The Drawing of Things
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RISD Fall 2013 THE DRAWING OF THINGS An Experimental Approach Course packet sales are nonrefundable All sales final Acosta Rhode Island School of Design Architecture Department SeminarWorkshop Fall 2013 Wednesday 940am 1240pm BEB 117 Silvia Acosta THE DRAWING OF THINGS An Experimental Approach Calendar WEEK 01 Sept 11 WEEK 02 Sept 18 WEEK 03 Sept 25 WEEK 04 Oct 2 WEEK 05 Oct 9 Introduction SURFACE MATERIALS Project development and process due SURFACE MATERIALS Final project due SURFACE MATERIALS Discussion of readings and other things The Thinking Hand Juhani Pallasmaa The Drawing Hand pp89 104 Embodied Thinking pp 107120 Emotion and Imagination pp 131138 MARKMAKING COMPOSITION Project development and process due WEEK 06 Oct 16 WEEK 07 Oct 23 WEEK 08 Oct 30 WEEK 09 Nov 6 WEEK 10 Nov 13 MARKMAKING COMPOSITION Final project due MARKMAKING COMPOSITION Discussion of Readings and Other Things Perspecta 19 Denzil Hurley About Making pp83 86 In Praise of Hands Octavio Paz The Kizaemon Tea bowI p7 The Concept of Dwelling Christian Norberg Shuz Dwelling and Existence Identi cation pp 1620 The Box Man Kobo Abe Instructions for Making a Box pp4 7 SPACE SCALE Project development and process due SPACE SCALE Final project due SPACE SCALE Discussion of Readings and Other Things Anchoring Steven Holl Anchoring pp9 12 lntertwining Steven Holl lntertwining pp1 1 16 For An Architecture of Reality Michael Benedikt pp2 69 WEEK 11 TIME MEMORY Nov 20 Project development and process due WEEK 12 TIME MEMORY Nov 27 No Class Thanksgiving Recess WEEK 13 TIME MEMORY Dec 4 Final project due The seminar meets on Wednesdays between 940 pm 1240 pm in BEB 1 17 W1 L Y A Iolm Wiley and Sons Ltd Publication The art of portraiture is one of the most remarkable It demands especial gifts of the artist and the possibility of an almost total identification of the painter with his model The painter should come to his model with no preconceived ideas Everything should come to him in the same way that in a landscape all the scents of the countryside come to him the smells of the earth the flowers linked with the play of clouds the movement of trees and the different sounds of the countryside Henri Matisse Drawing and the Self Sketching and drawing are spatialand haptic exercises that fuse the external reality of space and matter and the internal reality of perception thought and mental imagery into singular and dialectic entities As I sketch llCESCh rDraWlr9Hand5 a contour of an object human figure or landscape I actually touch and thOgraph 1g4839MC Escher feel the surface of the sub39e t f tt t39 d 39 l I FoundatmGemeenemUSeUm39 J c o my a en ion an unconscious y sense The Hague Netherlands and internalise its character In addition to the mere correspondence of D Juhani Pallasmaa 089 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand the observed and depicted outline I also mimic the line rhythm with my muscles and eventually the image becomes recorded in the muscular memory In fact every act of sketching and drawing produces three different sets of images the drawing that appears on the paper the visual image recorded in my cerebral memory and a muscular memory of the act of drawing itself All three images are not mere momentary snapshots as they are recordings of a temporal process of successive perception measuring evaluation correction and re evaluation A drawing is an image that compresses an entire process fusing a distinct duration into that image A sketch is in fact a temporal image a piece of cinematic action recorded as a graphic image This multiple nature of the sketch its layered exposure as it were makes me remember vividly each one of the hundreds of scenes that l have sketched during fifty years of my travels around the world whereas I can hardly recall any of the places thatl have photographed as a result of the weaker embodied recording of taking a photograph This argument does not of course reduce the value of the photograph as an art form in its own right but it underlines the corporeal limitations of photography as an act of recording experiences In thelast decades of the 19th century at the time when photography emerged as the technique of recording and interpreting the physical and biological world Santiago Ramon y Cajal the father of modern neurobiology insisted that all his students take lessons in watercolour painting and reasoned If our study is concerned with an object related to anatomy or natural history etc observations will be accompanied by sketching for aside from other advantages the act of depicting something disciplines and strengthens the attention obliging us to cover the whole of the phenomenon studied and preventing therefore details from escaping our attention which are frequently unnoticed in ordinary observation The great Cuvier Georges Leopold Cuvier French naturalist and zoologist 07691832 had reason to affirm that without the art of drawing natural history and anatomy would have been impossible it is not without reason that all great observers are skilful in sketching Drawing is a process of observation and expression receiving and giving at the same time it is always a result of yet quotanother kind of double perspective 090 in length All great observers are skilful in sketching Flea wingless bloodsucking parasitic insect 1665 Oxford Science Archive The original engraving was reproduced as a folded plate measuring almost half a metre D Juhani Pallasmaa a drawing looks simultaneously outwards and inwards to the observed or imagined world and into the draughtsman s own persona and mental world Each sketch and drawing contains a part of the maker and hisher mental world at the same time that it represents an object or vista in the real world or in an imagined universe Every drawing is also an excavation into the drawer s past and memory John Berger describes this seminal merging of the object and the drawer himherself It is the actual act of drawing that forces