Finland 1987. Lives and works in Sarajevo /B&H, and Zagreb/Croatia.


26 Tigran Harutyunian ARCHITECTURE IN NON SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM Illustrations by Translation by

David Hovhannisyan Anahit Manasyan


The Soviet Union Collapse had a great influence on the new architecture development, which start to widen another paradigm. The historical Soviet stable structure was destroyed, the political chaos was performed new formats that became a new stage of the modern architecture development. A new approach and philosophy is in the process of development after the seventy years of the strictly regulated ideology. The new ideology is partly leaning on the old one, but at the same time it is performing new characters. The Post Soviet architecture is somehow in “floating” condition, i.e. every “power” from past and present can have influence on its formation. This article talks about the post-soviet architecture of Moscow, i.e. the changes in comparison with the past and the actual developments. In the article are discussed all the stages of the development and formation by performing them as a general unit and unstable structure (theory of IlyaPregozhin, a Belgian physicist), which can be constructed a new structure in. Also, all the “powers” are being analyzed in this article, as the latter is considered in the transforming city tissue context.

The article is composed from three parts:

Soviet Modernism – Post-soviet Post-Modernism: from Soviet Modernism to Post-soviet Post-Modernism, i.e. the linear thinking of the soviet architecture and its transformation to post-soviet architecture, as non-linear thinking. Also, it is discussing the origin, formation, transformation logic, conditions and the factors influencing the Post Soviet architecture’s development.

Urban Chaos: The new modification formation and its modern performances. The urban chaos is described as an unstable structure that takes different influences from various “powers”.

New bend: A huge shift happened (this shift brought instability after the stability, chaos after the order, destruction of the strict structures) and it is in the process of changes, modifications, new styles’ and directions’ formations. The new generation is an unstable structure formation that has its own “powers” of production and this new flexure in the unstable structure is a new structure.


Introduction The Post-Sovietarchitecture Generation, introduced political changes, however it was closed for the modern trends during 70 years and became radically “open”. Seven decades the architecture was being developed, according to the program and linear logic by not taking into consideration the drastically different ideological and style changes. The former and all other types of art were dictated (regulated) by the state politics. Thereafter, the collapse of the USSR anticipated the absence of anystate regulations in urban architecture. Meanwhile, the forming history of the Post-Soviet architecture provesnot sorelevant facts andsituations. During the last twenty years it has formally several stages of development. The Post-Soviet architecture is in the self-organizing process. The former defined itself as a unstable structure that is open for external and internal influences 1. This definition is not haphazardly taken. The ideology, declarations “kept” the Soviet architecture in the stable structure, that is why the development in the post-soviet époque brought “the absence of any system”. The architecture started its development from the basis in the searches of selfidentity. The present inherited system was being developed itself. In result, the system took various influences during the development and formation, which actually is not symmetric and is similar to the theories of complexity, chaos with definitions of instability. Opposing the theory of architecture and urban planning conventional methods, as well as prevailing the iconic buildings’ analysis and the state plans’ main ideological direction, this article is not studying profoundly the urban construction and architecture of Moscow during the Post-Soviet period. The main purpose of this article is to present briefly the development logic of that period as one common enlargement process, also, to present the Post-Soviet architecture as a general system, according to the urban fiber transformation example. The main notion which describes the main idea is the transformation from sustainable structure to non-sustainable, i.e. the transformation which was based on communist past. Design, shapes, forms that the changes shows the specific chaotic situation of post-soviet times. This process started from 1991 and continuing till our days. What had an influence for forming this non sustainability? Post-soviet architecture itself presents the development and regression of the Soviet architecture. At the same time it was based on the Soviet system, but now is developing radically in an opposite, specific, chaotic way by taking the influence of the various "forces" (from past, from parallel world, etc). What kind of system it is? What kind of postulates and ideologies the system is based on? Which factors have influenced the development and formation of it? It came out from the Soviet system and started the self-organization taking the various influences, the deviation changed the stably system into instable, these are the consequences of the Soviet Union collapse.


02 1. From Soviet Modernism to Post-Soviet Post-Modernism The main forces for its formation are political and economical influences. The architecture was finding out itself in the new conditions following after the political-economic situations. The new architecture’s development logic created not the theoretical background, but the practical experiments. The last époque in the Soviet architecture was soviet modernism that started from 1955 with party statement “about the excesses’ elimination in the planning and construction” that industrialized the architectural procedures. The planned construction was in the process of enlargement by accentuating the rationalistic researches. That is why the linear logic and esthetic of the soviet version’s modernism reached up to the “Perfectionism”. (02) The drastic, unexpected changes of the political regime allowed developing of a new architecture direction. The post-soviet architecture has been presented with criticism


towards the previous stage like philosophy of post-soviet ideology was. The former refused the ascetic language of the soviet modernism and started developing towards the historicism. The nominal â&#x20AC;&#x153;freedom of creativityâ&#x20AC;? was not regulated by the state declarations and it became the beginning of the chaotic situation with esthetic liberty, courageous experiments anddivers forms in architecture.

03 The Games in the past and the present, the abundance of decorative motifs from different historical periods and their interpretation with contemporary forms of expression became a fashionable in the new architectural language. In some cases this was a predictable reaction, after a long regulated period of Soviet modernism was logical reoccurrence to historical prototypes. The esthetic taste and ideas of the ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkovalso contributed to the former. "The architecture of Luzhkov had very bright ideologies of return


to the prerevolutionary past by maintaining and multiplying the traditions and the specificities of the country." 2 (03) Therefore, there is a term called "Luzhkov style", that the architecture of Moscow in 90-s is often described. In general, it based on the revival and interpretation of historic styles of pre-revolutionary Moscow. This period of Moscow architecture was not welcomed by critics and historians of architecture by describing it in the ranks of китча and bad taste. Despite the criticism, especially this architecture had greatest influence on the formation of the urban fabric in that period. The world architecture is already in the transition from modernism into historic directions of the Post-Modernism. However, in the former Soviet Union the post-modernism was not an ideological criticism, but it was an appropriate response in some chaotic form to the prevailing political and cultural situation in the country. The origins of the post-modern tendenciesare difficult to define exactly in Russia, except of the values’ revaluation bringing political change (wind of change). Hereafter, we should be careful with the “postmodernism” term by describing the post-Soviet architecture of the 90s in the 20th century. The main principles of the architectural post-modernism, which are pluralism, citation, grotesque, ironic and others, appeared in the post-Soviet architecture with the mechanical form.Sometimes the non-logical combination and the historical motifs’ weaves often ignored and distorted the classic proportions. The 1990 can be described as post-modern concepts of extinction in the world architecture. Moreover, in the dawn of the western ideas, the concept of post-modernism moved to the East, originally appearing under the new social and economic conditions.


(04) first attempt? Ricardo Bofill:the shopping center "Smolensky Passage" on Smolensk Square. It is encoded as the first "post-modern project" of the foreign architect in Moscow. However, as further post-Soviet practice of architecture showed, this was not the only case of the foreign project misstatement, and the author's refusal in his own authorship.

Opposing to the esthetic revolution and prosperity of the radical eclecticism, the theory and the design approach remained largely in the logic of Soviet times. The architectural education, school, system of planning institutes, regulatory and documentation base are still unchanged.


The profit factor was also the radical change in the architecture philosophy that was absent in the architecture and the art during the previous ĂŠpoque. It changed the whole notion of architecture, regardless the Soviet period, when the architecture had role of art and culture. Actually, the formerhas to get used from private capital. The reconstruction of the architectural process in a new unusual format development (radical evolution concerns the role of the customer change - from the state into the private sector). Globallyit isnot a new and unusual for the world architecture practice, but for post-soviet architecture it is a revolution.

2.Urban Chaosâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;the unstable system performance After the Communist regime collapse, the city appeared in the asymmetric system. The old regulatory system was absent, and the new one was in the formation process. As expected, the asymmetric condition of architecture and its sensitivity to various approaches became obvious. The strict system has been dramatically changed in the opposite direction; its development was difficult to anticipate, in comparison with the previous eras. The new capitalist reality called for new changes and alignment. The economy began to evolve into a new format that had no experience in the market economy in past. The former brought also negative impacts on the regulation of the urban environment. The development of the city was based on the existing one that explains the sharp, sometimes predictable changes in the urban structure by trying to be adapted to the new social and economic conditions. These positions have primary affected the changes of urban fabric in the disharmony and the aesthetics of the scale. Of course, the urban structure formation in a new curl was ignoring the construction norms, and was respecting the economic benefits, adequately symbolizing transience of this phase. Taking into consideration the variety of factors (the prestige had a serious role in it) became the springboard of the new downtown construction. Accordingly, the new construction was essentially seal the urban fabric, while many types of buildings were out of function or totally inactive 3 In addition to the esthetic paradigm, the functionality of new buildings was also changed, the majority of them were and still remain the commercial buildings - business centers, office buildings, luxury housing, etc., that were not in the Soviet era. The high-rise residential and mixed-use complexes were constructed in the central parts of the city by not always taking into consideration the situation of the existing building. The rapid development of the small architectural forms - kiosks, stalls, etc were obvious on the streets and the sidewalks, as well as the new design elements in an urban environment. The unstable structure of the city was bending before the private capital. Moreover, it was not paradoxical that the city became less developed, according to its own rich capacity without analyzing it. So, the existing urban structure had little influence on the formation of the new architecture. In spite of the collapse of the USSR, this period was marked by bringing best practices in the urban control field. The formal democracy did not affect the urban policy. The government intervention and regulation is a dominant and decisive in the post-Soviet era, like it was in Soviet times. In this context, the "freedom of creativity" revealed exclusively in the extreme form. The architectural variegation is very characteristic to theurban landscape of Moscow. This was evident even in the post-Soviet era. However, opposing to the previous stages, where


each period was characterized by dominance of one of the styles, the buildings with contrasting approach appeared during that short period by referringsimultaneously to the origins of the pre-revolutionary classicism, art deco etc, as well as to the constructivist motifs and the western tendencies. In the first stage of the self-organization in the urban fabric transformation impacted the following main influences - the lack of the old and the new regulation declarations, the rise of private capital with the low functioning legislation. The firs influences were from internal side.

