esamtkunstwerk the architecture of immersive unification
“Imagination creates reality.”
I. Introduction A
56_Thesis Project: Site - Program
B 71_Design Method
C 74_Graphic Timeline
D 76_Evaluation Criteria
G A 79_Bibliography
Research Question: How can an an architectural environment be designed is so completely immer-
sive in experience that individuals within this environment transcend their flawed worldly existences and are absorbed into a collective, unified vision of a free state of being in order for reconnect with their fellow beings in a harmonious society?
Purpose: A Gesamtkunstwerk seeks to unify any and all individuals that interact with it under a greater
collective vision through a fusion of art and technology. By attuning all elements of the work so that they reinforce and support the others, an environment is created that becomes so immersive to the point where mundane existence ceases and a state of true being is attained. The more complete the Gesamtkunstwerk, in that the mechanics at play block out any outside influences and hide any effort to construct this immersive environment, the more successful this effect to return all to â€˜true beingâ€™ becomes. The resultant goal is a society where working, living, and art-making have ceased to exist as isolated actions and are fuses into one and the same execution, allowing for a glimpse into ideal human existence and thus, utopia.
What was accomplished?
What is to be accomplished?
Succesful definition of Gesamtkunstwerk as applied to a variety of sites, societies, and individuals.
Locate a suitable site that enforces this idea of returning to a true human state of being.
Common underlying threads were found amongst all precendent studies in order to discern critical elements that are required of a successful Gesamtkunstwerk.
Specify what this new art-society requires in terms of infrasturcture, habitation, lifestyle assistance, and services.
Derivation of architectural qualities from each existing precedent in order to understand the spatial mechanics of a successful Gesamtkunstwerk.
Utlizie the spatial and architectural elements derived from established Gesamtkunstwerk to construct this environment of total-immersion. B
The total artwork; it seeks to unify all forms of art into one immersive experience. Each individual element exists to reinforce the others, resulting in the hyper-saturated immersive environment.
The state of overcoming the mundane existence of every day living. This infers an overcoming of worldly complications and enjoying an existence beyond that of the human scope.
Complete envelopment within a specific atmosphere or environment to the point where the outside world is beyond tangibility and all senses are registering this experience simultaneously. I 3
The perfect society in which all needs and worries of the people have been satiated and the only obligation is the free, unfettered existence of its citizens.
The critical appreciation of beauty and taste,more broadly expanded to the philosophical understanding of the relationship between nature, art and culture.
A mix of ‘architecture’ and ‘ecology’. Used to typically describe socially dense superstructures, arcology represents a self-sustaining, architectural self-contained community.
Gesamtkunstwerk: Architecture of Immersive Unification Gesamtkunstwerk is a term that sprang out of mid-‐1800s Germany and has come to define many diverse incidents over the years. Originally used by the German composer Richard Wagner to describe his synthesis of poetry, dance, and music into what he considers the ‘art-‐work of the future’, various manifestations of this concept have arisen over the years, leading to constant reinterpretation of what a true Gesamtkunstwerk actually is. Theater, architecture, individuals, and even whole societies have fallen under some correct definition of this ‘total art-‐work’, and have all pursued a very similar goal. The true purpose of a Gesamtkunstwerk is the blurring of art and society in such a way as to generate an overwhelming experience that allows individuals to transcend their mortal, physically human condition,
and become immersed in a collective, unified vision of social harmony. This thesis looks to critically evaluate subjects placed under the umbrella of Gesamtkunstwerk in order to discern the spatial and architectural aspects of what composes this immersive art-‐environment. With these spatial elements recognized, a pure architectural Gesamtkunstwerk can be successfully realized around this core tenant of utopic social orchestration.
The original Gesamtkunstwerk was the brainchild of Richard Wagner and the venue for his ‘art-‐
work of the future’: the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth Germany. “An anti-‐city, then, intended as a refuge from urban decay and a means of social restoration.”1 This legendary theater was constructed in 1876 to 1 25, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. I 5
be the mecca for Wagner’s attempt to salvage Germany’s culture from ‘art-‐meisters and culture peddlers.’ Its placement not in any urban centers, but very central to back-‐woods Bayreuth was an effort to underline the necessity of breaking individuals away from the “man-‐destroying march of culture,”2 and to “geographic centrality to be symbolic to the aspiration of the total work of art.”3 However, in direct violation of Wagner’s rebellious principles, “…mechanical production is the
11, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
25, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. D
Gesamtkunstwerk’s inassimilable element, it’s necessary other,”4 referring to the incredible amount of mechanization and technological work necessary to execute the sophisticated works to be performed in the Festspielhaus.
4 32, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. I 7
Fig Mechanized Rhinemaidens for Wagner’s Ring Cycle
The Building Stage: On Making Theater (1876), Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany, JPG
file,http://www.buildingstage.com/blog/wp-‐content/uploads/2009/09/Rhinemaidens1876-‐545x307-‐300x168.jpg (accessed December 14, 2011).
But what is the purpose of this? It is clear that Wagner was trying to break away from the obsession with mass production and art-‐culture atrophy that was occurring in metropolitan centers all over Europe. “Wagner would find a site for his festival theater that would help the public to rediscover its lost, organic self,”5 was the decision behind picking Germany-‐central Bayreuth, a location “Wagner held [Bayreuth] to be the mirror and microcosm of Germany at its most essential and a crucible in which the non-‐Germanic would be Germanized.”6 Wagner’s theater was a direct attempt at reconciling what he viewed to be a tragedy of mass-‐culture and national heritage and that through construction of this festival-‐theater-‐Gesamtkunstwerk and the writing of work to be executing specifically within this venue, 25, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
he could create an experience so immense that it would blur the lines of society and art to the point where no matter who was a spectator in this place, “It would bind together a people, and also serve as a common destination for a larger Volk, a Volk currently lost in the hurly-‐burly of industrialized culture.”7 Richard Wagner’s greatest goal was to free humanity from its own vices through a careful configuration of art and technology in the hopes that the individual would forge a connection not only to himself, but also to others in a grand, unified manner. This
What Bayreuth provided for Wagner is what Southern California and, far more significantly,
Florida did for Walt Disney, but on a larger scale. With Disney work already within the circles of popular 7
25, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
media, Steamboat Willy for example, it was only a matter of time before Walt Disney was to edify his visual empire in his personalized version of the Festspielhaus. “…Disney’s projects, particularly in the theme parks, was to create a grand unification of all the arts, welded to commerce and technology.”8 This goes parallel with the Wagnerian ideal of ‘Germanic crucible’ in that, except that instead of everything tying back to this pure ideal of Germania, it would relate all to Mickey-‐mania. Or more specifically, it would relate to the changing world events and directly respond to them, finding unification within comfort, as “Disneyland offers, as a recent exhibition termed it, an ‘architecture of
116, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
reassurance.”9 In the same way that Wagner was offering a salvation to the corrupted culture of the mid-‐1800s, Disney was creating a vehicle of salvation to a post-‐war America that was suffering from a decade of lost culture. “What Disneyland offered was a way of nationalizing the American masses while simultaneously assuaging postwar anxieties about the perils of mass culture.” 10 But how could it accomplish this message of comfort and optimism for the future? “[Mickey is] a clean, happy, little fellow who loves life and folk…He is youth, the great unlicked and uncontaminated.”11 Disney has 9
116, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
121, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
118, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. D
constructed a focus being that everyone can relate to, no matter the social or economic standing. In the way that Wagner envisioned a ‘Germanic crucible’ in which all were to be made German, and thus existentially pure, Disney envisioned the same sort of experience through direct relation with Mickey: a metaphor for childhood discovery and a ‘true way of being.’ Surrounding this comprehensive anchor of puer aeturnus (forever young) is a very carefully constructed environment of Disneyland itself, only to perpetuate this suspended understanding of pure existence. For Wagner, it was his Bayreuth theater, but for Disney, it was something else entirely: a spatial, interactive environment. “The landscape and architecture that encompass Disneyland work in much the same fashion as at Bayreuth, creating a vast,
complex, multi-‐sensory limen to mark the transition from the ostensibly real world of the exterior to the fantasy world of the performance space.”12
12 124, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. D
Fig. Disneyworld, an immersive fantasy realm. 13
Fig. Disneyworld, an immersive fantasy realm.
The Magic Kingdom (2011), Orlando, Florida, JPG file, http://www.map-‐world.net/wp-‐content/uploads/2011/03/walt-‐ disney-‐world-‐maps.jpg ( accessed D ecember 14, 2011). 13 The Magic Kingdom (2011), Orlando, Florida, JPG file, http://www.map-‐world.net/wp-‐content/uploads/2011/03/walt-‐
disney-‐world-‐maps.jpg (accessed December 14, 2011). D
With the anchor clearly identified as a utopian figure of perpetual youth, the venue is set to immerse all who visit into a fantasy realm where this utopian existence is possible. Even the custodians of this living dream are no longer merely workers, but ‘Imagineers’ that tend to the perpetual existence of this manifest fantasy and become an additional layer between ‘reality’ and the ‘Disney-‐reality’. “…thus an employee becomes a ‘cast member’, a public area ‘onstage,’ a restricted area ‘backstage,’ hiring for a job is referred to as ‘casting,’ a job interview an ‘audition,’ and a uniform a ‘costume’. This theatrical language applies to all Disney employees, not just actors, leading to the peculiar experience of addressing electricians and executives equally as ‘cast members.’ The show, such appellations make clear, is not just what happens ‘on-‐stage’, it is what happens
everywhere. The aim of such rhetoric is to replace the simple worker with a new composite: the worker-‐actor.”14 With even the workers and caretakers of this utopia becoming a critical part of this lived fantasy, the lived experience only becomes more visceral and immersive, and thus, successful.
