Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jencks/Eisenman Debate on Metropolis

Here is a link to a pretty interesting debate between Charels Jencks and Peter Eisenman. The debate's subject was "The Iconic Building" and it occurred at Columbia University on October 26th of this year. The exerpts were just published Friday and features 10-minute responses. It reportedly got a little contested. This is a little boarder skirmish, and at stake here is what architects should focus on -- where architecture's definition lies. These two are in the sign -> symbol -> meaning team. They're picking a fight with someone not in the room, or on the team. A quote from the article...

Peter Eisenman: I couldn't disagree with Charles [Jencks] more. He tells us what an iconic building is, that it's a "multiply coded enigmatic sign," but most of the buildings in his book ain't enigmatically double-coded signs. The worst example, of course, is Santiago Calatrava. The only thing enigmatic about Calatrava is how he's so successful. But it's not enigmatic, I know why he's successful--because the buildings are one-liners, they're easy. They are saccharine, they're not structural at all--you don't have to know anything about structure. And, you know, why a subway station in New York should look like a bird--that's probably "multiple coding," but to me it's just dumb.


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