Author Archives: Oliver Pershav 2013

In Absence of a Scanner

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Now to rehearse the text! Tomorrow more drawing, and printing larger.

EDIT: Added the scanned version, for google’s pleasure.

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If Leylands Was a Barge

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More eeeuöööhhh. More stuff. A mess.

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Snaking …

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Beginning of an Interior

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HaNDz BaRGe

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Will scan tomorrow – this image is a photo – splice them together and print. (+add some Photoshop water, so that it becomes obvious when I present that all the towers sit on a “floating ground”)

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Paranoid Print

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It feels good to have *something* to show, something to relieve all worst-case-scenarios that circle in your head when you wake up in the morning. Talked with Ananth about glossy vs. cartridge (all the drawings are glossy at the moment) and we both found it a good idea to make the pencil drawings (the towers + the scaffolding image I’m currently working on) stand out on a more artsy paper (thick watercolour?), while the renders benefit from their over-the-top posh print style, to separate the reality of the drawing from the reality of the render.

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In the Air

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Got thrown out by the security staff while I was busy having fun, rendering bumpmaps and whatnot. Tomorrow I’ll go back to the hand-drawn towers, and start prepping for the final print. Only a week to the jury!

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Up!

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This will be the perpetually constructed towers rising next to each other from the view of one standing on the barge. I want to envelop the viewer with the towers, so that you get a feeling of being dwarfed by these strange totems protruding upwards like silent Easter Island statues, remnants of a culture which one can be a part of, almost like a secret society, like the Freemasons of architecture … currently reading Sartre, being and nothingness. My towers are a resistance against the emptiness of Modernist architecture, like Maddie, life without things is impossible, so what we offer is an opulent attack on emptiness by means of the stylistic mess/eclecticism for all, with all, with everything …

Note to self: how is it different from postmodernism
since we’ve disposed of postmodernism as well in the purge?

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Dream Tower

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Working on another tower, one which is under construction and comprised of low-brow architecture. As I see it I should embrace the messiness of the project and drive it towards even further fragmentation, that is, the more we expect the project to come to a conclusion at the end of the year, it does rather the opposite, and ends with all loose wires and threads, allowing the architect to elucidate on the complexity of making a “building” rather than providing a definitive response to a program, or a brief. In a way, I’m turning the project trajectory around: begin with something extremely simple and finite (the Diamond House) and then make a mess of it, expand on its possibilities, all the discussions within it. Put simply: reverse the process!

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Friday Fun

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Softer shadows, a bit of noise and a tilt-shift blur … (making for the sake of making?)

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Akira

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This is the view of the towers in the midst of the perpetually constructed stacked houses (I know, such a cliché) that accommodate the builders (architects?) as they construct the towers. Does it look too manga-ish? I’m wrapping my mind around the idea of having the two languages – render and ink – sit well together, so you almost get the same feeling from them. Perhaps I should go totally in the opposite direction, and do an overload of colours, textures, reflections, sunsets … dunno. Will ponder on my way home.

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View #2

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Picking a View

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Reminds me of that Caspar David Friedrich painting …

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Texxxt

Linky.

Found it easier to rewrite the text rather than cutting and pasting everywhere, or rather, after I had cut and pasted everywhere, I sat down and read it out loud (feeling very demagogic) and then rewrote the text in order for it to have a more pleasant flow.

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Footwork

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Well, this took longer than I expected ..
Will begin modeling one of the towers tomorrow
+ prepare the text. G’night.

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The Messy Hand

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The Climb

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Beginning of the scaffolding that will rise from the barge and envelope the towers. It’s deliberately wonky and flimsy, I’m trying to model the way I draw, to add a naive dimension to it. Working on the text in parallel, although currently it more resembles a collection of notes than a coherent argument. Oh, and the style of the renders is just temporary, I will add lots of dirt and textures and photoshop-fun to the final images.

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The Cakes

towers005
Not so happy with the last tower (far right), the one that is under construction – it looks a bit like the odd-one out. With the penultimate tower, I tried to incorporate a more modern language, but it still looks a bit romantic/nostalgic. Now back to the computer … one-zero-zero-one-one-zero …

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More Towers

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The paradigm of the mess.
Everything is on the floor, everything shaken by the winds, nothing is left
to the organized mind, because such organization would be spiritual violation.
The mind that can see all kinds of patterns is the same mind that loves the city
for the city is but a mess of buildings, frantically trying to tie together each other
by the use of roads, cable cars, zeppelins and tubes. The city planner fights
a neverending battle against the mess, improvising under the threat of earthquakes
by stringing power cords over the roads, connecting apartments and condos alike
in order to make them function sufficiently, if not without certain haplessness.
The mess is life. Life is a mess. It actively resists clarification, and yet allows it
to find itself inside the material, which is to say, a mess is not chaos; there is
not one key, but many, and as such is the glory of it, because it is *rich*
it attempts not just one thing – to succeed, but many things, and perhaps
it may fail gloriously in the process. To the architect who knows his world
there can be no mess anywhere, only more intuitive forms of organization.
My pen lies where the best place to put a pen is. My project caters
to all who wants a slice of it – it is a dinner party, not a diet.

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Movements Invade

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The barge arrives at each city, beginning with Venice
unloading its machinery on the shoreline, the ship becomes the site
the water becomes the stable ground. Since the architects are gone
the visitors to the barge are an interested but unskilled workforce
eager to claim the ownership of their city again, away from
the elite international firms, and back to the Modernist poster boys:
in legal terms, Mies was not an architect, Corb was not an architect
Wright was certainly everything but an architect. If Hundertwasser
gained notoriety as a maverick on the architectural scene, could I
claim clear ownership of a new movement from within? How far
can one go seriously into a joke, while still having an audience
that smiles?

The tower is erected without functional necessities, despite them being
programmatic entities with a role to fulfil, to be craggy beacons with concrete
disguised as rock, with marble painted with lush brushstrokes, and with cedar
cut from plywood. With eclecticism, everyone is an author, as the Hollein walls
are made in truth (although being fake). If the conversation is skin-deep
one enables that conversation by means of the tattoo. The towers
are towed away from the barge, and become exclamation points
figurative statues of liberty, or perhaps, even more concrete
than the New York symbol. Who will inhabit these towers?
Is it the people who built them? Shouldn’t all buildings
which have a mission to complete, be animated by those
who cared for it the most? The role of the architect
becomes interesting when we no longer decide
who is an architect, and who is not.

The only movement which can accommodate all movements is eclecticism;
stigmatized by the modern movement as a toxic “moss” of architecture
climbing up the pure concrete frame, eclecticism proceeds in a manner
which allows it to devour whatever it sees, to whatever city it visits.
True eclecticism encompasses both the local megalopolis
and the global hole.

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Noise Introduction

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If the goal of our polemical denkbild is to rid the world of architecture
from the influence of the architects, it follows that we must employ a staff
of non-architects in order to make architecture, again. We become obsessed
with finding the naive mind, the one unspoilt by the history and conformity
that each institution bent towards guiding the mind which has yet to become
an architectural Dasein. The question: how do we unlearn what we’ve learnt?
Can we arrive at an architecture which has no particular reference to the past
precisely because it employs such an abundance of personal references that it
automatically becomes contextual in vision and form. To the naive architect
buildings remain buildings although dressed up to become cinematic, lyrical
and concerned with art as a conceptual idea. If architecture in the schools
is acquired language, for the sake of understanding form as a hegemony
then what matters to the non-architect is the romanticism
of the total cityscape, as acquired by merely being present.
The city, London itself, is much richer than any example
of a new office marker, nervous forms, unsure
in their calculated newness.

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Highway 36

mies-alert2

The fundamental question of the architectural profession is that of the personal versus the collective, the individual versus the movement, the isolated versus the interconnected. If we are, today, living in times when every architect is on his own, pursuing his unique style and selling his name, then how come the design process of the architect forces him to adhere to one principle, one concept, one question, and that every step on the way needs to be gauged to this framework and not divert from its suggested path? This is dated Modernist thinking. A project is not one thing. A project is not an enclave, but rather, a project is a catalogue of enclaves; an architect is a catalogue of concepts, that each have their own integrity. A contemporary architectural movement would have to regard the architects as collectors, and the design as a fused concentration of individual parts. Each story is its own universe. Each fragment is a whole in its own.

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Pencil (WIP)

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After extensive 3D-modelling I felt the urge to go back to drawing again, seeing as it is – to me – easier to design with my hand than with the mouse. This is the first of a series of perspectives where I will draw the experiments of the movements that are launched by the barge/platform. This is a café, seeing as all the best ideas for a future manifesto tends to come on the road to a pub or a patisserie (Situationists represent). The movement-launcher thus becomes self-referential; the more we continue to design our means for design, the more these spaces will shape us and our ambitions. These spaces will be located on the ship.

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In The Future We’ll Invent More Jam

whatwewant

The inhabitation of architecture is more important than the architecture itself.

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The Mess is Growing

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Working on the architecture offices, trying to strike a balance between doing the cliché of the office as much as designing it in a manner that I find attractive. Everything is, as always, quite small and overly detailed. What you see in the middle is a conference table (where the master architect plots his takeover of the world), and to the right are the individual desks where the drones hack away on CAD annotations.

I’m restricting myself not to read or write before 10 in the evening. The abstinence is not small, but manageable. These two have been with me for many many years, but I’ve come to the point where I’m putting off more important things just to increase that sweet word count just a little bit more … it’s for health! (and sanity)

Also, turns out the Architectural Review is reading our blog!

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A Thoughtful Mess

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Library / Printer

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Sitting in a room that is not quite hostile, that is not quite friendly;
it is my room, how I learned of Niemeyer in the first place, through a book
I inherited from my childminder, that’s how my career started, and now it ends
in the same words that the master proclaimed his architecture defunct: no time
for theory, no time for thoughts, no time for building, life is too short.
Take a walk down Copacabana, see the sea shaking hand with the hills
and don’t mind the smoke of the cigar that has failed to kill you.