05 the new design? transforming into the new format, Moscow has relied on the existing achievements of the West.

3. New bend - transformation of Post-Soviet postmodernism A major shift has happened in its origin with the political background (from stability to instability, from order to chaos, and so on), and now it is being developed, modified (similar to the instable structure). In the context of this article the concept of transformation of the Post-Soviet post modernism is very metaphorical and comparative, as the post-Soviet postmodernism does not indicate only the stylistic aspect of the architecture, but rather the philosophical one of the culture in general. Also, the modernization was presented not simply in formal stylization under the modernity, but rather in the rethinking and the following process of modern trends. We can assume that the basic philosophy of postmodernism still dominates in contemporary Russian culture, but there is atendency for modernity in a global context. Starting from the early 2000's the Post-Soviet architecture was relatively being developed, according to the modernist aesthetic. This position can generally be attributed to the change of the country's development â&#x20AC;&#x201C; after the elections of the president Vladimir Putin,


who has chosen the path of modernization. Historical motifs of the architecture gradually give up their positions. There has been a transition stage from traditionalist to modernist. The process of self-organization attracted to the generation of a new structure, i.e. new ideas, new shift, new stage after Luzhkov style. An uncertain development startedinthe structure, i.e. a newstructure. Of course,the absence oftheoretical statements, it is difficult to clearlyidentify the main sourcesandthe causes of the styleschangesin the architecture of Post-SovietMoscow. A relatively new paradigm reproduced grace to the new influences(whichcan be generally definedas a more and moreinfluence of thetrends in the worldarchitectural process- throughthe invitedprofessionals,lectures,professional Internetportals, educatedyoung professionals etc.) 4.The impact on urban structure is not so remarkable, in comparison with the previous stage, and it varies in the ideological stage. The city landscape of Moscow At this stage gently dominates "the new international style", similar to the global architectural process. The former is the architecture modernist direction that takes into consideration the context by focusing on the more free-form and is open to the colors, in comparison to the classical modernism and its soviet version. The former happened not because of the ideological domination and repression of the neomodernism and the gradual extinction of historical trends, but for the exhaustion of Luzhkov's style, as an inadequate one in the new political and cultural situation of the city. Neomodernism 5 was introduced as modern esthetics in the post-soviet architecture, as a counterweight of the pseudo trends of Luzhkov period. This situation is difficult to characterize as the development of traditions of its own modernist school - constructivism of the 20s, Soviet modernism of the 60's and the 80's, but rather the import of the parallel existing flows in the West. In many cases, this architecture is just a reinterpretation of Western fashion trends in the modern world. Their philosophy is not always acceptablefor the Russian context, because thecontemporary Russian neomodernismis a consequence / result of the information transparency. This is still a mutation, formation, as absorbing mainly the positions and principles of Western architecture, it is not yet totally integrated in its own context and history. Regardless of the ideological (political) openness, the architecture of Post-Soviet Moscow globally remains as a closed process. This fact is particularly obvious as the buildings constructed by the foreign architects are rare in relation to their proposed projects. The former also had a definite impact on the emerging architectural process.


06 the ambassador? Eric van Egeraat. One of the first foreign stars in architecture, who was active in Moscow from the 2000s. Regardless the fact that nothing is constructed, according to his personal projects, but his role in design concepts of the new language formation in the post-Soviet architecture should not be underestimated.

However, the system inherited from the Soviet Union is still forming the general situation, despite the new influences. The strict regulatory documentation base (predominant in Soviet standards and their interpretations), the bureaucratic obstacles, the dominance concept of authority etc. still exist, and the alternative flowsfrom the modern youth are limited around the small projects that do not have remarkable impact on the overall urban planning of the city. In particular, many young Russian architects use the traditional material â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wood, as a new identity.


The wood is elastically used in small quantity. But it is difficult to identify the former in the architecture development of post-Soviet Moscow, as, generally, they are not in the context of urban transformation and self-organization, and the author direction seems out of the existing process.

07 generation? Nicholay Pereslegin. The graduate of the Harvard University, was one of the most notable officials of the new generation, who dynamically carried out the activities in the Cultural Heritage Department of Moscow.

An ambivalent situation happened the post-Soviet architecture became an opposition to the Soviet architecture. A crisis occurred from the esthetic side, a revolution from modernism to historicism. Luzhkov style was flourishing, but he remained in the "Soviet logic", i.e. he was


not transparent, he was the next "Party declaration." And after 10 years the architecture gradually changed its course of development, under the various influences â&#x20AC;&#x201C; performing the "global modernization."

08 direction? The new Institute STRELKA became probably the most active springboard for discussion and idea generation of public problems.


In recent years, Moscow continues to experience the next stage of urban transformations. The citywide projects are actively discussed, new institutions areestablished (InstituteSTRELKA, MARSH), many were urban plans transformed (Gorky Park, etc.), The new general plan of Moscow is in the development process, seminars are organizing on urbanism, the public spaces of the city are in the core of attention, public discussions are being hold on etc. The new ambitions are oriented towards the contemporary issues expansion of Metro, strict regulation of construction in the center, compressive control over the protection of monuments, construction of parkings in the city center etc., The aspirations confirm the reflection of the usual transformations in the urban system.

Tigran Harutyunian I'm young architect and theoretic from Armenia (currently living and working in Moscow). I graduated the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction, Faculty of Architecture in 2005. After the University I continued my scientific activity in the Institute of Art, which is one of the units of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, and finished my research project in 2008. The main sphere of my investigations is post-soviet architecture and urbanism in the context of current or past trends of modern architecture. In the research I have mostly discussed the specific problems in architecture of the transitional period from Communism to Capitalism. ________________________________ 1

The term is taken from I. Prigozhin: “Phylosophy of unstability” – the unstable system is being modified by various influences GrigoryRevzin, "LuzhkovskayaMoskva: stilvampir" [Luzhkov Moscow: vampire style], "Kommersant"(November 2003) 3 These were the typical soviet buildings – gastronomy, markets, administrative buildings 4 We speak about the contemporary architecture in the architecture of Post-Soviet Moscow, but this notion is modern by itself. As the new stage of the post-soviet architecture is not modern for the world’s contemporary architecture, that is why this notion description is true while comparing with its past 5 The presented architecture is nominally called neomodernism. 2


27 Tom Marble OBLIVIOUS LA A retrospective manifesto for LA, an affectionate look backto when Los Angeles was the city of the future, Oblivious LA is a survey of selected moments in the history of the city with a narrative linking them.

Introduction The heartbreaking reality of living in Los Angeles is how quickly and easily buildings you love are torn down and replaced by ones you hate. I used to think that the architects who are authors of such travesties should be required to prove to a jury of their peers that what they’re proposing is as good or better than what they’re tearing down. But then it wouldn’t be LA; it would be Santa Barbara or Carmel or San Francisco or any other city with a reasonably engaged citizenry. Still, when cherished buildings across the city disappear,I get upset.

PART ONE The Evolution of Cities Usingthe city of Los Angeles as a laboratory, a theory of urban evolution has come forththat springs directly out of the need to ease my ongoing anxiety of the changing city. Through decades of observation, certain patterns have emerged – not physical patterns per se, but patterns of processes – that seem to explain why LA, or any city for that matter,looks the way it does. SCALE We privilege the scale we inhabit. Not only is our perception of the world limited to the five senses we developed through millions of years adapting to changes in environmental conditions, we tend to process only those things that are apparent to us at our particular scale.This may prevent us from appreciating our true place in scheme of things. Science has humbled us before: the earth is not the center of the solar system, our solar system is not the center of our galaxy, and our galaxy is definitely not the center of the universe; might it also be true that, as humans, our species may not occupy the central role in the cosmic play? So fascinating with ourselves, with the range and depth of our shared history, could we have missed the fact that we might just be organisms of a certain scale in a particular corner of the universe, performing a range of operations that seem vital to us, but are merely processes necessary to the smooth functioning of a much larger – or much smaller – system that we are unable to apprehend? ECOSYSTEM An ecosystem is any seemingly self-containedcommunity of organisms that work together autopoietically in active self-maintenance to sustain the system. Ecosystems occur at all scales, most of which are invisible to us. The scale we occupy, the macrocosm, consists ofecosystems of ecosystems.