Between Bayreuth and Disneyland, the concept of site as immersive environment becomes
incredibly clear as a critical element to a successful Gesamtkunstwerk. Also, as in both sites, technology and mechanization are used to achieve this blurring of art and society, including blurring out the use of mechanization so that the ‘magic’ is buried within the experience to the point where even if it is 14
127, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
perceivable, its not registered as a separate entity. Also discussed is the availability of a strong personality that embodies this pure being of existence. For Disney, it was the essence of youth embodied by Mickey Mouse, for Wagner, Percival on his quest for the Holy Grail. But it was less of what these beings were, and more importantly, what they stood for. But what happens when this idealistic character becomes a real entity and the lines between art and society are truly blurred? Andy Warhol represents this sort of ‘lived-‐Gesamtkunstwerk,’ not only in himself even as “Warhol was, or at least aimed to be, his own multimedia spectacular, an all-‐consuming vortex that aimed to synthesize all modes of performance,”15 but in his art-‐lifestyle in and around his studio. The Factory provided a 15
140, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. D
sanctuary for him and his ‘Superstars’ to live freely in whatever way they wanted; usually this ended up in assisting with Warhol’s silk screening and filmmaking, generating an assembly-‐line atmosphere of art-‐ business that tied into Warhol’s personal life. Otherwise, the atmosphere in The Factory was that of a free for all, with orgies, rampant drug use, and activities usually seen as taboo by conventional social standards because, essentially: “…Warhol drew his Superstars from the ranks of the socially and politically marginalized: drag queens, flamboyant performers, drug addicts, beautiful lost things, and queers of all stripes.”16 This was in fact, entirely necessary for the art-‐lifestyle to be manifest within The Factory, only so far as everyone was given the grace to be the person they wanted to be, not the person 16
147, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
society needed to be. As an immersive atmosphere that pulled everyone in, Warhol embodied this in his personal ‘aura’, which was arguably, the most tangible aspect of his personalized lived-‐ Gesamtkunstwerk. “Some company recently was interested in buying my ‘aura’. They didn’t want my product. They kept saying ‘We want your aura.’”17 This aura was what kept everyone in The Factory open to live their lives as individually and as true to themselves as possible. In the way that Warhol was willing to endorse anything as a part of his total-‐business-‐art-‐performance, Warhol was equally willing to endorse the ‘true’ lifestyles of his ‘Superheroes.’ This feedback loop concluded to include much of this ‘alternative’ lifestyle into the works that came out of The Factory, in that much of the raw street culture
77, Warhol, Andy. THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol. New York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1975. D
content seen in Warhol’s films was pulled directly from the individual and shared lives of his ‘Superheroes.’ However the only way this functioned successfully is because Warhol and The Factory were both vacuums, in that what occurred there was so unique to the personalities and atmosphere of this immersive environment and any sort of ‘leak’ in or out of this sealed space was a threat to the subliminal art-‐society. “It should come as no surprise, then, that Warhol, like any Gesamtkunstwerk, was under a constant threat of leakage and thus of contamination… We saw it first at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, with its multiplication of blinders that hide all signs of labor beneath a veneer of perfect organicism.”18 Essentially saying, the environment had to be so immaculately constructed so that the
151, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
effort and physical work of maintaining this environment was either so blurred into the basic habitation of the space or was buried so deep within the environment (Wagner’s theater technology at Bayreuth) that it would not pose a threat to shattering this artistic micro-‐society. In this, Warhol’s aura set the tone for the environment, which was infinitely perpetuated by his ‘Superheroes’ and the work-‐life that they all shared within The Factory and within Warhol’s localized vision. A vision, perhaps, of a limited utopic society who’s living, working, and art-‐making were not isolated actions, but synergetic aspects that drew energy and inspiration from each other.
Two examples that embody this ideal of a live-‐work utopic society, but within the confines of
very specific built sites are the New Harmony community in New Harmony, Indiana in 1814, and the
Oneida Community in Oneida, New York in 1848. What makes unique these two examples is that instead of a secular, spiritually neutral environment, these societies were driven along religious grounds, controlled by a singular spiritual leader, and both centered on a communal complex within which all functions of the society were carried out.
19 fatcontroller5352, “Oneida Community Mansion” (2008), Oneida, New York, JPEG file, http://v3.cache4.c.bigcache.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/43562722.jpg?redirect_counter=2 (accesse d December 13, 2011). 20
F. Bate, “New Harmony Community” (1838), The Association of all Classes of all Nations, London. D
In both examples of an idealized (New Harmony) and constructed (Oneida) utopic communities, living and working was done within a central compound, the idea being that with a society tightly woven together in the live-‐work environment would be more conducive to accepting a greater vision of purpose. In the Oneida community, this was presented as ‘Perfectionism’, “a form of Christianity with two basic values; self-‐perfection and communalism. These ideals were translated into everyday life through shared property and work. Noyes' solution was a society where the interest of one member became the interest of all -‐ the enlargement of the family.”21 This sharing of physical space, possessions, and due to instituted belief in ‘Complex Marriage, even spouses were a shared relationship amongst the “The Oneida Story,” Oneida, http://www.oneida.com/aboutoneida/the-oneida-story/ (accessed December 13, 2011).
bigger body. This all occurred in the Oneida mansion that expanded over the course of the communities existence to contain the growing family and to support the multitude of functions that were required for the day to day affairs of the community. The New Harmony project was similar to this in its community orientation, but had a more specific end goal in mind with its inception. “The Harmonists combined the Swabian work ethic ("Work, work, work! Save, save, save!") with the Benedictine rule ("Pray and work!"). This resulted in an unheard of economic achievement that was recognized as "the wonder of the west."22 By orchestrating the lifestyle so rigidly within the confines of the colony, the stated goals of “Historic New Harmony, Indiana,” Historic New Harmony, http://maxkade.iupui.edu/newharmony/home.html (accessed
December 13, 2011). D
the community become the shared vision of everyone residing within. Just like the Oneida community, this togetherness allowed not individual interpretations of a shared vision, but the same interpretation amongst everyone, resulting in resounding economical and productive success. It is key to note that the render of the New Harmony colony never got built, but the arrangement of a central cloister around four industrial facilities and speaks of a shared housing situation that revolved around a work cycle – relating directly back to the core tenets of the Harmonist agenda. This essential ties together a monastic life scheduling, similar to ‘hours’, to a production facility that is essentially a programmatic fusion of high-‐yield industry and religious monastery. Both communities, at their barest form, are cults of
personality around a common goal or ideal, a description easily pinned to Warhol, and did their best to manifest a suitable site to host their utopian social experiments. While neither fully satisfies what a Gesamtkunstwerk demands in terms of artistic enterprise, the blurring of this societies live-‐work situation and synthesis of lifestyle elements towards a shared, individually transcendent purpose.
This grand, unified art-‐society is an incredible feat to accomplish from scratch, and even more
insurmountable when suddenly applied to a current society. The closest attempt to successfully accomplish this post-‐establishment Gesamtkunstwerk could be found within the years of Stalinist Russia; in this, the total-‐art transcends a singular physical location and becomes a pure social condition. The initial support for this slow movement towards Stalinist Totalitarianism came from Nietzsche’s D
assumption that, “If… the world as it is can only be justified aesthetically, then it is even more true that only such a justification is possible for the building of a new world.”23 This opens up this new Stalinist society to all sorts of aesthetic modifications in order to solidify this new ordered lifestyle that was demanded by the reformed Soviet society. Along the lines of aesthetics, artists of the state manifested this lifestyle in visual and written media, propagating this myth of Stalinist superiority. In the same way that Wagner sought to re-‐connect society back to its true state of existence with the mythic plays, party artists strove to create a cultural environment that “…liberates the inhabitants of utopia from blind 4, Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-‐Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ
Pr, 1992. I 30
obedience to the laws handed down by unseen creators – Malevich, Rodchenko, Khlebnikov, and others – but inspires in them love for their creator and the creator of their world: Stalin.”24 The work created here was not that of distance legend, but legend of the immediate present and that of Stalinist idealism. It also disregards any sort of classical history in that it is irrelevant, in literal recollection, iconographic significance, and use of classic tales of antiquity “…because it is based on the thesis that sacred history takes place here among us, and that the gods and demiurges –Stalin and his ‘Iron Guard’ – constantly working their world-‐transforming miracles in the here and now of the 24 114, Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-‐Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ Pr, 1992.
everyday.”25 This manifested into slogans, artwork, songs, poems, stories and a myriad of media that supported the totalitarian life of the new Stalinist society. In the same way that the Disney fantasy was manifest in a broad range of media, the mythic Stalinist fantasy was perpetuated similarly.
113, Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-‐Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ
Pr, 1992. I 32
The Director and his Nation (1936), Northwestern University, JPG file, http://ahoy.tk-‐
This fulfills the criteria for the total-‐performance of the Gesamtkunstwerk ideal, in that the art-‐work-‐ lifestyle was so intertwined However, a specific physical location was unnecessary; Stalinist totalitarianism was to be found in all corners of Russian Soviet society, and only because it had to be.