the artist to look at the object in front of him to dissect it in his mind39s eye and put it together again or if he is drawing from memory that forces him to dredge his own mind to discover the content of his own store of past observations393 Tactility of Drawing When sketching an imagined space or an object being designed the hand is in a direct and delicate collaboration and interplay with mental imagery The image arises simultaneously with an internal mental image and the sketch mediated by the hand It is impossible to know which appeared first the line 091 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand on the paper or the thought ora consciousness of an intention In a way the image seems to draw itself through the human hand John Berger points out this dialectic interaction of external and internal reality Every line I draw reforms the figure on the paper and at the same time it redraws the image in my mind And what is more the drawn line redraws the model because it changes my capacity to perceive Henri Matisse makes a similar remark When I paint a portrait I come back again and again to my sketch and every time it is a new portrait that I am painting not one that I am improving but a quite different one thatl am beginning over again and every time I extract from the same person a different being 5 It is evident that the act of drawing mingles perception memory and one39s sense of self and life a drawing always represents more than its actual subject matter Every drawing is a testimony A drawing of a tree shows not a tree but a treebeing ookedat Within the instant of the sight of a tree is established a life experience 5 A drawing does not reproduce the tree as it manifests itself in the objective reality the drawing records the way the tree is seen or experienced The initial mental image may emerge as a visual entity but it can as well be a tactile muscular or bodily impression or a shapeless feeling that the hand concretises in a set of lines projecting a shape or structure One cannot know whether the image first arose in one s mind and was then recorded by hand or whether the image was produced by the hand independently or whether It emerged as a result of a seamless collaboration of the hand and the drawers mental space It is often the act of drawing itself the deep engagement in the act of unconscious thinking through making that gives rise to an image or an idea The second meaning of the word drawing to pull points to this essential meaning of the drawing as a means of pulling out revealing and concretising internal mental images and feelings as much as recording an external world The hand feels the invisible and forrnless stimulus pulls it into the world of space and matter and gives it a shape Everything his eye sees he fingers John Berger comments on the tactility of a Vincent van Gogh drawing7This very act of fingering the objects of observation or dreams intimate or remote gives rise to the creative process Similarly in the act of writing it is frequently perhaps even most often the process of writing itself that gives birth to unexpected ideas and an especially fluent and inspired mental flow It is beyond doubt that the hand has a central role also in writing But not only the hand as even writing poetry or 092 2 v av a I I 39 quot1 6 I f E 39 1 I quot I L quot c quotJ 39quot 1 39 r Iquot S r U f 2 91 n l 39 391 v Vincent van Gogh Olive Trees 0 p at vlontmajour pencil reed pen brown and black ink on l l Whatman paper 48 x 60 cm 1888 Mus e des Beaux Arts de Tournai Belgium music is an embodied and existential act Charles Tomlinson the poet points out the bodily basis in the practice of painting and poetry Painting wakes up the hand drawsin your sense of muscular coordination your sense of the body if you like Poetry also as it pivots on its stresses as it rides forward over the lineendings or comes to rest at pauses in the line poetry also brings the whole man into play and his bodily sense of himself 8 John Berger gives a poetic description of the embodied acts internalisations and projections that he envisions taking place in van Gogh s drawing process The gestures come from his hand his wrist his arm shoulder perhaps even the muscles in his neck yet the strokes he makes on paper are following currents of energy which are not physically his and which only become visible when he draws them Currents of energy The energy of as trees growth of a plant39s search for light of a branch39s need for accommodation with its neighbouring branches of the roots of thistles and shrubs of the weight of rocks lodged on a slope of the sunlight of the attraction of the shade for whatever is alive and suffers from the heat of the Mistral from the north which has fashioned the rock strata D Juhani Pailasmaa 093 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand In Berger s description the muscles of the artist39s entire body seem to participate in the physical act of drawing yet the act draws its energy from the subject itself It is evident that the common understanding of drawing and painting as purely visual endeavours is completely erroneous Due to the innate and concrete spatiality of architecture and its irrefutable embodied and existential essence a visual understanding of this art form is also grossly misleading Modernity at large has been obsessed by vision and has suppressed tactility but many visual artists have been concerned with the tactile sense Brancusi for instance exhibited his Sculpture for the Blind 1916 in 1917 in New York concealed in a cloth bag so that it could only be experienced through the sense of touch p Pf All d Echoing Brancusrs idea Sanda Iliescu at the University of Virginia teaches dVfniBbrfald 0 O drawing to students of architecture through the sense of touch The objects at the Helsinki University or Technology with his eyes that the students draw are placed inside a cubicvolume made of black cloth bl inded by a bag presumably and provided with sleeves through which they can be studied by