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EROS, OR THE ARCHITECT Ok. I thank you all for coming tonight and I’m really excited to see you all here, and so I’m going to give you a little talk and tell you some stories. And the title that I’m gathering these stories under is called “Eros or the Architect.” (“Eros, or the Architect” – so the architect is Eros…) At first, I taught my first theory course here 17 years ago, and, from the very beginning, Eros was a very important topic in the course. And I used to enjoy watching the second year students walk around the building - the architecture building - with this book for the first few weeks of the semester. It’s called Plato’s Erotic Dialogues - because it sounded like it was really sexy. And I also used to enjoy the first lectures when the second year students would be introduced to flying souls and skimming over the earth, looking out into reality, and then falling to the ground and having to learn how to grow wings. And I would say most students, it took them probably the whole semester long, if ever, to figure out why this was important. But I think over the years there have been many people who are trying to grow wings and you are, as you are in here now, even if you don’t know it. So I’m going to show you some photographs of work from D1 from earlier years - actually last year - to illustrate the idea of Eros, or beauty, and the architect. Now, I’m going to talk about three, or four, different sources. One very short and the others I’ll talk a little bit longer on.

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Eros and Psyche 5

Eros and Psyche First is Eros and Psyche, and this comes from Lucien’s The Golden Ass, and it’s a story that’s embedded in the text. And it’s an old lady who’s trying to give comfort to a young lady who’s been abducted by bandits; and the hero of the story - I guess he’s the hero - is the young man who, by magic, has turned himself into an ass. And most of us don’t need magic to do that, but…he eventually got himself back to a human form. And Psyche is a beautiful girl - she’s the daughter of a king - she’s so admired by everyone that the people begin to ignore the Temple of Aphrodite. So that Aphrodite becomes extremely angry. And she calls Eros to her and asks him to punish her… punish Psyche. That he should make her fall in love with some lowlife, and so that she will be totally humiliated. So he goes to do this, and he touches Psyche with an arrow and she opens her eyes…to him. And when he sees her eyes, he’s overcome and by mistake he wounds himself with his own arrow. So that he is bound by his own magic. But, so over time, because of the bitter waters of Eros, Psyche remains admired but unloved. Everyone else has gotten married; she’s got no offers. So that her family sends, her father sends off to the Oracle at Delphi, and he replies -well she, Pythia replies, that she is missed in her non-mortal lover, that her lover will be a monster who neither the gods nor men can resist. And she is sent to a mountaintop to remain, to await the coming of this monster. And she’s carried by the Zephyr and she’s brought to a magnificent palace, a place that’s been made for her, only her, by Eros, and it’s a place where she may flourish, it’s a place where Psyche, the soul, may flourish under the auspice, under the auspice, under the wings of Eros. And he comes to her every night, he tells

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her that everything is here for her, but that she may not look at it. And she becomes very lonely, she goes home to her two wicked sisters, (there are always two wicked sisters) and they tell her, ‘well he’s a monster, you better light the lamp, check him out and if you have to, do him in’. And, she’s full of curiosity. As she does that, as she drops the lamp oil on his shoulder, he wakes up, and she is banished. The palace is *** But later at her undergoing her very serious labors, under the orders of Aphrodite, Eros is able to reclaim her and they remain together, in each other’s arms, that soul is the arms of Eros, flourish in Eros, the love flourishes in the soul. So this is one that says ABSOLUTELY that Eros is a wonderful architect, and that he makes places that allow the soul to flourish.

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Diotima 11

Diotima Now, when I was teaching Theory 1, this (Oops to move this, ah), (you could flourish in there, right?) [refers to image of student work]. Then in Theory 1 I would start with Plato, or I used to, I don’t do that now; I’d start with the Phaedrus and then go on to the Symposium. But I want to talk a little bit about the Symposium tonight. About love in the Symposium. It’s a dialogue of Plato's in that a gentleman is asked to remember a conversation, a symposium, which is a wine-drinking party, it’s not one of these, you know, academic things any more. It’s - everybody drinks wine and talks about interesting subjects. And they start of normally deciding how much water they are going to put in the wine. And in this particular memory it’s after the first victory of Agathon the young man Agathon's first victory for drama, a drama competition at Athens - and it’s a long time after this story…earlier than this story is recounted, and the people who are at the dinner party are generally all scattered, and in the years since, have had not necessarily the most happy lives. So that this gentleman has been invited by Socrates to go along to this symposium, but on the way, going to the party, Socrates somehow gets lost and is standing in somebody’s garden having some kind of vision. So this poor guy goes off to Agathon's house, and Agathon very politely invites him in. And then Socrates sort of wanders in, later. And Phaedrus has decided… he’s asked that they speak in praise of Love, in praise of Eros. And it seems that Phaedrus always wants to talk about Eros, he’s young man…actually he’s an older man now, not young like you. He seems to be caught up in the passion of Eros. So, they’re going around from one person to another making up speeches, and the last speech to

