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Tag: other ways of understanding architecture


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Dysfunctionalism^2

Dysfunctionalism^2
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Architectural phenomena are like quantum interactions and solar eclipses. You see more when you don’t observe them directly. The relationship between architecture and the media has now left the Chicken-Egg Era and firmly entered the Cart-Horse Era. In the past, I’ve used the World Architecture Festival as a symbol of an increasingly dysfunctional architecture. This year’s is the 4th-6th of November at Singapore’s Marina […]

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Architecture Myths #19: Popular Culture

Architecture Myths #19: Popular Culture
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) lived through Impressionism but, rather than taking the delicate play of light upon whatever as the subject for his art, is best known for his graphic paintings and illustrations of people in their working environments. Much of his work was for advertising. This particular poster is from 1891. This next image is possibly the first instance of […]

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dysfunctionalism

dysfunctionalism
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DYSFUNCTIONALISM: Current state of architecture; characterised by an absence of relationship between form and stated reasons for its generation. It’s the start of a new year and I feel the need to make sense of the one gone. Sometimes it’s clearer if you squint a bit, lose focus. Sometimes it’s better to not try to observe things directly and instead compare a current state with a previous state, […]

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Architecture Myths #15: Intellectual vs. Romantic

Architecture Myths #15: Intellectual vs. Romantic
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I glossed over the apparent dichotomy of  “intellectual” and “romantic” in my previous post but Classical vs. Romantic and Intellectual vs. Artist would have done just as well. Classical vs. Romantic can be applied to many things of which architecture is one, and we know Intellectual vs. Artist can be applied to many types of people. To divide architects and, by corollary, […]

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Architecture Myths #14: The Difficult Whole

Architecture Myths #14: The Difficult Whole
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The phrase “the difficult whole” comes at us via Robert Venturi, as quoted by Jean La Marche’s in “The Familiar and the Unfamiliar in Twentieth-century Architecture”, with reference to Venturi’s “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture”. The important bits are “the difficult whole is “the difficult unity through inclusion rather than the easy unity of exclusion”. I guess this is […]

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The Real Function of Form

The Real Function of Form
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The kickoff for this post was an infovertisement in June’s Architectural Review. Ostensibly, the issue was about criticism but there wasn’t much on show. Elsewhere, Michael Sorkin contributed a very long article criticising criticism. I’m still trying to digest it and when I do I’ll write an article criticising that. If ever it’s proved that architecture is actually […]

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Is Aesthetics Sustainable?

Is Aesthetics Sustainable?
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This entire field of aesthetics and sustainability needs a bit of a tidy up and – once again – I’m grateful to Dr. Glen Hill for going a long way towards sorting it out in his essay “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption”, in “Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture“. The question “what should sustainable buildings look like?” […]

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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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Architecture Myths #5: A is to B as B is to A+B

Architecture Myths #5: A is to B as B is to A+B
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Let’s not bother with facts and definitions as we all know what we’re talking about here. However – and I’ll return to this – the A-series paper sizes are not trying to look beautiful. Here’s one of many websites devoted to the Golden Proportion. I’m not the first to blog about the cult or myth of the Golden Ratio. […]

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The Things Architects Do #2: Ornament

The Things Architects Do #2: Ornament
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Hello again. I’d like to talk about ornament. But first, I have a friend who’d like to say something. You can find Adolf Loos saying the same thing in more words here but he did make two important points. The first is that ornament is unnecessary – he believed that ornament on buildings was the sign of […]

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Where Architecture Went Wrong

Where Architecture Went Wrong
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Mainly known for his writings, Vitruvius was himself an architect. In Roman times architecture was a broader subject than at present including the modern fields of architecture,construction management, construction engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, military engineering and urban planning. Vitruvius is the author of De architectura, known today as The Ten Books on Architecture, a treatise written of Latin and Greek on architecture, dedicated to the emperor Augustus. […]

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What’s the point of Architecture? – Part 2

What’s the point of Architecture? – Part 2
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To the credit of Mr. Sinclair, Architects for Humanity is making the first major challenge to the question “What is architecture supposed to be about?” since Walter Gropius taught us it’s all about the prestige, Le Corbusier taught us it’s all about the power, Mies van der Rohe taught us it’s all about the money […]