touching in the early 19605 i 39 1 a 39 v I L 3quot 39quotquot5quotquotquot39quot39s iVI397iI39939l UI 094 AD Juhani Pallasmaa them with one s hand It is remarkable that students pay attention to entirely different characteristics and qualities of objects in their drawings when r observing them through their hands instead of the eyes The drawings of touch are also distinctly different from the drawings of visual observation in their overall ambience T The eyehand mind union is normally the mode of artistic making but there have also been serious attempts to weaken or eliminate this closed circuit My professor and mentor Aulis Blomstedt liked to draw with his eyes closed in order to eliminate the close coordination of the eye and hand Some artists today such as Brice Marden draw with long sticks to emancipate the line from the strict control of the hand Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Morris Louis had their colours spread on the canvas by means of gravity and various processes of pouring and throwing the paint rather than the visual guidance of the eye and the muscular control of the hand Cy Twombly experimented with sketching in the dark and for a time he also forced himself to draw with his left hand The Computerised Hand It would surely be an ignorant and prejudicially Luddite view to deny the benefits of the computer In a very short time computational technology has completely changed countless aspects of research production and everyday life It has also changed the architectural practice beyond return However at the same time that we acknowledge the benefits of the computer and associated digital technologies we need to identify the ways in which they differ from previous instruments of design We must consider the limitations and problems that they may pose for instance in the mental and sensuous aspects of the work of the architect The computer undoubtedly expedites most aspects of architectural production decisively and in addition to being a tool of precise and rapid drawing it has been put to good use in analysis testing and virtual prototyping prior to building construction Furthermore the computer is used to directly generate artistic architectural and urban forms The problems of fully computerised design are evident particularly in the most sensitive and vulnerable early phases of the design process when the architectural essence of the building is conceived and determined The hand with a charcoal pencil or pen creates a direct haptic connection between the object its 095 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand representation and the designer39s mind the manual sketch drawing or physical model is moulded in the same flesh of physical materiality that the material object being designed and the architect himself embody whereas computer operations and imagery take place in a mathematicised and abstracted immaterial world My particular suspicion concerns the quotfalse precision and apparent finiteness of the computer image as compared with the natural vagueness and innate hesitancy of hand drawing that only through repetition trial and error and a gradually achieved assurance and precision arrives at asatisfactory resolution This is the innate structure of all creative endeveavour as described convincingly nearly half a century ago by Anton Ehrenzweig in his two seminal studies of the creative process The Psycho Analysis ofArtistic Vision and Hearing 1953 2 and The Hidden Order ofArt l967 3 The William James sentence that Ehrenzweig quotes on the title page of his first book makes his intention very clear it is in short the reinstatement of the vague to its proper place in mental life which I am so anxious to press on the attention Ehrenzweig refers to Jacques Hadamard s interesting suggestion that Greek geometry lost its creative impetus in Hellenistic times because of too precise visualization it produced generations of clever computers and geometers but no true geometricians Developmentin geometric theory stopped altogetherquot5 Precision of thought and performance as well as emotion is crucial but only in a counterpoint and dialogue with embracing and vague allencompassing and oceanic creative imagery The seminal role of vagueness is totally ignored in today39s pedagogic philosophies and methods Ehrenzweig argues Creativity is always linked with the happy moment when all conscious control can be forgotten What is not sufficiently realized is the genuine conflict between two kinds of sensibility conscious intellect and unconscious intuition It is not an advantage if the creative thinker has to handle elements that are precise in themselves such as geometric or architectural diagrams His reluctance must surely apply to the false precision of the computer as a means of developing an idea although this novel tool did not exist in Ehrenzweig39s day Does the computerised handallow the happy moment O96 when all conscious control can be forgotten Does it permit a multisensory imagery and an embodied identification Ehrenzweig defines the cause of his suspicion for excessive precision in architectural design further Motifs preserve their fertility only if their connection with the final result remains obscure Otherwise they turn into mechanical assembly devices 1 have mentioned how architectural design is hampered by its tendency to visualize too precisely and by its abuse of diagrammatic aids ground plan elevation etc These visual aids seem to allow a precise presentation of the architectural problem but in fact obscure it It is vital for good design to break down the design process into stages that have no obvious connection with the final result The computer is usually enthusiastically presented as a solely beneficial A inventionthat liberates human fantasy In my view however computer imaging tends to flatten our magnificent multisensory and synchronic capacity of imagination by turning the design process into a passive visual manipulation a retinal survey The computer creates a distance between the