The last utopic example of an ideal societies come as theoretical models of what could be a
Gesamtkunstwerk, as an alternative, parasitic social construct that exists alongside current society as jk.net/PosterImages/Stalin_leading_his_nation_to_Victory.jpg (accessed December 14, 2011). 27
The Great Parent (1937), Fox News Static Images, JPG file,
http://www.foxnews.com/static/managed/img/Politics/stalin_parents.jpg (accessed December 14, 2011).
humanity transitions from its current urban condition to a new environment conducive to a people without obligation.
28 Gezicht Op New Babylonische Sectoren (1971), Collection of the Gemeentemuseum, Haag, NL, JPG file,http://www.megastructure-‐reloaded.org/typo3temp/pics/f979158b75.jpg (accessed December 14, 2011).
New Babylon is a theoretical architectural construct of massive scale that is self-‐generative ad infinitum. As long as its inhabitants, homo luden (men at play) are continually utilizing the space in ways that require expansion, the space will be subdivided into different programmatic usages based upon the needs of the occupants. “At first one sees, in among the conglomerates, isolated sectors appear that become poles of attraction for the former to the extent that, with the time consumed in work diminishing, the settlement becomes disorganized. During this time, the sectors are meeting places, socio-‐ cultural centers of a kind; then, as their number is augmented and the links that unite them increased, activity within the sectors becomes specialized and increasingly autonomous in relation to the residential areas.”29
Nieuwenhuis, Constant. “New Babylon.” The Hague, 1974.
This details an organic growth of this new cityscape, one that is dependent only on the spontaneous desires of a new social archetype that will inhabit this space. Space only exists as it is needed by the lifestyle of these new citizens that, as the name homo luden implies, is entirely made of play. Man in New Babylon has no obligation to do anything further than exist in whatever free way he wants, interacting with others and the space he inhabits in just a free manner. Likewise, the space evolves and grows to ergonomically fit the ad hoc demands of the growing needs of this alternate humanity that no longer has a need to be anything more than free spirits. This is only accomplished through some unknown technology, and with the power of environmental manipulation at their hands, the homo ludens exist “Without the passivity of tourists, but fully aware of the power they have to act upon the
world, to transform it, to recreate it. They dispose of a whole arsenal of technical implements for doing this, thanks to which they can make the desired changes without delay.”30 Technology here plays a critical role in enabling the free environmental play for the inhabitants of New Babylon, thus enabling free, unbridled existence of their pure beings. The unique aspect about New Babylon is that it begins not as a sudden jump towards a utopian society, but rather a slowly self-‐building urban alternative to a world that is useful to humanity as long as it is required to function in a specific way. Without the constraints of work and existential obligation, a new urban archetype is required to sustain this new homo luden, the Percival being, and essentially, the Mickey Mouse in all of us. 30 Nieuwenhuis, Constant. “New Babylon.” The Hague, 1974. I 38
It is clear a Gesamtkunstwerk can manifest itself in many different forms, from the tangible
physical site, to the intangible social body, to the theoretic urban environment, to even the individual human being. The architectural elements of these many occurrences aren’t always clear, as the realization isn’t always spatial. Certainly Warhol’s Factory was a physical space, but was only activated by Warhol, his Superheroes, and his oh-‐so-‐marketable aura. But this aura is what permeates any of these individual examples and is what composes the magic of the Gesamtkunstwerk phenomenon. This aura, these environments, are to be existential sanctuaries in that they are conducive to the individual freeing themselves from their current life-‐obligations, and embracing their true, pure state of being for as long as they are immersed within. Beyond that, though, is the other critical component to the
Gesamtkunstwerk is the embracing of a collective ideal that is only possible when all shackles of the daily mundane routine have been removed from the individual and the common goal is introduced through this immersive environment as a seamless part of this immersive environment. At Bayreuth, this was the mythic Germanic legend portrayed in theater and executed via technological means in order to convey this idea of pure Germany. In Disneyworld, it was the massive, spatial movie set of the theme part that tied the total-‐performance of all Disney media to a lived-‐performance of the guests within this fantasy realm. Warhol’s Factory was a place for him to explode his ‘aura’ within a space and allow his Superheroes existential freedom to be the people they were, and not the people society expected them to be, which resulted in an environment of a total-‐art collaborative. Oneida and New Harmony show I 40
that through communal living and a lifestyle of purpose oriented around a common goal, as long as success in that purported goal can be had. Stalinist realism, in all of its complications, proved that through media conglomeration of bringing mythic ideals and proportions out of the past and future into the current reality, this immersive environment can be created without walls and ceilings, allowing the lines between society and artwork to blur just enough to generate this massively immersive environment on a truly social scale. Finally, from New Babylon, with these beings existing without needs, obligations, or constructions of any manner being forced upon them will require an entirely new sort of urban environment in which to inhabit and utilize in their transcendent new lifestyle. All of these represent an orchestration of society towards a singular, collective ideal that is accomplished through a D
potent mix of art and technology. Ideally, technology would be used to blur the lines between art and society fully, so that this transcendent effect is fully realized, but then again, “Gesamtkunstwerk is impossible. It is a lantern image, a ghost in glass. Utopia, thus nowhere.”31 However, each of these unique moments prove that a Gesamtkunstwerk isn’t about creating a utopia verbatim, but rather laying the groundwork so that a group of individuals are able to forget about their personal existential condition and tap into a greater moment of shared vision. It is within this flicker of human
31 8, Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007.
transcendence created by the work itself, of human acknowledgement of a greater wholesome purpose, that the vision of utopia manifests.
Initial Collage - Scale: The first investigation into the study of Gesamtkunstwerk led me to a
preliminary understanding of scale, and of imbued meaning across different scales. It was understood that the same concept or idea could be transcriped across multiple mediums at multiple scales, all compounding on each other to amplify the meaning to the point where it was perceivable beyond a ephemeral sensation. The essential question being challenged here was whether or not it was feasible for a concept or idea to be manifest at an infinite scale and if so, how to approach the challenge.
Fig. 1 Using the golden ratio as the primary geometry, layering and proportional scaling led to a visualization of a spiral that, if an infinite zoom function were possible, would continue forever.
Fig. 2 This â€˜flame fractalâ€™ is a visualization of a mathematical function that operates via an algorithm. This inherently scalar system is represented at three levels: the white triangular base, the green function, and the orange derivation.
Final Collage - Metamorphosis: From the initial exploration in imbedded meaning and the idea of communication of a consistent message across an infinite level of scale, the idea of total design became clear. In this sense, each aspect of the design is in direct dialogue to each other piece of the work, resulting in a design that strongly communicates a message. The final collage for this came from a believe that the strongest design is one that clearly stands as a synthesis of all component parts, and the result was a horizontal geometric cascade. (Fig. 3) The initial emergent geometry slowly changes as each member is simultaneously the geometry before it and behind it, as well as containing its own unique character. Looking at the macro-scale, the metamorphic effect exists whether only it is only one, many, or all panels in the composition. The idea being that within the basic unit, the design concept clearly exists and only becomes further amplified with the addition of parts that play off of the initiator.
Experimental Mind Map - Hexagon Set: With the need to organize the diverse collection of
elements that started to fall within the research boundaries of Gesamtkunstwerk, the logical choice was a visual map. However, it seemed inadequate to merely connect ideas in space with other ideas without an understanding that these ideas did not just connect at a binary level, but in an interwoven systematic level. Nothing functions or exists as an independent element outside of a system, and with the understanding of Gesamtkunstwerk as a collection of many elements that share a synchronious goal, the mapping must show it. Thus, the hexagon map emerged as a way of showing multiple levels of interwoven connection between elements in a system, in a similar way that multiple elements acting in harmony manifest as the unifying total-artwork.
HEXAGON SET SYSTEMS MAPPING ACROSS A MATRIX
DIRECT RELATIONSHIP INDIRECT RELATIONSHIP
Conclusion: This desire to manifest utopia on earth can only be possible through the aesthetic
understanding of the total art. In the same way that the true Gesamtkunstwerk unifies all artwork under one grand ideal as a means of providing a glimpse into this possible utopia, the architectural Gesamtkunstwerk should unify all aspects of humanity into one equalized society that collectively strives to achieve a level of social harmony unseen in history. This society of complete immersion must be kept within a vaccum, lest the contaminated elements of the flawed outside world leak in and ruin the constructed total . These elements of unification, sealed vaccuum, and complete immersion can only be accomplished through a fusion of art and technology, utilizing each to set the stage and keep the Gesamtkunstwerk â€˜engineâ€™ running, lest it fail to maintain the total-art environment.