Current thinking in evolutionary biologytheorizes that evenorganisms–humans for instance – are ecosystems, driven by signaling and exchange within the microcosm, that community of microbes whose cell count within our bodies outnumbers our own biological cell count by a factor of ten. So what we perceive to be a planet populated with discreet animal entities acting freely out of their own self-interest might actually be macro-organisms engaged in myriad metabolisms designed to maintain their ecosystem. SUCCESSIONISM The mechanisms for evolution within an ecosystem are varied and too complex to sum up here;but primary among them is successionism, a process most associated with forest ecology. Successionism most often occurs after a traumatic event has destabilized the equilibrium of aforest ecosystem; but even minor changes in environmental conditions provokes the microcosm to initiate changes in the microbial habitat to encourage growth toward a new equilibrium. In successionism, the microcosm tests a mix species to determine which is best suited to the current environmental conditions. The success of any individual species within this context causes it to appear dominant; but the dominance is fleeting as the forest is constantly reconfiguring itself until – and even after – it achieves equilibrium. This is whysuccessionism is a retrospective account of how a forest has evolved, favoring a narrative featuring the so-called dominant species, and not fully acknowledging the role that a particular mix of species plays in sustaining the forest at any given time. METABOLISM The key to successionism is precisely this: the difficult work of orchestrating a mix of plant species in the macrocosm is accomplished by the microcosm. Through signaling and exchange, the microbes transformthe visible forest at an invisible scale toward fugitive equilibria. Engaged in a succession of metabolisms – photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, fermentation, etc., it is in microbial interaction that the real change takes place. METROCOSM If the macrocosm consists of everything at our scale within the entire biosphere, the metrocosm occupies the next scale up. The metrocosm could be thought of as a continuous urban growth comprising many cities or it can be the individual city. In Los Angeles it is both. As an ecosystem, evolution of the metrocosm is driven by macrobial metabolism: citizens engaged in a riot of activity that includes all manner of exchange – fighting and playing; buying and selling; politics, sports and entertainment; crime and punishment; eating, praying, loving, etc. – that, when taken together, is the city, autopoietically remaking itself, interaction by interaction. URBAN SUCCESSIONISM The metrocosm adapts in much the same way a forest does: through successionism. But while a forest adjusts its ecosystem plant by plant, reacting to changing environmental conditions, the city does so building by building. In fact, every building can be seen as the result of a specific interaction between particular individuals – the developer, the city, the contractor, the architect – and it takes on an appearance that reflects this unique interaction. Thus in any building it is possible to read the intent of the city planners, the economic strategy of the developer, the current construction conventions, as well as whatever style the architect chooses to employ. The city is legible in its architecture. And because development tends to occur during times of economic expansion, the city becomes an archive of successive economies.


PART TWO Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Economies Could this be why cities look the way they do? Because they reflect the styles in vogue during times of greatest economic expansion – why Paris is so dominated by Hausmann era apartment blocks or San Francisco is so Victorian? Clearly there are other factors involved; but looking at successive economies does make cities more legible. Los Angeles, which at first glance appears quite incomprehensible, becomes clearer when viewed as a succession of economic expansions; tying its architecture to its economic history helps to bring the city into focus.

OIL The discovery of oil near downtown LA had two effects. First, it re-established Los Angeles as destination for boom-seekers. The false gold rush in Los Angeles a generation earlier had disappointed those looking for easy money in Southern California. But this was different: oil was real and it was everywhere. Second, it revealed how irrelevant the public realm was to most Angelenos. The city grew a carpet of oil derricks from downtown to the sea with little to no public outcry. People learned to accept the ugliness as a necessary consequence of a boom era. And boom it did – the rise of oil coincided with a direct railroad connection to the east, which, combined with a growing interurban rail system, gave Los Angeles the most extensive transit system in the world. Approximately 95 villages grew around the stops along the lightgauge routes, which were strategically located in the less oil-rich areas. Excitement over the booming economy igniteda boosterism that not only promoted potential riches here but also extolled the virtues of the Southern California climate. This is what resonated with the wealthy from the East Coast who seemed to have an inordinate number of family members in need of good air – ironic considering the influx of smog half a century later. With these families came a need for architecture at a grander scale. The native adobe architecture certainly would not do, nor would the non-native vulgarity of Victorian. These families brought with them their own non-native concepts of architecture, mostly from the arts and crafts movement in England, which itself borrowed from traditions in Asia. The leap in architecture during the Oil economy was made by architects such as Irving Gill, Myron Hunt, and Greene & Greene, who adapted the arts and crafts movement to the region’s unique climate, creating a new Craftsman cultivar, a adapted non-native variety unique to Southern California that propagated, mostly as bungalows, across the emerging metrocosm.

HOLLYWOOD In 1923 Los Angeles provided the world with one quarter of its oil needs. But a new economy was emerging that would put a much deeper stamp on the Angeleno psyche: the movie industry.


As Los Angeles was becoming more and more the mythmaking center of the nation, the architecture reflected this. The rise of movies and its attendant wealth stirred people to invent a mythical past for the city, to romanticize the glory of a Spanish paradise that never really existed. As cultural critic Norman M. Klein, author most notably of The History of Forgetting once said, ‘Nostalgia is only possible if you can forget what actually happened,’ the true past was of no concern to the mythmakers in Hollywood: they were just out for a good story. The architects of the era gave it to them. The dominant building species in Old Hollywood were the adapted non-native period work of architects such as Wallace Neff, Reginald Johnson, and Paul Williams designing houses primarily in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, while people like Gordon Kaufmann were favoring a more Art Deco style forferro-concrete civic buildings and infrastructure throughout the city. This is also the architecture of film noir, when the city itself played the role the femme fatale with the mysterious past.

DEFENSE But LA is anything but the dark and rainy place portrayed in most film noir. It is a city of light and space, which is what the post-war real-estate boom celebrated. Propelled by the surging aerospace industry, an embrace of Modernism fueled an explosion of new building species. Drawing from the pre-war adapted non-native strains of Modernism of Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra, this was a time of rapid speciation, with new home-grown hybrids developed by efforts such as the Case Study program and propagated by a housing industry hungry for new product. The Defense Industry provided a glut of new jobs that broadened LA’s middle class and propelled growth across the city. Advances in building technology and efficiencies perfected by the war machine made the production of new communities happen so quickly that before the end of the sixties most the central basin was built out and developers were forced to find land further afield upon which to propagate their plans. The quest for a fresh city meant not only new houses, but it also called for a radical transformation of the city itself. A network of freeways – the massive concrete superstructureimposed right on top of the plaid of boulevardsand streets – was just the start. Bunker Hill, the city’s first wealthy neighborhood, had fallen into despair as newer, better suburbs were built ever westward. The decrepit Victorians covering that hill were either torn down or moved to make way for development. But – save for Disney Hall, Music Center and MOCA – the area, fifty years later, is primarily parking lots. The future that was promised for downtown never really materialized. But a different future did happenand it happened elsewhere, driven by the growing car culture and its relationship to retail. Main street begat the commercial strip which begat the shopping center which begat the shopping mall which begat the lifestyle center. Downtown was a relic, irrelevant. Satellite cities were being invented out of nothing – [2oth] Century City was a new corporate suburb that had nothing to do with any of the former transit villages spread across Southern California, which was also true of Santa Clarita or Irvine – or Disneyland for that matter. Yet each of these places seemed to capture something that ever expanding city was lacking – the legibility of a definableecotope. In many of these new often gated communities, the isolation from the uncontrollable, unknowable beast that was LA was what certain people needed to calm their fears of the future – once so bright, it had become deeply frightening.


REAL ESTATE Real estate is the recurring economy that defines the city. The reason why LA had the most extensive rail system in the country was not out of an embrace of the public realm and a desire to connect to one another, rather it was to sell as much land as possible. But it was limited; development was concentrated in the villages surrounding each station. The engine of the real estate economy to anticipate the next consumer trend before it occurs. It is vital that the developer has the agility to adapt or mutate building species at will in order to meet emerging needs. Rapid speciation is the key and it worth noting how important this was as LA adapted to the ongoing trauma caused by that most invasive of pests â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the car. Not only did these adaptations change the way the city looked, but the auto itself changed the way we lived, steadily diminishing the public realm and expanding private one. With the advent of the car, development could go everywhere. It erased boundaries and made inevitable the annexation of those villages into a single, massive urban ecosystem.

