Assemblage Theory (and Ecology)

53 – “Cities and Nations” – M. DeLanda

Manuel Delanda discusses the complex networks of cities and urban places throughout the different assemblage. The urban geography relates to the “regionalized locale”. “Local” refers to “the use of space to provide the settings of interaction, the settings of interaction in turn being essential to specifying contextuality” (Pg. 94). “Regionalization” refers to the zoning of time-space in relation of routinized social practices rather than only as localization in space.  DeLanda gives us some examples of various scales objects to explore assemblages on the object constructs in architectural, historical and cultural influence. The urban place is not only relating to its physical boundaries but also the occupancy practices and development of technology. For example, elevators and escalator changed the vertical and horizontal transportation which imply the nodes in the network, and all movements are more rapidly from one node t other than they did from one central place to another. This faster transportation change the boundaries of space and even the organizations of cities .Furthermore, it improved the economic structure, as “world-economies”. The theory of “Assemblages” addresses the various scales of systems. DeLanda indicates that each level of scale of systems retain a relative autonomy and respects their heterogeneity between different components.
1. Does fashion change an assemblage in architecture?
2. How does assemblage affect the development of cities in the future?



52 – “Assemblage” – J. Macgregor Wise

J. Macgregor Wise discusses a concept of assemblage that come from Deleuze’s and this concept help us to understand the relationship between the technology’s structure and organization. Assemblages are not a static term, is a dynamic process of arranging, organizing, fitting together. There are two axes of assemblages:“One axis is the creation of territory, on strata, thus moving between making (territorialization) and unmaking (deterritorialization) on the Body without Organs. The other axis is the enunciation of signifiers, collectively, moving between technology (content, material) and language (expression, non-corporeal effects)”(Pg. 80). Assemblages create territories that are more than just space. Territories are not fixed, but are always being made and unmade which are same with assemblages. Fox example, the “home” is a place that we own and we create it as comfortable space as we enjoyed through arrangement of objects, practices, feelings and affects. This arrangement is less objects and qualities than lines and speeds.

Assemblages are more than things, practices and signs articulated into a formation, and are qualities, affects, speeds and densities. Furthermore, assemblages work through the flows of agency and focus on the connections and relationships among elements. We should think about flows of information and connection to understand assemblages between various participants.
1. Can we say that the space is an assemblage rather than an entity?
2. What is the end of assemblages – disassemble, renew or renascence?


Deleuzian Space: Smooth and Striated

51 – “1440: The Smooth and the Striated” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

In this article, Deleuze and Guattari present a dualistic concept that is the smooth space and the striated space. Those two spaces in fact exist only in mixture: “smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space” (Pg.474). And the authors explore the relationship of two spaces through technological model, musical model, maritime model, mathematical model, physical model, and aesthetic models.

Striated space can be described as a fixed and homogeneous space. In contrast to this space, smooth space is variant and heterogeneous in nature. Those spaces can be compared as the intensive space and extensive space, which present various spatial, social and cultural characteristics at varying degrees. Smooth space and striated space have three differences. First, the inverse relation is between the points and the lines. Second, smooth space is directional and open intervals, and striated space is dimensional and closed intervals. Third, striated space is allocates, and smooth space is distributes. The opposition between those two spaces exemplify in various aspects as: directional/dimensional, irregular/standard, nonmetric/metric, distance/magnitude and so on.

No matter what the difference of two spaces is wide or not, the most important thing is how we use those concepts to evolve our building and context.

1. Are those two spaces intersectional or parallel? What is the common ground if they are intersectional?
2. Can those two space exchange or transform each other?

Case Study-ALL


Case Study-Space


Integration and Intensification

50 – “On the Integrative Program” – J. Taron

Josh Taron brings us a discussion on a relationship between architecture and violence at the beginning of this article. This interesting relationship introduces how the integrative program was considered and made decision through the architectural violence. The integrative program indicates “the exploitation of corporeal/ spatial distinctions toward the production of new bodies and new spaces” (Pg. 22). A violation of boundaries between body and space are blurred. The ACADIA 2011 conference as the example notes that the professionals utilize programmatic violence and integrative program through digital methods. “This program is one in which methods, processes, and techniques are discovered, appropriated, adapted, and altered from elsewhere, and often ‘digitally’ pursued” (Pg. 22). Integrative programs are not made through a ‘sovereign’, but through material specificity of design and logic.

