Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Agenda in Architectural Tools

DYWSC? is interested in the meaning that is being assigned to new tools and shapes in Architecture. We admire Algorithmic Architecture, Algorithmic Architecture, and Algorithmic Architecture for the "Why to use these new tools." that this work supplies. But tools are just tools. We are still scrubbing the work for evidence of how these tools are being used, appropriated, commandeered, or usurped.

Consider the ideological background of Greg Lynn's arguement from "Intricacy" ...
...This notion refers, in the abstract, to a new visual and spatial language of folding, interweaving, and layering—parts relating to wholes—that has been heralded by the digital and genetic engineering revolutions. Intricacy announces a gestalt of production: not just CAD-CAM drawings for architects or digital video for artists, but a new way of thinking about the inter-relation of concepts and techniques on an abstract, holistic scale. This exhibition synthesizes a vast geography of ideas and practices drawn from many disciplines and cultural fields...
... DYWSC?'s point is, there is no big philosophy; the statement here is the fingerprints of 'more is more' is complexity.

In his inflammatory book From Bauhaus to Our House Tom Wolfe cleverly pointed out how Socialism donned the new materials of concrete, glass, and steel to distance itself architecturally from the gilded halls and carved stone of the Bourgeois. Clumsily paraphrasing Wolfe, modernism was the fulcrum with which socialist tendencies leveraged a machine aesthetic to promise a new social order. To quote Adorno, "in America, they already had their revolution in 1776..." and so when Modernism floated to this continent with Phillip Johnsons' MoMA exhibit "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922" it became the progressive image of corporate culture and lavish lifestyles.

Its ok. In some ways, this is how Architecture works. Architecture is palatable and carries a message, and therefore it is a medium. Any medium can be channeled, as painting, television and other mediums have been. Removal of the medium is censorship, and control of the medium is surveillance. All the other uses, the acceptable transference of architecture's message, is the traction that architecture has in society.

Not expecting all those theatrics, this is why DYWSC? is interested in the meaning that is being assigned to those new tools and shapes in Architecture. This forum welcomes anyone willing to comment on how these tools are being used, commandeered, appropriated, or usurped. Are we still so unfamiliar with computational tools to deftly use them in that manor? Have we moved outside an arena that still allows for politicizing or channeling of architectural messages?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Blite said...

I think you give Greg Lynn short shrift with this posting. How do you know he doesn't harbor a political agenda?

10:24 PM  
Blogger J said...

I'm sorry, in my research for this post I could not find any quotes or literature to support that statement. Con you point us to other literature?

7:39 PM  

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