Architecture has shifted its role from producing buildings to embarking on a cultural enterprise. According to this, architects are facing the challenge to design architectural frameworks which will contain and through which they can construct their identities. As the relationship between object and subject is redefined, different forms of arrangement are put into question and create the context of the project.
The shift from the analogue to the digital formats has made knowledge sources omnipresent and immediate and encouraged an open source approach to learning. Although new formats of production have enabled architects to translate their design intention and sensibilities into a construction language, the outcome has been constrained to a formal language and limited the architects creative role to a subdivision of tasks within an office culture. The process of formatting and reformatting helps the architect extract paradigms resulting from their insight development during design activities. This process shouldn’t be at the expense of the architects but help to redefine the relationship to the clients. The delivery and formatting of content is as important as content itself.
By helping to turn intangible ideas tangible projections, formats are used to mediate between cultural and material grounds. In response to epistemological, ontological and methodological questions, the very action of arranging, ordering and selecting content reflects our preferences and values and shapes our cultural dialogue. While the content can be fixed and formatted, meaning is always in transit. The only meaning inherent to format is that the medium is the message. The way in which content is formatted and the materiality of that format create a psychological and physical environment which effects the way in which the message is perceived. Hence formats which nest other formats often display a layering of material which suggest a certain depth to content. The finite format suggests an infinite arrangement of content.
The reorganisation of the practice itself invokes format as a tool to reconceptualize the portfolio, the portable container of unbuilt projects which the student is arguing for. In this project the dissimilar objects relate to one another to form a larger whole, which, upon interaction between the different constituent parts, reveal a pattern of movement. Formats could now be used as a didactic tool to understand spatial and temporal relations and effects. In order to perform the orchestration of the objects, the presentation and speech need to be formatted to a limited amount of time.
The tutorial with Manoli was great. We both knew that the little abstract up there wasn’t very explicit so I will rewrite it for next week. He told me I should read Derrida on The truth of painting and look at the Large Glass and Étant donnés by Marcel Duchamp. I felt understood in my intention. It will be tricky to achieve the same effects in my projects as master Duchamp but since I ve wasted about two quarters of the year ignoring graphics and neglected my drawing skills in favour of refining my language and way of reasoning about format, content and context, I may as well try. As a conceptual mechanism, I hope I can create some sort of delay effect woven into my work on the jury titled “The construction of the obstruction of meaning”; so formatting the presentation is still one of my main priorities. Its either going to be a complete failure or a partial success but hey, nothing is ever perfect or true.