maker and the object whereas drawing by hand or building a model puts the designer in skinContact with the object or space In our imagination we touch the designed object or space from the inside outwards as it were More precisely in imagination the object is simultaneously held in the palm of the hand and inside the brain we are inside and outside of the object at the same time Ultimately the object becomes an extension and part of the designer39s body In drawing by hand and pencilpen the hand follows the outlines shapes and patterns of the object whereas when drawing by mouse and computer the hand usually selects the lines from a given set of symbols that have no analogical or consequently haptic or emotional relation to the object of drawing Whereas the hand drawing is a mimetic moulding of lines shades and tones the computer drawing is a mediated construction My further reservation concerns the relationship between the whole and the parts that creates a natural two way relationship and dialectic continuum in the processes of manual drawing and model making whereas the computerised process in its very perfection tends to create a sense of fragmentation and discontinuity Entities can only be grasped by suppressing and dimming details and exactitude A D Juhani Pallasmaa 097 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand Visual properties and proportions can be grasped through drawings at any scale whereas a tactile imagination usually calls for a fullscale drawing Although the computer drawing factually takes place in a one toone reality the experiential scalelessness of the drawing and the lack of a tactile connection through the hand with imagination tend to weaken the haptic feeling of the designed entity in the computer generated drawing The sensuality and plasticity of a formally exceptionally complex architectural project fully conceived through hand drawings and models Alvar Aalto Church of the Three Crosses Vuoksenniska lmatra Finland 19558 098 1DJuhani Pallasmaa Fully computergenerated designs may well project a seductive surface appeal but in fact they take place in a world in which the observer has no skin hands or body The designer himself remains an outsider in relation to hisher own design and body Computer drawings are devices for a bodiless observer I for one strongly support hand drawing and working with physical models in the early phases of both design education and the work on an architectural project In many discussions on the relationships of manual work and computerised design in various schools around the world I have presented the view that all students of design and architecture should first be taught to work with their internalised mental imagery and their hands before they are allowed to use the computer In my opinion the computer probably cannot do much harm after the student has learned to use hisher imagination and has internalised the crucial process of embodying a design task Without this mental internalisation however the computerised design process tends to turn into a purely retinal journey in which the student himherself remains an outsider and observer without having built a vivid mental model of the conceived reality In my view each student should pass a test that assures hisher capacity of mental imagery before being permittedthe use of the computer Computer aided design is usually supported by the argument that it enables the design of complex spatial topological and formal situations that would otherwise be impossible to conceive and execute Alvar Aalto39s Church of the Three Crosses at Vuoksenniska in lmatra 1955 8 is arguably as complex in its fully moulded threedimensional spatiality as any of today39s CADdesigned buildings However the church is an extraordinarily plastic and sensuous building with a convincing sense of material and structural reality It is powerfully real and due to its strong sense of materiality and construction it addresses and awakens our bodies and imagination so gracefully The architectural structure exists fully and comfortably in the same reality of life that our bodies occupy not in a weightless and scaleless mathematical space Yet the building was designed before the computer era and in order to prepare his office for this exceptionally demanding design task Aalto sent his chief assistant in the job Kaarlo Lepp39a39nen a talented Finnish architect to refresh his knowledge of trigonometry at the University of Helsinki for a couple of months 099 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand I feel that I need to reemphasise my point I am not speaking against the computer I am merely arguing that the computer is a fundamentally different tool from the traditional instruments of drawing and methods of making physical models The line of charcoal pencil and pen is an expressive and emotional line and so is a model crafted by human hand They can express hesitation and assurance judgement and passion boredom and excitement affection and repulsion Every move weight shade thickness and velocity of the handdrawn line carries a particular meaning The line traced by the hand is a spatial one it is placed in a distinct perceptual or imagined space In comparison to the expressive I richness and emotive life of the hand drawn line the computer line is a laconic and uniform connection of two points computer lines can of course be articulated to simulate lines drawn by hand but their essence is the emotionless factuality of mathematicised space Primacy of Touch Hapticity of Selfimage The boundary line between the self and the world is identified by our senses Our contact with the world takes place through the skin of the self by means of specialised parts of our enveloping membrane All the senses including vision are extensions of the tactile sense the senses are specialisations of skin tissue and all sensory experiences are modes of touching and thus related to tactility Through vision we touch the sun and the stars as Martin Jay remarks poetically in reference