Nature becomes the source of information that can be used to design. “Environmentally responsive building skins, agent-based modeling, evolutionary algorithms” (Pg. 23). The building and the processes of building become information with controlling and responding to information itself.

The integrative architecture exploited blurred boundaries between “things, processes and practices” to generate new architectural form that is a complex integration with technological, social and cultural information.

Josh Taron quotes Tschumi’s architectural violence to extend the design process to an Integrative circulation flow.

1. Is Tschumi’s programmatic violence change architectural design process or design method?
2. Does the virtual design blur the boundary of space and body or rebuild other boundary between ideality and reality?

49 – “Post-Digital Architecture: Towards Integrative Design”- B. Kolarevic

In this article, B. Kolarevic discusses the integrated design that is “more open, fluid, pliable, and opportunistic” (Pg. 149). And he also analyzes the integrative design and its extensions from various aspects. Therefore, we have to understand the difference between integrated and integrative design. The distinction are that “the designers who engage design as a broadly integrative endeavor fluidly navigate across different disciplinary territories, and deploy algorithmic thinking, biomimicry, computation, digital fabrication, material exploration, and /or performance analyses to discover and create a process, technique, or a product that is qualitatively new” (Pg.154). Kolarevic principally discusses integrative design that responds the process between the digital and the physical.

Branko Kolarevic explains that architecture is s a multi-disciplinary discipline that relates to all kinds of area in construction industry, for example, construction, engineering, economics, geognosy and so on. All of these new processes and aspects need to be designed in collaboration through various participants. The building information modeling (BIM) is well-known in recently. It evolves the role of architect from the traditional leader of liner process to interlaced process. It drives the new form, technology and material to create. Projects are the assembly of information that equally transfers between architects, contractors and clients. That approach high efficient than the traditional way.
1. Will BIM change the architects’ role from the leader to a general participator?
2. Is the integrative design perfect for all aspects in construction industry?

48 – “The Actualization of the Virtual in Space” – M. Delanda

M. Delanda introduces the evolutionary and transformation process between intensive and extensive properties of individual organisms and species. Intensive processes are based on population thinking. On the other hand, extensive processes are based on norms. DeLanda used exemplifications, such as embryogenesis, to discuss the process of transformation between intensive and the extensive. DeLanda indicates this transformation that “the component parts used in biological assembly are defined less by rigid metric properties than by their topological connectivity.”(Pg. 66) and “If putting together organisms followed an assembly-line pattern, random mutations would have to occur simultaneously in matching parts, channels and procedures” (Pg. 66).The discussion about the distinction between metric and nonmetric spaces is further exploration of the relationship between intensive and extensive thinking. Metric spaces are based on topological space acquired a fixed form.  And nonmetric spaces are based on the interactions.

Delanda is used to illustrate the nature as an analogy that can reorganize space. In our architectural design, space is always mainly considered. If we can simulate the biological components and the processes of assembly, we will enhance the ecology properties in our building context. Architecture would also evolve to approach a new period that is high harmonious with the environment.

1. Does the virtual space mean replicate the real space? What kind of thing or object cannot be simulated?
2. What kind of the nature functions should be simulated in our architectural design?

Narrative, Event and the Production of Space

47 – “The Production of Space” – Henri Lefebvre

The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre discusses a concept that space is a sociological construction and the production that present spatial practices and perceptions: “the worldwide, homogenous and monotonous architecture of the state, whether capitalist or socialist” (Pg. 179).

The Bauhaus is considered by Lefebvre as an influential architectural group to recognize the space in system info. The Bauhaus people recognized that anything could not be created independently in space whether buildings or furniture. All of them have an important correlation in space. Relationships of objects are very subtle – “It was thus no longer a question of introducing forms, functions or structures in isolation, but rather one of mastering global space by bringing forms, functions and structures together in accordance with a unitary conception” (178).