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EDITED: Text Space

elements

Been researching away the day, examining the Biennale (the current as well as those of the past). Got my hands on an AMO image and edited it to suit my counter-proposal.

Link to this day’s gibberish.

EDIT: Now that I think of it, my project could be a how-to-guide of launching a movement – what I do is to provide the *means* for the -ism, while it, itself, is empty. Fill in the gaps yourself. This way of looking at the project is useful because it ties together:

1) The purge of architects and architectural objects with the shadow Biennale; one must first confront the past (and debunk it) before one can fabricate one’s brave new world.

2) The earlier cliché-city; one must identify one’s enemies and catalogue them excessively, mapping the tracks of your enemy, so you know what *not* to do.

3) The house for a house; we move from one point in time to another, we move forwards, outwards, while still being unable to sever ourselves completely from our precedent. (Perhaps we can only hide him.)

What do you think?

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Shadow Barge

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So what will happen to the barge when it returns to Venice?
I’m proposing an acceleration of the present, where the purge
becomes circular, and every new year brings with it new concepts
(that are scrapped and shipped to some third-world country
when the season is over).

It is new for the sake of new, youth for the sake of youth.
It is fashion. Yes. Architecture is fashion. So, therefore
I decided I needed a catwalk, a conveyor belt, or anything
that markets a bright new world for a bright new spring.

The barge will become a catwalk.
But hey, isn’t that what the Biennale already is?
Seems like we’re repeating ourselves once again.

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Time and Text

… I have too little of the former, and too much of the latter (8000+).

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Instead of having a generic “fame-factor” deciding the faces in the Biennale, I have chosen them depending on how much they’ve influenced me up until this point; they are not “heroes”, but rather people who have been important characters in my architectural journey, as villains or protagonists, as people to react to or people to follow. The same goes for the projects in the background, which are the 20th century projects that have been instrumental to me in finding my academic trajectory. What brings the project together apart from the personal reference is that they’re all unbuilt, and that their creators have already passed away.

teatro-edited
Sliced Teatro.

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Where will we be tomorrow?

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Capillary Break & Capital Theft

Korea Air Component Comand commander holds 6 ACCES

Print

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Stahl House Stolen

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I lie in the grass on the fringe of the hole.
The hole has been there the whole time, the hole says
to me, to itself. What is in a hole, what fills it, and foremost:
what was there before it was taken away, what are the thoughts
that have been slashed off before they were finished, cut away
like limbs of the scenic torso …

It does not matter so much
who did it, and where it is now, because absence will fill the hole
with everything it needs to begin anew. The hole is an opportunity
as much as a disaster. It killed granny in order to prepare for the toddler
defeating gravity with unstable (but persistent) steps, from one chair
to the other.

I am the master of my absence
and I am the cause for this loss (is it a loss at all?), which now sits
somewhere else, slashed to pieces in order to be reassembled
near the edge of the land. But for now

we have this enigma
if enigmas can be traded, I am the make-believe emperor
of my own body, but not what I can do with it. Dig away
the past, pull the plug, poison them – it is all forbidden
by a society which craves violence in the cinema
and death of vermin and flies, as momentary
as possible.

The hole is longing to be filled.
The problem with living on this stinking planet is the impossibility
of accessing a place of complete emptiness, because we drag with us
this body to whatever place we’re fleeing in the face of. Run away
from your defect files, defragment your memories, repair
instincts while you’re walking over the void.

A matter acting as solid is just an excuse
for being fluid in another state of being.

The physical hole is located by the means of its edges.
It preserves the impact, where it fell, who landed it, what it erased
what it burnt into the leather and scoped out the eyes of. The edge
is always the skin; it is the skin of the Earth. Later, much later
nature itself will fill this land and heal the wound, all wounds.

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Wood Poem

Print

Print

For the performative materials course (Evan & Nacho), which is looking at ways to passively transfer water from wet areas to dry, modulating the spaces in-between. Of the two TS-courses, this is the one that relates the least to my studio project, although it will change as I enter the design phase.

Thoughts on the role of the architect:

The invisible architect. Once the architect is completely erased
and taken away from ubiquitous discourse, architecture itself
can be appreciated for its ability to, like its creator, evade description
and concreteness. The immersive experience is equal to the absence.
Architecture takes away the world; from what we see, architecture
cannot survive as glass (which not even Mies could disagree to).
The perfect guide is that which doesn’t guide at all; when you find
your own way, and the paths discovered come across as being
self-evident to the Dasein that analysed and incorporated them.
When the self is no longer present, we are present as the world.
The invisible self is the visible not-self. The architect is creator.
He is visible through his extended flesh, not his commands.

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TS! Hah!

Small-in-Large-Draft.indd

Small-in-Large-Draft.indd

Small-in-Large-Draft.indd

I’m adapting the TS courses to the studio project, with a) Nacho and Evan’s course “Form & Matter”, an investigation into how the flood of Venice (Acqua Alta) can be controlled and transmitted through/with the barge, so that spaces adjacent to it are saved from the flood – drained, so to speak – while spaces on the boat, which we normally think of as dry, are saturated with water. b) For Martin’s course (Small in Large) I propose a buoyancy system that will keep the barge stable as it makes its way in and out of Venice. This is a component-based system (the informal theme of the course) which has a specific life span; it helps to stabilize the barge in its course of picking up architecture/architects, and then disconnects from it when it is time for the purge, making it happen “naturally.”

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The Boys [EDITED]

EDIT: The Disappearance of the Biennale

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Advanced age offers an opportunity to reason in retrospect
when a man is faced with the mass of what he has accomplished
it results faintly in the question of “why?” Why breathe? Why write?
Each field has its own balance between old and young, old and new.
Among the concert pianists, the innocence is in the speed of fingers
and the long-established fact of the classic repertoire. The biennale
has become an institution for the young to play by the rules set out
by their parents. The fight doesn’t seem to be so much about age
as in establishment. In architecture, the young do their studies
under the supervision of a professor, while in popular culture
the professors devote their time to analysing what youth
is up to at the moment, which gadgets they purport
which clothes they flash, which games they get lost in.

Give the teenagers a can of spray paint, and they will tag
all the railroad cars, all the motorway overpasses, and all
the abandoned warehouses. Give the teenagers Minecraft
and they will build their homes unlike everything seen
through the lens of the literati. All taste is acquired
but the feverish activity of the scooter gang fills us
with a sort of impoverishment of admiration, that is
we lack the will to repeat their acts. Because we want?
No. Because we are. Still young, still with us, still beating
the youngsters in their own race to be the most radical.
Part of growing up is part of knowing that you can’t be
any more different than the others around you.
Each schoolyard has its own pecking order.
Each biennale has its own dedicated judges.

The biennale is a smokescreen; within it, we are let to know
that there is no escape from the new-ness that is produced
by those ideas offered by the curator. One should always look
with certain suspicion towards the making of competitions
because the ones deciphering it are also those most keen
to displace real, possible concepts for could’ve-been-real.
The biennale’s first fault is in being a biennale itself.
It presents itself as the central event of architecture
that year, a place where the culture of this architecture
can thrive and profusely overcome the ghost
of the retort: “it-has-been-built-before.”
The young are not fooled, they are hungry.
We who do the catwalk are young
but we who celebrate it are old.

The only reason for the biennale to still exist
is for it to disappear in its current form. It is not enough
to throw us a bone and then expect great things to come
if we’re still caught in the 10-12 grind of model-building
and door-positioning. Someone else is always there
to seize the credit beyond the office. A new collective
needs to be invented for Venice, this city of supreme nostalgia
built on a morass of decaying larch poles, the place where Bond
met the demise of a career beyond the action blockbuster.
The biennale needs to go away in order for it to come back.
What we’re facing in our choice of career is not buildings
that is what concepts are to philosophy, a mere by-product
of the activity that led up to making a living. How much
is an artefact worth? Not much. The joy is not in the win
it is in the fight!

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Mysterious (Abandoned?) Arsenale

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Took me ages to learn how to render this scene properly, and although it doesn’t look like much, it was hard-earned money. The more you know!

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Super-Barge

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Now for Photoshop and the customary poem.

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A bit of Kikutake

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capsule

“To listen to Daft Club front-to-back is — and it’s pointless to exaggerate here — to watch a loved one be physically dismembered.”

Amassing the history of architecture in order to cut it up, like the city of clichés i worked on before, to put together a Frankenstein’s Paradise on the barge that will take us to the next paradigm.

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The Bar

export-oldy
Mies lent his cantilever chair for the bar stools.

Obligatory poem:

The Arrival: Venice rises with the sun, to the first day
of Rem’s new archi-fiesta, and as he is preparing to give
his opening speech, all the architects turn their attention
away from the sea, to the mass, the building mass.
They don’t see what’s happening in the lagoon.
So suddenly, a loud CRASH! The ground shakes, people run.
From the channel, a vessel ten times the size of a canal house
has stranded upon St. Mark’s Square; after the dust has settled
the architects are assaulted by a barrage of advertisements
all built from the icons of the past. This is the Next Big Thing!

But what, precisely, is it that is so *irresistible* about it that it fools
an entire army of architects-in-the-know, even the master himself
to board it and sail away? Is it its being a city without a country
a city where, finally, it is the architects who are in charge of it
as opposed to the politicians, to the lawmakers, the masses.
If you can’t make it on land, build your own. This is your ground.
The metropolis of the future will not be linked together by airlines
it will have no links at all. It will sever its ties with the discontinuous
and old Europe, the tired Americas, as well as the emerging Far East.
On this barge, a whole new culture will arise, it will be the glory
of a community where everyone has the wits
to appreciate Modern architecture.

