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This books (Architecture and Disjunction [PDF]) Made by Bernard Tschumi About Books Paperback book To Download Please Click. DOWNLOAD PDF. Report this file. Description. Download Bernard Tschumi - Architecture and Disjunction Free in pdf format. Avant-garde theorist and architect Bernard Tschumi is equally well known for his writing and his practice. Architecture and Disjunction, which brings together.

If the prevalent ideology was one of familiarity -- familiarity with known images, derived from s modernism or eighteenth century classicism -- maybe one's role was to defamiliarize. If the new, mediated world echoed and reinforced our dismantled reality, maybe, just maybe, one should take advantage of such dismantling, celebrate fragmentation by celebrating the culture of differences, by accelerating and intensifying the loss of certainty, of center, of history. If the design of windows only reflects the superficiality of the skin's decoration, we might very well start to look for a way to do without windows. If the design of pillars reflects the conventionality of a supporting frame, maybe we might get rid of pillars altogether. Although the architects concerned might not profess an inclination towards the exploration of new technologies, such work usually took advantage of contemporary technological developments. Interestingly, the specific technologies -air-conditioning or the construction of lightweight structures or computer modes of calculation -- have yet to be theorized in architectural culture. I stress this because other technological advances, such as the invention of the elevator or the nineteenth century development of steel construction, have been the subject of countless studies by historians, but very little such work exists in terms of contemporary technologies because these technologies do not necessarily produce historical forms. I take this detour through technology because technology is inextricably linked to our contemporary condition: This shock factor was what allowed an image to stand out: These dangers resulted in constant anxiety about. The increase in change and superficiality also means a weakening of architecture as a form of domination. In our era of reproduction. In a mediatized world. Over fifty years after the publication of Benjamin's text.

It It thus becomes some sort of an essence jections of reason. If it cannot imitate an order. Architecture becomes a cosa looms bury. It hears as much as it sees. Soho and this ultimate model of reason.

So the architect is once again "the Pyramid.

It is in recent works that the recurring etym- The attempt to trigger a new perception of "cal distinction appears at its strongest. Reduced to the space reopened a basic philosophical question. By restricting visual and physical the ceiling. German esthetic overtones of the Raumempfindung theory. When the dancers Trisha Brown and Simone Forti re- process: But the most interesting part of such performance space to follow the art-language practice.

This operation of reason. The parallel made between the dan- was important. This reversal. Doug Wheeler. But how do you relate nessed by twentieth-century architecture. Robert Iwin. Their don't really see the cube. There was no way in. Suffice it to say all these perceptions to one single object? Is it through an that current conversation seems to fluctuate between a the operation of. You do not play with elaborate spatial articulations.

If it could be argued as the underlying discussion on the "nature of space" in that the discourse about art was art and thus could be exhib- neral. You may see a corner.

Space You touch a wall. The and science was seen as the means to find an exit. Whether such spaces might be seen as reminiscent of the us but that we use in order to break their surround. The in opposition to the remote exterior space and social context. Space perception to the faintest of all stimulations. In "de. The Paradox of Architecture matters is their double content: The almost totally removed sensory definition in- evitably throws the viewers back on themselves.

The architec- where all sensations. To single out particular areas of concern. It is hardly surprising. Just as language gives us words that encircle Bataille suggested that its only effect space. By a series of exclusions that become significant only was to transform the Labyrinth into a banal prison.

Denis Hollier. Raumempfindung theory. Rejecting materiality of the body coincides with the materiality of the such an interpretation. But the concept of architecture toward the general organization of "clubs" and community buildings proposed not only re. Not affecting the de. Aware that spatial organization may temporarily that speak only of themselves. A common accusation of anal. These have been well researched in the past few years. Space and of a sensual experience the Labyrinth is no different.

We shall therefore briefly con. Such studies underline the Not surprisingly. Their attempts to find a socially relevant. Aimed at redistributing the capitalistic division of labor. On the forms of private expression. This nihilistic prerequisite for social and economic change was a desperate attempt to use the architect's mode Hegel's value and cannot be integrated in the production cycle.

Space Until After that fact. Does the social have to define it alone. This must begin with a description of the apparent logical and financial dependency. Rather than an obscure general organization of building processes. If it sanctuarizes itself in an art-for-art's-sake po. Yet it is the unreal or unrealistic position of the artist artistic supplement or a cultural justification for financial or architect that may be its very reality.

I would therefore suggest that there has never been any the six faces of the cube and real space at the same time but reason to doubt the necessity of architecture. If the architectural tually exclusive terms of architecture requires some eluci- piece renounces its autonomy by recognizing its latent ideo.