Hypothesis: To achieve an architectural Gesamtkunstwerk, the project would have to encompass a
small sub-pocket of contemporary society. Here, they would be cut off from direct access to ‘mass culture’, placing importance on the pilgrimage element not only in physical separation, but also as a psychological cleansing from a contaminated society to a pure one. With this space, cognition of any sort of ‘outside world’ purely in terms of urban and social perameters would be impossible, as the inhabitants would be fully immersed in an environment of ‘total-creation.’ Within this space, each individual would be allowed to practice whatever craft or trade he desired, producing goods, art, or both. The selling of such goods would provide for the shared maintenance of this massive-factory monastery and for the upkeep of the advanced machinery, tooling, and raw materials used by the craftsmen. Living space would be shared and arrayed around the central cloister, where agriculture and crafting facilities are located. Foodstuffs would be of no concern, as all agriculture is automated as to free the citizens of this society from work-play. There would be no restrictions on family dynamics or social restriction, aside from everyone developing into an artisancraftsman. The daily schedule would stay consistent, each day having its own specific ‘hours’, similar to those in a true monastery. Expansion of the colony, to support a growing population, would be achieved through large scale modular system designed in-tandem with the colony’s master plan itself. Here the Gesamtkunstwerk manifests; in a society so tied to that of the ‘real’ world, but through a highly superficial channel of finance and consumer demands. Throught the living of this scheduled work-lifestyle, each of the craftsmen would be lost in their personal art work, transcending any sort of mundane real world in their personal immersive experience. Children raised within the colony would only know sublime craft as their purpose, and their collective purpose to sustain the community. The entire environment and thus, community, reads as ‘pure creation.’ The only idolatry would be that of the craftsman, he who makes with his hands. As that is the only man and demiurge the people eventually come to know, this forge-monastery will provide a self-celebratory ‘arcology’ to those who worship the grand fabricator: man himself.
Gesamtkunstwerk Timeline: This timeline was constructed as an effort to find specific trends that each precedent shared and to derive the critical common trends necessary for the success of each. This was also instrumental in the mapping of each manifestation in relation to the historical context of its emergence and to begin the process of finally decanting the major spatial and architectural aspects inherent in each.
GESAMTKUNSTWERK CHRONOLOGY MAPPING THE MANY MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GESAMTKUNSTWERK ACROSS THE AGES
NEW HARMONY COMMUNITY
What: Founded originally in Weimar, the Bauhaus school was Walter Gropius’ personal academic project. Here would be the learning place for all craftsmen, artisans, and eventually architects, to work and learn together in order to more effectively synthesize all skills and disciplines. The school and administration stressed minimalistic design strategies but also designs that had a strong correlated harmony between the function of an object or building and its design. Where: Weimar > Dessau > Berlin, Germany. Final campus in Dessau. Architectural Significance: While not formally offering architecture classes until 1927, the atmosphere of comprehensive design could not reject emerging architectural implications. Most of the true architectural realizations came during the years when Gropius administrated, and were influenced by the flexible and innovative atmosphere of all-encompassing craft space. The resulting Bauhaus – International style was one of clean lines, structural expression, and honesty of form and materials in order to be as legible to the experience as possible.
What: Local residence built in Chicago by Frank Lloyd Wright that is to have been the greatest example of the Prairie style and is considered uniquely American. In his house, Wright employed an approach of limited Gesamtkunstwerk towards designing everything from the shell of the building down to the furniture and light fittings. Because of how well composed and crafted all components were to the construction of the house, its quality is the measuring stick for all other Prairie style buildings designed after. Where: Chicago, Illinois, United States. Architectural Significance: Wright himself: “It is impossible to think of the building as one thing and the furnishings as another… they are all mere structural details of its character and completeness.” This view towards building design was not one of architectural and product design, but rather of environment orchestration towards a greater artistic ideal or goal. The textiles and lamp fittings would be pleasing, and the house wonderful as independent elements, but only together is their true value realized.
1922AD - 1991AD
What: Richard Wagner’s legendary theater venue that served to fully manifest his ‘total art’ theater. Accompanied by his custom-designed performances that were meant for only his theater, the siting architecture, and technological marvels allowed a very sophisticated performance in which the audience could, regardless of heritage, become Germanized and understand and celebrate the cultural glory of Germany. This was Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk. Where: Bayreuth, Germany. Architectural Significance: With the purpose of creating an environment in which all could celebrate Germanic ancestry together as equals, architecture was important in two critical ways: one was the technical deftness which was applied to the mechanics of the stage functions and incredible attention to experience-generating elements, such as the careful placement of the band pit. The second was the overall siting in Bayreuth, not only geographically central in the nation, but also as a town in which many aspects of German culture were brought together in social synthesis; elements which only further fueled Wagner’s intention.
What: The 2nd of three communities started by German Harmonist George Rapp, New Harmony was supposed to be a self-contained, hyper-industrious settlement for the society. After being sold to utopian thinker Robert Owen and William Maclure, Owen invited many participants to his ‘model community’ that was based off of and would expand upon the industrious fundamentals of Rapp’s society. New Harmony would eventually produce Robert Dale Owen, who is credited with the founding of the Smithsonian Institute. Where: Posey County, Indiana, United States Architectural Significance: Owen envisioned more than just a community, but one that was unified under a greater social purpose; architecture was the vehicle to achieve this. The romantic renderings of the final form of New Harmony was a large, monastic colony, with a central cloister surrounded by joined residences, four large factories joined to this ring, and a meeting structure located in the cloister’s center. Also under the theme of monasticism was the protocol that no one had individual sovereignty or property and while this was theoretically positive, it was one of the major reasons the community eventually failed.
1848AD - 1881AD
What: Religious commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes in the persuit of a perfectionist community, in where there is no sin and everyone is perfect in preparation for Heaven. Major social protocols within the community were Communalism, Complex Marriage, Male Continence, Mutual Criticism, and Ascending Fellowship. Production and industrialization was strong as well, with every unskilled member of the community shifting through every job, so that there was a strong innate sense of ownership for each aspect of the community. Where: Oneida, New York, United States. Architectural Significance: The major compound of the Oneida community was the Mansion Hall. In a monastic manner similar to Owen’s New Harmony, this single building boasting 35 apartments, 9 dorm rooms, 9 guest rooms, museum, meeting, and dining spaces was considered to be the focal point for the small community and kept the social aspect to the community at a very intimate level.
What: A massive baroque church that was begun by Johann Bernhard von Erlach and finished by his son that attempted to synthesize the most significant religious works in the history of Western Architecture. Where: Vienna, Austria. Architectural Significance: With the goal of the church to unify the major western works of The Temple of Solomon, Hagia Sophia, The Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, Dome des Invalides, and St. Pauls Cathedral, the design intent was not only to unify the religious significance of each work, but the total aesthetic and architectural intent in order to amplify the overall experience of the church.
1825AD - 1829AD
1813AD - 1883AD
RICHARD WAGNER What: Dis-enchanted German composer, conductor, theater director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist, and writer known for his ‘music-dramas’. His distaste of mass-produced culture and industrialization originated in a sense that cultural works were being cheapened and traded as commodities and that in artisan-quality, handcrafted synthesis, great works of social and cultural art could be produced. Where: Germany, Munich and Bayreuth specifically. Architectural Significance: Wagner’s decanting of the musical arts into three core ‘sister arts’ of Dance, Tone, and Poetry, and the sublime synthesis of all three to produce a masterpiece is an easy allegory to synthesis of disparate-but-related disciplines in the pursuit of grand architectural success. Through practicing fusion, each element compliments and interweaves with the others to produce a richer, more sophisticated experience.
1716AD - 1737AD
1475AD - 1564AD
ONEIDA COMMUNITY MICHAELANGELO What: Master multi-discplinary artisan who worked in mediums across the spectrum and completed many works for clients such as the Vatican and the Medici family, primarily in sculpture and painting. Where: Italy, Florence and Rome specifically. Architectural Significance: Supported the popular Rennaissance artisan position that there were very little, strict divisions, if any at all, between architecture, interior design, sculpture, painting and even engineering; essentially a cohesive unity between all fabrication arts of the time.
1919AD - 1933AD
CASA VAN DE VELDE What: Private residence designed by Henry Van de Velde, but more accurately described as private residential experience tailored to his family. Set within the Art Nouveau style, the house was spared no detail from Van de Velde’s scrutiny, even expanding beyond the house to designing furniture and even the clothing and dresses for his wife to wear and even further down to the cutlery in the kitchen in order to fully manifest the desired experience that Henry wanted. Where: Uccle, Belgium. Architectural Significance: This attempt by Van de Velde was a unified synthesis of all the arts in order to drive his Art Nouveau residence style. Even down to the flowing dresses he designed for his wife, the style of the overall house carries through all details of the residence. With such a comprehensive view towards the ‘total art’ design of the house, the architectural significance of the project is subordinate to the total aesthetic experience of all synergized designed elements.
What: The social e many cultural aspe munist Party ideol ian society. The co dedication to the u the party sresulted and media orches Stalinist party real Where: Russia Architectural Sign intent of Stalinist R eternity, it was mo and total atmosph With the orchestr paigns tied to a hig state, an attempt sorts where individ to the goals and p words for the good
What: What was initially research into an efficient institutional communications network between laboratories and defense installations became almost an independent society parallel to ours. With now what exists as a worldwide open forum for all people of all nations. Everyone can enter and essentially generate a new identity, or multiple identies, creating an environment of honesty, dishonesty, and generally whatever flies. What is a source of knowledge is also a source of vice and all positives can have just as many negatives. It has connected all of humanity in a single sphere of understanding that is activated and enhanced only by the quantity and quality of those participating. Where: Everywhere and nowhere. Architectural Significance: The Internet is essentially a new plane of existence for humanity. With the limitations of physical and mortal existence established in our reality, The Internet is a place where identity and physical presence does not determine existence, but rather merely add to the turbulent and chaotic waves of a semi-organized reality. Its continual influence by contemporary real society allows it to evolve in tandem with the world at large, but in a way that diverges from it in many ways. Architecture, physical modifications, role playing, and all sorts of avatar-based interaction that are impossible in the real life, can be made physical to some degree on the Internet, and is a close step to humanity transcending our own mortal bodies.