From Bauhaus to our house
has been hacked: it is now
from Venice to Eternity.

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It’s Taking Over San Marco!

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Later: Deconstruction

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I miss writing.

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Sandwich Barge

work-it copy
My Maya sk1lls are impr0ving.

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Insertion

arsenal-inserted

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Reading Koolhaas, he mentions Venice in DNY with a quote from Nietzsche:

“A hundred profound solitudes together constitute the city of Venice.
That is its charm. A model for the men of the future.”

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Back to School

Print

The yellow is my proposed barge-complex, a mirror of the real Arsenale.
My line of events:

Stage 1: Arriving; a new venue to the Biennale, suspiciously familiar.
Stage 2: Alluring; it is so fantastic, so promising, so seductive …
Stage 3: Exiting; … that we don’t realize we’ve left Venice behind.
Stage 4: Purging; the end of architects – the end of architecture.
Stage 5: Returning; what now?

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Modular Building

modular-building copy
Text for open jury, feel free to comment.

Oliver: A structure, in its most stupid sense, is a whole made out of several parts.
This is the simplest denominator of Dip 9, eleven students and one teacher
bound together on a year-long voyage, which, like the Star Trek crew
has as its mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life
and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before.

A structure, in our vocabulary, is architectural in an insidious kind of way
the projects themselves feed on each other’s strengths and weaknesses
and what matters in the end is not just the architecture that comes out of it
but the architects as well. Structure, to us, is the relationship between things
from stories and setting to convention and representation. It is confusing
and full of magic; it rejects the safe spot in favour of space-age materials
faked art and maps galore. This is Dip 9, and this is the way
we jack the house.

Anny: First stop on the way to Good Architecture: the line. Merve launched
a critique on the representational line, which took her from a topography
of dizzying complexity to the single cut through the land, the architect
scoring the Earth to go beyond figure/ground and ending up in the reality
of the tunnel, the cut, the incision. Eleanor stopped to hitch a ride
with the line, seeing how far it could take her on her path
to explore how flatness and perspective can disintegrate
into the question of whether we actually need to build
in order to experience architecture. Her universe is one
of bent lines emanating from the centrepoint of a camera
invisible yet only apparent when viewed through the eye.

In a different manner, Ananth’s assembly line explores the production
of architecture, rather than falling into the trap of designing an architecture
of perpetual difference. The assembly line becomes the anti-icon, the building
at the end becomes a monument without trying to be a monument: one big space
enveloped by one big building, collapsing into itself, too dense to avoid
the critical point of a supernova becoming a black hole, growing
even bigger with everything it catches.

Merve: From the factory of assembly to the factory of glass, a quarry of rocks
excavated for the sake of exploring the state change from mountains
to molecules and everything in-between. Liz’s factory moves into
the dense core of the Earth where interiors are narrow and vast
where the strata is excavated down to the bedrock, cutting through
soil, rock and groundwater, which slowly fills the space with liquid
that has to be expelled into the sea.

Oliver: Water becomes the foundation to Oliver’s intrusion into Venice
proposed as a counter-event to the architecture Biennale of 2014
where the famous architects are fooled to join a ship setting away
from the shore to arrive in Cat’s archipelago, where they then begin
to consume each other, like a designer’s Battle Royale, while
the Venice lagoon will have adopted its shadow biennale.
Merve returns on the ship that took her through Libeskind’s archipelago
where the lines become canals, rivers and streams through which
she has navigated to find her own identity within.

Another kind of ship is boarded by Ioana, floating
in another kind of sea: that of air, the stratosphere.
A superstructure that, like Bucky Fuller, must ask itself:
how much does it weigh? This air-ship lifts the equivalent
of three-hundred-plus Routemasters, and relies on materials
so precious, so brittle, that even the smallest sample
will fill us with awe.

Having embarked on these ships, we collide with the islands
and find ourselves in Cat’s archipelago once again, where Oliver’s barge
has already landed. Here we must ask, for a moment: are we islands?
Since it is of Dip 9:s deep concern to investigate the architect as project
our role as part of the unit is to be the guinea pigs of our own experiments
tossing ourselves farther and father away from the predictable and expected
and eventually inhabiting the island we have been washed ashore upon.

Merve: We who form these architects experiment obsessively with the hand;
carving, cutting, drawing, putting together and taking apart, none of our projects
could happen without the hand. The hand is crucial to Vidhya’s assembly
of the manimation, short for manual animation. Her departure point is
the cliché of the continuous surface, and attempts to do everything
but simply representing the most trite interpretation of her precedent:
the oblique plane. Always on the verge of becoming a catastrophe
in its most scientific sense, Vidhya works with the continuous narrative
the only reading of the continuous surface that doesn’t lead to
a minimal technical instant solution-to-everything hoax
arguing that the process of making architecture is
just as hard as it seems.

To Ari, the hand does not only sweep away the form of Cedric Price’s Fun Palace
converting it into a diagram and a launch pad for audiences. The hand also
carves its way through time, revealing the diagram by brute force, the way
we understand the difference between architecture as composed of figure
that is, the boring, standard way of imagining an icon, and the ground as cast
lifted-up, erected, reinventing the megastructure of the near past.

Anny returns in the theme of city as story
which she understands as a tapestry of events that becomes so rich it threatens
the city itself. Like the Manhattan we know so well, the only escape is through overlap
of covering up the city that we begin with so that we can manifest ourselves
on top of it. The paper, here, is not just flat, 2D; it expands to gain thickness
a thickness of occurrences and narratives that become opaque
or transparent, or even double-sided.

Anny: In a similar vein, Oliver fabricates cities of his own. Based on the trite stereotypes
of the profession, he makes houses for houses which eventually break free
from their confinement to form meta-narratives, discussing the entire process
an architectural idea undergoes during its lifetime, arguing that the geniuses
simply place themselves closer to the truth-stage, than the stereotype-stage.

Oliver: Now to enter the portal to a parallel world of frames and framings.
We dive into hyperspace, where Anny occupies the space between city
and fantasy, where the frame becomes a condition that is not an object
nor a isolated site. It borrows its narrative device from the city as story
where it begins to enclose the space like a character encloses the plot
of a murder.

Cat’s portals are threshold conditions between a plethora of spaces
that are so far away from each other that we think of them as separate
but the map ties them together, becoming a graph of interlocked gateways.
She steals the Duke of Wellington, and then escapes through her own map
to take her somewhere else; it is both an escape to an Arcadian paradise
and a route back to the dirty reality of London and Dr. No’s lair.

Merve: Meanwhile Eleanor plots another parallel world which begins in the most mundane
a block of council flats in East London, but transforms through the literal change
of perspective, and the room we thought of as perfectly graspable, seeing
the coffee cups on the table, makes us doubt whether there is another reality
out there, drafted simply on paper, that is more real than what we currently see
through our eyes. As these eyes, these frames, change, so does our worlds.

Oliver’s frame is the housing of clichés that become operative in the arsenal
of the mediocre architect. Each of the houses are contained within another
relying on intuitive frame. The entrance to these worlds is through the emptiness
of the middle; the replacement, the making of architecture into a frame
is what frames the architecture.

Ioana, our specialist of collapsing two-fold underworlds and overlaid Nolli plans
envisions a sink hole that takes us to another place, from the deceivingly stable
stretch of a road and its pavement, opening up to the uncertain, to chance
taking away the certainty of what we take for granted everyday, the ground
we’re standing on, and the otherworld that arises.

Anny: But where are we right now? For this reason, we need to consult our map.
Evidently, we are here, right here, right now, and the map becomes a tracing
of possible futures and definitive pasts, trajectories previous travellers followed
and the sum of their confusion reaching into the certainty and control
of the grid. Here again, we find the structure of the unit, the relationship
between genres, labels, themes and curiosities, coming together in a web
of thoughts and approaches.

Having wandered around in the swamp of ambiguity, we are confronted
with the extreme presence of the monolith, a construction that embodies
what it means to be here, to dominate. For Ari, the monolith is not an object;
it is an aggregate of the present, of the context that sits in her testing ground
of the city. It is a massive manifestation of the audience, the core component
of architecture, and its progress towards realization becomes even more striking
than its final appearance. The monolith rises because its audience wants it to.
It lives on for as long as they see fit.

Oliver: Liz’s monolith is the factory, and how the factory can shift presence
from one part of the ground, to sit within it, to float above it, to harbour it
to reject it, to build a moat for itself, and to be confronted with nature’s
own readymade monolith, the mountain. It is a battle of two monoliths
confronting each other, between the already given and the built
between architecture and site, lion and chameleon. How do we
approach the state of a pristine site? Is the monolith by which
we confront the site positive or negative, additive or substractive?

Lana tests both a fictional monolith, that of Leonidov’s tower of industry
and another built through drawings, paper and discourse. Her monolith
exists at two places at once: two lines converging in the space between
just as the monolith pierces the city in order to bring its franchise
and facade to yet another place; the monolith is the logical end,
the last ditch effort of the architect to cement her megalomania.

Merve: Lana, like the rest of us, is hard at work with paper as her medium;
that means, paper that can be folded, cut, bent, printed and made
to represent just about any idea the designer fancies. From paper
we float into the image, and how the image is not just printed truth
but a medium open for interpretation and modification, even lies.

Eleanor’s image is the one of the photograph, the technical incision
into reality that we have created in order to see without the presence
of a body. The image becomes an evidence of an architecture
that does the opposite journey of fiction derived from reality
and leads from the fiction into reality. She is building the fake
eventually making it genuine.

Liz, on the other hand, discusses the nature of the point
converted into a line, that is, moving from one dimension
to two, and from this two-dimensionality to the full 3D
of the mountain that is the site for her quarry. This is not a diagram;
this is not an exploration of building as they are, but of the state change
hidden far within the architect’s range of weapons. Liz’s image is not static
but it cannot move without the help of the architect, who selects its views.