I am well aware that commitment. In view of the present-day polarization of ontolog- tecture seems to have little choice between autonomy and ical discourse and sensual experience. Its radicalism constitutes its very strength in a Unless we search for an escape from architecture into the society where profit is prevalent. So architecture seems to survive only when To restate my point. In rely on the paradigm of the ancient precedent. It is useless. If its role is not defined by society.

Or did it? Does architecture. Except for the last manipulations. The Pyramid. We cannot both experience and think that course of this argument.

The effect of the of the Pyramid. Along paradox. But remember: Icarus flew away. The dream of the Pyramid. Labyrinth cannot be dominated. It always misses something. The security of archetypes. So statement.

But the real importance of the Labyrinth and of its spatial with its ultimate punchline. One is condemned to it and cannot go outside and see the involves the dissolution of the dialectic and an incomplete whole. In the the way of feeling. This means. Architecture constitutes the subject.

Before leaving this brief exploration of architecture as ments. The top of the Pyramid is ture is always the expression of a lack. Space sists: One can par- tectural reality building defeats architectural theory while ticipate in and share the fundamentals of the Labyrinth.

This tecture reality is not experienced as an abstract object already conclusion may be intolerable to philosophers. So theory and praxis one's perception is only part of the Labyrinth as it manifests may be dialectic to one another.

Unfortunately not. Architecture is both being and nonbeing. One can never see it in totality. It may be intol- dent but mutually exclusive. Defined by its questioning. If system plus excess is one of its symp- toms. In the past. It may now provide the cultural model. It suggests new oppositions between dissociated terms and new relations between ho- mogeneous spaces.

Erfahrung and close to Bataille's "interior experience. Just as eroticism is the of production. As long as social practice rejects the paradox of ideal and real space. Opposed to Hegel's architecture rule and the experience of pleasure.

It introduces new articulations between the inside and the outside. To talk about the Labyrinth and its praxis pleasure of excess rather than the excess of pleasure. Space crete human activity-as a praxis. Like eroticism. For it is only by recogniz- ing the architectural rule that the subject of space will reach the depth of experience and its sensuality. This immediacy does not give precedence to the experiential term. This "experience" may have repercussions that go far beyond man as its "subject.

By changing the This importance of the subject is in clear opposition to all prevalent attitudes toward space and its subject.

I If space is a material thing. Questions of Space 1. Space 1. Is there a language of space a space- 3. Or of any concept? Is space thus one of the structures that ex- 2. Space 3. If space is just a thing. Space 4. Architecture and Transgression Transgression opens the door into what lies beyond the limits usu- ally observed. Bernard Tschumi. Advertisements for Architecture.

Transgres- sion is complementary to the profane world. Georges Bataille. The controversy indirectly re- sensual experience of space and as a spatial praxis. Whether I use excesses. Although society secretly delights in crime. A debate at a conceptual architecture confer- this essay will attempt to demonstrate that transgression is ence in London 1 where the majority of contributors predict- a whole.

Boullee's aphorism that "the production of the mind typologies. Even on an analysis of historical tradition or on a New Man as when the words of the printed page are metamorphosed into the twenties' architects conceived it.

Words and from Durand to modem movement writers.

From the systeme des slogans sprayed on city walls. They are theory is primarily the elaboration of rules. If the political implications of the production of Part One: The Paradox building had been abundantly emphasized in the years fol- lowing the crisis. On the contrary. Space One issue rarely raised in architecture is that of taboo and The very fact that something is written here makes it part transgression.

From Vitruvius to Quatremere de Quincy. This emphasis on what Hegel called the language and history. The chief characteris. By definition archi- activity. Was Whether these theorists stated that architecture always rep. Was the only alternative to the paradox silence. Space then maintaining. Or useful. But if everything was architecture.

Architecture and Disjunction

And if so. Initially intended as an ideological means of stress. The com- Austrian groups of the late s was an attempt to dema. Spinoza versus architecture. And by nature it is also universal. They lie.

The experience of the liar paradox is like and the I. Not to and real space is seen differently in the second correspon- dence. Eroticism is no differ- ent. To explore it. Sensuality is as different from lyzing consequences of a paradox that recalls philosophical eroticism as a simple spatial perception is different from battles of the past-Descartes versus Hume.

It is the correspondence of eroticism. Architecture is the ultimate erotic ob- flected. The Second Manifesto of two worlds: The paradox is literally speculative.

Just Part Two: Rationalists versus Raumempfindung symbol. Each meaning has always to be taken Thus. It may be be confused with sensuality. Archi- and the incommunicable cease to be perceived in a contradictory tecture has the same status. Just as the sensual experience of space does not way around this paradox.

This second correspondence is immensely general and 70 71 Architecture and Transgression. It is even more tempting. From being respectful to seeking and its theorists rarely negate the form that the society ex.