What: A theoretical architectural project that was designed by Constant Nieuwenhuys and considered by many to be the architecture of hyper desire. In this constantly shifting macrospace, miniature moments of habitation and co-habitation are partitioned off by the individuals who are all part of this art-life society. This is so because there are no utilitarian functions that require attention; each member of this society is freed from the mundane protocol of 21st century society and is free to pursue his or her own desires to the fullest. Man can eat, sleep, defecate, and procreate, wherever and whenever he desires. Where: Any given city, floating above on piloti. Architectural Significance: This is a hyper theoretical take on how architecture and society can fuse together to change the nature of what society has become. Assuming a world free of obligation and constraint, architecture takes a completely new form and serves only to house the new society of ‘homo ludens’ whose life is made entirely of play and leisure. Architecture of this society is only conceptual, as we do not have the mindset in which to manifest it, but can only make educated assumptions regarding how this new urbanity would form and reform itself.
CONSTANT NEW BABYLON
What: Paolo Soleri’s personal project to construct an ‘Arcology’, a term used to describe the manifestation of fusion of architecture and ecology. This perpetually growing urban laboratory is home to his attempts to generate alternatives to the urban sprawl and to test any architectural, urban, or social hypothesis within the confines of this architectural desert oasis. Soleri continues this urban research alongside many volunteer participants who arrive on site to simultaneously learn and build Where: 70 miles north, Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Architectural Significance: This quasi-utopia was built as more of a self-expanding art installation than with a final goal in mind. Soleri and the Cosanti foundation are far more concerned with the experimental-test nature of this project than with any tangible end game. The purposefully open-ended nature of the project allows it a freedom to proceed multi-dimensionally and to generate not only answers to questions, but new questions that will require further testing and thus, further construction of the site ad infinitum.
LATE 1980’s AD
What: The second iteration of a Disney theme park, Disneyworld takes many visual and architectural notes from Disneyland, and expounds on the initial premise. By providing a pilgrimage site tied to a vast amount of visual and musical media, beginning with the Mickey Mouse club, Disneyworld assimilates all visitors into a constantly churning social theater in which the real world is blurred with the cartoon world of Walt Disney through architecture, character manifestations from the media realm, and various other details. Where: Orlando, Florida, United States. Architectural Significance: Before the Disneyworld or Disneyland sites were built, the media was already in place, giving strong context to the creation of such a park. Over the years, Walt Disney had pumped out much work in terms of music, television, animation, and artwork and to finally provide a simulated environment for this mélange of media to come together and become real was almost too easy. All constructions within the park, including its isolated nature away from society, is all part of the experience to separate the visitor from the ‘flawed’ world, and into the ‘utopia’ of Disney.
1959AD - 1975AD
What: With the failure of the Weimar republic to address the needs of post-war Germany, Adolf Hitler rose to power and harnessed the collective German nation towards his own end: the Third Reich. This was a comprehensive social reconstruction, reviving many classical architectural and social constructions, as well as providing a strong propaganda art that manifested in television, radio, drama, and visual media that tied the entire society together. Hitler even had an architect on retainer to manifest this neo-classical fascist master plan, not only for a re-envisioned Berlin, but for Germany and the world. Where: Berlin, Germany. Architectural Significance: By rekindling a lost sense of cultural pride, Hitler kicked post-Weimar republic into industrial and cultural overdrive. Television and radio programs were essential to the success of this unifying society, as it brought many aspects of German society together under one common ideal and one greater goal. This aspect of unity could not have arisen from merely one source, and a harmony between media, social control, economic command, military might, and architectural vision was required to produce the dramatic turnaround from the post-war years.
What: While Andy Warhol was a walking Gesamtkunstwerk, his personal studio space was simultaneously a part of Warhol’s character, but was very strong on its own. This is where Warhol and his ‘Superheroes’ (friends and associates from all social spectrums) were all collaborative in Warhol’s artistic greater vision. Between the printing and film making, everyone who spent time in The Factory was given freedom to do whoever or whatever they wanted, and quite often, this simple honest expression of self was the subject of many of Warhol’s contemporary and socially critical works. Where: Manhattan, New York, United States. Architectural Significance: The atmosphere that Warhol carried around was that of acceptance and sanctuary, in that he allowed everyone to be who they wanted. However, by providing a physical location of sanctuary, people could spend their time being the people they wanted and expressing themselves in as honest a way as possible. In this sense, the environment Warhol constructed between himself and The Factory was conducive to this freeform artistic self-expression in which the line between performance art and living was destroyed and in this resultant production, many projects on social commentary were developed naturally.
What: The social experimentation and assimilation of many cultural aspects mixed with a synergy to Communist Party ideology, resulted in Stalinistic totalitarian society. The concerted effort by party officials and dedication to the unified purpose of society to live for the party sresulted in an environment of social control and media orchestration towards the celebration of this Stalinist party realism. Where: Russia Architectural Significance: While the architectural intent of Stalinist Russia was that of monumentality and eternity, it was more the environmental constructions and total atmosphere of what Stalinist realism meant. With the orchestrated propaganda and media campaigns tied to a highly rigid lifestyle prescribed by the state, an attempt was made to create a social utopia of sorts where individuality and independence were second to the goals and progress of society as a whole; in other words for the good of the party.
What: An incredibly social and successful American painter, filmmaker, and master print maker who was highly influential in the visual art movement of pop art. His social circles are wide and many and inspiration and source material were commonly drawn from his associates and social scenes in which he spent time. Eventually, Warhol was to become a promoter for all art forms of hand-made or mass produced work, but would still focus on his avant-garde filmmaking and assembly line method of printmaking. Where: Manhattan, New York, United States. Architectural Significance: Warhol, in a sense, was a manifest Gesamtkunstwerk. It was around him that this aura of pop art and edgy artistic and personal expression drew a group of followers to his side and to his greater work. This was coupled with his atelier-hideout that furthered this personal atmosphere and provided a place for this personal self-expression and for collaborative artistic work that drew directly from this environment that was completely free for experimentation of any kind.
1933AD - 1945AD
1922AD - 1991AD
formally offering archisphere of comprehensive hitectural implications. ions came during the d were influenced by the all-encompassing craft national style was one nd honesty of form and he experience as pos-
1928AD - 1987AD
he Bauhaus school mic project. Here would n, artisans, and eventuther in order to more iplines. The school and design strategies but ated harmony between nd its design. ermany. Final campus in
What: In a world assumed to be devoid of life do to ‘atmoterrorism’, where a war has been fought to the point of atmospheric destruction to rid the enemy of their environment, Peter Sloterdijk’s neo-urban construct of the Foam City is that of a large, amorphous, enclosing mass in which all humans live only because the alternative outside is death. No longer are issues of social status and political achievement required because no institutional constructions are required to administrate this new society. Experiences here are situational, in that they are created merely by the presence of an individual in space and change as the individual’s mood shifts; this becomes compounded as more individuals move into this arena, causing a new ‘situation’. Where: Post-apocalyptic anywhere. Architectural Significance: This theoretical project is a reaction to total environmental destruction. The contemporary view is that we save ourselves and our world in time to successfully proceed as a society, but this assumes that humanity has overextended itself and ruined its own home. This new society can no longer progress forward technologically, and can merely exist and live on. Relieved of any sort of socio-racial obligation to progress the species, the individuals in this society are allowed to exist however they wish. This doesn’t require any architecture aside from the allencompassing super-structure that lies completely self-sustaining through an infinite passage of time and must be able to maintain humanity through these years undefined. This theoretical construction of what humanity needs to survive – but only to survive – poses a complex question about the obligations and demands of society and the architecture it inhabits.
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Geographic Study - Bayreuth:
To get a sense of how to properly place this new socio-architectural settlement, a study of Wagner’s Festspielhaus was undertaken. In his own ideal, Bayreuth represented everything pure about Germanic culture, and its location far away from the culturally-contaminated urban centers of Berlin or Munich demanded visitors make deliberate pilgimages. Here, the environment was so purely German, in both geographical centrality and cultural immersion, that Wagner’s theater became a crucible that was able to turn the non-German into German and allow collective celebration of Germanic culture. Even in Bayreuth, the theater is surrounded by a small forest, further isolating itself from any possible taint of outside influence.
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Site Study - Disneyland/world:
Walt Disney’s vision for his themeparks were incredibly parallel to Wagner’s vision for his theater. Instead of a theater, Disney used the metaphor of ‘movie’ to generate what is essentially a massive, spatially experiential film. One master zone is divided up into smaller sub-zones that allow for unfettered exploration in and amongst these different environments. In both Florida and California, Disney made great efforts to contain the internal experience from the outside world, constructing earthen ramps, demanding telephone poles be removed, even asking for air traffic be routed around the site to prevent, as with Bayreuth, mass culture from contaminating this immersive art-environment.
Initial Site Survey: To place this construction, sites were initially considered based on their strongest
physical attributes. The concept of complete unity led to a belief that sites that embodied the most extreme geographical features were most suitable to host this utopic society. In each of these first three sites, a relationship between three archetypes of water, plain, and mountain exists in some form and became the major criteria what could be a successful site. Isolation, in the notion of trascendent pilgrimage, started emerging in that these sites, in whole or in part, that required a jump away from society in order to get there.