to llerleau Ponty s philosophy 339This fundamental hapticity of the human life world heightens the significance of the hand In their book Body Memory and Architecture one of the early studies of the embodied essence of architectural experience Kent C Bloomer and Charles W Moore point out the primacy of the haptic realm The body image is informed fundamentally from haptic and orienting experiences early in life Our visual images are developed later on and depend for their meaning I on primal experiences that were acquired hapticallyquot9 The view of the anthropologist Ashley llontagu based on medical evidence confirms the primacy of this haptic realm The skin is the oldest and the most sensitive of our organs our first medium of communication and our most efficient protector Even the transparent cornea of the eye is overlain by a layer of modified skin Touch is the 100 AD Juhani Pallasmaa parent of our eyes ears nose and mouth It is the sense which became differentiated into the others a fact that seems to be recognized in the age old evaluation of touch as the mother of the senses392 Touch is the sensory mode that integrates our experiences of the world and of ourselves Even visual perceptions are fused and integrated into the haptic continuum of the self my body remembers who I am and how I am situated in the world In the first volume of Marcel Proust s In Search of Lost Time the protagonist waking up in his bed reconstructs his identity and location through the memory of his body My body still too heavy with sleep to move would endeavour to construe from the pattern of its tiredness the position of its various limbs in order to deduce therefrom the direction of the wall the location of the furniture to piece together and give a name to the house in which it lay its memory the composite memory of its ribs its knees its shouder blades offered it a whole series of rooms in which it had at one time or another slept while the unseen walls shifting and adapting themselves to the shape of each successive room that it remembered whirled around it in the dark And even before my brain hesitating at the threshold of times and shapes had reassembled the circumstances sufficiently to identify the room it my body would recall from each room in succession the style of the bed the position of the doors the angle at which the sunlight came in at the windows whether there was a passage outside what I had had in mind when i went to sleep and found there when I awoke We are here encountering a composite experience that brings to mind a fragmented and recomposed Cubist composition My body is truly the navel of my world not in the sense of the viewing point of a central perspective but as the sole locus of reference memory imagination and integration Unconscious Touch in Artistic Experience We are not usually aware that an unconscious experience of touch is unavoidably concealed in vision As we look the eye touches and before we see an object we have already touched it and judged its weight temperature and surface texture The eye and the hand constantly 101 Chapterli The Drawing Hand collaborate the eye carries the hand to great distances and the hand informs the eye at the intimate scale Touch is the unconsciousness of vision and this hidden tactile experience determines the sensuous qualities of the perceived object This is the hidden element in touching and the activation of tactile judgement and memory that is involved in drawing The sense of touch mediates messages of invitation or rejection nearness or distance pleasure or repulsion it is exactly this unconscious dimension of touch in vision that is disastrously neglected in today39s visually biased hard edged architecture and design Our architecture may entice and amuse the eye but it does not provide a domicile for the touch of our bodies memories and dreams Drawing and especially painting is not solely a matter of recording the visual essence of the scene the apparently visual percept conveys the entire sensual essence of the thing In the 18905 the American art critic and writer Bernard Berenson developed further Goethe39s notion of life enhancing and he suggested that when experiencing an artistic work 102 Louis I Kahn Salk Institute for Biological Studies La iolla California USA 195965 The door handle or pull is the handshake of the building Juhani Pallasmaa cabinet door pulls generated by the grip of three fingers thumb index and middle finger 1991 Cast bronze D Juhani Pallasrnaa we actually imagine a genuine physical encounter through ideated sensations The most important of these Berenson called tactile values 2 In his view the work of authentic art stimulates our ideated sensations of touch and this stimulation is lifeenhancing A fine architectural work generates similarly an indivisible complex of impressions or ideated sensations such as experiences of movement weight tension structural dynamics formal counterpoint and rhythm which become the measure of the real for us When entering the extraordinary space of the marblepaved courtyard at the Salk institute 195965 in La Jolla California designed by Louis Kahn delineated by two rows of buildings with the sky as its sublime ceiling and the horizon of the Pacific Ocean as its hypnotising back wall l felt immediately compelled to walk to the nearest concrete wall surface and sense its temperature the suggestion of silk and live skin was overpowering Louis Kahn actually sought the grey softness of the wings of a moth and added volcanic ash to the concrete mix in order to achieve this extraordinary inviting matt softness The architectural ensemble succeeds in fusing the immensity of thesetting and the intimacy of the touch of the hand into a single experience The true mastership of Kahn was to turn architectural schemes that appear simplistic or even dull such as Kimbell Art Museum l966 72 in Fort 103 Chapter 4 The Drawing Hand Worth Texas and the Yale Center for British Art 196974 in New Haven Connecticut into magical pieces of complexity and subtlety