Plinth Tests

Plinth tests:

Pruitt-Igoe:

McGregor Memorial Community Conference Centre:

Draft Text:

The City of the Captive Architect is devoted to the absolute belief held by the architect that a vision of utopia can be achieved through good design, and the subsequent inflicion of ruin in the City. In the capital Igoe design theories, socialist ideals, science, art, and forms of madness compete under apparantly ideal conditions to invent, destroy and restore the world of phenomenal Reality. The architect board has his own plot, shielded by books and projects yet to be corrupted. On each plot stands an identical base, built from heavily polished stone. To facilitate and provoke speculative activity, these bases – ideological laboratories – are  at first equiped to suspend unwelcome laws, undeniable truths, creating nonexistaent physical conditions penetrated once the building exists. From these solid blocks of white marble, each philosphy has the right to expand indefinately toward heaven. Some of these blocks present theorems of complete certainty and serenity; others display soft structures of tentative conjectures and hypnotic suggestions. The changes in this ideological skyline are rapid and continuous as reality prevails: we are engrossed by a rich spectacle of ethical joy, moral fever or intellectual masturbation destroyed. The collapse of a towers can mean two things: a physical or social failure, the physical ruin of a vision; or a visual Eureka, a speculative ejaculation:

A theory that works.

A mania that sticks.

A lie that has become truth.

A dream from which there is no waking up.

At these moments the purpose of the Captive Architect, suspended at his drawing board in his office at the centre of the City, becomes apparent: all these Institutes together form an enormous incubator of the ruin; they are breeding on the Architect.

Through our feverish thinking in the Towers, the Architect gains weight. New buildings continue to rise. In spite of the most humiliating setbacks, the ageless desire to build utopia survives.

 

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