ECONOMOLOGY It is precisely the massiveness of LA that requires a concept like Urban Successionismto make sense of it. Knowing how dominant architectural styles relate to dominanteconomies does relieve anxiety over the changing city.But what occurs when there is no dominant architectural style and no dominant economy, when the metrocosm hums with activity due to a mix of economies whose exact relationship to one another is a mystery and whose built residue is so random and cacophonous?


PART THREE LOSANGELISM Grasping the underlying mechanics that formed and continue to form LA give comfort to those of us who are accustomed to cities behaving in conventional ways yet not finding such behavior here. Understanding Los Angeles required a deeper look at how cities adapt to changing conditions and the findings discussed herein really could apply to any city. But there is something unique to this metrocosm, something that causes it to evolve the way it does. And that is losangelism.

THE CENTRIFUGAL CITY Whereas a city like New York compels citizens toward each other with an almost centripetal force, provoking direct macrobe on macrobe interaction, Los Angeles does the opposite, pulling people away from each other with a more centrifugal pressure, offering macrobes the option to interact when they feel like it. Or not.

THE CULTURE OF INDIFFERENCE In the ecosystem of cultures that defines losangelism, it is the culture of indifferencethat dominates. It is less about avoiding confrontation and more about choosing one’s battles. Urban successionism and the evolution of the metrocosmboth requirepotent interaction to succeed; but do you need the relentless struggle of Koolhaas’sculture of congestion to accomplish this? Or is a strategic battle plan more effective? It is precisely the culture of indifference that allowed LA to become itself; Such a transformation could not have occurred in San Francisco for instance because people care too much.The culture of indifference rhymes perfectly with the ambivalence that people in Los Angeles about living in their city: Almost everyone loves living here, yet almost no ones loves LA.

OBLIVIOUS LA Losangelism is long-lived and deeply-rooted here. A quick survey of the four economies mentioned above demonstrates how pervasive the culture of indifference has been over time: Oil Economy: the spread of oil derricks across the landscape of Los Angeles turned the focus of Angelenos away from the horrific public realmand toward developing their homes as private sanctuaries Hollywood Economy: the movie-makers put their storytelling skills to use to create a mythologized past as a retreat from the distasteful present. Defense Economy: the war machine turned their production capabilities and value engineering skills to the task of building a mythologized future to erase mistakes of the past. Real Estate Economy: developers have constantly expanded the city to offer new ways to escape the intimacy –and crime – that urban living represented.


At each and every step in its evolution, LA has chosen escape over engagement. Indifference it seems not only the perennial dominant culture oflosangelismbut could quite possibly be its founding principal.

THE FUTURE OF LOSANGELISM Although in the last twenty years or so there has been a backlash against the LA’s autocentric lifestyle, with more transit, more density, more parks and a more deeplyengaged citizenry restoring the public ream, the status of indifference as the dominant culture of losangelismdoes not seem to be endangered. The vastness of the city and itsincomprehensibility virtually guarantees the persistence of losangelism in perpetuity.

EPILOGUE Simply understanding all this may not bring back all those great buildings lost we’ve lost or rescue the ones we will lose in the coming years through the continuous crush of urban successionism. But knowing the city is helpless, infected with a culture beyond its control does take some of the sting away, and somehow even makes Los Angeles, dare I say– lovable?

Tom Marble is an architect and urbanist living and working in Los Angeles. After receiving degrees from U.C. Berkeley and Yale, Tom worked for a variety of firms, opening his own practice, Marbletecture, in 2001. Tom has taught widely, most recently an urban design studio at Colorado College focusing on Urban Successionism. His first pamphlet of critical fiction, After the city, this (is how we live), was published by the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design in 2008; he is presently at work on a new work, The Expediter, which uses the structure of Film Noir to follow the progress of an ill-fated development in downtown Los Angeles. His article, The Role of Technology in the Evolution of Cities was published April 2012 in MONU Magazine of Urbanism #16: Non-Urbanism.


28 Toni Gelabert CONTINGENT ARCHITECTURE MANIFESTO.

‘World is neither predictable nor causal anymore as religions or philosophy or science tried to convey through history. World is only probable, it is getting more and more statistically quantifiable.’ i Uncertain environments in which architecture acts require contingent responses. Contingency determines the potential of architecture. It loads architecture with dormant ways-of-being whose appearance cannot be determined a priori. Contingency forces architecture to approach projects with the desire of uncovering the systems (structures and dynamics) that give us the possibility of being-different.Contingency is the framework for chance. Architecture should be able to deploy contingent structures capable of hosting chance and even encourage it; open fields that force users acting and deciding as it deploys as an unstable system capable of promoting that chance; systems capable of promoting conditioned changes in its structure (gravitational, programmatic or expressive). Objects are inserted in places to keep them in a permanent state of excitement; they become reactive in the presence of other agents in the context. This is the task architecture should assume: creating links and letting new realities emerge through the establishment of these connections. Architecture must allow the blanks to be filled by links between objects instead of filling them with the objects themselves; it is responsible for the construction of ductile and temporary communities that keep their environment in a constant state of imbalance. Every precise order that is generated through the decisions made by architects is a final order; and it is an order only referred to itself.

Contingent architecture is the architecture deserved by XXIst century societies and S,M,L,XL (Rem Koolhaas, 1995) is its manifesto. The paper explains how it stands for this ‘optimistic’ and ‘dangerous’ architecture. ii

‘I believe in uncertainty.’ iii

‘Everyone changes in time.’ iv

‘PSEUDONYM: No, I’m not Thomas Pynchon. I am’ however John Fowles, uh, I’m John Barth, and I used to be Flannery O’Connor –but I killed that one off.’ v


‘Introduction’ vi

‘In its steadfast forward movement, the architecture of our time has made more than a few mistakes, but in the final result will be created a powerful embodiment of the human vision in spatial and volumetric forms. One must create; one must manifest one’s own creative capacities and summon to creativity those who are inert, in order that life within the art of architecture should be in a state of maximum movement.’ vii‘Contemporary doctrines question the possibility of the Whole and the Real as viable categories’ viii (‘and resign themselves to architecture’s supposedly inevitable disassembly and dissolution.’) ix ‘Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one-half of art, the other being the eternal and immovable.’ x

‘Our model succeeds in showing some properties of the evolution of complex systems, and in particular, the difficulty of governing a development determined by multiple interacting elements. What is quite clear is that the complexity of systems does not allow us to keep thinking in linear causality or simple systems.’ xi‘What people make of my building is outside my control.’ xii ‘Fuzzy logic is an esoteric computer reasoning system –an algorithmic hybrid of conventional binary logic and artificial intelligence. Unlike binary logic, which uses precise “yes/no” or “zero/one” programming rules, fuzzy logic uses approximate or inferential reasoning to solve problems. It enables programmers to use ambiguous input language –such as “a little,” “about 50,” “most,” and “often” –in much the way that people process subjective information before making decisions.’ xiii

‘If your question is: to what degree should architecture regulate “human life,” I can only answer that it doesn’t; or at least not a single “human life” –those times are passed forevernow there are only multiple, fragmented, atomized human lives that that actually need a multiplicity of maybe strong, maybe extreme, maybe regulated contexts, all “regulated” to a particular pitch, like the different speeds of a pitching machine.’ xiv ‘The permanence of even the most frivolous item of architecture and the instability of the metropolis are incompatible.’ xv‘A very small place in a very, very large, variable, changing world. And if it is not nimble, if it is not swift in making adjustments, it will perish and the people know that.’ xvi ‘It is simply to abandon what doesn’t work –what has outlived its use- to break up the blacktop of idealism with the jackhammers of realism and to accept whatever grows in its place.’ xvii

‘Ensure that your life stays in flux,’ xviii‘install a condition of permanent instability’ xix

‘I think everything now is so indeterminate that it’s an illusion to believe you have a theory. So, I’ve tried to devise formulas that combine architectural specificity with programmatic instability. I think this is terribly important to try to do:’ xx


‘Dirty Realism.’ xxi‘Organization of Appearances.’ xxii

‘Every sign, linguistic or non-linguistic, spoken or written (in the current sense of this opposition), in a small or large unit, can be cited, put between quotation marks; in so doing it can break with every given context, engendering an infinity of new contexts in a manner which is absolutely illimitable.’ xxiii‘The media are nothing else than a marvelous instrument for destabilizing the real and the true, all historical or political truth… And the addiction that we have for the media is not a result of a desire for culture, communication, and information, but of this perversion of truth and falsehood, of this destruction of meaning in the operation of the medium.’ xxiv‘This free information flow changes the whole value system from one that emphasizes the information itself to one that emphasizes how the stuff is organized and how it’s used.’ xxv

