Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Resolutions -- Going Back to Our Roots

For the New Year, DYWSC? has updated and expanded the its coverage of the jury that produced our namesake. Further, we've provided a link to a .mp3 recording of that fateful conversation in the right column, under our Mission Statement. Restricting DYWSC?'s content to exclusively cover conversations in Architecture has proven difficult time and again. These words remind all us architects that our professional values must mirror our society's, and divining concise illustrations of how the two overlap will prove a wonderful challenge for the New Year. Again, thanks for reading. May 2006 bring all of us strength, commodity, and delight.
Kenneth Frampton: ...You know, I would like to say something that is a bit to one side of the project. It has to do with a predicament, and this is the polemical that we're talking about...

One of the things we face (and I don't just mean architects) is a rapidly escalating society, in many different levels, where the question of, “What has value other than money?" becomes very problematic. Different people have said things at different times. This might be too aphoristic, but I read just recently a remark about a great work about memory. Without memory probably it’s very difficult to sustain any kind of human culture. The question of "What does one do with memory?" You know? From what should value come in any kind of building operation? [...]

There is an aphorism by [Adolf] Loos that goes as follows, “There's no point in inventing anything unless it's an improvement.” It’s an ironic remark, but also a challenge to this moment in time, where everyone seems to be losing it.

Commerce will tell you that this is ridiculous from the point of view of architecture. Now you can say "Well I don't give a damn about commerce, this is an artistic work!" But Architecture is not in that; Architecture is not Fine Art in that sense. [Architecture] is a modus, which has to deal with certain kinds of reality. Its poetic comes through its transformation of reality. Which reminds me of Alvro Siza, in a sense Architects don't invent anything, they transform reality!

The question is, "What are the limits in which this transformation can take place?" You have to talk to society in some way -- in a way in which you can appeal to some kind of evident values. It can be money values, but also can, at the same time, can it be other values?

Otherwise it's like a conversation between the deaf and the dumb! There's no reason why we're to do anything! I could tell you to cut six more slots into this thing, and it wouldn't make a difference. It's a negative critique of the project, but it's also a critique of the whole goddamn situation.

You have to have a principle; otherwise you cannot communicate anything to anybody. Why should I invest my money in this, as opposed to some other project? You have to have a reason! Otherwise the architects don't even talk to the society! Don't you see that predicament?

These computer renderings produce aesthetic affects very well, seamless, very seductive, but they are not about anything. They are delusions! They are mirages! I'm sorry, it's very aggressive to say this, but aren't we going to start talking? It's just ridiculous to say, "Ok -- individual interpretations," "So on and so forth." One has to talk about something fundamental; otherwise we're never going to talk about anything anymore!

Demitri Porphyrios: I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Frampton: I'm talking about the fact that there is a total degeneration in the capacity to discuss anything...

Porphyrios: Do you want some coffee?

Frampton: No, I don't. Sorry, I don't...

[...]

Porphyrios: Look, look, look. This is a disgusting situation. It's not right to get upset...

Frampton: It's something to get upset about! I’m sorry there is. We always have polite discussions; we have to sometimes get upset, because otherwise we just don't talk about the things that matter.

4 Comments:

Blogger Aethlos said...

HEY, happy new year!... did you see nicolai ouroussoff on charlie rose last week? fascinating guy.... i don't know if you're a fan of charlie rose, but he's a HUGE fan of architecture. if you are, check out my new charlie rose blog:

aethlos.com/charlieroseblog

thanks for the comments.

:)

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think listening to your recording should be required for every architectural class. This blog makes a lot of wierd conversations seem to have more importance. If the World Trade Center proposals were introduced in this way to the neighborhood meetings, the discussions would have been a lot more directed. Keep up the good work!

2:50 AM  
Blogger J said...

Thank you both.

J

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ich denke, hören sollten Sie Ihre Aufnahme für jede architektonische Klasse erforderlich. Dieser Blog ist eine Menge seltsame Gespräche scheinen mehr Bedeutung haben. Wenn die World Trade Center Vorschläge wurden auf diese Weise auf die Nachbarschaftstreffen eingeführt würden die Diskussionen gewesen viel mehr gerichtet. Halten Sie sich die gute Arbeit!
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3:03 PM  

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