41 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii II 56
34201 State Highway
33 Commercial Street
41 Kalanianaole Highway
34201 State Highway
33 Commercial Street
Intermediate Site Survey: Along this path of ‘pure’ being and ‘pure’ geographical terrain, the three
initial sites developed into very specific locations based on manifestations of true natural forms. Once again, water, plain, and mountain emerge as three pure archetypal forms of natural terrain, but instead of focusing on locations that attempt to embody all three, new sites were chosen that strongly represent each archetype individually. Also a criteria for site selection, due to the Gesamtkunstwerk’s utopic ideals, was the inherent beauty of each site, as such aesthetic strength would Still present, however, is a concept of tripartite pilgrimage, in that the immersive experience is only available once all three sites have been experienced, linking programmatic and geographic locations through the Gesamtkunstwerk ideal of total-synthesis.
Monti Sibillini The manifestation of absolute mountain.
Konza Tallgrass Prairie The manifestation of absolute plain.
Maiao Island The manifestation of absolute water. B
THE IDEAL SLOPE
VISSO MACERATA_ITALY Represents the ideal image of the slope. Located in central Italy, only nearby to small townships and villages. Requires somewhat of a journey to get to; well stocked land vehicles required.
THE IDEAL PLAIN
KONZA TALLGRASS PRAIRIE MANHATTAN_KANSAS Represents the ideal image of the plain. Located in Kansas at the heart of America’s “Great Plains” region. Not too far off the beaten path, but isolated merely by distance away from civilization. Requires only an off road vehicle to get to.
THE IDEAL BEACH
TAHITI_FRENCH POLYNESIA Represents the ideal form of the beach. Incredibly isolated from the world due to location in southern-central French Polynesia. Little civilization on the island aside from tiny township and small resot hotel. Requires a combination of plane and boat to get to; holds the greatest pilgrimage potential of all sites.
Site Conclusion: The most clear thread found amongst all site research and analysis in relationship the Gesamtkunstwerk research was the idea of isolation. The site, regardless of natural terrain or beauty, had to be a place of independence from this outside world. Any close proximity to the flawed society would allow for easy breaching of the mass culture into this pocket of sublime society. Another key revelation is that multiple sites are unecessary and do nothing to enhance the immersive environment the Gesamtkunstwerk must achieve.
Programmatic Introduction: Initially, program was tied directly to the relationship of the three sites and the interaction between them that the individual, and thus society, would assist with the overall environment of the Gesamtkunstwerk. The diagram (Fig.4) represents an organization of programmatic functions around a central site. The marks in the background, also circular in array, respond to a understanding of monastic ‘hours’, in that the life-schedule of the monaster is closely organized so that the whole community operates like clockwork. In the currently proposed forge-monastery, every action would relate back to the act of physical creation and the celebration of mankind in this holy action of fabrication. Thus, the ‘hours’, would respond to either the act of fabrication/ or the celebration of fabrication. II 66
Fig. 5a - Embodied character of a monastery.
Fig. 5b - Embodied character of a factory
Fig. 6 - Fusion of both typologies into a new, monastic factory typology.
Fig. 7 - Abstract image weaving together mass-habitation, fabrication, and outdoor agriculture in a single construct.
B F G
A C B
F Fig. 8a - Conceptual diagrammatic program; radial arrangement infers that all action, social and otherwise, is introspective.
Program A. Monastic Nexus - Refectory (dining common, kitchens) - Grand Assembly Warehouse (storage, gathering) - Fabrication Archives (libraries) B. Monastic Sub-Nexi - Common Space - Communal Habitation Services C. Hard Fabrication Hall - Foundry and Forges
Fig. 8b - Diagram expanded to show how program relates to growth of the conceptual settlement - note the shift of nexus heirarchy.
D. Soft Fabrication Hall -Textiles -Pottery -Glass E. Hi-Tech Fabrication Hall - Optics - Computers - Bio-engineering
F. Habitation Cloister - Single Apartments - Family Apartments - Shared Apartments G. Agricultural Fields - Crops - Livestock
90,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft.
Soft Fabrication Hall (300 fabricators) Textiles and Fabrics Ceramics Laboratories Glassworks
Total Square Footage
100,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft.
15ft. 15ft. 15ft.
Habitation Cloister Total 195,000sq ft. Habitation Cloister (300 fabricators per section) 65,000sq ft. Single Apartments 22,500sq ft. Family Apartments 17,500sq ft. Shared Apartments 25,000sq ft. Agricultural Fields Crops Livestock
15ft. 20ft. 15ft.
30ft. 15ft. 20ft. 90,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft.
Hi-Tech Fabrication Hall (300 fabricators) Optics Assemblies Computers and Electronics Bio-Organic Engineering
90,000sq ft. 60,000sq ft. 30,000sq ft.
Hard Fabrication Hall (300 fabricators) Heavy Metal Foundry Artisan Forges
15 ft. 20 ft.
30ft. 25 ft.
15 ft. 20 ft. 12 ft.
Monastic Nexus (serving 900) 127,800sq ft. Refectory 33,000sq ft. Dining Commons 27,000sq ft. Kitchens 6,000sq ft. Grand Assembly Warehouse 46,350sq ft. Storage Floors 40,500sq ft. Grand Amphitheater 5,850sq ft. Fabrication Archives (for each hall) 16,150sq ft. x 3 Circulation 4,150sq ft. Stacks 12,000sq ft. Monastic Sub Nexus Total 57,000sq ft. Monastic Sub Nexi (per 300 people) 19,000sq ft. x 3 Common Gathering Spaces 2,000sq ft. x 3 Small Exhibition Venues 2,000sq ft. x 3 Communal Infirmary 15,000sq ft. x 3
THE MONASTERY OF TOTAL-CREATION Base Population: 900
Final Site Conclusion: The site for this monastic forge colony must be isolated from mass-society. This will be accomplished via natural means, by citing the settlement on an island, far deep in an uninhabited plain, or in some geographical location that would require a deliberate effort to get there. This not only satisfies the ‘vaccuum’ aspect to a Gesamtkunstwerk’s total-environment, but also re-inforces the need for a ‘cleansing’ pilgrimage. By locating the settlement so far from general human contact, the act of getting there becomes part of the experience; leaving behind the flawed society for a harmonious and utopic fabricator art-work lifestyle.
Final Programmatic Conclusion: If art is man’s way of releasing himself from the struggles and
trials of the mundane, mortal life, then the only way to achieve utopia is through the creation of art. Once a man achieves a level of mastery over craftsmanship in his specific realm and truly loves his craft, it no longer becomes work, but rather attains a level of artistic bliss in which no effort is expended to create his work. At this point, a glimpse of utopia is achieved, as the outside world does not matter and the only significant factor in the craftsman’s life is his artwork. With this as the core tenet of this new fabricator-order, the settlement becomes a haven for all master craftsmen to practice their trade collectively and without the flawed constructions of society at large. Within this environment, craftsmen take part in this massive self-sustaining workshop as one harmoniously unified society.
Moving Forward: With the typological order of ‘Monastery’ and ‘Factory’ established as the major two
elements being wedded together, it would only make sense to research deeping the true characteristics of the monastic order, including the lifestyle ‘hours’ that structure each day, as well as industrial precedents. These will include not just large-scale establishments, but smaller forges and foundries, in order to truly represent the master-craftsmen and not just a factory that produces objects for general consumption. More importantly will be the research on how a self-sustaining colony can be constructed to function successfully, not just as a social model, but as an architectural and engineering model. Such a construction has relations with the theoretical model of the ‘arcology’, but not necessarily on such a massive scale. It will also deter from the standard model of the society being left behind, requiring a new architectural infrastructure to support it. This will, of course, require my own shift in work flow. As this is a strong effort to break from the conventional social realm, this will also be a break from the conventional architectural realm. Certainly, the pure Gesamtkunstwerk has architectural and spatial qualities, but its true nature transcends all of these tangible elements in order to manifest this immersive topic environment. Part of the road ahead will be further conventional research and architectural investigation, but the other half to that coin is a shift in my own personal methodologies. I am not entirely sure what this entails, as I am not in the position to supercede the flow of the process. All I can do is be prepared to meet unorthodox challenges with unorthodox methodologies. That said, bring it on.
Mar. 16th - Mar. 3rd
Develop programmatic aspects - accurate sizing of spaces and successful relationships between program and circulation that supports the idea of immersive total-art environment.
Relate program to radial diagrammatic plan in order to generate and develop initial massings of architectural form.
Review March 5th
Review February 13th
Feb. 24th - Mar. 16th
Crystalize proposal and entire conceptual model of Gesamtkunstwerk - to be refined with advisors.
Review January 23rd
Jan. 12th - Feb. 1st
Dec.16th - Jan. 12th
Continue reading source material to clarify subject matter and to finalize site in relationship to conceptual criteria.
Continue detailing and final development in order to move into final production stage. Give enough time for adequate representation methods.
Project Final Review
Finalize massings and major architectural forms. Begin design drawing and fleshing out the critical details required for succesful total-environment.