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be made before the famous renowner (I don’t know if he’s famous or defamed) Alcibiades arrives in sort of a drunken rush and everything goes downhill from there. Because everyone’s drinking from cups, he decides to drink from the wine mixing bowl. So in this, as I said Socrates has made the last speech, but his speech is from memory, and he’s remembering his conversation with a woman called Diotima, from Mycinea, and it’s a dialogue, or a conversation he had when he was very young, so this was very long ago, that he is speaking in memory. And he asks Diotima, he says, ‘I don’t know anything about love, but…’ She says ‘Well yeah, I know that’ and he says that she teaches him everything that he knows about Eros. And Diotima is not only a master of Eros, she’s also a master of the madness that lifts plagues. So there are four forms of madness, and we are told in the Phaedrus that the most beautiful form and the most wonderful form is Eros, but Diotima can also lift the plague. And when I get to Diotima, I always like to think of myself as Diotima, but I’m not sure how much I could have warned Socrates about this, but I like to think of it that way. And she says that people confuse Eros, or Love, with the object of Love. And that the love, love is not god, he’s not beautiful, he’s not evil, he’s not ugly, that he’s an intermediate, he’s a dialogue, he’s an intermediate between mortal and immortal, and he interprets and communicates human affairs to the gods. And then divine…oppositely, divine matters to men. And he, so that he is in between, he is neither, he is neither mortal nor immortal, and she then gives you his pedigree. On the night that Aphrodite was born, there was a big party. And there was a lot of ambrosia. And Resource,

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the son of Invention, kind of overindulged and wandered out into the garden and passed out. And passing by, but not invited to the party was Poverty, and essentially Poverty found resource and had her way with him. And the result was Eros. And he’s always impoverished, harsh and rugged; he’s barefoot and homeless, always lying on hard ground, sleeping in doorsteps and on open roads. He’s always in need, but he’s always a schemer for beautiful and good things, he’s courageous and bold and he is an awesome hunter, he’s inventive, he’s full of Resource. So he’s absolutely always in need but he has the Resources in order to meet his needs. And, what is this Eros? Eros is the love of the beautiful, and it…so that he is the lover of the beautiful, not beautiful himself, he’s not the object of love, nor the seeker. And that he always seeks for beautiful things and that these beautiful things should become his own. And he looks for the good and the beautiful to always belong, to himself. And he yearns for the procreation in a beautiful thing. So that he wants to procreate in the beautiful and the good. And he must strive for, and he makes sure he has the resources, to do it. And she goes on and says “All human beings are pregnant, Socrates, both in body and soul, and when we come of age, we naturally desire to give birth, yet one cannot possibly give birth to ugliness, only in beauty. Love is of giving birth and procreation of the beautiful is the immortal eternal element of the mortal. It is what is immortal in us. We who are mortal.” And that in Eros is something we all must follow and we all do, which is always nice, and I know you already started [speaking to students]. Diotima describes a staircase or a ladder that speaks about the rank of Eros, how one rises and

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becomes more and more expert or knowledgeable in Eros. And it’s an upward movement, and it moves up in terms of degrees of love. Or in terms of objects of love. And she says (it’s repeated also in the Phaedrus) that you can’t do this alone, that you need someone, a lover, someone who loves your soul. That you need them guide you. And then once you reach the apex, you must come back and help another soul. A soul that is like you, that is like your own. So she says that…begin with love of one beautiful body (and I’ll bet you every single person in this room has done that - we all do, it’s just part of life, so I know you have) and this will result in beautiful conversations. And then you notice that this beautiful body has in common things with all beautiful bodies. And then you can recognize the beauty in every body. Then, one rises up to the next level. And then, the soul recognizes through Eros, that minds are more beautiful than bodies. And that beautiful mind, again, reminds one of many beautiful bodies. And there’s still more, even more beautiful conversation. And so that one loves all of the beauty of souls, all the beautiful souls. Then she says to contemplate beauty of the daily pursuits of love, of science, of human institutions: of architecture, of studio, of the university, of books, of all of the instruments, or constructs that hold us together. And we can see those as they make those work to make us united. And together, and making connections. And then she says that one is led through magnificent theories and thoughts of beautiful and philosophies until one comprehends a single knowledge that is the contemplation of the Great Sea of the Beautiful.