‘Deliberate disinformation, lack of adjustment, represents a revolutionary reversal of the role architects traditionally claim. They no longer create order, resist chaos, imagine coherence, fabricate entities. From form givers they have become facilitators.’ xxvi Architecture ‘will never again be about the “new”, only about the “more” and the “modified.”’ xxvii It ‘would not necessarily have pretensions toward permanence or stability, a plankton-like [architecture] that could infiltrate and invade.’ xxviii ‘If there is to be a “new [architecture]” it will not be based on the twin fantasies of order and omnipotence; it will be the staging of uncertainty; it will be no longer concerned with the arrangement of more or less permanent objects but with the irrigation of territories with potential; it will no longer aim for stable configurations but for the creation of enabling fields that accommodate processes that refuse to be crystallized into definitive form; it will be no longer about meticulous definition, the imposition of limits, but about expanding notions, denying boundaries, not about separating and identifying entities, but about discovering unnamable hybrids xxix; it will be no longer obsessed with the city but with the manipulation of infrastructure for endless intensifications and diversifications, shortcuts and redistributions.’’ xxx

‘The key word is that of linking or connection: “The programs will become abstract inasmuch as by now they are no longer tied to a specific place or city, but fluctuate and gravitate opportunistically around the point offering the highest number of connections.” This is indeed a reformulation of the theory on dislocation of modern capital, which actually moves toward the most favorable places.’ xxxi

‘The rhizome is an anti-genealogy, a short-term memory or anti-memory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots. Unlike the graphic arts, drawing or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a maps that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits, and its own lines of flight. It is tracings that must be put on the map, not the opposite. In contrast to centered (even polycentric) systems with hierarchical modes of communication and preestablished paths, the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system without a General and without an organizing memory or central automaton, defined solely by a circulation of states.’ xxxii ‘A rhizome is not amenable to any structural or generative model. It is a stranger to any idea of genetic axes or deep structure. A rhizome is a map, not a tracing. It does not follow


the tree logic, oriented to reproduction and establishment of competences, but a rhizomatic logic, drawn to experimentation and performance. It has multiple entrances rather than a single viewpoint.’ xxxiii

‘Any point in a rhizome might be connected to any other, and must be.’ xxxiv

‘Indeterminate Specificity.’ xxxv

‘The Grid –or any other subdivision of the metropolitan territory into maximum increments of control- describes an archipelago of “Cities within Cities.” The more each “island” celebrates different values, the more the unity of the archipelago as system is reinforced. Because “change” is contained on the component “islands,” such a system will never have to be revised.’ xxxvi ‘In other words, we see this scheme not simply as a design but mostly as a tactical proposal (…) The underlying principle of programmatic indeterminacy as a basis of the formal concept allows any shift, modification, replacement, or substitution to occur without damaging the initial hypothesis.’ xxxvii As a result we have ‘a mutated architecture no longer obsessively committed to form making but to the creation of conditions, the fabrication of content – scriptwriting by tectonic means.’ xxxviii‘Its neutrality records performance, event, flow, change, accumulation, deduction, disappearance, mutation, fluctuation, failure, oscillation, deformation.’ xxxix‘A relentlessly enabling, ennobling background.’ xl

‘The regulations are so weak that the exception is the norm. (…) A kind of reverse zoning, zoning as instrument of indetermination, making anything possible anywhere.’ xli‘The more it works, the more it will be in a perpetual state of revision. Its “design” should therefore be the proposal of a method that combines architectural specificity with programmatic indeterminacy.’ xlii

‘To generate density, exploit proximity, provoke tension, maximize friction, organize inbetweens, promote filtering, sponsor identity and stimulate blurring, the entire program is incorporated in a single container.’ xliii‘Its superimposed [levels] all capable of supporting different programmatic events, yet all contributing to a summation that is more than the accumulation of parts.’ xliv ‘We have confined ourselves to devising a framework capable of absorbing an endless series of further meanings, extensions, or intentions, without entailing compromises, redundancies, or contradictions.’ xlv‘In this structure, program can change continuously, without affecting architectural character.’ xlvi ‘It is resolved through the development of a mutant architecture that combines the aura of monumentality with the performance of instability. Its interiors accommodate compositions of program and activity that change constantly and independently of each other without affecting what is called, with accidental profundity, the envelope.’ xlvii ‘It has evolved beyond the naïve humanist assumption that contact with the exterior – so-called reality – is a necessary condition for human happiness, for survival.’ xlviii


‘The distance between core and envelope increases to the point where the façade can no longer reveal what happens inside xlix. The humanist expectation of ‘honesty’ is doomed: interior and exterior architectures become separate projects, one dealing with the instability of programmatic and iconographic needs, the other –agent of disinformation- offering the city the apparent stability of an object. l ‘In the deliberate discrepancy between container and contained [there is] an area of unprecedented freedom,’ liit ‘transforms the city from a summation of certainties into an accumulation of mysteries. What you see is no longer what you get.’ lii ‘The Monolith spares the outside world the agonies of the continuous changes raging inside it. It hides everyday life.’ liii

It ‘threatens the myth of the architect as demiurge, source of unlimited supplies of uniqueness. liv

‘Programmatic Lava’ lv

‘In a landscape of disarray, disassembly, dissociation, disclamation, the attraction of [architecture] is its potential to (…) reclaim maximum possibility.’ lvi

‘Through contamination rather than purity and quantity rather than quality, [architecture] can support genuinely new relationship between functional entities that expand rather than limit their identities. [Its] artificiality and complexity (…) release function from its defensive armor to allow a kind of liquefaction; programmatic elements react with each other to create new events –[it] returns to a model of programmatic alchemy.’ lvii ‘The program destroys the typology.’ lviiiIt is a ‘totally abstract program – [that] does not demand a particular architecture, its only function is to let its occupants exist. [It] can invade any architecture.’ lix

‘The essence (…) therefore becomes: how to orchestrate on a metropolitan field the most dynamic coexistence of activities x, y and z and to generate through their mutual interference a chain reaction of new, unprecedented events; or, how to design a social condenser, based on congestion.’ lx ‘In the Downtown Athletic Club lxi the Skyscraper is used as a Constructivist Social Condenser: a machine to generate and intensify desirable forms of human intercourse.’ lxii‘[It] can sustain a promiscuous proliferation of events in a single container. It develops strategies to organize both their independence and interdependence within a larger entity in a symbiosis that exacerbates rather than compromises specificity.’ lxiii ‘Each program different and autonomous, but modified and polluted through the proximity of all others. Their existence [is] as unstable as any regime would want to make them.’ lxiv‘This tactic of layering creates the maximum length of “borders” between the maximum number of programmatic components and will thereby guarantee the maximum permeability of each programmatic band and –through this interference- the maximum number of programmatic mutations.’ lxv


‘Architecture that engineers the unpredictable. Instead of enforcing coexistence, depends on regimes of freedoms, the assembly of maximum difference.’ lxvi

‘Anyway, these two nuns were sitting next to me, and we sort of struck up a conversation.’ lxvii

‘Strategy of the Void.’ lxviii

‘Flexibility is not the exhaustive anticipation of all possible changes. Most changes are unpredictable. (…) Flexibility is the creation of margin –excess capacity that enables different and even opposite interpretations and uses. (…) New architecture, lacking this kind of excess, is doomed to a permanent state of alteration if it is to adjust to even minor ideological or practical changes.’ lxix

‘Ma is all of the following: a slit, a distance, a crack, a difference, a split, a disposition, a boundary, a pause, a dispersion, a blank, a vacuum. One can say that its function is infinitely close to Derrida’s espacement = becoming space.’ lxx ‘Imagine a building consisting of regular and irregular spaces, where the most important parts of the building consist of an absence of building.’ lxxi‘It’s a reversal of the figure-ground relationship, taking the void as a figure. It can prove eye-opening to look at architecture or planning that way.’ lxxii ‘The center of Kunsthal I is a void, a machine or robot that enables, like a stage tower, an endless series of permutations: walls, floors, slopes, sets, presence, absence, dry, wet – each condition contaminating the perimeter of the hall.’ lxxiii

‘Beyond a certain critical mass each structure becomes a monument, or at least raises that expectation through its size alone, even if the sum or the nature of the individual activities it accommodates does not deserve a monumental expression. This category of a monument presents a radical, morally traumatic break with the conventions of symbolism: its physical manifestation does not represent an abstract ideal, an institution of exceptional importance, a three-dimensional, readable articulation of a social hierarchy, a memorial; it merely is itself and through sheer volume cannot avoid being a symbol – an empty one, available for meaning lxxiv as a bill-board is for advertisement.’ lxxv ‘Distinctive signs, full signs, never seduce us. Seduction only comes through empty, illegible, insoluble, arbitrary, fortuitous signs, which glide by lightly, modifying the index of the refraction of space… As such the signs of seduction do not signify.’ lxxvi

‘Where there is nothing, everything is possible. / Where there is architecture, nothing (else) is possible.’ lxxvii


‘Congestion Without Matter.’ lxxviii

‘Absence is the highest form of presence.’ lxxix‘An analysis of (contemporary) production shows that we have passed from the production of things in space to the production of the space itself.’ lxxx