Anny: This image is further explored by Ioana, our Forger, Faker, Fiction Maker
who takes Piranesi to the British Museum, infiltrating both the virtual
and the actual with her carefully crafted forgeries, which are building
the anti-real, the anti-authentic. If there is a need to get rid of them
we can just fill them with aerogel and deploy them into the air
that is if we don’t come to prefer the fakes as superior
to the original. Likewise, Lana is forging the history
of Russian constructivism, inserting it new and shining
into an enthusiastic city, cut-and-copy with all
its inherent flaws and merits.

One who’s faking must also know his preferred faking medium
which brings us back to the paper as our material for the year.
Without paper, our projects would simply not be possible
just like the hand, it is the rendezvous of the thinking
and the thought, between what we want to say
and what we’re actually able to say. In Merve’s words:
I draw, therefore it exists.

Merve: Anny stacks narratives of paper on top of each other, figments of imagination
taking form on the table before us. They twist and turn in the fabric of space
like self-conscious Moebius strips where the architect is constantly dancing
on the edge, which, when reduced to its thinnest form, doesn’t even exist.
We play the game, we place the layers, like a Papershop CS 6, and the fiction
unfolds accordingly.

The paper as space-maker marks the intrusion of Oliver’s worlds
into this one world where we ask ourselves why all new inventions
begin with manifesto plus paper, resulting in a detailed drawing
that is subsequently cut up and shuffled around.

Now, with the final fold of Vidhya’s manual animation, we find ourselves
in a familiar setting: back at the AA, back in the Soft Room, from which
the step is easy to take to get to the lecture hall, where we
the combined force of Dip 9, currently stand, the structure
of our unit’s work as obvious as it is intuitive. Is this the end?

Oliver: No! We are not islands, we do not exist as separable entities
isolated from each other, each nurturing our own world.
The structure of our presentation is the discussion of our unit.
We inhabit each other’s projects, talk and try and propose
and what we finally end up with might not be the most stable
of architectural constructs, but it is a relationship between things
and perhaps the danger is also quite a nice part of the process.

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Stacking

2-layers copy

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The Critical Loop – EDITED

critical-loop

Been spending the weekend thinking about my project in a greater context, what it is I want to say, what I want to uncover. My argument, at this point, lends inspiration from the critical line discussion we had on Friday, and expands it into a critical loop, discussing the stages an architectural invention occupies during its lifespan, of which the cliché is only one point. Does all good architecture go through this process? What ideas stay in certain stages, why, and to whom? It seems to me that the architect can occupy different stages at different points in his career. Perhaps the stroke of genius is to deliver fresh ideas that, by themselves and by the help of peers and followers, become conventions. The famous architect then discards his language when it is on the verge of becoming a cliché, and thus leaving it to others to resurrect it at a later point.

EDITED: (Beginning of) an Architect’s Dictionary

Truth: the seamlessness by which reality and fiction overlap.
This is what the mediocre artist searches frantically for in his strained attempts
at being decadent and living up to his own myth, which is a myth in the sense
that it is a supernatural explanation of things where truth would suffice.
This is also what the genius effortlessly disseminates across the field
because while one can get far enough without it (by joining the pack)
a genius cannot sustain his own self-image if he doesn’t revolutionize
architecture at least once every decade, be it by publishing a monograph
or giving an awe-inspiring keynote lecture – not necessarily building.

Convention: the social contract by which we orientate ourselves
throughout our daily lives, the rules we stick to in our behaviour
anxious to ignore in imagination, anxious to live up to in the streets;
no-one wants to be the one who doesn’t understand (the stupid alien).
Cemented by mass-media and interpersonal networks, the convention
heals the fragmentation of a common community, however large
however small, however insular: the audience of architecture
except from its world-building software in the strategy games.
Each convention is linked to context, it becomes nonsensical
and incongruous if exited into a larger realm, if the res cogitans
is put into another res extensa, as if the monads and the world
collided and gave birth to the tropes we execute in the play.
Conventions relate to standards; they become benchmarks
of a chosen direction, one that is desirable, highly sought.
It is a convention that the jpeg is a square or rectangle
as is the use of the minus sign to tag negative values.

Pariah: a selection, proximal or out of reach to the entity in itself
which has been excluded from the truth-making connotations of society
in favour of living in history, as a mistake, a fault, while still being, in fact
tied to the present and talking for those who want to listen (which is none).
The status of the pariah is defined by the actions of leaders; if the policeman
beats up the subject, regardless of whether he has committed any crime or not
they merely enforce the values of the society they are set within. The outcast
is a manifestation of everything threatening the new balance, delicate as it is.
When conformity has become so strong as to suffocate the propagation
of new artwork, which is a priority for all creative professions, the norm
is shifted from one of convention to one of pariah, with the middle ground
being the cliché, which is the beginning of the downfall of a certain technique.
The pariah is untouchable; anyone deploying it in the belief that he is making
a valued and intelligent contribution to a common body of work
is not only mistaken, but to be lamented over – he becomes
the pariah himself; the stigma is transmitted.

Resurrection: a connotation’s rescue from its pariah-state by the incubation
of time and the passing of high art into historical culture, studied by a few
who tell of that connotation’s insertion into a new context, or transformed
under the presence of a novel technology. Example: the lush ornaments
of Elven architecture as inspired by the Art Noveau and new expressionism
suggesting that these fictional men (nonetheless enacted by real humans)
stand closer to nature and hold a more refined view our relationship to it.
It is not the art style that is new, it is the situation in which it finds itself.
In the same way, 19th century writings on the sublime, dismissed
as irrelevant to a scientific early Modernism, comes back to life
in the bold, MEL-scripted excesses of the Los Angeles genetics.
In the state of resurrection, the game is still in play; the corpses
still smell of decomposition, like the zombies they are.
It is still only of interest to the few who are young enough
to not know of the reason why it was put to sleep, anyway.
In this sense, naivety is every great artist’s greatest asset.
Nothing gets born out of nothing, but something alters
the gestalt of something when it is confronted
with a new code of action, a new mindset.

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Model + Ref

small-barge-test copy157-heaven-is-an-idea

To make architecture, you have to be somewhat of an idiot.
Such a person is not unintelligent; he is simply destructively naive.
He trusts in matters regular people let go of long ago, since childhood.
He sees great meaning in phrases other writers wouldn’t dare to touch.
To him, the cliché holds great truth and promise, its repetition
doesn’t bother him. Every man who changes the world is mad.
Everyone who repeats the same act expecting a different outcome
will eventually settle not in experience, but in faith. The idiot sits
between bullshit and dumb.

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Colour

Rem Koolhaas

Rem, you are history!
“Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects.”
We are the fundamentalists! Our story is about architects *and* architecture.
Either cannot exclude the other; one cannot design a work of art without
designing oneself, like Warhol said: look for me in the surface of my paintings
I’m there, nowhere else, nothing hidden. “Fundamentals will focus on histories.”
We contest it with the present, a carnival of youth, knowing well that there is
no history without a machine that forgets of its existence – moving in history
is a pastime for those who want to remember; being caught in the wilderness
is the sole way of architecture to rediscover itself. There is no real progress
in history; the beauty of art is in each generation making the same mistakes
of previous generations over and over again. History repeats itself!

The architectural limelight has been reserved for the ancients.
It is no coincidence that Alvaro Siza’s pavilion is not demolished
and neither is it that temporary structures and unpaid competitions
are the crowded battleground for the newly elected, newly graduated.
“this retrospective” you say, a nod towards a biennale that will become
an arena for dead people, dead movements, dead concepts. It resurrects it
makes it into a zombie architecture. Our counter-proposal: “this prospective.”
No more following the usual paths of success, that is, work for your teacher
start your own office, make everything except architecture – stage designs
speculative renders, consumer products – and then return to your school
to teach a unit of your own.

“Once specific and local has become interchangeable and global.”
The two do not mutually exclude each other; architecture is both
especially in days when the locality of a building is equal to the universality
of the ideas espoused by the zines and in the galas. At the same time, these
seem to be frantically searching for the next big star, and are fast to coin
the next big technology immediately before going mainstream.
If culture at large is obsessed with youth, then youth in architecture
is a chimera, for when we want to build our Facebook campus anyway
we go to Gehry, and when we hope to inject some style into our Apple HQ:s
we go to Foster. There is not a lack of interesting ideas, nor of design mentality
the problem has to do with the young being denied access to the pipeline
simply because architecture is not something to be toyed around with.
(Architecture is serious business.)

“The almost universal adoption of a single modern language
in a single repertoire of typologies.” If the language is modern
it forgets that the vast majority of what is being constructed today
is preoccupied, almost in an anal mode, with pleasing the conservatives
be it by giving their apartment blocks gabled roofs on top, or by using
traditional brick and wood, often at the expense of unloved concrete.
Perhaps youth in architecture does not only begin
among the architects themselves, but also in the industry
where experience stands unchallenged, but which is also occupied
with finishing the project according to known formulas, and buildings
do not evolve, in the process of building, if not the inexperienced
are given incentives to be happily unaware of how difficult it is
to run a project of your own. The first task: to stop being cynical.

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A Word from Our Sponsor

depth-of-field

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Shipping Stuff

render-test-barge2 copy top-view copy

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Beginnings of a Barge

render-test-barge copy

barge-linear-worlds

The one-concept house and the one-trajectory city
are not so much impossible as they are impotent.
The elaboration of a building into many problems is a sickness
but the curtailment of these problems into one solution, one gesture
is a bad cure. To say: this is what my project is about and not stray
from the path, is to follow modern principles in a postmodern stratum.
What it needs to be replaced with: complex eclecticism, which addresses
several narratives at once, parallel stories and multilinear synthesis
of the products and skills at hand. The first inspiration: the critical path
of the building process, expanded to become a pluralist’s morning walk.
(There is always another bus arriving at the stop.)