Architecture and Disjunction | The MIT Press

Space inevitably contains the present argument as it would contain related to the phase of decomposition. Bataille claimed that 72 73 Architecture and Transgression. Not surprisingly. Laos's celebrated attack on the intrinsic crimi. Those who in visited the houses.

In fact. As a putrefying flesh. And architecture cency and respectability. The anguish about death. Life was seen as a negation of death-it con. Death is tolerated only when the bones are white: It is nothing less than the analogy of life-and. Were the rationalists pects of it. Young life and decent death. Archi- death. The modern movement loved both life and death. Space Bernard Tschumi.

While the puritanism of the modern movement and its followers has often been pointed out.


Architects generally do not love that part of life that resem- bles death: Since eroticism implied sex without reproduction. In the paradox of architec- ture. But in the opinion of this author- which is admittedly subjective-the Villa Savoye was never so moving as when plaster fell off its concrete blocks. But to pursue this distasteful demonstration to the logical point where the distinction between argument and metaphor becomes blurred.

Just as Bataille's approach was certainly not exempt from the social taboos of his time. Cosmos and History cepts and spatial praxis. Souvenirs d'egotisme close their eyes to the traces of decay. Rot bridges sensory pleasure and reason.. Part Three: The Transgression Second. In both cases. For like eroticism. We have seen the beaux-arts archi- I was subject to respecting too much in my youth.

Space tangency: Rules stay obscured. To paraphrase determine where this metaphorical rot becomes architecture Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

This metaphorical rot is where izes the meeting place: These para- First. Space culturally conditioned as those of a school child. It thrives on its ambiguous location between cultural autonomy and commitment. In a similar way.

Whether through literal or phenomenal transgression. While recently the rules called for the rejec- tion of ornament. Limits remain. Architecture seems to sur- vive in its erotic capacity only wherever it negates itself. Very simply it means overcoming unacceptable prevalences.

Yet the ancient idea of pleasure still seems sacrilegious to contemporary architectural theory. El Lissitzky. For many generations any architect who aimed for or attempted to experience pleasure in architecture was considered decadent. The Pleasure of Architecture Functionalist dogmas and the puritan attitudes of the mod- ern movement have often come under attack.

Tzara's ironical theses. Even in the early s. Often these oppositions have been loaded In the following paragraphs. In despite the con. On both quiet and acceptable route of purism.

Space - concern. And these simple dialectics have initions. The avant-garde has end. I will attempt to with moral overtones. Dionysius's erotic and sensual impulses. The text instead is contempt for order found few equivalents among architects composed of fragments that relate only loosely to one an- too busy replacing the systeme des Beaux-Arts by the mod.

Architectural def- rationality and sensuality. These fragments-geometry. Beyond such opposites lie the mythical shad- lessly debated oppositions that are mostly complementary: Adolf Laos's attack on the criminality show that today the pleasure of architecture may lie both of ornament masked his fear of chaos and sensual disorder. And in the same way. The Pleasure of Architecture 84 Laugier's celebrated comments.

William Kent's of ordinance-Doric or Corinthian order. Abbe Laugier suggested a dramatic decon- "presence of absence". William Kent. Without the signs of order. But these "ruins" are to be read sign become pretexts for sophisticated and pleasurable ma. He wrote: Taken ing to its given area and situation. This cannot be put into words. Taken to its extreme. There must be regularity to its extreme. Once again. The outstanding place. Gardens have had a strange fate.

Their his- it can certainly not be denied that architecture holds a most- tory has almost always anticipated the history of cities. Even at a time when pleasure found some ture will save its peculiar nature. Considering it only from the point of view orchard grid of man's earliest agricultural achievements pre- of utility. It provides for ceded the layout of the first military cities. There you will read Kent's park would lose all reminders of "reason. The "salubrity of the earliest experiments in that part of architecture that is cities" is now determined more by the logic of land econom- so difficult to express with words or drawings.

The perspectives the salubrity of cities. Space methodique published in Paris in Whether romantic or classical. Piranesi's architecture Unlike the necessity of mere building. The classical vocabulary of architecture is Pira- Fragment 4 Metaphor of Order-Bondage nesi's chosen form of bondage. Neither precepts. Such totally gratuitous consumption of architec- In Architecture and Utopia. A word of their victims in the strictest convents before mistreating warning may be necessary at this stage.

The most excessive passion is always methodical. What matters is that there is no simple bondage tech- experience of space.

We have seen that the ambiguous pleasure of rationality and For example. It is also pleasurable. In such moments of intense desire. To differentiate between rules or ropes is irrelevant excess. Eroticism is used them according to rules carefully laid down with a precise here as a theoretical concept. These rules. The Pleasure of Architecture 88 These bonds enhance plea- irrationality.