‘Emptiness in the metropolis is not empty, each void can be used for programs whose insertion into the existing texture is a procrustean effort leading to mutilation of both activity and texture.’ lxxxi ‘The cumulative effect of all this vacancy – this systematic lack of commitment – is, paradoxically, density. The typical American downtown is (…) a massif of indetermination, hollowness as core.’ lxxxii ‘In such a model of urban solid and metropolitan void, the desire for stability and the need for instability are no longer incompatible. They can be pursued as two separate enterprises with invisible connections. Through the parallel actions of reconstruction and deconstruction, such a city becomes an archipelago of architectural islands floating in a post-architectural landscape of erasure where what was once city is now a highly charged nothingness.’ lxxxiii ‘Accumulations of skyscrapers, unstable monoliths,[have produced] the only “new” urban condition: downtown, defined by sheer quantity rather than as a specific formal configuration. The center is no longer unique but universal, no longer a place but a condition. Practically immune to local variation[it] has made the city unrecognizable, an unidentifiable object.’ lxxxiv

‘Rest is potential music, not absence of music. Hence it always denotes a state of creativity, not of nothingness lxxxv. Once the continuum has begun, all silences, however notated, are evolutionary devices. Silence can be significant in many ways. One can make errors of silence as easily as errors of sounds.’ lxxxvi ‘In fact, in narrowly architectural terms, the [Berlin] wall lxxxvii was not an object but an erasure, a freshly created absence. For me, it was a first demonstration of the capacity of the void –of nothingness- to “function” with more efficiency, subtlety, and flexibility than any object you could imagine in its place. It was a warning that –in architecture- absence would always win in a contest with presence.’ lxxxviii

‘This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.’ lxxxix


‘Postscript’ xc-1

The aim ‘is to experience personal and social life as a maelstrom, to find one’s world and oneself in perpetual disintegration and renewal, trouble and anguish, ambiguity and contradiction: to be part of a universe in which all that is solid melts into air.’ xci ‘We must now see our urban society as a dynamic field of interrelated forces. It is a set of mutually independent variables in a rapidly expanding infinite series. Any order introduced within the pattern of forces contributes to a state of dynamic equilibrium –an equilibrium which will change in character as time passes…’ xcii

‘In the seventies architects wallowed in fantasies of control.’ xciii In our work ‘the process of formal synthesis is closer to morphogenetic processes than to the classical precepts of hylomorphism. Morphogenesis as an approach to form in its fluid state, rather than in its eternal or ideal state, form as a temporarily stable configuration within a process of entropy, rather than as a constant. Reality as an unstable composite of flows rather than a collection of objects: a set of operative topographies rather than “significant” configurations.’ xciv ‘Our projects are not born out of reflexes that are known in advance… We are like a surfer – he does not control the waves, but he recognizes them and knows how to go with them, even against them.’ xcv ‘It does not ‘defines a clear architectural identity but (…) creates and triggers potential –extend limits, generate possibilities-’ xcvi ‘It does not take its inspiration from givens too often squeezed for the last drop of meaning; it gravitates opportunistically to locations of maximum promise; it is, finally, its own raison d’être.’ xcvii

‘The world is decomposed into incompatible fractals of uniqueness, each a pretext for further disintegration of the whole: a paroxysm of fragmentation that turns the particular into a system. Behind this breakdown of program according to the smallest functional particles looms the perversely unconscious revenge of the old form-follows-function doctrine that drives the content of the project –behind fireworks of intellectual and formal sophistication- relentlessly toward the anticlimax of diagram, doubly disappointing since its aesthetic suggests the rich orchestration of chaos. xcviii In this landscape of dismemberment and phony disorder, each activity is put in its place.’ xcix

‘I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.’ c‘Sometimes it is important to find out what [something] is –instead of what it was ci, or what it should be.’ cii‘Identify and exploit the (unforeseen) potentials.’ ciii‘We don’t arrange things in an order (that’s the function of the utilities). Quite simply, we are facilitating the processes so that anything may happen.’ civ ‘Our intention could be synthesized as how to turn all that garbage of the present system to your advantage. A kind of democratic King Midas: try to find the concept through which the worthless turns into something, where even the sublime is not unthinkable.’ cv

‘… ugly but promising?’ cvi


‘Postscript’ cvii-2 ‘And Polo said: “The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.’ cviii ‘Exit’ cix ‘UNFINISHED: ‘ cx

Toni Gelabert. Architect (2008) from the ETSAB in Barcelona after having several international experiences (Davos, Bamako, La Habana, Rotterdam, Lanzarote); Master in Advanced Architectural Projects (MPAA, 2011) from the ETSAM in Madrid. Currently doing my Ph.D. research ‘On the Concept of Contingency in Architecture’ at the ETSAM in Madrid with Federico Soriano and Pedro Urzaiz as Ph.D. directors. The research has already been published in architectural magazines as Pasajes de Arquitectura y Crítica and selected for its lecture during the last International Congress AURS 2012. At the ETSAM I’m also involved in researching on Architectural Projects teaching within the group DispositivosAglutinadores de Proyectos(Gelling Project Devices); and within the project: EIFD -Estrategias de Innovación y Formación en la Docencia(Strategies for Innovation and Training in Teaching) Since 2008 (after having worked for offices like BatlleiRoigArquitectes in Barcelona or Acebo X Alonso in Madrid) I ran my own office tonigelabertarquitecte where we investigate mainly on residential projects in low-density environments. During last year the studio has won a fourth prize ex-aequo (with Gonzalo del Val, Alejandro Londoño, Gonzalo Gutiérrez, Sergio del Castillo) at the Competition for the BADEL SITE redevelopment and the first prize (with Blanca Juanes) at the SC2011 – New strategies for the City international competition.

i Eduardo Arroyo. “No.mad: Principios de incertidumbre = principles of uncertainty,” El Croquis, 118 (2003): 27 iiSanfordKwinter. “Volar con bala o ¿cuándo empezó el futuro?” en Rem Koolhaas: conversaciones con estudiantes, Rem Koolhaas (Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2002), 67 iiiRem Koolhaas, Small, medium, large, extra-large : Office forMetropolitanArchitecture : Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau (New YorK : MonacelliPress, 1995), 1269 ivKoolhaas, 380 vKoolhaas, 1086 vi Kolhaas, xix vii Koolhaas, 934 viii Koolhaas, 499 ix Koolhaas, 499 x Koolhaas, 928 xi Koolhaas, 210 xii Koolhaas, 252 xiii Koolhaas, 572 xiv Koolhaas, 1096 xv Koolhaas, 937 xvi Koolhaas, 1011 xvii Koolhaas, 1252 xviii Koolhaas, 554 xix Koolhaas, 1035 xx Koolhaas, 556 xxi Koolhaas, 571 xxii Koolhaas, 765 xxiii Koolhaas, 130 xxiv Koolhaas, 924 xxv Koolhaas, 800 xxvi Koolhaas, 848 xxvii Koolhaas, 969 xxviii Koolhaas, 1210 xxix ‘There is considerable support for the view that brains are not logical machines, but highly cooperative, nonhomogeneous and distributed networks. The entire system resembles a patchwork of sub networks assembled by a complicated history of tinkering, rather than optimized system resulting from some clean unified design.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 1012)


xxx

Koolhaas, 969 Koolhaas, 234 xxxii Koolhaas, 1104 xxxiii Koolhaas, 924 xxxiv Koolhaas, 234 xxxv Koolhaas, 545 xxxvi Koolhaas, 592 xxxvii Koolhaas, 921 xxxviii Koolhaas, 665 xxxix Koolhaas, 335 xl Koolhaas, 335 xli Koolhaas, 835 xlii Koolhaas, 921 xliii Koolhaas, 692 xliv Koolhaas, 923 xlv Koolhaas, 934 xlvi Koolhaas, 1328 xlvii Koolhaas, 937 xlviii Koolhaas, 335 xlix ‘The genius of Manhattan is the simplicity of this divorce between appearance and performance.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 937) l Koolhaas, 499 li Koolhaas, 922 lii Koolhaas, 499 liii Koolhaas, 922 liv Koolhaas, 335 lv Koolhaas, 1210 lvi Koolhaas, 499 lvii Koolhaas, 499 lviii Koolhaas, 296 lix Koolhaas, 335 lx Koolhaas, 921 lxi ‘PLOT: Eating oysters with boxing gloves, naked, on the nth floor –such is the “plot” of… the 20th century in action.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 1034) lxii Koolhaas, 210 lxiii Koolhaas, 499 lxiv Koolhaas, 937 lxv Koolhaas, 923 lxvi Koolhaas, 499 lxvii Koolhaas, 1086 lxviii Koolhaas, 603 lxix Koolhaas, 239 lxx Koolhaas, 922 lxxi Koolhaas, 626 lxxii Koolhaas, 492 lxxiii Koolhaas, 429 lxxiv ‘IDENTITY: I do not believe in some “new identity” which would be adequate and authentic. But I do not seek some sort of liberation from identity. That would lead only to another form of paralysis –the oceanic passivity of undifferentiation. Identity must be continually assumed and immediately called into question.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 784) lxxv Kolhaas, xxviii lxxvi Koolhaas, 1128 lxxvii Koolhaas, 199 lxxviii Koolhaas, 895 lxxix Koolhaas, 1052 lxxx Koolhaas, 1058 lxxxi Koolhaas, 199 lxxxii Koolhaas, 335 lxxxiii Koolhaas, 199 lxxxiv Koolhaas, 335 lxxxv ‘For anyone who, like Rem Koolhaas, shares “a special penchant for grey zones,” the haze into the “beyond” and into that sphere “where one does not xxxi

see anything of the ‘architecture’” can provide an incredible source of inspiration. With the magic formula “to imagine nothingness,” one could open up and utilize this “beyond” for oneself.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 44) lxxxvi

