Mechanization, Instrumentality, and Science

33 – “Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science” – Alberto Pérez-Gómez

Pérez-Gómez, the author of “Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science” argues that the problematic actuality of architecture that a mass of metaphysical theory filled in the architecture that is obscure and inane. The rational theories of architecture are reduced and the perceived world is subjective and lacking in real value. “demonstrable through the laws of science constitutes the fundamental basis upon which human decisions are made over and above ‘reality’, which is always ambiguous and accessible only through the realm of ‘poetics’”(Pg. 467). The ‘poetics’ are considered the same as phantasy – “the problem that determines most explicitly our crisis, therefore, is that the conceptual framework of the sciences is not compatible with reality” (Pg.468). “Form follows function” is reversed in architectural field prior to the 19th century. However, today architects still work under the Platonic assumption. Although the powerful computers, digital method and simulant software have carried out in our urban and architectural project, the technology is not the real “science” that will lead us to other psychological hallucination. The methods or tools are only assistant fixture, and the thought of man control the direction of our design theories.  The calculation through theory or numbers cannot solve our problems in contemporary architecture.

1. How does the science and poetics keep balanced in contemporary architecture?
2. What is the rationality of Modern Science that keeps us away from the Platonic design theories?



32 – “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions” – Thomas Khun

In this article, Thomas Kuhn explores his theories on the relationship of science with responding to the replacement of paradigms.

The scientific revolutions are generally defined as a milestone “scientific revolutions are here taken to be those non-cumulative developmental episodes in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by an incompatible new on” (Pg.92). The new paradigms always require changing the existing known system and principles or sciences, but it is not very easy that the new paradigms would be accepted by the people. The author used some examples as X-rays and oxygen, the theories of Einstein and Newton to compare the repeating tussles between the old paradigms with the new paradigms. The resistances of accepting the new paradigms are from various aspects. “the new theory might be simply a higher level theory than those known before, one that linked together a whole group of lower level theories without substantially changing any”(Pg.95).

There are three types of phenomena on a new theory that may be developed. First, it is already well explained by existing paradigms; second, it can be understood only through further theory articulation; third, the recognized anomalies is their suborn refusal to be assimilated to existing paradigms. Those phenomena account for whether scientific knowledge or societal power is from one distinct state to another with years to become accepted.
1) What is the architectural revolution in recently year to connecting with our societies’ development or changing?
2) Dose the nature generate new processes with our architectural technology advancing?


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