Laugier's theoretical proposals of "order and tumult" to the extreme. Treating classical elements as fragmented and decaying symbols. When The ultimate pleasure of architecture is that manipulated.. Each system of knowledge a return to blind obedience to past dogma. You wear a disguise. The mask may exalt appearances. Space late. Like masks. Yet single understanding is possible.

Masks hide other masks. The literal aspect of the disguise the facade. It constantly tating past orders. Yet by its very presence. The need for order is no justification for imi- Architecture is no different. Its disguises are numerous: The danger of confusing the mask gives you pleasure. Once you uncover that there is also a special pleasure that results from conflicts: Consciously aimed at seduction. Yet they possess a double role: Architecture is interesting only when it plays the seducer.

Behind all masks lie dark and unconscious streams that Fragment 7 Metaphor of Seduction-the Mask cannot be dissociated from the pleasure of architecture. For instance. There are certain even necessarily aimed at giving pleasure. And if either of these two criteria ments collide and merge in delight. So and the unbalancing of expectations. By definition. Such architecture is perverse because its real sig. Yet for those who do not build whether for architecture by disrupting the form that most conservative circumstantial or ideological reasons-it does not matter.

The answer does not lie in the inevitability phologies. It nevertheless architecture is endlessly deconstructed and all rules are seems strange that architects always have to castrate their transgressed. There is no way to perform architecture in a book.

Such representations inevitably Fragment 9 Architecture of Pleasure separate the sensual experience of a real space from the ap- The architecture of pleasure lies where concept and experi. Exceeding functionalist dogmas. No metaphorical paradise here. Rather it may lie in the very nature of architecture. These things require The architecture of pleasure depends on a analogies. Among other things. Words historical precedents.

Such architecture ques. Like a mask. The Pleasure of Architecture 92 It may try to hide it. A reduction. It is not the clash between these contradic- tory fragments that counts but the movement between them.

They may be excerpts from different discourses. When fragments are like beginnings without ends. An ex. It is always hiding: These fragments are like sentences between quotation the important findings made in Vienna at the beginning of marks. Yet they are not quotations. They are in-between. These is to trigger desire for something beyond the page itself.

These splits have if somehow ironically. We are here at the opposite of the collage tech- the unconscious. They are relays rather than signs. They simply melt into the century. Yet it is the very difficulty of but the dialectical multiplicity of a process.

Yet such equations often amount to a reduction and a mode of reading architecture that does not fully apply in an exclusion. The usual function of advertisements-reproduced Fragments of architecture bits of walls. There is always removed from their customary endorsement of commodity a split between fragments that are real and fragments that values.

They are traces. Space Architecture resembles a masked figure. A word of warning. Yet it remained constant. The same goes for architecture. It was called desire. And then each time it would be substituted by another fragment. Rather it can only act as a recipient in which your desires. Each setting. An old film of the s had a name for this movement between fragments. Nor is it a mere representation of those desires through some fantastic architectural image.

Desire was never seen. It cannot satisfy your wildest fantasies. Architecture may very well activate such motions. Space this only demonstrates that an architectural project is pre- cisely where differences find an overall expression. Nor does it consist in exteriorizing.

A Streetcar Named Desire perfectly simulated the movement toward something constantly missing. Thus a piece of architecture is not architectural because it seduces. Screenplays The Fight. Screenplays syc. The second spatial sequence is constant through- out history.

The first relation. Screenplays Domino Sequences Any architectural sequence includes or implies at least three relations. All have em- phasized a planned path with fixed halting points.

The sequential transformation then becomes its own theo. The process is generally based on intuition. These devices can be applied to the straint that does not reveal the maker's artifices in the final transformation of spaces as well as programs. Successive layers of trans. Program phological variations are endless.

Roland Barthes. Sequences of space. They can also display Sequences of transformation and sequences of spaces rarely particular sets of variations. Each subsequent reworking leads to or refines the organizing prin. Closed sequences have a predictable end because the Sequences Is there ever a causal link between a formal system of spaces Spatial transformations can be included within the time se- and a system of events?

Rimbaud wondered whether vowels quence-for example. Or i's i't m ere1y an ex- Moretti. I I t1v1t1es. Is there ever a homology between sys- tems. They can even steadily collect10ns of events all strung along a collection of spaces increase in complexity.

Program - Yet architecture is inhabited: These are the programmatic sequences dimension alone. Any predetermined se- density of light. Un Chien Andalou Vignola and Ammanti. The battalion marches on the fields. Floor plan of Temple.. Reconstructed by Pococke Konstantin Melnikov. Paris Exhibition.. Reprinted by Quatremere de Quincy. Sequences of spaces and sequences of events can. One then observes a strategy of indifference in which formal considerations do not depend on utilitarian ones Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali.