The four trajectories: house for a house (inside to outside)
the quarantining of dangerous clichés (backward to forward)
the city that is a cut-up story of release (confinement to escape)
and the exodus of the master architects (centre to periphery).

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OMA Supercruises

oma-supercruise

Before I can relieve Venice from its old architecture, I will first have to relieve it of the master architects. Hence, the OMA Supercruise Ship, designed to cast anchor near the biennale and lure the architects onto a ship they will never return from. Once the cruise ship is full, it will disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of Idiosyncratic Design and never be heard of again, leaving us regular architects free to do as we please.

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After The Party

Saatchi Gallery Re-Opens To The Public

No country for old men …

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Fundamentalism!

Young-Architects-Only-AF-Oct-1939

Currently attacking my project in a TS-way, inspired by the fifth years’s progression. Not that I want my project to become a technical exercise at the expense of the polemical, but I find it a productive way to take the next step by considering: how does it perform? How is it put together? How can it become believable? In a nutshell, out with representation, in with design.

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Stereotype Evolved

IMG_1161 copy

A collection of my poems post-jury (the last paragraphs being where I am, atm).

The identity of the cliché occurs when there are too many factors
of comparables converging into the same pattern, maybe even
the same responses. When Instagram vintagizes your photos
and you type a text in Helvetica, you instantly recognize the fatality
of ideas that are rehashed just because they were once successful.
The cliché leaves nothing for comparison, precisely because it leaves
everything as too identical – it lacks a will on its own. It becomes clear
that the game of identity is a crucial balance between what is known
and what is not, what we recognize and what we’re confronted with.
A successful piece of art is a “both”, it fits into a movement, as well
as occupying the edge of that movement, contributing to its fuzziness.

Instead of dealing with built cliché, stereotype-as-form, and diluted conventions
in the construction of our environment, we will deal with the cliché as a person
as a movement, as a social coterie, essentially merging the mainstream
with counterculture, seeing how we become caricatures and bitter satire
of ourselves, a man who doesn’t exist, a home for no-one and everyone
that fits the description, or rather, who is designated by the description
of others to fit within it. Every successful businessman has a suit
he is willing to wear, a tie and a white shirt. Prejudice sets in
when we confirm what we see; we don’t have to see more.
A house for Average Joe, and the many instances
of the man on the Clapham omnibus.

Every space has a clichéd personality, both figuratively and physically speaking
associated with it. Can the space escape its inhabitants, just as they can escape
the fear of being left behind by switching to the right kind of large-frame glasses?

The house of Venice horrors, all the clichés of the city reduced to a theme park
situated in the lagoon. How self-recursive isn’t that, the trite remark becoming
even triter in itself? Ultra-Venice, a city without the need for city-dwellers, or
an architecture show without the need for architecture – we have architects!
An counter-curation, a shadow-exposition. Koolhaas: Fundamentals will be
a biennale about architecture, not architects. Credentials, on the other hand
will be a one-off carnival about the insular world of architects, their hands
on the scalpel, their meetings in the overloaded, humid, unheated offices
where the unpaid-but-fortunate interns hack away on cardboard models
and Rhino rail sweepings. The project: a diametric mono-ennale
with its own puppet-director, its own prizes, its own Arsenale
its own memorabilia, its own legendary cocktail brawls.

Bringing the instant-Shoreditch to whatever small town you’re caught up in;
a taste of London to Birmingham, replacing the hooded drum ‘n’ bass kids
with a hair salon for trimmed beards, a micro-brewery for artisan beer.

The forbidden moves of architecture. All the platitudes, the obvious
the historicism, the gilded columns. Just like no-one wants to get caught
listening to electroclash ten years after its conception, your fixie bike
will transcend all notions of coolness, and you become a true cliché;
to love yourself and your belongings, because you were one with it
you didn’t take it because it was expected of you – you breathed it.
It was inevitable. Bad taste reigns supreme. The truisms and proverbs
are intrinsically naive, unaware. At least Patrick knows that his project
will take time; the only way to change things is to stick with them.
Colour was banished in the 50’s, so now you bring the noise back.
FAT was house-trained po-mo, so now, when it has been disbanded
comes the right time to bring in the dirt and throw it on the carpet.
The stench of the pile becomes unbearable; it cannot be ignored.

Cousins: you cannot define the lack of topos
if you don’t define the presence of the commonplace.
Thus, the discussion on whether object a or process x
is a cliché, that is, a lack of thought, or substitution thereof
for the sake of laziness, is defeated by the act of thinking
and determining alone; whether we arrive at the cliché
when we’ve proceeded through a formal discussion
is not really important; the staging (stating) of the cliché
is more important than its message; the outcome defeats
the imperative. When did the cliché become pejorative?
How did it become a banality?

Instead of wasting time searching for architectural clichés
which no one ever exposes without resorting to the mediocre
we look at the language used by architects, dissect it in terms
of meaning and then serve them their appropriate meal.

“Striking design.” The building has an obnoxious facade
is overly coloured or sculptural, or just simply too big for its site
effectively violating all attempts at reconciliation with the present.
We needed this “punch line” in order to please the politicians, the ones
with the binoculars, eager to be remembered for their great public works
(the East London ego-trip disease).

“Cultural nexus.” We attempt to bring together everything appropriate
(and occasionally inappropriate) under one roof, at one place, because
with the automobile, which everyone in Guatemala owns, we can easily drive
to the location, rather than being offered it by the ice-cream van of history.
Culture implies teatime, thus there is a gift shop, toilets for ladies and gents
and a café serving expensive cups of latte macchiato.

“An aura of tranquil stillness.” We didn’t know what to fill this room with
so we made it a room for standing still in (as a visitor) and admiring the finishing
of the polished concrete walls, which, of course, reflect the surrounding landscape.
One should be grateful to be able to enjoy this scenic view, of an architecture
that “almost erases itself” in order to reveal the hospitality of nature, as long
as we are protected by the roof and the radiators. The panorama is there
without anyone asking of its need. There’s nature, hence there is drama.
Here we are certainly “in harmony” with the existing, and with ourselves.

(quotes cut from dezeen project descriptions by the architects themselves.)

How does one design with the cliché, without becoming a cliché itself?
Should we at all be afraid of the cliché, will it harm us in any way?
One doesn’t represent it, one enters it. One accepts it. One takes it
as part of one’s own being, as the ultimate limit of language
the emptiness of the koan, the emptiness of the haiku.
The architectural cliché is the closest we can get
to real architecture.

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Oliver D.C.

One-big-cut copy
Click for larger

“Chaos is the basic prerequisite of today’s city”
–Kazuo Shinohara

(Currently cutting and puzzling)

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Big Boxes

big-boxes copy

Had a very unproductive weekend due to sickness. Back in the game now and will work until late. Tomorrow everything will be ready to print, incorporated with models.2-ships copy

EDIT: The last layer:

boxes-test2 copy2

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Dressed to Kill

post-eden
(Image: Post-Eden Garden of Eco-Delights. Click to view large.)

Pres intro:

Hello, I’m Oliver, a 4th year student, and I’m here today to fight fire with fire, together with you. The great question I’m wrestling with throughout my golden days of school is: “where does architecture begin?” rather than “where does architecture end?” In my work, I’m out on a wild goose chase for the potential of architectural beginnings, how they tie up to the end – if we even want them to tie up – and if there ever is an end to architecture, or if the end is just a new beginning. My weapon of choice for exploring the nature of the architect, his unbuilt agenda and the forging of his identity is to go the opposite way of the original, and warmly embrace the architectural stereotype, or cliché. The board is set; the pieces are moving. Here I take you on a 80-day around the world voyage for the potential of the overstated.

I will begin by opening a can of worms, by identifying the tritest, most overdone procedures in contemporary architectural design and culture. But to know the present, you must know the past, which is why my project departs from a precedent, the one who inspired it all: John Hejduk’s Diamond House. I approached this isolated piece of nostalgia for the formal by building it a house. The house gets a house for itself, it is a mouse who has found a house. Come to think of it, Hejduk himself is a cliché of the famous architect: one who begins with a radical house (it’s always a radical house!), who has a penchant for good literature and who enjoys a visit to the art galleries once in a while. Thus, I surrounded his house with everything the house would want to have, all the modern conveniences as well as the irrational fantasies. From this point the house gets a taste of its own medicine. It requires, first and foremost, a discourse to sit in, hence the house of words, some horrific, some fittingly odd. From there, we descend into the church, where the house can marry itself, together with its seemingly contradictory being of an American laid-back teacher with a taste for Continental European intellectualism.

To be continued later this evening; I plan to have a working draft by tomorrow’s tutorial (along with an A0 print of my plan so far).

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Digital Green & Hybrid Programs

render-test-1 copy

Back to Maya again and modelling new clichés that will eventually be cut up and incorporated into the big plan. These are working quite closely to the green wall that I took apart in an earlier drawing, but instead questioning the relevance of incorporating the green into a building design as a hybrid. I don’t know about London, but this idea was rife at my school in Sweden. Everyone did it (including me). It was libraries combined with cinemas, zoos and abandoned oil rigs, water purification plants and hydrotherapy resorts, artists colonies and eel farms … the list just goes on. Not that I didn’t find it exciting at the time. Perhaps this post can be seen as a homage to my earlier designs.

