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Category: THEORY


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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 […]

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Slum Porn

Slum Porn
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It might not be true that all architects do is add value to property but, as a yardstick for judging real world results, it’s never done me wrong. In the unreal world of the very rich, it’s all about the amount of money spent on creating something of no actual value other than an as indicator […]

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The Great Filter

The Great Filter
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Here’s a quick fly-through of The Universe. It’s fairly awesome. We’ve recently found The Universe to be a bit more awesome. Ahem… so then, WHERE IS EVERYBODY?! This is the Fermi Paradox: The apparent size and age of the universe suggests that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations ought to exist. However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the lack of observational […]

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Stealth Developments

Stealth Developments
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Stealth is about staying undetected until your mission is accomplished. Many animals, for example, are stealth hunters. The polar bear, for example, walks to within 90 m of a seal and then crouches. If the seal doesn’t notice, it then creeps to within 9 to 12m of the seal and then uses a short burst of speed to attack. […]

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Aesthetic Effect #5: COMBINE

Aesthetic Effect #5: COMBINE
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COMBINE is the name I give to the aesthetic effect that arises when what we see is reinforced by what we know. That simple term “what we know” includes all those subjective things resulting from culture and education that something we look at makes us think of, remember or recall, regardless of whether or not […]

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Time & Architecture: Part 2

Time & Architecture: Part 2
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Part I of Time and Architecture introduced the topic and outlined some of the basic concepts that will be built upon here. Shockingly, Part I was written in July of last year and this alone illustrates a fact that is very important for both buildings and architecture (and probably life too) – what seems like the […]

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Cold Logic vs. Warm Logic

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This first image shows how slaves were packed onto a British slave ship according to the Regulated Slave Trade Act of 1788. This document seems to be proud of the use of mezzanine shelves to allow the transport of more slaves yet still allow space for their entry and exit as shown in the longitudinal […]

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The New Objectivity

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I don’t know if last week’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica advances the cause of architecture, promotes the concept of architecture, or sustains the myth of architecture, and I don’t think I care. What is becoming increasingly irritating is that some people believe that buildings like this are mere technical exercises outside the scope of architecture. Without a […]

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Learning From Flying Saucers

Learning From Flying Saucers
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This post is about buildings that look like flying saucers. First up, is Matti Suuronen’s Futuro House from the late 1960s. They say only 100 were ever built but wherever I go in the world I seem to see one in some state of disrepair, and I’m not that well travelled. Weburbanist has some ultrafab […]

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New Theories for Old Truths

New Theories for Old Truths
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Last night I re-read Patrik Schumacher’s article “Let the style wars begin!” that appeared in Architect’s Journal in May 2010. In it, he talked-up “parametricism” as a necessary and best way for buildings to be. One person commented that of all the parameters that could be chosen, the ones that were chosen seem to be the ones […]

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Time & Architecture: Part I (NOW and WAS NOW)

Time & Architecture: Part I (NOW and WAS NOW)
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Following on from the cosmic theme of last week, we need to talk about Time and the ways buildings exist in this particular dimension that we’re stuck with. We need to do this because, even if we ever sorted out what Beauty was and how to create it in buildings, how could we be sure […]