Topologies, Fold, Surface, Deformation

19 – “Introduction: Rhizome” – G. Deleuze and F. Guattari

This article discusses a disparate mode of thought compared with the traditional linear mode. The new mode is “rhizome” which is based on followed six characters.

First and second are connection and heterogeneity. “Any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be” (Pg. 7) those are different with the original tree of root form which sets a point, establishes an order. Rhizome establishes an unending chain of interconnections.

Third is Multiplicity. It has not either subjects or objects, only determinations, magnitudes and dimensions. There are no points or positions, only lines. It has not units of measure only multiplicities or varieties of measurement.

Assigning rupture is the fourth. The form would be broken but it can rejoin and reform. It contains lines of segment which is stratified, territorialized, organized, signified, and attributed. The ants are a good example to show the dynamic and fragmental connection.

Fifth and sixth are cartography and decalcomania. – Those are not a map and a tracing. The tradition logic is a tree logic that is a tracing and reproduction but Rhizome is representative, crystallized into codified, complexes, laid out along a genetic axis and distributed within a syntagmatic structure.

The concept of a rhizome is opposite to traditional western thought.  Western thought is based on the notion of a root; a binary, linear mode of thought with a distinct beginning and end.

A rhizome is a nonhierarchical nonsignifying system. It has neither beginning nor end and is always in the middle. It is not filiation but uniquely alliance. I can get some ideas from those abstract descriptions – the architecture is not just a project which focus on a good beginning and a good result, and the more important is the process, the trend and the movement. Those aspects will affect wider environmental area.

Questions:
1. The author used some plants and beastie as examples to explain the relationship of interaction. How about the human beings with other biology?
2. Does the rhizome have an intersection with the traditional linear mode?

 

18 – “Weak Architecture” – Ignasi de Sola-Morales

The title of this article brings me into a lost space and kindles my interest with this essay. Why and how weak is the property of the architecture? “Weak” is a very delicate word and is relative and interconvertible with “strong”.

Ignasi de Sola-Morales sum up three characteristic of week architecture: temporality, decoration, and monumentality. From those characteristic of week architecture, we can find that the weakness is a kind of strategy of author’s intention. Under some condition, the “weak” can absorb the enough energy to transform into the “strong”. We can find the clues from the followed three characteristic of week architecture.

First, temporality expresses the diversity of times and it becomes the central thought. It is not an integrated and consummate system but is an unanticipated place and moment. From the classical time to contemporary time, the architectures transform the aesthetic into event and occur once and the gone forever.

Second, decoration is a word rigorously criticized by architectural critic. In this essay, we will not be surprised with what the author said – “decoration is a dirty word in the modern tradition” (Pg. 622). Decoration is not vulgar, fussy or repetitious but it enhances and embellishes reality.

Third, monumentality is the center of classical age but is not continuous in that age in either geometric or ideological value. It is recollection

A “weak” architecture is not a description about the strength of architecture. It is able to produce unobtrusive and proper posture that is as catalyst to replace our own “weak” logic of thinking.

Questions:

1. Does the author excessively criticize the aesthetic system of contemporary weak thought?
2. Does the “weak” occur in the tectonic system of architecture?

 

17 – “The End of the Classical: the end of the beginning, the end of the end” – P. Eisenman

In this article, Peter Eisenman presumes that there are three fictions which are representation, reason and history influencing architecture deeply. And two major concepts are mentioned at the latter part of his essay, which are “the end of the beginning” and “the end of the end”.

The first fiction, representation, is to “embody the idea of meaning”. Renaissance buildings were only inherited from the Romanesque architecture. Modern architecture shifted the emphases from its form to function. This shift became a fiction because it lost its own meaning. The second fiction, reason, is to “codify the idea of truth”. Analysis became a form of simulation and knowledge shift to a new religion. The last fiction, history, is to “recover the idea of the timeless from the idea of change”. The ideology of the zeitgeist fettered the moderns into the historical shackle.

“The end of the beginning” and “the end of the end” sounded as a tongue twister, but their philosophical meanings are eloquent. Although, the modernistic architects alleged their works were objective, non-referential and simply referencing the technological and industrial objects instead of outmoded “classical” style, the modern style look like the opposite mold of the of classical architecture with the same implications.

According to the systems analysis of architectural history, we need to revalue the viewpoint of engender different architecture styles and theories. The new starting point of architecture is just the evolvement of the former.

Questions:
1. How do we value the timeless space in the architectural history circulation?
2. Can we exceed the three fictions in the future?

 

16 – “Towards a New Architecture”- Jeffrey Kipnis

In this article, Jeffrey Kipnis brings a new strategy of architecture to indicate the characteristics of homogeneous architectural form. There are two new terms that are brought by Jeffrey to illustrate his thinking – “DeFormation” and “InFormation”.

The author compared Unger’s five outlines that are Vastness, Blankness, Pointing, Incongruity, and Intensive coherence with Le Corbusier’s points, and deeply discussed about the DeFormation and InFormation.

The DeFormation – “seeks to engender shifting affiliations that nevertheless resist entering into stable alignments. It does so by grafting abstract topologies that cannot be decomposed into simple, planar components nor analysed by the received language of architectural formalism” (Pg.102). The InFormation – “is to form a collecting graft, usually by encasing disparate formal and programmatic elements within a neutral, Modernist monolith” (Pg.102). The former focused on the part of new aesthetic form and the visual in the engenderment of new spaces with geometries. The later concerned with institutional form and new topologies. The National Centre for Contemporary Arts at Le Fresnoy and Nara Convention Center are as examples to compare the InFormation with DeFormation.

The author mainly focuses on the DeFormation and he treats InFormation as common principle. He admits that both of InFormation and DeFormation have not become a New Architecture but the DeFormation would be broached in the future.

Questions:

How did the author present the importance of new architectural form?
Is the Euclidean space a cord of transformations of event space?

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