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Diotima 19

And I must admit that I always thought the Great Sea of the Beautiful looked like a Casper David Friedrich painting - a great sublime painting where you’re looking over the sea and the fog is there so you can see the sky so that you’re surrounded by the mist. And it wasn’t really until this week when I was thinking about this lecture that I realized that I’m looking at the Sea of the Beautiful, that I look out at you, and I see your faces and I see lots of faces I know, which is even better and that, I see the connections between you, and if I see you here, I see the people I know, and people I don’t, and schools in Tampa or Orlando or Miami, or it’s the students I know in Athens or Vicenza, or Boston or New York or Chicago, or Saint Louis, San Francisco… and those I can see but then we’re connected, we’re all connected together by our search for the beautiful and the good, and the elevation of our souls through the study and the practice of architecture. And I don’t think you would be here if you didn’t think that was possible. So we’re going to begin from beautiful things to move ever onwards for the sake of beauty, as though using ascending steps from one body to two, from two to all beautiful bodies, from beautiful bodies to beautiful practices and endeavors, from practical endeavors to beautiful examples of understanding, and from examples of understanding to come finally to understanding which is none other than the understanding of that beauty itself. So that in the end we know what beauty itself is. And I can look here and …I sound really corny, but I look out at you and I can see beautiful things. So! We have Plato. And one thing he says that’s important is that eyes are the strongest of the senses and they are drawn to beauty, and that it’s beauty that allows us to see beyond this world and into eternity. And so eyesight and memory, love and the ascent.

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Diotima 21

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Fall 2008 Design 1 Elison K Prof. Sanders Matrix

Penelope 23

Penelope Now the next one is a reading that bugged my D1 students for the last three weeks. It’s Michel Serres on Penelope. And I discovered this summer and I gave it to Sarah and Noah and they made it alive through my D1 class, and I must say I am really proud of your work, and proud of all of your work in D1. When I saw what you finished with both the models of the drawing it was, for me, it was, well I was thinking it was all so exciting. So Michel Serres speaks about Penelope. And he speaks about how she weaves and knots and then unweaves the tapestry, the Shroud for Laertes. And he speaks about her at her loom, and he also speaks about her, what she weaves. And Michel Serres I just admire completely. And [blows nose] (“Ooh! Why don’t I just blow it right into the microphone? Ahaa”). So I was really stunned when I thought he had two errors in these two pages because I don’t think of him as having errors, and that maybe it’s just there for us to…contemplate. Number one, Penelope never sat down at her loom. The loom was a vertical loom and she had to stand up all day, her shoulders…her arms up at her shoulders [raises hands to shoulders], walking back and forth across the loom – very tiring. And you think, she wove all day long and the she spent the whole night unweaving; and she was on her feet all day, her arms up here [hands at shoulders] reworking and reworking this tapestry. Then I thought that the other mistake was (and I thought it was kind of a man’s mistake) is that this loom, that she was weaving on it the narrative of Odysseus. And so she was weaving an odyssey; but she’s not a seer, she didn’t know where he was, and it’s not 'til Telemachus leaves, to go, actually to her home country, that, does she have any information

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Fall 2008 Design 1 Timoco E Prof. Sanders Matrix

Penelope 25

coming in. So what I believe is that she wove a scenario for each of the suitors who were pursuing her, to see what kind of life it would be. And Penelope belongs to a great family of weavers. She - well her cousin is named Helen. And Helen is the daughter of Leda, the Queen of Sparta. And Leda’s husband was Tyndareus, who’s…he was her consort. And his brother was Icarius, who was the father of Penelope. So that they’re all in the same group. Helen weaves the great tapestry of the feats of the Trojan War; her sister Clytemnestra weaves a web that will destroy her husband Agamemnon; and Penelope is in Ithaca, weaving, the, I think, the kingdom of Ithaca and keeping strong while her husband is gone. And that she is truly a match for the wily Odysseus. Now Penelope is from the area known as Sparta, that when everyone…all the young princes came to Sparta to woo Helen, to…whoever won Helen would be king of Sparta. Odysseus, in the end solves a problem for Tyndareus, telling him how to make a choice for Helen without making enemies of all the princes and that’s an oath to say that they will all come to the aid of whomever is victorious, if anything happens to Helen. I always figured that Odysseus, who’s wily, knew that Helen was trouble and that he asks in return for giving this advice about the oath, he asks for Penelope’s hand in marriage. And she is brought, not particularly I guess willingly… reluctantly she’s brought to Ithaca. And since Odysseus leaves while Telemachus, his son, is still a baby, he’s just a very short time in Ithaca and so, undoubtedly she helped his family, she has held his world together. So she weaves every day, she says that she will not choose a husband until she weaves the Shroud for Laertes, he father-in-law. And so she weaves every day, or as I say, I