Sequences have emotional value. They may coincide for a shorter or mentation of unitary space. In themselves. The linearity of sequences orders events. Events "take place. Not all architecture is linear. Its spatial sequence is nevertheless orga- nized around a thematic structure. One then observes a strategy of fragmentary perspectives and cities without beginnings or conflict in which each sequence constantly transgresses the ends.

And again. There is one sequence of direct longer period. Programmatic sequences are gen- erally inferential. As sequences of events do not depend on spa. The skater skates on the skating rink. But some architects are suspicious of time and connotative aspects. Program ideal Werkbund kitchens. The battalion skates on the tightrope. It provides "security" and at least one actually reinforces the other-the sort of architectural tau.

Such opposition is. Program atrium. The route is more tempts to eliminate the preconceived meanings given to important than any one place along it.

It institutes a new order against the disorder it aims to avoid. The associations Space Event Movement so formed allow for a plurality of interpretations rather than a singular fact. Each part is thus both complete and incom - The final meaning of any sequence is dependent on the re. Each frame. Control must be absolute. Movement notation: An ture. By extension. Nothing strange certain body rhythm.

The composite sequence SEM breaks the linearity of the silica doors. A ritual implies a near-frozen relationship between space ers. It combines the presentation of an event or chain of events with its progressive spatial interpretation which If the spatial sequence inevitably implies the movement of of course alters it. When it becomes necessary to mediate the For Lautreamont.

And each part is a statement against indeterminacy. Sequences Like a series of implied narrative is always there.

Archi- tect, that buildings should have a base, a middle, and a Is there such a thing as an architectural narrative? As we all know, the "language" of architecture, the architecture In literature and in the cinema, sequences can be manipu- "that speaks," is a controversial matter.

Another question: Are the inclusions of baroque details in the of literature, would space intersect with signs to give us a modern architectural sequence Forms of composition: In this manner, we might see strip of course, but through carefully observed parallels. Ter- the beginning of a use in space followed immediately by the ragni's Danteum does not tell us a story of events but re- beginning of another in a further space. Contracted se- minds us about the temporality of a search-the quences have occasionally reduced architecture's three di- impossibility of being at several places at the same time-a mensions into one Le Corbusier's Villa Stein at Garches.

The gap thus becomes a space of its own, a corridor, threshold, or doorstep-a proper symbol inserted between The use of a plot may suggest the sense of an ending, an end each event John Hejduk's Wall House.

Combinations of to the overall organization. It stiperimposes a conclusion to expanded and contracted sequences can form special series, the open-endedness of the transformational or methodolog- either coordinated or rhythmical. Whenever a program or "plot" the single- family house, or "Cinderella" is well known as are most All sequences are cumulative. Their "frames" derive signif- architectural programs , only the "retelling" counts: They establish memory-of the "telling" has been done enough.

To experience and to follow an architectural sequence is to reflect upon events. Courtyard in Amsterdam, c. The simplest sequence is always more than a configuration-en-suite, even:: Examining architec- ture "frame by frame," as through a film-editing machine.

Frames are both the framing device-conforming, regular, solid-and the framed material-questioning, distorting, and displacing. Occasionally the framing device can itself become the object of distortions and the framed material be conformist and orderly. The frame permits the extreme formal manipulations of the sequence, for the content of congenial frames can be mixed, superimposed, dissolved, or cut up, giving endless possibili- ties to the narrative sequence. At the limit, these material manipulations can be classified according to formal strate- gies such as repetition, disjunction, distortion, dissolution, or insertion.

For example, devices such as the insertion of additional elements within the sequence can change the meaning of the sequence as well as its impact on the exper- iencing subject, as in the well-known Kuleshov experiment, where the same shot of the actor's impassive face is intro- duced in a variety of situations, and the audience reads dif- ferent expressions in each successive juxtaposition.

Parameters that remain constant and passive for the duration 6f the sequence can be added and transferred, as when a given. All transformational devices repetition, distortion, etc. Thus we can have a repetitive sequence of spaces the successive courtyards of a Berlin block coupled with an additive sequence of events dancing in the first court, fight- ing in the second, skating in the third. Alternatively, of course, architectural sequences can also be made strategically disjunctive the pole-vaulter in the catacombs.

These elements. Yet often such works reveal hidden codes and excesses hint- ing at other definitions. In the work of remarkable writers. Architecture and Li mi ts I. By doing so. The modem movement had already started its thainstream of commercial production. Just as all forms of knowledge use different modes The present phenomenon is hardly new. Such exclusions. Program I The same can be said for whole fields of en. Buildings have a Fountainhead view of decorative heroics.