Next step: to model bridges that will stretch over the main plan and connect the various parts of the city. Tomorrow: incorporating the model into the plan, and model a new square as well. In this example, I have made the residential wind-mill plant, something I did already back in 2008:

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Connection & Sequence

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(Click to view large)

This is the current plan of my city of stereotypes. It is essentially made out of (at the moment) four districts, each discussing a character trait of the contemporary city that I approach by beginning in the cliché, and tracking myself outwards from it to uncover the discussion I want to have on the architecture of the city (and the city of the architect). The current argument of my project is that the cliché can be our starting point, but the end result doesn’t have to be one. The process my architecture goes through is one of de-stereotyping, by drawing outwards from the core, hosting it (in the sense of providing a house for a house), cutting it apart and reassemble it like a puzzle, not to remake it as it originally was but to make it as what could be. (Here I plan to rip off my turtleneck sweater and reveal the most garish shirt I can find in London.)

About the different sections, I have combined elements from each drawing to form a coherent whole, where we can see how the city can be assembled through individually unrelated forms. The forms are presented as-found, as if I forgot I was the one who created them. The four areas are, as one would guess, not exclusively manifested as “pure” programs, or “pure” space. For instance, the factory (Shenzhen) also supports housing for the workers and a harbour shipping out the containers full of brand-new cars. The Spir(mix)ual Ground is a combination of East and West, the Catholic church from my recon and the Shinto temple from me-as-a-cliché. In the middle of this section, the art museum with the De Stijl and James Turrell spaces form a centrepoint, claiming the identity of art as the spirituality of our contemporary society. Likewise, the other two parts are infected with differences: the “Mumbai” part draws a city on the verge of conflict, where slum and luxury houses and flats exists so close to each other that they could almost merge (but not without violence). The separator between the two is taken from the formwork of my concrete in-situ stereotype. And finally, the shopping area is the point where consumption and production merge, instead of being further alienated from each other. Transports of fresh products and garbage run in and out of the city, and the products on the shelves are shifted constantly.

I have set off two areas for models so far, but I want there to be more. I think I will replace certain parts of the connections between the areas with these models, although I will have to think about what these will look like. Also pondering on how to feed back a digital, raytraced 3D-model into the drawing, and, at some point, colour.

EDIT: Kind of looks a bit like this, doesn’t it?

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The Squeaky Puzzle Gets The Grease

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Going to multiply, multiply, cut-copy-paste my way into seventh architecture heaven.

At the moment, I’ve just edited the drawings and put them on one sheet, now comes the task of shifting them around to unfold the story/argument/discussion/debate I want to propose. Will think more about what the cliché means to me, how to dig deep into it, how to fully embrace it, digest it, and become one with it (to do: buy turtleneck).

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On the Road

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Solving the puzzle; from the stereotype to the original
in just two mouseclicks. Is the project a mere representation
a staging of the clichés, or does it take hold of the contexts
in which these clichés were spawned, to prepare the datum
for a new, delightfully toxic architecture to grow and multiply.
Perhaps we will never solve the puzzle; perhaps we deliberately
change the pieces, saw off the corners, in order to extend its life
so that we extend our time as well. Architecture has become
a perpetual machine with no ultimate goal, where innovation
is procured by the architects in order to drive progress
not forward, but outwards, out to the farthest reaches
of the world, where architecture meets a substance
it cannot move: the indifference of the audience.

 

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I am the cliché

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(Image: the white box with reference books on the shelf, surrounded by our hero Aldo Rossi.)

The stories inside and outside of architecture. From the aggregate that builds
the béton to the mailman delivering the glossy mags on his bike in Croydon.
The world ends when we decide so. Architecture is an insult to the economists
despite that every major economic disruption has begun with a real estate crisis.
These are things one easily forgets: clients, contractors, sound proofing, plumbing
design consultancy, cost per square feet, inspection of the construction drawings …
it doesn’t end! Architecture is not war, but war acts through architecture, among
many other things. It is a reversal of the actor and the acted. The scent of a flower
has no architecture in it, but that very scent can be made evident by architecture.
The actual definition of the field, clear and concise, becomes a sheer indulgence:
I am not what I seem to be, because that would be all to simple. My thoughts
are as much a reality, perhaps even a stronger reality to me, than my simple
clothes and continuous skin. We forget about the true nature of the built
by trying to ground it in an extended synonym. The balance is disrupted;
the reality is left to a battery of signals and references, solids and voids.
We can search all over the world for definition, and definition fits
all the world’s slabs and plinths. What is outside of architecture
becomes infinite, as architecture becomes the finite.

I am the cliché, now. (It is a matter of self-awareness.)
I try so hard to break free, I abuse the existing, I listen to others
I share their knowledge and their prejudice, that materializes
in the student not wanting to become an architect, at least
not a regular architect, starting at the bottom and CADing
his way to the middle-ground, where he both gives orders
and obeys them. We are the ones with the strong agendas
each one saying “no”, and disclaiming our way through the days.
We are the students who think too hard, who are too earnest
when we ought to relax, go crazy, and enjoy the state of not
knowing what it is. My project has become my project.
Each one of us has our existential crises, aptly stated
as “being in the swamp.” The cliché is dangerous
but danger is just another way of having fun.

From exposing to making. It is one thing to comment
it is another to design. If you invent a city to explain
your point of view, that city must have a life of its own
it cannot be just you, for then it would die the moment
you’d move on. Manhattan out, Seoul in. Architects move
their buildings do not; some architects sit still in their chair
while they’re made obsolete by newer, flashier kind of design.
Your checkpoint is a sanctuary for obsolete ideas, where they
are treated like contaminated royalty (twice the respect).
Formal proposals have the advantage of being digested
without an understanding of wandering composition
the irritating red line at the centre of the paper.
If you want to destroy a drawing, make a copy.

The cliché of the Modern pioneer: the capital city.
Mies wanted to do it, Costa and Niemeyer got to do it.
Astana moved to it, Baku was redefined by it. Everywhere
there is the architecture of national pride, of the dominions
of power scattered geographically over a place that shifted
St. Petersburg to Leningrad to Moscow to Paris to Hugo.
Kiev is not right; Stockholm is too old. Bilbao was the first
of the current process, and still suffers from the hangover
that sets in as you wake up and realize that the only visitors
to see the art are architecture students and their teachers.
The task is clear: the anti-centrism, which makes a creature
such as a country so hard to kill. Take Rotterdam
and you take Europe. Not anymore! This isolation
brings with it Siberian bliss; the local will survive
the global will break down over a root server.

The moment you begin to doubt yourself, is also the moment
you realize that you are a cliché of that self, with humorous interludes
of spaces too true to be yours, too much you to really be you, and you begin
to imitate others to stop yourself from escaping through your own eyes.
If you so desperately want to be a draughtsman, you turn into its cliché
by choosing the pencil as your only device, the toneless Moleskine
as your only medium, and draw, a surge of drawing, deft production
set up to dazzle the tables panel … they will reduce you to one sentence
they will speak of each student by the first slip of the tongue, the catch.
Before we understand a person, we rely on preconceptions to guide us
towards quick decisions: your wife, your children, or the blueprints
for your seminal villa?

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Cube Family #2

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The identity of the cliché
or, the rehabilitation of ideas that we fear and loathe (from Las Vegas).

Going against the grain, doing the unexpected, rejecting the cliché – all this, you might just say, is in our DNA (or is it DNAA?).
–Brett Steele

When does architecture become a cliché?
Is it not the most naughty thing to do, to embrace that which has just recently been shunned by the avant-garde, the elite, the schools, the teachers, everyone but the dumb, unchanging brick that built these buildings with once such intense fervor? Tastes change, but buildings remain.

Every cliché holds the most cunning truth to the context it has thrived in, it tells us what that community cherished as its most productive idea (in discourse as well as paychecks). There are always clichés in you that others identify, which you are too fond of to let go. When somebody accuses you of being a cliché, isn’t that the most daring insult one can receive in the creative business?

Nobody wants to be the same as someone else, especially not the mass, especially especially not the dim-witted plebs in their soggy pants that we are forced to stand next to in the tube train. Hah! We are different! We reject the cliché! But perhaps, we are just admiring our invisible clothes because they’re new.

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Favela-Chic

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Nothing is demanded.
Everything is negotiable.

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Concrete In-Situ

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Haven’t been drawing as much as I would like this Christmas, feels like I’ve lost a bit of interest in it in favour of writing (which I still churn out at a delirious rate). Hopefully I will pick up the pace next week. (I will be back on the 11th).

This cliché has four layers: the formwork, the rebars, the Brutalist social housing complex, and the car park (L.A. style). It is interesting to change perspective in certain layers, such as I did with the truck road in the middle of the image. It could spell the end of the single vanishing point in drawing, something not even the computer can ignore.

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Needs Colour

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Personal Manifesto

As an artist, I have a responsibility. As an architect, I have the ability
to change environments, to dream from everything to nothing and back again.
If you are good at something, you should honour it and live with it, breathe it
be it, whatever you may be. If there was no art, we would be incomplete.
If there is no art, it is your duty to make it. There is no difference
between ethics and architecture, between idealism and the material.
If you take something, you have to give something back.
I took the world, so now I give back another world.

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Multiversal Understanding

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Multiverse; from the ridiculously large to the insignificantly small
and all the knick-knacks in between. The moment we are conscious of
is a combination of the items, physical as well as mental, we hold
to discern a pattern. The architect has no choice but to work
with combinations. No single thesis can overthrow its antithesis
and no antithesis holds enough fear to scare us from the thesis.
The house for a house is multiversal; it sits within several layers
that each tell their own story, yet come together in an absurd narrative
that pulls quite a few legs. The multiverse can live with that. I can accept
its own conclusions by combining it with the prediction that everything
we’ve just heard is fake in another parallel. It is a matter of seeing
with the eyes you were given to see from the text.

The sequence of blah-blah that accompanies the weather forecast
over Radio 4 in the evening, is disclosed in its combination of words.
Familiar items turn into clichés when they become too familiar.
They lull us to sleep. When the rain falls from the sky
we realize how strange it would be to live in a world
where rain falls upwards.