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think she takes one suitor after another and she weaves it, and then she unweaves it and determines what kind of life it would be in Ithaca with that man as king. And she does it over and over and over again. And, and this is not my idea, but it’s been said that when she weaves it’s synthetic, and you recognize that, it’s pulling together of many threads into a unity. And then at night she takes the unity, and through analysis she unwinds it. And so while she’s unwinding it she can analyze what is…the creation she has made. So it’s synthesis and then analysis. And so the poor woman works night and day. And I believe that she never stops, although, she’s been found out, because she knows what the consequences are and that the consequences are really brought dramatically forward, not in the Odyssey but in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s not that Penelope is trying to do Odysseus in, but it’s the same kind of difficulties for Telemachus will be similar to Hamlet’s. So what does she use, what is the great faculty of the mind that allows her to stand in front of hanging threads and make a story, and synthesize a story, and then take it apart? And you should remember that Socrates says that he will follow as a god anyone who can synthesize a whole correctly from the parts, or take a whole and divide it or analyze it into the correct parts. So this is a divine gift. And this is the gift of memory. And Serres thinks of the matter just as Plato does. But it’s not the kind of memory that we have, because we allow memory to become, really, ***** our ideas of memory. [checks watch] (Oops gotta speed UP!) And memory is three parts, at least is was for the ancients, but also for the people of the Renaissance. There is Fantasia, that

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makes images, where you see something, and event, and you can make a whole, you can understand the whole image and experience of. There’s Reminiscence that stores these images and architectural backgrounds. And the Classically trained memory has a house or some architectural construct in which all of these images are kept. And then there’s Ingenuity, and Ingenuity I always think of, almost like Vanna White, I guess…he goes through or she goes through and she pulls different images out of the background and then reworks them or finds that there's and image missing and gets Fantasia to make it. So that you can make sense of the current event, or the current situations. So you have images, they are in storage in architecture, and then Ingenuity comes along then reshuffles them so that they address a particular event. And that, for certainly Bacon and Vico, the Memory was really the most important because Memory stood between the Will and the Senses and Reason, and Memory was the interpreter. So that both were, the Reason was separated from Life and Life from Reasoning, and Memory controls it all. So it’s very, very powerful and it’s Memory that Penelope uses both for synthesis and for analysis.

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Filarete 33

Filarete NOW for my LAST one, this one is going to (Isn’t that a nice cube. There’s some nice work, very successful design.) (I just get a little longer.) It’s just it’s always exciting to have learning, this vertical learning curve and it’s so very seldom after your very young, that you learn that quickly… Well the last person we’re going to talk about is a gentleman of the fifteenth century and his name is Filarete; well that’s the name that was given to him, meaning he loves excellence. And he’s a Florentine, born about 1400, he’s from the goldsmiths, comes out of gold work, and supposedly is trained by Lorenzo Ghiberti, who designed, constructed, the great doors for the Baptistery and other excellent work, and much to the chagrin of Brunelleschi, was named Head of the Works for the Duomo. But Brunelleschi fixed it; he got sick for a couple of weeks and it was very clear that Ghiberti didn’t know anything… about architecture, not about the other stuff. And later he went to Rome and worked on, actually the bronze doors of old Saint Peter’s. New doors for old Saint Peter's, they were later brought to the new Saint Peter's and you can see them. Later he had to leave Rome in a hurry and there are some different stories which I don’t really like, like he was trying to steal the head of john the Baptist…but there are always these kinds of stories about these kinds of people who are not so fun anyway. So he goes to Milan and at the time when there’s the switch from the Visconti family to the Sforza family, and so he begins to work for the Sforza family. And he works on the great hospital and a number of major works that are still in Milan. And he writes a treatise in 1460 and he really is pro-Classicist and anti-Gothic and