This does not other? Should one exclude the most rebellious and audacious exclude the built realm. The complex cultural. Boullee's washes of monuments. These works. But is it a question of choosing one over the chitectural texts and theoretical positions. The same could be said about particular ar- and so forth.

Like the hidden clue l deavor: Pira- tecture. What is meant by to define-"To determine the dictions. The twentieth century contains numerous reductive policies though not necessarily built. Such extreme positions in a detective story. The coherence oped field. The art world's fascination with architectural mattersI critique of the current frivolity of architecture and architec- evident in the obsessive number of 11 architectural reference" tural reporting hardly exists.

Serious thematic cri- social. To envy The narrowing of architecture as a form of knowledge into architecture's usefulness or. By focusing their attack on the International and definition of the discipline. In the The current confusion becomes clear if one same way. Program - the scaling down of generous research strategies into opera- attack on the beaux arts in the These works are useful only insofar as reductions highly damaging to the scope of the discipline.

Thus it is not surprising that a solid ways. Un- battles and often hid them behind reductionist ideologies fortunately. Despite its current popularity in the media. The conflict is no mere Style.

Yet this is no reason to strip architecture again of its profiles and "practicality" appraisals. Such reciprocal envy is based on the narrow- The limits of architecture are variable: To call architectural those sculptures that the nature of architecture. The oppo- them as "conceptual architecture. This hi"story. While mainstream recalled:. Architecture or the ination takes power. Among those who understood the power of Weary of the difficulties prompted by the invention were the Situationists, who by already strategies of "exemplary actions" and "counterdesign," I seemed distant history.

Yet the most radical moments of concluded by proposing a form of subversive analysis that twentieth-century art, literature, or film could not be absent would use environmental knowledge to accelerate radical from a complete questioning of society.

From the Futurists change. It would reveal the absurdity of our current condition to Dada and the Surrealists, a whole range of precedents as well as precipitate the downfall of the most socially re- fascinated us. Anatole Kopp had also just published his cel- pressive aspects of our culture and cities. However, the ex- ebrated City and Revolution on the different movements amples I gave at the time showed an optimistic view of the that followed the uprisings.

As I write today, the urban con- I was starting to realize that the old revolu- flicts in Northern Ireland have certainly not led to "new tionary concept of "taking advantage of the internal contra- social organizations through the illuminating effects of en- dictions of society" was applicable to architecture andI in vironmental actions.

The internal contra- Introduction 14 15 Introduction dictions of architecture had been there all along; they were insert both programmatic and spatial concerns within the part of its very nature: architecture was about two mutually architectural discourse as well as within its representation. The -criticism, and film theory among them-were confirming interplay between space and activities appeared to me as a those first intuitions.

Allies could be found in those other possible route to bypass some of the obstacles that accom- fields who would help demonstrate what I perceived as blind- panied many anxieties about the social and political role of ing evidence: architecture was, by definition, by nature, dis- architecture.

From Foucault to Barthes, from the ac- Indeed, any political discussion by critics and tivities of Sollers and the Tel Quel group to the rediscovery historians about the making of architecture had generally of Bataille, Joyce, or Burroughs, from the film theories focused on the formal or physical aspects of buildings and of Eisenstein and Vertov to the experiments of Welles and cities, rarely raising the question of the events that took place Godard, from conceptual art to Acconci's early perfor- in them.

Just as the detournement, or rebellious use, of the mances, an enormous body of work was helping to substan- urban physical framework had led to various types of urban tiate the evidence of architecture's dissociations.

Those who upheaval, could the use and misuse of the architectural space say that architecture is impure if it must borrow its argu- lead to a new architecture? Over the next decade I kept ments from other disciplines not only forget the inevitable exploring the implications of what had first been intuitions: interferences of culture, economy, and politics but also un- a that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between the derestimate the ability of architecture to accelerate the work- concept of space and the experience of space, or between ings of culture by contributing to its polemic.

As practice buildings and their uses, or space and the movement of bodies and as theory, architecture must import and export.

It is striking to notice, for Just as inherent oppositions had been iden- example, the respective interpretations of postmodernism in tified between the urban framework and social movements, the separate fields of art and architecture, whereby postmod- comparable oppositions could be witnessed between archi- ernism in architecture became associated with an identifi- tectural space and its many possible uses.

By arguing that able style, while in art it meant a critical practice. As I had written in the introduction to The Manhattan Transcripts: not only to expand architectural concepts but also to nego- tiate the relationship between the cultural practice of archi- In architecture, concepts can either precede or follow proj- tecture and the interrelated spheres of politics, literature, or ects or buildings.

In other words, a theoretical concept may the arts. In no way was I interested in translating or trans- be either applied to a project or derived from it. Quite often posing literary or film motives into architecture. Quite the this distinction cannot be made so clearly, when, for ex- contrary. But I also needed these allies to support a key ample, a certain aspect of film theory may support an architectural argument.

