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Category: THEORY


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“Everything is Architecture” [a rant]

“Everything is Architecture” [a rant]
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Physicists can rightly say everything is physics and chemists can rightly say everything is chemistry and we’d all agree that everything at some level is one of them, both of them, or some combination of them. Some undiscovered grand theory may prove them to be two different names for the same thing and, when it does, […]

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History Repeating #1: Tragedy

History Repeating #1: Tragedy
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Yess – it’s The French Revolution! In his book, Russian and French Revolutionary Architecture, Adolf Max Vogt saw a parallel between what happened to French architecture after the French Revolution and what happened to Soviet architecture after the Russian one. In Architecture in the age of Stalin: Culture Two, Vladimir Paperny put it like this: This next example is a Soviet example of those […]

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Making Strange

Making Strange
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Poetry is strange and poetic language is strange. Some words make pleasant or interesting sounds. Other words may sound peculiar while others may be similar – or different – in special ways. Still other words occur in unexpected positions or with some new role or roles. All these poetic devices fall under the general concept […]

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Modern Vernacular

Modern Vernacular
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A vernacular of performance … Microprocessor research and technological application is always concerned with the pursuit of higher performance for the same or lower energy input, manufacture using simpler and fewer mechanical and chemical processes, the discovery of processes having higher degrees of tolerance, the elimination of ecologically unsound and toxic processes, the search for […]

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The Fireplace

The Fireplace
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Fireplace is one of those reliable English language words that don’t leave you guessing. This abridged history begins with the traditional European fireplace of mediaeval times. The one in the image on the left, below, is from a house The Black Knight once stayed in circa 1400, hence the insignia on the mantel – or at least that’s […]

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Architectural Assimilation

Architectural Assimilation
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“Architecturally, nothing can be said about it” is what we hear when there’s no fallback context. For most people this is a truism but it’s really only a tautology. Not having a context for understanding a building as architecture means it can’t be architecture. This’d be no problem if it weren’t for the inconvenient fact that buildings with no value as Architecture can still have value for humanity. […]

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Architecture Reductions

Architecture Reductions
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What else is there we can happily do without but just don’t know it yet? ORNAMENT: This was once thought essential to any building with pretensions to architecture. Life went on without it. We managed. After a while we missed it, decided to give it another chance…. Twice burned, these days we mostly ornament our buildings with […]

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Conceptual Continuity

Conceptual Continuity
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1. Since Inflationary Tendencies of March this year, I’ve been pondering this notion of architecture killing off good ideas by representing them. I was sad at first, because for a long time I’d believed architecture was a force for good and food for the soul but I’ve gotten over that historic hangover. 2. Our media diet doesn’t help. If architecture has become nothing more than a representation of […]

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Existential Architecture: Being There.

Existential Architecture: Being There.
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Architecture and Philosophy don’t sit well together. Kant had a bit to say about aesthetics but not much to say about architecture. What little he did you’ll find here. The author of the piece says “Kant is responsible for the notion that architecture should express ideas, and also for competing views on what ideas it should express.” If so, Kant’s […]