Koolhaas, 1102 ‘And there was more: in spite of its apparent absence of program, the wall –in its relatively short life- had provoked and sustained an incredible number of events, behaviors, and effects.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 219) lxxxviii Koolhaas, 228 lxxxix Koolhaas, 1190 xc Koolhaas, 1087 xci Koolhaas, 926 xcii Koolhaas, 1044 xciii Koolhaas, 937 xciv Koolhaas, 928 xcv Koolhaas, 1286 xcvi Koolhaas, 1204 xcvii Koolhaas, 499 xcviii ‘CHAOS: You cannot aspire to it, you can only be an instrument of it… The only relationship that architects can have with chaos is to take their rightful places in the army of those committed to prevent it, and fail. And it is only in failure, by accident, that chaos happens.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 124) xcix Koolhaas, 499 c Koolhaas, xxxii ci ‘While every New York project assumes an unstable context –an environment that could never be an argument for a specific configuration- back in Europe work had to begin with a careful reading and interpretation of what existed and would therefore probably stay.’ (Koolhaas, 1995: 529) cii Koolhaas, 835 ciii Koolhaas, 242 civ Koolhaas, 670 cv Koolhaas, 926 cvi Koolhaas, 624 cvii Koolhaas, 1087 cviii Koolhaas, 796 cix Koolhaas, 1087 cx Koolhaas, 1269 lxxxvii


29 USAGE A Tragicomedy In Two Acts by Wojciech Dziubek

00 photo courtesy of Wojciech Dzioubek


CHARACTERS Mr. U

Mr. S

Mr. A

Mr. G

Mr. E

FIRST ACT SCENE I Titles – white on black.

PLACE ? TIME ? WEATHER Hot as ….!

It is exactly twenty past three in the morning. The city is on the edge between choosing the pillow and carrying on drinking. The room is small with a little window, a lamp and a tin drum. A big clock and thermometer both hang just above the door and look like the centre point of the fabric. The four men are all sitting around the round green felt covered table ready for action. The first of them is called Mr. U, old pseudo, ‘Fatty’, (nobody really knows why considering he is probably the thinnest one there). He is known for being totally irrespective of local administrative boundaries. On his right is Mr. A, a very proud person who designed all the buildings in the city, and who was responsible for their erection. Nobody really remembers how long he was studying to get his qualifications - but now who cares. Then opposite him, to the left of Mr. U sits a very relaxed man. He introduces himself as Mr. E. Everybody knows him in the city. Mr. E is known as a very laid back person, probably because he has never had to do anything in his whole life. A person concerned with issues that affect everybody and everything. His main hobby is pollution and what can be done with it. And finally, last but not least, the oldest - Mr. S, who has the most powerful presence of all of the four. Capable of being maintained at steady levels without exhausting any resources.

Everybody is smoking cigarettes. Everybody has his own ashtray. On the table are eight packs of cards still untouched.

The smoke in the room is so heavy that it is difficult for light to cut through. The temperature is 40° Celsius. It is really hot. Looking at them, none of the four are thinking about opening the window or are concerned with getting a drink. There are no glasses anyway. They feel at home, but you can sense they are waiting for something or…


Overall the place looks like they weren’t out for at least a few months. Than suddenly Mr. U moves his leg under the table and…

Mr. U (with a cigarette in his mouth) - Where is He?

Mr. A - Who?

Mr. S - You know, Mr. G.?

Mr. E - You know brother He is always late. And you always have to wait for Him. That’s how it is. Nobody can change it... not even us. But I am sure that just for us he will come. We just have to wait. Anyway it is not even three thirty, so why are you so concerned? Lets have a cigarette gentlemen, (while saying this he was putting one out in the ashtray).

Mr. A, Mr. S, Mr. U (in unison and with very relaxed voices)

- All right. All right……

SCENE II Silence… The smoking is becoming continuous. One after another like real true addicts. Increasingly heavier and thicker air is occupying the room… but so what?

Mr. A - Can we start without Him?

Mr. S (nearly shouting)


- You know, you better just shut up. You and your bloody buildings… you are just piles of rubble in the city. And why are you so nervous? Relax… We have been told to wait for Him so that is exactly what we will do.

Mr. E - Mr. A, you are too smart to listen to this. Say something.

Mr. A to Mr. S - But why?

Mr. S - Why, why, why! You, Mr. A, better stop asking questions. Just accept it, will you?! And you Mr. U, stop looking at me like that. Relax and have a fag brothers.

Mr. E - Exactly. Mr. U shouldn’t be here in the first place. You are just an old sad man. You are just a dreamer Mr. U. That is exactly who you are.

Mr. S - But you are innocent when you dream.

Mr. U - Yeah, yeah, yeah… But you Mr. A, you are really not here with us. What are you thinking about so heavily?

Mr. A - I was just thinking about the 300,000 units for which we paid ten billion during these last five years.

Mr. E - Oh...Yes...I do recollect something...We demolished those 300,000 for…what was it?…aaaaaa… I know for these one million work places. That was a really nice swap.


Mr. U - If you brothers only can remember that in addition, at the end of this demo the fiscal receipts were nearly ten billion extra than what we invested.

Mr. S (very quietly, but the others could easily hear) - Who cares? We are all multimillionaires.

Mr. E - Cigarettes gentlemen?

SCENE III Smoking…Smoking…Smoking…Smoking…Smoking…Smoking…Smoking…

Mr. E - It must be so nice to be like a pure spectacular ideology like Mr. U for example. Modern capitalism, which organized the reduction of all social life to a spectacle, is incapable of presenting any spectacle other than that of our own alienation.

Mr. S - Wait, wait… One question. In a period of economic crisis, will mass demos of the large cities replace the traditional politics of large public works? If that happens, there will be no essential difference between economic-industrial recession and war.

Mr. A - I do not know.

Mr. E - You do not know!?… You cannot know these things Mr. A, because you are continually obliged to be something other than what you should do. Who are you at the moment? A sociologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a semiotician… because I honestly cannot keep up. Have a cigarette brother.


Mr. U - I know this very well. Even having experts in the various fields working with him – does not change the situation very much.

Mr. E - Yes, he has become someone intent on specific operations rather than general questions. Cigarette anybody?

SCENE IV Silence… Smoking… Everybody’s starting to look at each other as if they had never met before. This is very strange, since they have spent years working together. Silence…Cigarettes…Simultaneously, all of them look at the door, then above it…at the clock. It is forty minutes past three and still nobody has entered.

Mr. S - We are passing through a stage in a long process towards interpenetration, simultaneity, and fusion, on which humanity has been engaged for thousands of years.

Mr. E - If you, Mr. S say so, it must be right.

Mr. U - Mr. A, you are like the Supreme Being on the other hand. Starting with your activity… Mr. A., conceiving your work as its analogue, ideology gives hints of what the final work will be, the word on which its entire meaning hangs very, very well.

Mr. A - But the impact of the analogy is not limited to cause, it is equally valid for effect. The image of the world itself is caught in the analogy of myself.

Mr. E - The world is legible only if one starts with it, and then the Boss is the great creator only because what Mr. A has constructed celebrates the divine work. Let’s smoke everybody.


SECOND ACT

SCENE I

The temperature has risen to, and reaches 44° Celsius. Just these four degrees extra. Smoking… Silence… Smoking… Silence… Smoking… Silence…

Mr. E - I will not cease from mental strife, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built The New City

Mr. U, Mr. S, Mr. A - On green and pleasant land.

Mr. U - Ha... ha…ha….Good old times. Do you remember friends, when we used to ride horses? Yeah,… Good old times. But you know, time changes so quickly. Now, we do not need them.

Mr. E - And that is good for the horses. At least they do not need to look at this shit that we have to deal with. But to be honest, I like my job. I like to see it. To see it all… over and over again and again and again…

Mr. S -It is very nice to have all this new gear, you know all these new inventions. Sometimes it is surprising how long you can spend between walls.

Mr. E -Cigarettes gentlemen?


SCENE II Smoking… Silence… It is four to four on the clock. Silence… Smoking…

Mr. A - Where is He? Where is Mr. G?

Mr. U - Just be patient brother. He will come. We have to just wait and do our job. No rush, no panic. Nowadays we can relax and wait.