The research in other fields corrob- architectural intuition, and later, through the arduous de- orated my view that the inherent disjunction of architecture velopment of a project, be transformed into an operative was its strength and its subversive power; that the disjunc- concept for architecture in general.

Architecture, then, could not only import certain Architecture's inherent confrontation of notions from other disciplines but could also export its find- space and use and the inevitable disjunction of the two terms means that architecture is constantly unstable, constantly ings into the production of culture.

In this sense, architecture on the verge of change. It is paradoxical that three thousand could be considered as a form of knowledge comparable to years of architectural ideology have tried to assert the very mathematics or philosophy. It could explore and expand the opposite: that. It could also be intensely social and political, as architecture could not be separated from its very dation.

I would claim that architecture was used "a contre- emploi", against and despite itself, as society tried to employ use. Simultaneously, I tried to develop these con- it as a means to stabilize, to institutionalize, to establish permanence.

Of course, this prevailing ideology meant that cepts through other means-the drawings of The Manhattan architecture had to ignore the other terms of its equation Transcripts, the multiple and discontinuous buildings of i.

This is indeed one of ' the architectural spaces that enclosed them. Few can decide what a school or a library livan's "form follows function. Whether cultural or commercial, programs have have seen architecture as a means by which institutions long ceased to be determinate, since they change all the could manifest and solidify their presence in society.


In doing time-while the building is designed, during its construc- so, the disjunction between various terms of the architec- tion, and, of course, after completion.

At the Pare de la tural equation-space, program, movement-had been sup- Villette, one building was first designed as a gardening center, pressed. Not to include the uncertainties of use, action, and then reorganized as a restaurant by the time the concrete movement in the definition of architecture meant that the framework was completed, and finally used-successfully- architecture's ability to be a factor of social change was sim- as a children's painting and sculpture workshop.

What has been true for very large buildings Similarly, the most significant so-called de- the ever-changing use of warehouses or of the new genera- constructive architectural challenges against order, hierar- tion of American "big footprint" skyscrapers also applies to chy, and stability in the last two decades have been praised the smallest constructions. There is no longer a causal rela- or attacked by critics for what they called a "style" or the tionship between buildings and their contentI their useI andI "pursuit of aesthetic experimentation.

Space and its usage unwittingly at risk of ignoring, not to say suppressing, the are two opposed notions that exclude one another, generating underlying discussion about program and use in this work, an endless array of uncertainties. Not unlike developments and, by extension, about the larger social, political, and even in modern scientific knowledge that dismantled the me- economic implications of architecture.

By downplaying the chanistic and determinate vision of classical scienceI here programmatic dimension, they were repeating what they had we see disorder, collisions, and unpredictabilities entering accused others of doing in staging the International the field of architecture. Not only is there no simple relation the new developments in architecture reside. Yet we should remember that there is spaces through new technology and structures, or-to use no social or political change without the movements and the title of a conference at Columbia University-through programs that transgress supposedly stable institutionality, "glue and microchips" and events through new program- architectural or otherwise; that there is no architecture with- matic, functional, or social relations, through the spectacle out everyday life, movement, and action; and that it is the of everyday life.

One argument for the interchangeability of most dynamic aspects of their disjunctions that suggest a the two terms can be found in the new media technology new definition of architecture. The definition of architecture as simulta- neously space and event brings us back to political concerns, or more precisely, to the question of space as related to social practice.

If architecture is neither pure form nor solely de- termined by socioeconomic or functional constraints, the search for its definition must always expand to an urban dimension.

The complex social, economic, and political mechanisms that govern the expansion and contraction of the contemporary city are not without effect on architecture and its societal use. Space always marks the territory, the milieu of social practice.

Would we ever wish it to do so, our society could not get out of its space. Even though it produces space, society is always its prisoner. Because space is the common framework for all activities, it is often used politi- cally in order to give an appearance of coherence through the concealment of its social contradictions.

The contemporary world is a dislocated space of constraints that may find few com- 22 23 Space essays written in and Fireworks, Manifesto, Most people concerned with architecture feel some sort of disillusion and dismay. None of the early utopian ideals of the twentieth century has materialized, none of its social aims has succeeded. Blurred by reality, the ideals have turned into redevelopment nightmares and the aims into bureau- cratic policies.

The split between social reality and utopian dream has been total, the gap between economic constraints and the illusion of all-solving technique absolute. Pointed Space - out by critics who knew the limits of architectural remedies, means of escaping the paradox by shifting the actual nature this historical split has now been bypassed by attempts to of the debate, as, for example, through politics, and the means reformulate the concepts of architecture.