Apr. 20th - Project Completion
Mar. 3rd - Apr. 20th
Mar. 3rd - Apr. 20th
Relate massings and program to monastic life-schedule (hours) in order to better integrate social functions with programmatic and architectural functions
Review April 30th
Review April 9th
Review March 24th
Criteria for Evaluation: Preferably, this eventual thesis project will be judged against previous Gesamtkunstwerk in its achievement of specified points derived from my personal research and refined with help of my advisors. From the explorations and studies done personally on all Gesamtkunstwerk precedents, my project should attempt to achieve or satisfy the major common trends that exist within all works examined. While architectural representation will be a large portion of the evaluation criteria, as it always will be, this is a conceptual idea that transcends spatial arrangement and can only be judged when held up against other efforts of mankind fo manifest the Gesamtkunstwerk or utopia. Part of my own project development will be to propose and constantly refine what these major elements and criteria are and will play a synergistic part in the development of my actual project. As I clarify my own project architecturally, the conceptual criteria will be refined alongside it, and the constant attention paid to both will be instrumental in my own understanding of what is required by the project itself. Hopefully, this dialogue that developes between the both the project and the conceptual criteria will only strengthen the my entire theoretical investigation.
Further Research: Establishing the programmatics of a fabrication monastery, precedent studies whill shift from prior Gesamtkunstwerk to more specific typological precendents that accomplish the goals I have concluded from my research. The exploration of the factory-industrial typology will clarify the specifics of the facilities and infrastructure necessary to the construction of this multi-disciplinary fabricator enclave. Each fabrication hall will have its own characteristics based upon the work completed within it and will contain the necessary architectural and spatial elements required for such work to be completed unhindered. Monastic typologies will be critical in an architectural exploration, but more importantly the life-style organization of the society within the settlement. Monastic orders function on scheduled â€˜hoursâ€™ and utilize and very specific architectural language in tandem with this schedule. For the collective mentality and immersive environment to fully manifest within this edifice will orchestration of society to a degree. This is not a totalitarian order, but one that does have a specific rhythm to it. Questions will also be raised about how this society functions aside from architecturally and programmatically. Raising children, interaction with the outside world, sustaining the settlement through future years and events, these are all aspects that I have not yet explored and will be unable to completely comprehend until my personal project development is underway. However, these elements will be influential in the comprehensive realization of my project and will be addressed as the process demands it.
Where does this fit?: The latest conceptual manifestation of what a Gesamtkunstwerk-based society could be is represented by Constant’s New Babylon. New Babylon pushes the concept of the total-art society to the limit by removing all shackles from the citizens and allowing the new homo ludens the freedom to live as existentially free as possible. Also, the architectural construction of the New Babylon urban environment is that it exists directly on top of existing urban infrastructure. In my opinion, the relationship between the two urban enviroments invites the problem of ‘contamination’, that is, the breaching of the flawed outside society into the immersive environment of the new society. As this proposed enviroment is for an entire society in transition, this makes sense from a logistical point of view. However, to relate it to the Gesamtkunstwerk would be difficult for this reason. Also, the relationship New Babylon has with existing mass-culture and commerce still has me left asking questions. Certainly it exists parallel with the built environment, but does it exist parallel with the financial, cultural, and economic environment? It is to my understanding that this enclave-society cannot be separated from conventional society, and can exist only as long as it has the other to live off of. Going even further, I don’t believe this could overtake society and reshape human civilization as a whole, as the minds of all people could never truly be unified in the manner of craft-utopia. Those that can, however, make wonderous things with their hands would very much populate this settlement, make it grow, and sustain it with their unified love of the artisan lifestyle.
Annotated Bibliography Introduction: This bibliography contains 24 sources regarding Gestalt design theory and the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk. Both topics involve perceived meaning in collections and arrangements of objects and forms. Gestalt focuses on visual perception and meaning within designed objects and spaces, while Gesamtkunstwerk defines a framework within a comprehensive work of art seeks to immerse all within an environment of ‘pure being’. These sources also delve into psychology and social phenomena, as these concepts are just as visual as they experiential, and both elements are utilize synthesis to fuse multiple elements into a grand final product. Bibliography: 1. Dornhof, Dorothea. "Das Gesamtkunstwerk der Moderne." Modernism/Modernity 15, no. 4 (n.d.): ProQuest: ProQuest Central (SRU), EBSCOhost(accessed September 28, 2011) 2. Fischer, Ole W. “Atmospheres – Architectural Spaces between Critical Reading and Immersive Presence.” Field (2007): 24-‐41.http://www.field-‐journal.org/uploads/file/2007_Volume_1/o%20fischer.pdf (accessed November 21, 2011). 3. van Campen, Crétien. “Early Abstract Art and Experimental Gestalt Psychology.” Leonardo (1997): 133-‐36. 4. Weiss, Jonathan, Kath Williams, and Judith Heerwagen. “How to Design For Humans.” Architecture 93, no. 4 (April 2004): 39-‐40.
5. Sakula, Robert. “Successful Urban Developments Depend On Randomness of Scale, Mass and Context; Architect Robert Sakula Argues That Meaningful Projects Result from Rule-‐Breaking Rather Than Polite Contextualism.” Blue Print (London, England) no. 282 (September 2009): 34. 6. Feuerstein, Günther. “Massstab-‐Transformationen = Transformation of Scale.” Daidalos no. 39 (June 15 1991): 86-‐93. 7. Livingston, Thomas. “Time Ships and Gestalt Architecture = Machine à Voyager Dans Le Temps Et L'architecture Gestalt.” Plan Canada 35, no. 5 (September 1995): 36-‐37. 8. Finger, Anke, and Danielle Follett, eds. The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. 9. Vidalis, Michael A. “Gesamtkunstwerk -‐ 'total Work of Art.” Architectural Review, June 30, 2010. 10. Goebel, Rolf J. “Gesamtkunstwerk' Dresden: Official Urban Discourse and Durs Grünbein's Poetic Critique.” The German Quarterly 80, no. 4 (October 1, 2007): page nr. 11. Bryant, Gabriele. “Architecture as 'precursor of Redemption'?: Industrial Culture and the Idea of Gesamtkunstwerk in German Modernism.” Mac Journal 4 (1994): 94-‐107. 12. Thau, Carsten, and Kjeld Vindum Vindum. “A World Unto Itself: Jacobsen and the Idea of the zszs III 80
13. Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism: Avant-‐Garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ Pr, 1992. In this essay, Boris Groys places the art and culture generated by Stalinist Totalitarianism under the lens of modernism and argues that it agrees with the style’s aim of not merely depicting reality, but changing it. What the socialist party members wanted to create, Boris continues, was an idealistic society created that blurred lines between life and art in order to transcend itself. With the party leaders regulating and attuning the lives of everyone in the nation in order to create a singular entity down to the smallest scale, the ideal outcome was that of society more just and more economical than seen before. Boris, simply put, Socialism was a product of far-‐sighted avant-‐garde thinking and that it was to be the ‘total artwork of the masses’. Groy’s makes a colorful conjecture by assuming socialist realism under the guise of, what is essentially, a Gesamtkunstwerk. This immediately draws an obvious connection to the aims and goals of Nazi Germany under Hitler and his desire for a unified Germanic society. By neutralizing the positive and negatives of both flavors of totalitarianism, Boris would have each society likened to a unified cultural lived artwork composed of its citizens acting in existential synchronization. While this might not be done so willingly, the desire to unify a society and deconstruct classical barriers, such as between art and society, in order to let it grow and evolve, is certainly one of modernist aims and of a manifestation of Gesamtkunstwerk. 14. Nieuwenhuis, Constant. “New Babylon.” The Hague, 1974. B
New Babylon is a theoretical architectural project that was designed by Constant Nieuwenhuys and considered by many to be the architecture of hyper desire. In this constantly shifting macro-‐space, miniature moments of habitation and co-‐habitation are partitioned off by the individuals who are all part of this art-‐life society. This is so because there are no utilitarian functions that require attention; each member of this society is freed from the mundane protocol of 21st century society and is free to pursue his or her own desires to the fullest. Man can eat, sleep, defecate, and procreate, wherever and whenever he desires. This is a hyper theoretical take on how architecture and society can fuse together to change the nature of what society has become. Assuming a world free of obligation and constraint, architecture takes a completely new form and serves only to house the new society of ‘homo ludens’ whose life is made entirely of play and leisure. Architecture of this society is only conceptual, as we do not have the mindset in which to manifest it, but can only make educated assumptions regarding how this new urbanity would form and reform itself. 15. Sloterdijk, Peter. “Foam City,” trans. Antonio Petrov, New Geographies, 2008.