Lefebvre indicate that architecture and space are a language. Space indeed “speak” but it does not tell, and space can “read” follow the production. He also discusses the formants of abstract space. There are three elements of abstract space: the geometric formant, the optical (or visual) format and the phallic formant. However, abstract space is not homogeneous.

I agree that Lefebvre’s idea that spaces are designed to dialogue to us. However, our responses are not always correct to the space, building and environment. We are struggle in the social, economic and cultural bondage.
1. What is the most important sense in the response of the space?
2. Will the production of space be superfluous?

46 – “Situationist Space” – Tom McDonough

Tom McDonough contrasts a situanist space entitled “The Naked City” with the traditional map. This space in accordance to Paris’ urban space is not geographic reflection and is a visual perception or recuperation. It is a segmental and non-finite space. This map reflects the relationships between urban spaces and human activities. It is a social pattern than the real geography. The movement of the subjects illustrates the process of forming the situanist space. The tracks of movement are indicated by all kinds of arrows. And this process shapes the space of Pairs.

I can’t help thinking that this unique mapping is represented digitally in new innovative ways at our 21th century. Like some especial software, for example, Rhino with its plugin – grasshopper, we are using it to simulate the social activities to form the new shapes or spaces in architectural diagramming exploration. This social pattern is “not an immutable thing. It is made, it is remade, everyday; at each instant, it is modified by men’s actions” (Pg. 250). The cities derive the result of social activities, processes and relationships. And the spaces are also shaping the social forms. This passage is an important factor of the genesis. The integration of various practices by human beings changed the conceptualization and idealization of cities.

1. Is the social geography the most important factor on architectural considerations?
2. Is “The Naked City” unique or universal in all over world?

Place and Dwelling

45 – “Heidegger in his refuge: the existentialist house” – I. Abalos

In this article, I.Abalos introduces Heidegger’s notion of dwelling and habitation and digs it to a further level that is existential. And he links the concept of the existentialist house to philosophy – “The house, the construction of the dwelling, is not so much a metaphor as the very subject of existential philosophy” (Pg.45).  Abalos posits that this philosophical redefinition of space that have changed the spatial practices and urban layout. He indicates that existential architecture in the space has more relation to the historical, cultural and natural factors than the technological factor. Abalos also said that technology has a negative effect on the architecture that the military bring us into crossroad during the world warⅡ and we must refresh our ideology to respect the history.  

Furthermore, Abalos compares Heidegger’s conception that is the hypostasis of building to Tessenow’s – “managed to dignify, by living part from technological obsession and the idea of progress, by a return to a more balanced relationship with nature; by a simpler and more modest formula for inhabiting, one also capable of establishing a certain harmony with our own past” (Pg.58).  .

I think that the existential house with technological factor should relate back to the nature but not just the materials. The building is the space of inhabiting, and the logic of space, the context of space and the using of space are more important in the contemporaneous architecture.
1. Does the technology have more negative influence than positive influence in architectural history?
2. What is the core in Heidegger’s concept of space?

44 – “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” – M. Heidegger

In his article, Heidegger debate some ideas what are the relationship between place, space, building, and dwelling. These relationships look like interconnected and interaction.

Heidegger examines those ideas through the examples of language at the beginning of this article. He explored the language’s meaning of the word “dwelling”. He gives an example that the Old High German word “bauen”, how it historically and currently corresponds in our language. He indicated the three main conclusions of what it means to dwell: “1. Building is really dwelling, 2. Dwelling is the manner in which mortals are on the earth. 3. Building as dwelling unfolds into the building that cultivates growing things and the building that erects buildings” (Pg. 350).

He continues to expatiate how the dwelling fosters man. The dwelling has jumped beyond the physical concept and formed the mental concept: family’. Heidegger points out the fourfold – the notion of the earth, the sky, the divinities, and the mortals coming together into the one.

Heidegger uses bridge as an example to explore what is the relationship between building and dwelling. The space contains places by bridge whatever the place is far or near. However, the places lies a measureable distance, and those distance forms the extended spaces.
1. What are the architectural influence of the meaning and relationship between building and dwelling?
2. What is the intention of changing the building to dwelling?

Previous Older Entries