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a lot of the time he was really building the last great Gothic cathedral. So Gothic was the theme of the day in Milan and he was working with the great classics then. And he was aided…or abetted…by a man named Filelfo who was, he was, …actually had worked in Venice and was considered an important scholar and was taken on a train with the ambassador of Venice to Constantinople and he was taught Greek and was shown, introduced to all of the great Greek works that had been lost. And so he’s back, he’d been in Florence, he was from Florence, because he stepped the wrong way on the Medicis and so they end up in Milan at the same time. And Filelfo is writing the great epic poem of the Sforziad while Filarete is supposedly designing the new city called Sforzinda. And they’re both working…Filarete’s not a scholar but with the help of Filelfo, he sounds…it’s clearer that he’s had an introduction to the Timaeus, and in his discussions in the town ***ziopolis, we know he’s read the Timaeus and the Critias, or Filelfo’s read them for him. And he has a wonderful way of anthropomorphizing architecture. It’s delightful. For one thing he wants it to be Classical but he wants it to be Christian. So he says the senior most of the orders is Doric and the Doric order is perfect and who had the most perfect body? The body made by god – Adam. So Adam is, has divine proportions that are placed in the Doric. And so that every column that conforms to the order does in fact have some divine, Christian inspiration, well Christian, Judeo-Christian.And then he says also that Adam was the first architect (this is the best part) because when Adam and Eve left paradise, it was raining and they’d never seen it before, so (at least the way I see it) [raises arms over head and clasps hands]

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they covered their heads. And so they made the first shelter. [Shakes head and smiles]. So then he speaks in this treatise, about the origin of architectural works. And he calls the architect a number of different things. And he says that the building is conceived like a baby. That the building he says is conceived in this manner. And since no one can conceive by himself without a woman, by another simile, a building cannot be conceived by one man alone. As it cannot be done without a woman, he who wished to build needs an architect. He conceived it within him, and then the architect carries it. Architect as MOTHER. And he says, when the architect has given birth he becomes the mother of the building. But before the architect gives birth he should dream about its conception. Think about it. Turn it over in his mind. And in many ways, in any which way, for seven to nine months. Just the way a woman carries her child. (That’s right) So you dream of it, you conceive of it, you carry it, you nurture it, you give birth to it, after nine months of careful thought. But that doesn’t let you off the hook. Mothers are not let off the hook; neither are the fathers, so… He says that you can be the mother but you also need to be the nurse. And so the architect is both nurse and mother. And as the mother, the architect is full of love for his or her building and he or she will rear it with love and diligence, cause it to grow, and bring it to completion if it’s at all possible. And that the mother and nurse will strive to make this building good and beautiful. And that the mother (and the father too, together) with blind pain, the architect directing, will get the best craftsman and the best material to nurture this building forward. And so that it will not only be born, it will survive, it will thrive,

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it will be nurtured, there will be repairs made, and this is really the responsibility of the architect, as the mother and nurse. And you should also recognize that he’s read Plato, well Filelfo read Plato, and Socrates does call himself a nurse and a midwife, and he calls the Chora, the great dancing floor, the vessel of space that allows for this world to exist. He calls the Chora the midwife and the nurse. Although, one never knows. It’s a wonderful writeup about Filelfo saying it was amazing all the things that he was introduced to and how shallow must have been his understanding, and that how little of what he wrote was of any interest. So, then we pick up with Filarete who has made him into something wonderful and it is translated and it is just delightful. But he also says “we’ve got mom, nurse and midwife, but the architect is also the lover. Building is nothing more than a voluptuous pleasure, like that of a man in love.” Anyone who has experienced it knows that there’s so much pleasure in designing and building, that however much a man does, he wants to do more. There’s no halfway for him – he loves it. He makes it useful and honorable. But for two ends. First for utility and second for fame. So that they will say ‘he who made such a building rise.’ And so it’s, the building that is the beloved as well. And that you make the building elevated. You bring your thoughts and your mind and your love to the building. And you make a place, like Eros, you make a place where souls can flourish. That people who come in contact with you by conversations, or later by the buildings that you design, the way you design, they way you talk to you about what they are seeking in a building, you will bring them your interpretation of their needs. You work with them, you

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bring a building forth, that way as well you make a place for the soul to flourish. But you also elevate the souls of those with whom you have wonderful conversations. And, I must admit [changes slide] (Rocky picked all these out for me…) the last 17 years…18 years, I started Theory the year after I came here, I’ve had some incredible conversations, with many people here, some of you who I’ve only known for a month of two and some of you I’ve known for almost two decades. And it’s been my honor and my pleasure to have been here at the University of Florida and to have worked with all of the wonderful faculty and students who have come through over the past 18 years. And I hope that you all work on your memory. And you do that every time you read a book, you make a drawing, you build a model. When you put that thing together and you look at it, you synthesize, it’s woven and then you start going ‘nope, nope’ [miming picking pieces off] and then your professor comes in and goes ‘nope, nope’ [miming picking pieces off] then you go at it again. But I hope you have wonderful lives. And I’m very happy tonight. And I’m happy to see you all here, and I will miss you. So good luck and I love you all. [Applause and standing ovation.]

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Eros, or the Architect - Draft 2  
Eros, or the Architect - Draft 2  

Prof. Bitz's lecture book