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Container Love

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animart

No longer the history of fame, and instead
my selection of stereotypes from the present, which will soon
become the past. They are lovingly taken care of; such as the shipping container
which has become a parody of its own invention. In less able schools (and offices)
in the periphery, they look at you as if you were serious. Why not a container?
So what if it’s been done before, we are just in it to make a buck, to pay off
that sports car we bought for the company’s money.

How does the House change with this new insertion?
To the dumb and obvious, of course! We aren’t dealing with clichés for nothing.
So, the container gets a harbour (literally) in the heavy machinery of cranes
and outside of that, skewed in its scale and perspective, a supermarket
full of the deep-frozen fillet of beef imported to Tesco from Argentina.
The clichés are caught between tomorrow and yesterday.
They are inescapable, for there will always be a drone
who scrolls through the design magazines in search
of that move that will relieve him from standing
with his own architecture, proud, ashamed.

The cliché becomes a weapon. If I say that what you do has been overcooked
to the point of being devoid of all savouriness, and that what your students do
only makes them feel like bad Bartlett third-years, you will react with contempt.
No-one wants to tell the truth. (The emperor has no clothes, again.)

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The Stereotype of Generic Specificity

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The cliché, its critique or celebration.
Missing: rough concrete, and the architects who, involuntarily or not
have become the staples by which we judge our merest efforts.
How long does it take for a novel move to reach zero points for originality;
how soon will the latest fad sip down to the city at the edge of the atlas?
Just right when the move to put triangles in brick on top of your windows
the avant-garde is exploring virtual transnatures (another one!) and the unit
broadcasts the reaction before it has met its initial impulse. Is this a bad thing?
Aren’t we too quick to let go of that we’ve grown tired of, as if architecture
was a TV channel you could switch from when the commercials pop up.
Architecture is fashion as much as everything else, but moves slower;
at the point when a building is made, another one has already landed
on the model table of an open desk student.

Back to the time when imitation was a strategy to uphold standards
when the perfect copy wasn’t possible, because of analogue errors
of site, person, mood and patron. Look at that contemporary building!
It is anxious of being different from others, so it tries to be different
in every way it can have power over: form, language, signs, tectonics …
all auxiliary troubles; what we want to change is the specific nature
the context in which the architect is forced to subdue its own voice
to suck up to the building conservation office in order to get
the planning permission for your dumbed-down office highrise.
From curtain walls to shipping containers! Once’s a lucky shot
two’s plagiarism (which one?), and three’s a tendenza.

The cliché in form is easy to target; what’s harder is to discuss
the cliché in the context of building type, program and political intent.
The influx; not sure why we need an arena, but if city B built one, so must we.
With the appreciation of nature, we plan sites for exploitation of the resources
we’ve been handed by the founders; a river city heralds the river, a brick fabricator
did not decide on his location more than what was present and cheap enough.
(Good men follow in the trails of great men.) But the cliché is found everywhere;
we call them conventions, not necessarily true for everyone, not necessarily right
but which has the ambiguity of a rope that is stretched over the bouncer’s entrance;
he can pick out whatever VIP:s he decides on the spot.

Conventions have gone from being locally pronounced to being locally associated;
it no longer suffices to say that a building must grow out of its context, we must say
that it belongs to it; the context is no longer a generator, but a belonging. One frees
the other locks up. When we cannot look for the typically West, we face hybrids
and locally determined extravaganzas, little wrinkles in the great weave of theory.
I am the man who has become a cliché of myself (which you call originality).
To the boys who want to get out, and to the veterans who never got in, I say:
you do not reach identity by surrounding yourself with identity-markers
your identity is not what you select and collage together, what you put
on your (digital) walls. That is the identity you want to fool others
to believe in; what you really are is a scared animal, a picky eater.

It is in the late age of a movement that perfection is reached
when all the obstacles have been thought through, when the client
is well-versed with what the construction company and the cement-pourers
can offer. Late capitalism shows the perfection of a system we know all to well
but it is one that begins to crack – from boredom. If architecture is accumulative
then there would surely be a way to separate Kanye West from his ambitions.
The cliché is often the most accomplished of feats. Again, you have to decide:
do you stick with the rough and new, or with the polished and old?
It comes down to whether you embrace or shun the cliché.

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Cute Model

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What started out as a tea-garden-Japonais-slash-restaurant-at-the-edge-of-the-paper (I had a fit of insomnia, so I thought of my project until I fell asleep. Ideas always shine brightly in the dark!) progressed into a thesaurus of forms that could replace the diamond house in the middle, inspired by our precedents yet appropriated by me. I’m not sure what I’m doing but I’m having fun doing it.

“Polemic projects are always square.” –Chris Pierce

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Model Selfie

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Finished one of my essays yesterday from home, and today (save a slight disruption in the morning) I’m back by the drafting table, making 2½D models of city exteriors, as a counterpoint to the interiors that dominate my previous drawing. And since I forgot my camera at home today, hope you enjoy this narcissistic portrait of me, my mini-model, and a blank studio wall.

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From One to Many Points

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When a drawing takes up to a year to finish
we will surely have changed in the mean time
and what we began on has changed in the drawing
in the same manner that a personality slowly morphs
in and out of being, in and out of knowing and unknowing.
The vision makes reality, but then reality makes the vision
and for every stroke we land on the paper, there is another
crossing out neurons, replacing the activity in the brain
from one cor-textial place to another. It is
text and form as a hybrid; drawing as a language
and poetry as dependent on the form imagined.

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Patternism

The world does not exist outside of consciousness.
The world is the limit, the horizon where impressions arise.
The “world” is a misleading word; it does not stand for the physical extent.
The world is one-dimensional;
The understanding of its depth is a product of consciousness.
The world is the canvas of the senses; where “something”,
regardless of its origin, is painted.
Consciousness is a consequence of experience.

We cannot know what goes beyond consciousness.
Consciousness is the limit of the understandable world.
Everything beyond this is guesses, patterns, from the consciousness’ point of view.
Patterns can be affected and controlled.
Through the reversal of thought, the dichotomies are erased.
The patterns become visible, the sure becomes unsure.
We return to the world, to the unnameable.
Here is everything, and nothing.

The world is beyond “time” and “space”.
Before they existed the world was both, and more, and individable.
With the construction of “time”, there follows the “now”, “then”, “if”, and “when.”
With the construction of “space”, there follows the “here”, “there”, “over” and “under.”
Or in another order; limits and hierarchy are the foundation of understanding.

The polarization of the world’s one-dimensionality (origo) gives depth to the world.
A thing that is focused is, in fact, translocated further away from “everything else.”
The dichotomy between object and subject is constructed.
It forces itself away from origo.
A state is made of dynamic balance, of unstable equilibrium.

Every conception of an object leads to a conception of I.
“Distance” is built out of a theoretically unlimited amount of in-betweens.
The length of an arm, the double-view of the two-eyed,
mathematical numbers, physical entities.

An event can only occur when “then” has been constructed.
In a system without “then”, memory is cited in the now.
It is dislocated in relation to something-else.
Memory becomes a dynamic, present object – always new, always different.
Memory = object, and can be separated and condensed over and over again.

Memory becomes physical, as physical as the traditionally physical things in themselves.
The memory of a fact is displaced in relation to a situation of non-fact.
Nothingness becomes an actual object, displaced in relation to something.
The world is the only thing that is in absolute balance with itself.

Origo is before time, before space, before subject and object.
It is sheer experience.

Systems which are constructed from origo can be more or less corresponding with origo itself.
I’m not saying that the world I experience is ruled by logical patterns, I say
that logical patterns have a tendency to work together with the world
without contradicting each other.

What is the pattern?
The pattern is a tool of consciousness, used to predict the future.
Pattern reading takes place both in and beyond consciousness.
“Consciousness” itself is a pattern.

The pattern is directed by repetition.
By observation, we register signs which we relate to a pattern that dictates our response.
If the pattern is not recognized, the experience becomes a new pattern.
With every reading there is an exchange between accustomedness and experience.
The pattern is refined.

Patterns are used to make sense of the world, because they have proved their correlation.
The pattern translates the world into a language understandable to the consciousness.
The most reliable language.

We build our world according to patterns, all our culture is based on patterns.
The now is the prediction of the future by the consciousness.
versus the reality that we really experience.
The prediction is weighted against the observed.
The pattern is economical – it makes what’s complicated simple.
Patterns are always directed towards simplifying the world.
Because our ability of thought is limited.

The pattern does not want to describe the world.
The pattern describes our (so far) chosen way of describing the world.
The pattern is the description itself.
As long as we think the way we think, patterns will be central to all human cultures.

The pattern creates expectations.
If the pattern is broken we may become frustrated and confused.
We reconstruct the pattern, or invent a new one.
The pattern mends itself.

The pattern is a way from thought to form, from the weightless to the massive.
A guide, a scheme, a plan, a method.
The pattern is merged meaning.
It is a synthesis, a incorporation.
The pattern assimilates, interacts, catalysts.
It attacks matter, forces it into form, into symbol.
The pattern is archetype, the pattern is the map.
When the pattern is understood, the form can be understood.

The pattern is the key to the form.
Through the pattern, form is related to form, detail to the whole,
the material to the immaterial, the artificial to the natural, the living to the dead.

For every pattern there is a role.
The pattern as a creator and critic.
The pattern as participator and observer.
The role is the pattern of the self.
The self is the pattern of the world.

Truth is the play between pattern and object.
Patterns approach and withdraw from the objects and vice versa.
When pattern and object coincide there is truth in the equation.

Patterns and objects are in a perpetual state of change.
The more stable the system, the more isolated it is.
The stable thought is unconscious, the stable object is a cold universe.
Life is contamination; objects and patterns remain unstable.
Absolute truth is death.