SCENE III By now the Smoke was so heavy that it probably reached its maximum density. Mr. U, S, A and E are still smoking but something has happened. The Smoke of Mr. S isn’t rising. His Smoke is starting to crawl along the ground, while the others’ is rising directly to the ceiling. It is obvious that he is the lucky one.

Mr. S -Well I think… It’s time for us.

SCENE IV The hands on the face show four o’clock in the morning. The smoke is now so heavy that no longer have to hold the cigarettes. The density of the floating, still burning cigarettes is lovely. Mr. S stands up…and starts walking very slowly towards the window. Everybody watches him. Every move of his body, every muscle…than he stops just in front of the window, after four seconds he suddenly put his hand on the handle, turns it very quickly and opens it. The Smoke starts going mad. It has already surrounded and filled every part of the room. The room is now full of different elements fighting between each other - like anxious dogs before a race - who will go first? You can hear voices all over the place. Everything is coming out of the woodwork joining the smoke on the way into the city. Without it the urban fabric cannot exist. Everything is like one solid process. Unity and Power. After a while the other three join Mr. S at the window. Everybody looks for a while at the Smoke and then still inhaling cigarettes, Mr. S with a sharp sweet voice…

Mr. S - Smell that?... Do you smell that?


Mr. E - What?

Mr. S - Smoke friends…… nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of the city in the morning. You know one time we had cigars, twelve hours and it was all over when I walked off. We didn’t find one of them, not one stinking building. The Smell...all over the city. Smells like…… Victory……

Mr. A - For Gods sake!!! Where is He?

Mr. U - Shut up, will you. Who cares…. Enjoy it,… enjoy it again,… enjoy The Smell….

Mr. A - And why the hell He cancelled all subscriptions to the resurrections?

Mr. E - …Someday cities are gonna end… Cigarettes gentlemen?

Mr. A - You people make me sick…


SCENE V The Smoke in the room is becoming less dense. When the room clears Mr. U, S, A and E are gone.

CURTAIN

THE END

POSTSCRIPT

How to read the title? The letters represent the names of the players. The title USAGE remains without the character Mr. G who does not physically take part in the play but for whom all the other players are waiting. Mr. U represents Urbanism, Mr. S â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sustainability, Mr. A - Architecture, Mr G is Godot (the character) from Samuel Beckettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play and finally Mr. E represents the Environment.

The play is a collage of several inspirations taken from books, films and music. USAGE is a play - an alternative format of looking at the different elements and issues that affect, and are involved in the design dialogue. In turn, USAGE represents the possible different ways of understanding the built environment and various design principles and methods through cross referencing different fields, disciplines and ideologies. Because of the use of unorthodox media and material, USAGE attempts a new innovative perspective.


The scenes divide the play according to the changes in the environment; like time, temperature or air density and the direction of the smoke (The Story of Cain and Able). The main elements of the environment; weather and time are represented by the clock and thermometer and are the central focal point in the room. The rising temperature and the passing of time aim to foster and nurture the feeling of expectancy of the reader. During the play the temperature increases, which represents the lack of care during the design process pertaining to global warming and energy efficiency.

The provocations between Architecture and Urban Design (they exist in the same environment) are mainly looked at in the First Act. The constant argument between them uses thoughts and fields such as political ideology, economics, capitalism and, religion.

The Second Act represents anonymity and destruction. At the start of the second act I used an adaptation of William Blake’s quotation used by Ebenezer Howard in his “Garden Cities Of Tomorrow”. In USAGE this is a point of nostalgia for the characters, and is a respectful and appreciative reference of this revolutionary point in Urban Design history.

The main discussion in the second act surrounds the old and new techniques and technologies of creating new sustainable design. These can be both creative and destructive in the same instance and induce emotions of fear or security depending on use. In the play, Francis Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” inspires the penultimate scene and dialogue. Here the attention is drawn to the sense of smell. Bombs for urban scale destruction were first used during the First World War, primarily represented by the use of gas in the environment. Since then, the design process has reached the reality of total urban destruction with the atomic bomb. Here, the Vietnam War is our theatre of the absurd, where, among American troops, the smell of napalm meant that a particular area was ‘safe’. Do senses affect belief systems?

The “theatre of the absurd”, where nothing much happens and nothing much is said, partly illustrates my position and argument in relation to environmental sustainability in/and urban design. There is much rhetoric on the subject of the environment at local, national, and global scales but with very little concerted and genuine efforts to reduce consumption and pollution at global level. The reasons ultimately are one of economics, cost effectiveness and capital accumulation.

Any responses to global scale environmental issues would undoubtedly have a huge impact on the possibilities of any design becoming a reality rather than remaining in the realms of theory, utopianism and idealism.

The sustainable development problem and debate began as a reaction to the increasing ecological crisis in modern societies and societal structures. Social inequalities and social deprivation are products of economic and wider social crisis such as current high unemployment. The overriding crisis is the cultural modernization process, which is tightly linked to and propelled by market forces and capital accumulation. I see that the ecological


is only one of many other wider environmental crises which are interrelated and respond to the structures of governance.

The technology to create sustainable and eco-friendly urban interventions on local and global scales exists today as well as the theory and ideology. What is lacking is the will of decision makers and will be left to only theorise and contemplate. This is ultimately the folly of sustainable design discourse and it’s indeed the ‘theatre of the absurd’. Rem Koolhas has a far more critical opinion of the wider problematique facing future urbanism.

“[…] Urbanism doesn’t exist; it is only an ideology in Marx’s sense of the word. Architecture does really exist, like Coca Cola: Though coated with ideology, it is a real production, falsely satisfying a falsified need. Urbanism is comparable to the advertising propagated around Coca Cola- pure spectacular ideology. Modern capitalism, which organized the reduction of all social life to a spectacle, is incapable of presenting any spectacle other than that of our own alienation. Its urbanistic dream is a masterpiece.”

Koolhaas, R., and Mau, B. (1997) S, M, L, XL, Koln, Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH, Germany / p. 1269


REFERENCES

FIRST ACT

Do The Right Thing Spike Lee Universal Pictures, USA 1989 “[…] the building […] as a part of the city, is “outside” architecture-it is simply a pile of stones. Beauty and ornament can transform the stones into an architectural building, a transformation that paradoxically requires a separation of the architect from the building, from its site, from its construction.” Alberti, L. B. (1986) The Ten Books of Architecture, New York, Dover / p. 56

“[…] the destruction of 300,000 residential units over a five-year period would cost 10 billion francs per year, while creating 1000,000 new jobs. In addition, at the end of the demolition / reconstruction, the fiscal receipts would be 6 to 10 billion francs above the sum of public moneys invested. One final question arises here. In a period of economic crisis, will mass destruction of the large cities replace the traditional politics of large public works? If that happens, there will be no essential difference between economic-industrial recession and war.” Virilio, P. (1991) The Overexposed City, Semiotext(e) / p. 15-16

“[…] So the Architect, in practice, is continually obliged to be something other than an architect. Time and again he is forced to become something of sociologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a semiotician…And that he can rely in this to some extent on teamwork – that is, on having experts in the various fields working with him – does not change the situation very much, […] the architect finds himself obliged in his work to think in terms of totality, and this he must do no matter how much he may seem to have become a technician, a specialist, someone intent on specific operations rather than general questions.” Eco, U. (1986) Functionalism and Sign: The Semiotics of Architecture, New York. Columbia University Press / p. 74


SECOND ACT

“I will not cease from mental strife, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land”. William Blake

Howard, E. (1965) Garden Cities Of To-morrow, London, Faber and Faber / p. 50

“With the return of entertainment to the home, through the mechanical invention of phonograph, the radio, the motion picture, and the near prospect of television, the house has made up by gains in recreational facilities what it has lost through the disappearance of earlier household industries. Hence the proper design of the house has a new importance, in what, with greater leisure for the whole community, more time will probably be spent within its walls.” Mumford, L. “Housing” in Modern Architecture: International Exhibition / p. 184

Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola FFC–Omni Zetrope, USA 1979.

‘World is neither competition.

Wojciech Dziubek graduated from the Silesian University of Technology in Poland in 1998 and at the Bartlett School of Architecture - UCL, in the UK in 2001. He is a registered architect in both countries. He has gained considerable practical experience while working on projects in the UK, Ireland, Croatia, Greece, Barbados, America and South Africa developing skillful ability to deal with various design criteria. Wojciech works with a holistic approach and as a result his analysis, research and design work are all of a consistently high standard. Wojciech is highly motivated and committed to developing and producing the best design possible. His unique collaborative approach with scholars of both the Sciences and the Arts during the design and construction stages enhance projects with a multitude of disciplines. WojciechDziubek is an architect who is always open to experimentation, who pushes the boundaries of design and who believes that any vision can become the reality. His work is ambitious and innovative.

Think Space Pamphlets  

2nd Think Space Unconference Edition of the papers selected via PAST FORWARD Call for Papers

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