What: In a world assumed to be devoid of life do to ‘atmoterrorism’, where a war has been fought to the point of atmospheric destruction to rid the enemy of their environment, Peter Sloterdijk’s neo-‐urban construct of the Foam City is that of a large, amorphous, enclosing mass in which all humans live only because the alternative outside is death. No longer are issues of social status and political achievement required because no institutional constructions are required to administrate this new society. Experiences here are situational, in that they are A
created merely by the presence of an individual in space and change as the individual’s mood shifts; this becomes compounded as more individuals move into this arena, causing a new ‘situation’. This theoretical project is a reaction to total environmental destruction. The contemporary view is that we save our world and ourselves in time to successfully proceed as a society, but this assumes that humanity has overextended itself and ruined its own home. This new society can no longer progress forward technologically, and can merely exist and live on. Relieved of any sort of socio-‐racial obligation to progress the species, the individuals in this society are allowed to exist however they wish. This doesn’t require any architecture aside from the all-‐encompassing super-‐structure that lies completely self-‐sustaining through an infinite passage of time and must be able to maintain humanity through these years undefined. This theoretical construction of what humanity needs to survive – but only to survive – poses a complex question about the obligations and demands of society and the architecture it inhabits. 16. Michelson, Annette. “'Where Is Your Rupture?': Mass Culture and the Gesamtkunstwerk.” October 56 (Spring, 1991): 42-‐63. In this article, Annette Michelson critically evaluates the contemporary mass culture, as it originates in middle of the 20th century, through the lense of Gesamtkunstwerk. She begins by quickly defining Gesamtkunstwerk as understood by Wagner and extrapolated through the years of de Stijl and the Bauhaus, and moves into associations with film work completed by Andy Warhol in his Factory. These movies are held under the umbrella B
of Gesamtkunstwerk’s hostility towards commercial mass-‐production because in the words of Warhol himself, “we made movies just to make them,” instead of for any sort of cultural mass-‐consumption. Michelson proceeds to contrast Warhol’s work with the art of Marcel Duchamp and Lep Steinberg; comparing the work of totality versus the work of part objects. Duchamp’s Fountain and Steinberg’s Target represent art that assumes “the human body is not the ostensible subject,” and that each of those objects are merely clippings of a larger composition. The piece ends with comparing Gesamtkunstwerk to the Carnival ritual: all boundaries and limits are removed between spectator and participant, consideration towards all parties becomes equal, and the only way to effectively experience the spectacle is to live it. 17. Wagner, Richard. The Art-‐Work of the Future, and Other Works. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993. In this revolutionary piece of writing, Wagner voices his opposition to the trends that were manifesting in European popular culture in the mid 19th century. His initiation of the concept Gesamtkunstwerk was a strong reaction against the hollow results of mass production and design for mechanical creation. Wagner’s comparison of ‘natural’ to an ideal society and ‘mechanical’ to a society blinded by visual and cultural vice is made to demand a shift in the goals of art production in the mid 1800’s. He also stresses a point that those who design for the people must use the people as a resource with which to collaborate and refine the work. His logic was that only those who could empathize and emulate those being designed for would be successful, as they would know their audience entirely. The power of this entire work is III 84
Wagner’s focus on the musical and theatrical aspects of his time, but the meanings are synonymous across multiple fields and disciplines related to art, music, and design. 18. Wenger, Robert. “Visual Art, Archaeology and Gestalt.” Leonardo 30, no. 1 (1997): 35-‐46. Wenger fuses archeology and design in this piece that seeks to explore the relationship between a composition and its individual parts in the terms of a Gestalt. Initially, he establishes that at the foundation level, the individual quality of the component is insignificant to the meaning of the composite of the many. He goes on to elaborate that a change or edit to the state of one in comparison to the others changes the grand meaning entirely and the synergistic relationship formed can be easily explained as an object-‐context relationship. Archeology relationships continue further by comparing excavation squares to conceptual abstraction of ideas; breaking down the macro to an understandable micro-‐scale, and also the critical significance of context. Both Archeology and Gestalt rely on strong ‘figure-‐ground’ relationships to determine information and common relationships. It is here that Wenger logically concludes that the ‘figure-‐ground’ is the strongest Gestalt association in existence and calls upon Taoist references to strengthen the visual and theoretical points of his position. 19. Einstein, Carl, and Charles W. Haxthausen. “Gestalt and Concept (excerpts).” October 107 (Winter, 2004): 169-‐76. This treatise, written by Einstein and translated by Haxthausen, seeks to explain how through cogitation, the multiple layers that compose the reality we perceive conventionally can be peeled back to reveal the bare B
critical elements that compose the relationships of signs and objects in space: the gestalt. By casting the physical reality of our existence as ‘lethal’ and ‘deadly’ concrete and the time spent deeply reflecting as highly valuable, the gestalt becomes far more manifest and tangible to the point where it starts to threaten the meaning of standardized givens. Einstein concludes that art, pure art, is an attempted manifestation of this gestalt imagery, diagrammatic and purely representational of the real essence of a thing, to the point where it attempts to shatter suggested givens and causal standardization of the world. In this, he finishes, that we may find our freedom from the tyrannical thought repression of the ‘concrete’ of reality and let our minds function to their capacity. 20. Kazmierczak, Elzbieta T. “Design as Meaning Making: From Making Things to the Design of Thinking.” Design Issues 19, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 45-‐59. This article is Kazmierczak’s argument that design and designed objects are essentially methods of interface between the designer and audience. This assumes that the designer has a larger intended meaning or message to imbed into the design, and that by creating compositions, the meaning will be conveyed through experience or perception of these pieces. These may not be all the same translations of the meanings, but common undertones will be present within all of them. This common undertone being present is entirely dependent upon how successfully the design is executed. III 86
Supporting this claim is the highlight of diagrammatic modeling in order to decant and reduce down meanings into form and once harnessed, channel this form to clearly communicate the imbedded meaning. Diagrammatic modeling not only makes this design methodology possible, it also represents an approach to design that is constantly cognitive, pragmatic, and inherently human. Kazmierczak writes, “Building a meaning-‐based model of design removes the fixation of produced things, and focuses attention on the human cognitive processes of communication.” The designer is entirely concerned with the message and the clarity of the vehicle carrying it. Aesthetics, assumingly, grow from the resolution of that communication detail. 21. Behrens, Roy R. “Art, Design and Gestalt Theory.” Leonardo 31, no. 4 (1998): 299-‐303. Roy Behrens begins his discussion of Gestalt by detailing the beginnings of Gestalt psychology as envisioned by Max Wertheimer and his associates, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Kohler. They concluded through perception experiments and image studies that a composite visualization is not merely a sum of its parts, but a product of the energies generated by the interplay and dialogue between them. Of note are the specific definitions of ‘similarity grouping,’ ‘proximity grouping,’ and ‘good continuation,’ as being the most effective Gestalts at activating our innate tendency to constellate visual elements. The article continues to use figure-‐ground drawings, ‘dazzle’ camouflage, and Japanese Ukiyo-‐e as examples of composite images that are only successful due to the assemblage of each individual part. The Tao Te Ching is even mentioned in support of Gestalt in that “even though a wheel may be made of 30 spokes, it is the space between spokes that determines the form of the wheel”. Behren’s concludes that since the major proponents of Gestalt have died out, direct discussion about the concept has quieted only in that major viewpoints have been assimilated into other circles of discussion, validating Wertheimer’s initial explorations. III B
22. Smith, Matthew. “The Total Work Of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace”. New York: Routledge, 2007. Smith’s book is a culmination of research into compositional works of art beginning with Wagner, leading up through Disney and the Bauhaus theater in Germany, and into its contemporary relevance via the Internet. Smith also relies upon aesthetic research completed by Friedrich Schiller and Theodore Adorno to support his personal findings and to assert that Gesamtkunstwerk plays a significant role in the shaping of contemporary entertaining and culture. The value of this source is the relationships it draws amongst historical precedents as well as highlighting overlaps amongst the arts from theater to architecture. The focus on Bahaus and Nazi totalitarianism is especially fascinating as the inception of Gesamtkunstwerk is very much intertwined with Peter Behrens, Walter Gropius, and the revolutionary academy of artisans. From that point it carries focus over the United States up through the mid 20th century and into the present. This allows mapping of not only the evolution of the conceptual idea behind it, but how it was found to be manifesting over the course of the century. 23. Edwards, Mary D. "The Chapel of S. Felice in Padua as "Gesamtkunstwerk"." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 47 (1988): 160-‐176. Edwards’ article discusses the comprehensive conversion of the Basilica of S. Antonio into the Chapel of S. Felice by architect and sculpture Andriolo de’ Santi under the lens of Gothic Gesamtkunstwerk. During the reconstruction work, Andriolo incorporated many new elements within the new footprint that didn’t merely sit III 88
alone, but were all part of a greater architectural dialogue that occurred between these elements and was even incorporated to play off the original existing architecture. This article casts S. Felice chapel as a successful model of what an attempted (and successful) Gesamtkunstwerk looks like. Without Andriolo realizing it, his personal hand in arranging all the religious and architectural elements installed during the reconstruction solidified his intended identity for the renewed church – the celebration of God. This is important precedence in the study of what details to consider when attempting conceptualizing a contemporary space with a Gesamtkunstwerk in mind. 24. Ardalan, Nader, and Laleh Bakhtiar. The Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture. 2nd ed. Chicago, Illinois: Kazi Publications, 2000. The goal of Nader and Bakhtiar’s book is to prove that the Islamic tradition of Sufism has at its core level, a strong ideal of unity within multiplicity. The longer belief is that in reality are many manifestations of a greater energy and it exists within each action taken by man, especially his creation of art. This sense of continuity amongst disparate elements is tied into the architecture of Mosques and classical Persian architecture. The complex latticework details up through floor plans to urban layouts all share similar elements of geometry and while each are articulated, they are best understood as part of a system. With substantial amount of drawings and analytical media, Nader and Bakhtiar detail these systems of unity across architectural and urban situations. Not only are they discussing the dialogue of individual pieces across
space, but also the degree of engagement and interaction between human and context in regards to these scaled hierarchies and attempts to re-‐envision man within his intimate environment.
Jake Fraser Augunas
M. Arch Candidate Thesis Prep. 1+2 Prof. Petrov + Prof. MacNelly Fall 2011
Published on Dec 16, 2011