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It’s Wintertime

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Like my poems, I jump from one question to the other, and the general narrative is pure chance, or absurdity. My first decision was to get out of Hejduk by replacing his house with a new artefact: the mechanized school of architecture. Since I never got to do the school layer in the model, it returns in the guise of a point zero.

What is architecture school? Is my identity shaped here, and if so, to what extent does the architecture school decide my future career? Who are the people moving through it, where do they go, where do they come from, and most importantly: what can they learn? The school is still grounded in Hejduk, in his reputation as a teacher and dean par excellence. The insight that arose in my mind while collecting the evidence of the contemporary school, the AA today (not the Cooper Union in the 70’s, which was Hejduk’s playground) was the increasing mechanization of design. Machines do what the hand and its muscles did for the pyramids; today we build with 3D printers, drones, laser cutters and film cameras. Is this mechanization good or bad? I would say good, because we don’t limit ourselves to what the mind can think, to what the hand can feel. We are, effectively, building a pair of new hands for ourselves, just as the computer is a replica of the brain, or at least logic in its most basic sense (the binary yes or no).

This is a different discourse than that which I stated during the crit (the issue of form versus text), which is why I feel disconnected from the ideas that stood behind my house for a house. If I take the decision to spend ten hours on a drawing, I need to know that it will do something for me. Anyway, now is HTS evening!

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Two Libraries

Cloud-Citycity_scan

The flying library and the library that is a quarry of books.
The AA library is my library; here I come to seek an isolation
of books that were not collaborators so much as friends
those I’ve come to wish were alive, but which are dead
even when faraway, to bring me closer. I cheat time
by writing of them, I cheat belief by believing in them.

The antithesis to the flying library is the den, extending
into the ground, so that we can walk down to them
instead of having to learn how to fly in order to read.

Sometimes it feels like it is equally impossible
to understand a book I’ve gathered from either place
and to mark it with the sign that tells me I don’t need
to return to it again when I need to return to it every day
for I’m not the one who understands, I’m not the one
who knows the answers; I’m a student, I’m incomplete.
If I knew exactly what I liked and what I wanted
in this very moment, there’d be no need
for me to be here.

The problem with a concept is that the resulting form
just as a concept of living, becomes predictable, the worst sin
there is in anything creative, because what is the point of making
if we already know what we’re making, if it has already been visible
to our inner eyes. The unpredictability of life is its quantum mark
and greatest source of pride, because if we don’t know how to act
then every act is possible, and the course of determining the right
becomes a matter of thinking, of weighting, of calculating, of being.
There are truths that are beyond the possibility of text; such truths
are outer-sensual, experiential, a matter of external capacities
while text is internal, which goes on to form internal truths.
Both are equally important, and there should be no attempt
to reconcile the two; they must be allowed to live
in different spaces, different modes. The image
must be strong in its image-ness in order to survive.
Like Alberti, we believe that an image is an original
but unlike him, we have no need to express our dismay
for such conditions; it is merely the nature of the image
which is why we also need the text. Both are required
and require a split mind in order to be made
because if one merely cites the other
there can be no conversation.

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Magical Mystery Box

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Waiting to be cut open.

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1 (+4) Cuts later …

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My hands are looking like I’ve been fist-fighting a werewolf, but things have been done and I’m one step closer to a presentation of Friday. Some things good (the box welding went well) and some less good (had to partially break one of the Perspex elevations because the laser cutter didn’t want to cut all the way through – beginner mistake!). The churches cut are from Europe and from early 20th century US, to capture the twin syndrome/complex that Hejduk suffered from, being a European intellectual with an American laissez-faire attitude. But that’s another discussion.

Will work on the acetate prints tonight, and put the model together tomorrow. The art gallery house was painted this afternoon but needs another coating to really shine. All remaining time tomorrow will be spent on drawing … something …

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Tangerine Dreams

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Took a photo of my model today and found it amusingly similar to the album cover of a psychedelic minimal synth-band from Germany in the 70’s. Currently working on the third house (the church) which I will laser-cut tomorrow at 9 AM.

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Icarus

Flyer
Rewritten and added presentation script:

Every house is housed within another house.
That was the truth I learned from my recon
and originality, in this context, is in how you choose to inhabit your ghosts.
Before you is a monolith. It is an architectural quarantine; it belongs
to a contagious architect. He had a sickness called formalism
and his project was not built according to program or narrative
but to pure, geometric experiments. It is in quarantine because
we  want to do everything beyond just being formally interesting.
We want to take on poverty, nature, poetry, socialism and money
but over and over again I’m struck by the feeling
that if my building is not formally interesting
it is conceptually incorrect. Or in other words:
if, in the end, it’s not beautiful, something is wrong.
This monolith has been recaptured, severed from its origin
to be shown here, today, in this room, and to expose you all
to the infection of a forbiddingly formal architecture.
The exposure begins. Take off your glasses.

*cuts open quarantine layer
to reveal the next house within*

This is the Poetry Evening House, not so much a place to talk about the built
as a way to build with the talk. One singular question stirs the mood of this house:
what is the form of a word? That of a sentence? Can it be objectively measured?
All buildings are built by communication, not just through drawings.
They are the aha (silence is the haha). The sheer mass of text
copied into unending histories of grey bibles and red bibles
marks the case when a building takes shape. To say:
“here’s the entrance” and to show it, is just as dumb
as to say “here I took up the theme from Deleuze”
and then show an inclined surface. Words are material
on their own, they don’t need material hints or to be enacted
like a hokey sitcom, but the lorem ipsum hits back at us
at the point when we approach nonsense, that is simply
the best way to describe a nonsensical present.
If architecture is building outside of your head
and words build within it, can they be swapped?
But our journey has just begun, and the words
here spoken go on to form the next house.

*lifts off metal and polypropylene frame
to reveal the next house within*

Now, if I may call for a moment of respect.
We are entering the church of mourning the failure
of contemporary starchitects, worshipped or despised
as gods or devils, depending on where you are looking
standing on the ground. The failure lay in the moment they were paid to build.
When contractors gave them money and freedom, they no longer needed
to be interesting in terms of ideas, so they shifted to be interesting in form.
They became the saints of expressionism. But the religiosity of my architect
goes deeper than that: if he writes of Judas and the Cross, he is not an architect
he is a mystic who happens to make buildings, and such is the character
of secrets that dwell beyond the stained glass windows. You can see it
and yet you cannot, it is the murky idea before it has taken clear form
the architect between hesitation and revelation, doubt and belief.
My architect was such a man; thinking of religion when he ought
to be stuck with art, and thinking of art when he wasn’t sure
whether he missed religion or not. Does not every building
require of us a measure of trust, in things we don’t know?
Do we not judge brilliance from witnessing formal revelation?
The architecture becomes a vehicle for attitudes, for zeal.
If anything drives the starchitects, it is their faith.

*lifts off stained glass model
to reveal the next house within*

Tell me, what is more characteristic of our time than to house
an art museum within a church? The gradual shift from art in the service of religion
as it was in the counter-reformation, to religion in the service of art found itself
at its peak during the youth of my architect, in the hippie free-love 1960’s.
The painter, whether painting with tones, colour or clothes, was the priest
of a new church of belief in humanity, in the good-natured character
of Lennon in his “Imagine.” But here again we find simple answers
insultingly simple even, coupled with the pursuit of inevitable form.
The painter is forced, like the architect, to speak without a voice.
No words, no sentences, just spaces meant to fill you with awe.
My architect was clear in his inspirations: it was the de Stijlists
the Mondrians and the van Doesburgs. An action as simple
as tilting the canvas 45 degrees, made us chuckle with delight
when we attempted to draw it in axonometric view.
The art museum is a square mini-Guggenheim
but the exhibition on is curated by two persons
my architect and myself. I have selected paintings
that correlate not with the references of my architect
but with the project he developed out of them
so that the exhibition taking place protrudes
both into the past and into the present.
And now, finally, prepare yourself
for the ultimate horror in formalism …

*opens the final wall hiding the Diamond*

… John Hejduk’s Diamond House, built on the premise
of imitating a flipped canvas from the early Modern painters.
The Diamond house is called the diamond because it is to be viewed
from a point of view that reveals it as a prism. In Hejduk’s own words:
as the Cubists in their paintings tipped objects forward towards
the picture plan, the isometric projections of the diamond
accomplished a similar point of view for architectural drawings.
The isometric projections of the diamond are Cubist projections
in architecture, therefore completing the formal relationship
between Cubist projection in painting and Cubist projection
in architecture. And what more, in my own words, it’s beautiful!
This beauty is the worst of troubles to the contemporary architect
because he cannot deny the importance of it, however much
he wants to pursue building. People judge it according to beauty
if it looks like a big pair of trousers, or a testicle crashing through
a enlarged circular opening, metaphorically speaking
we still want our back lot to be beautiful, and isn’t it formal
how much we must resist the troubled relationship to form
long enough to be taken seriously. An architect who builds
only with matter is as complete as a painter who paints
only with paint. He has no intention other than to explore
the characteristics of the form and paint itself. Is this naughty?
Are we afraid to be caught pants-down admiring a building
for its sweet texture to the concrete, its mastering of light
it’s perfect relationship to the site? All the clichés
of the dezeen project’s description … the Diamond
has no site, no concrete, no light. It is just form
an idea of form, an end in form
the last house within a house
containing only me.

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Wobbly Dreams

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The cracks disappeared, and in exchange I got something that resembles
a (fairly poor-made) jelly cake. Sanding to take place on Monday
with Tris’ (fairly irritated) assistance.

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Cracked Dreams

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This time of the year is definitely not the time you want trouble.
Will try to fix it tomorrow morning by pouring another layer on top.
(I’m apparently a hedgehog.)

Actually, no time is a good time for trouble.

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