materiality and light gravitas and levitation T Pleasurable objects and buildings mediate an experience of the processes by which the object or structure was made in a way they invite the vieweruser to touch the hand of the maker The door pull is one of the details of any building that call for close ergonomic attention and provide an opportunity for a nearly physical contact between the architect39s hand and the hand of the occupant through the mediation of this object The door pull or handle of the main door is the handshake of the building and the pulling of the door with one s body weight is often the most intimate encounter with an architectural structure True architectural quality is manifested in the fullness and unquestioned dignity of the experience A resonance and interaction takes place between space and the experiencing person I set myself in the space and the space settles in me This is the aura of artistic work observed byWalter Benjamin 104 The rhythmic organisation of stepping stones addresses directly the body and muscular sense without an intellectual content or mediation The sawatarr39ishi steps across the marsh in the garden of the Heian Shrine in Kyoto Japan 5 Juhani Pallasmaa Rodin s hands were his principal tools and with them he plopped and punched and gouged and smoothed making both curves and straight lines wavy allowing shoulders to flow into torsos and torsos to emerge from blocks even when they hadn39t encouraging elbows to establish their own identity his fingers everywhere busy at fostering the impressions of life giving strength and will to plaster ethereality and spirit to stone William H Gass Creative Fusion A creative insight in architecture is rarely an instantaneous intellectual discovery that could reveal a complex entity in its complete and finite resolution in a moment neither is it a linear process of logical deduction Most often the process begins with an initial idea that is developed for a while but soon the concept branches out to new paths and this pattern of criss crossing trajectories grows ever denser through the process itself Design is a process of going back and forth among hundreds of 107 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking TO It Qint of departure alternative routes an nodal points open ends o dead ends Anton Ehrenzweig39s chart for ideas where partial solutions and details are repeatedly tested in order to gradually reveal and fuse a complete rendition of the thousands of demands and criteria as well as the architect39s personal ideals of coordination and harmonisation into a complete architectural or artistic entity An architectural project is not only a result of a problemsolving process as it is also a metaphysical proposition that expresses the maker39s mental world and hisher understanding of the human life world The design process simultaneously scans the inner and the outer worlds and intertwines the two universes More often than not the initial idea and first elaboration of the scheme have to be abandoned and the entire process started anew This is a search in the obscurity and darkness of uncertainty in which a subjective certainty 108 creative scanning The maze serial structure of a creative search The creative thinker has to advance on a broad front keeping open many options He must gain a comprehensive view of the entire structure of the way ahead without being able to focus on any single possibility reads his caption for the chart in The Hidden Order of Art 1973 in my view the creative maze is even more complex than Ehrenzweig39s chart due to repeated turning back to p already passed phases or rejected ideas and entirely new beginnings is gradually achieved through the laborious process of the search itself This search is as much an embodied and tactile journey guided by the hand and feelings of the body as it is a visual and intellectual enterprise An architectural task is not a simple logistical or rational problem to be solved i i In architectural design both the appropriate end and the means have to be Erased lines of sketching are part of the final drawing and they reveal the sequence of trial and error and suggest a dimension of time and spatial depth T Juhana Blomstedt Drawing charcoal on paper 106 x 76 cm 1985 identified and concretised In addition to resolving rational problems and fulfilling functional technical and other demands profound architecture is always expected to evoke human experiential and existential values that cannot be prescribed Every true piece of architecture relocates man in the world and casts some new light on man39s existential enigma Every architectural task that is taken seriously also calls for a distinct idealisation of the situation the client and the future use of the building Architecture needs to build a better world and this projection of an idealised human dimension calls for an existential wisdom rather than professional expertise skill and experience In fact a design task is an existential exploration in which the architects professional knowledge life experiences ethical and aesthetic sensibilities mind and body eye and hand as well as hisher entire persona and existential wisdom eventually merge The Work of Thinking The Value of Uncertainty Creative thinking is work labour in the proper meaning of the word rather than merely an unexpected and effortless flash of insight Such miracles may only happen to a true genius but even in such a case the genius has laboriously worked hisher way to the threshold of realisation Work is usually a sweaty and messy business I personally want to see the traces stains and dirt of my work the layering of erased lines errors and failures the repeated re tracings on the drawing and the collage of corrections additions and eliminations on the page that I am writing for as long as I am developing an idea These traces help me to feel the continuity and 5 Juhani Pallasmaa purposefulness of the work to dwell in the 109 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking p P5 391 The dirt of work on a draughtsman39s hand work and to grasp the multiplicity the plasticity as it were of the task They also help me to maintain the mental state of uncertainty hesitation and undecidedness needed in the process for long enough A sense of certainty satisfaction and finality that arises too early can be catastrophic The hesitancy of the drawing itself expresses and maintains my own inner uncertainty Most importantly the sense of uncertainty maintains and stimulates curiosity As long as uncertainty is not permitted to escalate into hopelessness and depression it is a driving force and source of motivation in the creative process Design is always a search for something that is unknown 110 s 4v 39 D Juhani Pallasmaa in advance or an exploration into an alien territory and the design process itself the actions of the searching hands need to express the essence of this mental journey Joseph Brodsky points out the value of insecurity and uncertainty for the creative endeavour His perceptive and ethically uncompromising views of the poet39s task have taught me a great deal concerning the architect39s mission in the business of writing what one accumulates is not expertise but uncertainties the poet confesses and I feel that a sincere architect likewise ends up accumulating uncertainties Brodsky connects uncertainty with a sense of humility Poetry is a tremendous school of insecurity and uncertainty Poetry writing it as well as reading it will teach you humility and rather quickly at that Especially if you are both writing and reading it 3 This observation surely applies to architecture as well as it can be particularly humbling if you are both making it and theorising about it But the poet suggests that these mental states which are usually considered detrimental can actually be turned into a creative advantage If this uncertainty or insecurity does not destroy you insecurity and uncertainty in the end become your intimate friends and you almost attribute to them an intelligence all their own the poet advises Billy Collins another poet explains why he insists on writing with pen or pencil rather than keyboard I always compose by either pen or pencil only because the keyboard to me makes everything kind of look done look frozen and writing on a page gives me a feeling of fluidity that what I39m writing is provisional for the moment And also since I don39t know where the poem is going and I don39t want to know until I get there I always feel like the poem as I39m writing it is working toward some kind of understanding of itself 5 I personally share the poets views in both writing and drawing the text and image need to be emancipated from a preconceived sense of purpose goal and path When one is young and narrowminded one wants the text and drawing to concretise a preconceived idea to give the idea an instant and precise shape Through a growing capacity to tolerate uncertainty vagueness lack of definition and precision momentary illogic and openendedness one gradually learns the skill of cooperating with one s work and allowing the work to make its suggestions and take its own unexpected turns and moves Instead of dictating a thought the thinking process turns into an act of waiting listening collaboration and dialogue The work becomes a journey 111 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking that may take one to places and continents which one has never visited before or whose existence has been unknown prior to having been guided there by the work of one39s own hand and imagination and one s combined attitude of hesitation and curiosity There is an inherent opposition between the definite and the indefinite in art An artistic phenomenon wants to escape definition until it has reached its selfsufficient existence and even beyond that point I believe Simply expressed true creative fusion always achieves more than can be projected by any theory and profound design always achieves more than the brief or anyone participating in the process could anticipate I have to confess personally that ever since the foolishly selfassured days of my youth that of course disguised genuine uncertainty narrowness of understanding and shortsightedness my sense of uncertainty has grown constantly to the degree that it has become nearly intolerable Every issue every question each detail is so deeply embedded in the mysteries of human existence that often there does not seem to exist a satisfactory answer or response at all in a fundamental sense I can say that by age and experience one becomes increasingly more an amateur rather than turning into a professional possessing immediate and assured responses An established and successful professional would hardly stop to ponder questions such as what is the floor the window or the door But can anyone really tell me what are the fundamental metaphysical essences of these architectural events and their human significance outside and before a specific design task Resistance Tradition and Freedom A word that one hears rather often in the studios of schools of architecture j and in juries of architectural competitions is Freedom The word seems to describe an artistic independence of the project Independence from tradition and precedents structural or material constraints or sheer reason is usually seen as a dimension of artistic freedom Yet already Leonardo da Vinci taught us that strength is born from constraints and it dies in freedom It is thought provoking indeed that great artists of any era rarely speak of the dimension of freedom in their work They emphasise the role of restrictions and constraints in their materials and artistic medium the cultural and social situation and the shaping of their personality and style The 112 F ll 1 q l q l q l q r E I D Juhani Pallasmaa greatness of an artist arises from the identification of hisher own territory and personal limits rather than an indeterminate desire for freedom Instead of longing for freedom they emphasise the disciplined traditionbound