In the process, a that alter the paradox altogether the Pyramid and the new split appears. More complex, it is not the symptom of Labyrinth. Etymologically, to define space means both "to make tecture and of its essential element: space. By focusing on space distinct" and "to state the precise nature of space. While art and architecture have been con- ity of questioning the nature of space and at the same time cerned essentially with the first sense, philosophy, mathe- experiencing a spatial praxis.

I have no intention of reviewing architectural trends and terial thing in which all material things are located" or as their connection to the arts. My general emphasis on space "something subjective with which the mind categorizes rather than on disciplines art, architecture, semiology, etc.

The merg- tradition according to which space and time were "cate- ing of disciplines is too worn a path to provide a stimulating gories" that enabled the classification of "sensory knowl- itinerary. Instead, I would like to focus attention on the edge. Object before the subject, it present paradox of space and on the nature of its terms, trying dominated senses and bodies by containing them. Was space to indicate how one might go beyond this self-contradiction, inherent to the totality of what exists?

This was the question even if the answer should prove intolerable. I begin by re- of space for Spinoza and Leibniz. Returning to the old notion calling the historical context of this paradox. I will examine of category, Kant described space as neither matter nor the first those trends that consider architecture as a thing of the set of objective relations between things but as an ideal in- mind, as a dematerialized or conceptual discipline, with its ternal structure, an a priori consciousness, an instrument of linguistic or morphological variations the Pyramid ; second, knowledge.

Subsequent mathematical developments on empirical research that concentrates on the senses, on the non-Euclidean spaces and their topologies did not eliminate experience of space as well as on the relationship between the philosophical discussions. These reappeared with the space and praxis the Labyrinth ; and third, the contradictory widening gap between abstract spaces and society.

But space nature of these two terms and the difference between the was generally accepted as a cosa mentale, a sort of all- 28 29 Space - embracing set with subsets such as literary space, ideological determinants of the postwar period and aware of recent lin- space, and psychoanalytical space. Architecturally, to define space to make space distinct known code of space with its own syntax and meaning.

Did literally meant "to determine boundaries. Was space a condi- twentieth century. But by it meant Raum with all its tion or a formulation? To say that language preceded these overtones of German esthetics, with the notion of Raum- spaces was certainly not obvious: human activities leave empfindung or "felt volume. So was there a relationship had merged with the idea of composition to become a three- between space and language, could one "read" a space?

Was dimensional continuum, capable of metrical subdivision there a dialectic between social praxis and spatial forms? From then on, ar- chitectural space was consistently seen as a uniformly ex- 5.

Yet the gap remained between ideal space the product tended material to be modeled in various ways, and the of mental processes and real space the product of social history of architecture as the history of spatial concepts. Although such a distinction is certainly not ideolog- From the Greek "power of interacting volumes" to the Ro- ically neutral, we shall see that it is in the nature of archi- man "hollowed-out interior space," from the modern "inter- tecture.

As a result, the only successful attempts to bridge action between inner and outer space" to the concept of this philosophical gap were those that introduced historical "transparency," historians and theorists referred to space as or political concepts such as "production," in the wide sense a three-dimensional lump of matter.

Much research in France and in To draw a parallel between the philosophies Italy opposed space "as a pure form" to space "as a social of a period and the spatial concepts of architecture is always product," space "as an intermediary" to space "as a means tempting, but never was it done as obsessively as during the of reproduction of the mode of production.

Giedion related Einstein's theory of relativity to cub- This politico-philosophical critique had the ist painting, and cubist planes were translated into architec- advantage of giving an all-embracing approach to space, ture in Le Corbusier's Villa Stein at Garches. By the late s, freed from the technological tated spaces. But by giving an overall priority to historical e Architectural Paradox 30 31 Space - processes, it often reduced space to one of the numerous building that escapes the utility of space, a building that socioeconomic products that were perpetuating a political would have no other purpose than "architecture.

Before proceeding to a detailed examination of the am- tural autonomy. After more than half a century of scientific bivalence of the definition of space, it is perhaps useful to pretense, of system theories that defined it as the intersection consider briefly this particular expression of space in archi- of industrialization, sociology, politics, and ecology, archi- tecture.

Its territory extends from an all-embracing "every- tecture wonders if it can exist without having to find its thing is architecture" to Hegel's minimal definition. This meaning or its justification in some purposeful exterior need. When Hegel The Pyramid: Stating the Nature of Space or The Dematerialization elaborated his aesthetic theory, 2 he conventionally distin- of Architecture guished five arts and gave them an order: architecture, sculp- ture, painting, music, and poetry.

He started with 7. Little concerned with Hegel's ''artistic supplement," ar- architecture because he thought it preceded the others in chitects have nevertheless not regarded the constructed both conceptual and historical terms.

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