character of their art form In his memoirs My Life and My Films Jean Renoir writes about the resistance of technique in filmmaking while Igor Stravinsky speaks of the resistance of material and technique 3as important counter forces in his work as a composer Stravinsky scorns any yearning for freedom The ones who try to avoid subordination support unanimously the opposite counter traditional view They reject constraint and they nourish hope always doomed to failure of finding the secret of strength in freedom They do not find anything but the arbitrariness of freaks and disorder they lose all control they go astray 1 9 Stravinsky the archmodernist of music argues forcefully that artistic strength and meaning can only derive from tradition In his view an artist who deliberately seeks novelty is trapped in his very aspiration His art becomes unique indeed in the sense that its world is totally closed and it does not contain any possibility for communication The composer holds the concept of tradition so central an ingredient to art that he concludes with the Catalan philosopher Eugeni d Ors s enigmatic statement Everything that remains outside of tradition is plagiarism Limits and restrictions are equally important in all arts Paul Val ry the poet states unambiguously The greatest liberty is born of the greatest rigour In his book The Power of Limits which studies proportional harmony in nature art and architecture and especially the repeated occurrence of the Golden Section in these phenomena Gyorgy Doczi notes ln our fascination with our powers of invention and achievement we have lost sight of the power of limits 3 This is a seminal wisdom in our age an age that seems to be neglecting the importance of limits By rejecting the wisdom and resistance of tradition architecture also drifts towards a deadening uniformity on the one hand and towards a rootless anarchy of expression on the other Every art form has its ontology as well as its characteristic field of expression and limits are posed by its very essence inner structures and materials Generating architectural expression from the unquestionable realities of construction is the long tradition of the art of architecture The tectonic language of architecture the inner logic of construction itself expresses gravity and structurelthe language of materials as well as processes of construction and details of joining units and materials to one another In my view architecture arises from the identification and articulation of the realities of the task in question rather than from individual 113 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking fantasy Aulis Blomstedt used to advise his students at the Helsinki University of Technology wisely The capacity to imagine situations of life is a more important talent for an architect than the gift of fantasising spacequot Thinking Through the Senses I All significant architecture is the result of serious thinking or Y 39 Al39Ch CtUFE creates EXISTEHUBI more precisely of a distinct way of thinking through the medium of i meiaphorgthroughgpace architecture in the same way that cinema is a mode of cinematic thinking 5WCtUquote a e39 9iaViiYa d light Great buildings are also painting a means of articulating painterly ideas and sculpture a way of iconsof fe and metaphysicai I elaborating and expressing sculptural thoughts architecture is a means mandaaS r a 39 Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater 1 of philosophising about the world and human existence through the Edgarmaufmam HOUSEFMHI i embodied material act of constructing Architecture develops existential Run Pennsylvania USA 1934 7 I Ii 39i ii a I i 114 E Juhani Pallasmaa and lived metaphors through space structure matter gravity and light Consequently architecture does not illustrate or mimic ideas of philosophy literature painting or any other art forms it is a mode of thinking in its own rightlThe ideas articulated by the arts are painterly musical s cinematic or architectural thoughts conceived and expressed through the inherent medium and artistic logic of the particular art form in a dialectical process with its tradition Artistic ideas are not necessarily ideational and translatable into verbal terms as they are embodied metaphors of the world and of the particular ways we exist in this world Also architecture is an artistic expression as far as it transcends its purely utilitarian technical and rational realm and turns into a metaphoric expression of the lived world and the human condition There is a rather widely accepted view that wants to get rid of the boundaries between various art forms entirely I for one feel that the ontological differences between various arts are as significant to acknowledge as the commonalities or shared ground of the arts Every art form has its origins and traditions and when this ontological backbone of a discipline is lost the art form weakens at least if we believe the testimony of Ezra Pound the arch modernist poet in his book ABC of Reading llusic begins to atrophy when it departs too far from dance poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music quot5 In my view architecture turns similarly into mere aesthetics when it departs from its originary motives of domesticating space and time an animistic understanding of the world and the metaphoric representation of the act of construction Every art form needs to be reconnected with its ontological essence particularly at periods when the art form tends to turn into an empty aestheticised mannerism The architectural works of the modern era as well as of our time that echo the tremors of origins such as the works of Sigurd Lewerentz Louis Kahn Aldo van Eyck and Peter Zumthor for example project an authoritative radiance and depth of feeling Such works are not always necessarily aesthetically polished as they pose a deep and disturbing emotive power and open up questions rather than provide well formulat39ed answers Frank Lloyd Wright39s Fallingwater 1934 7 in Mill Run Pennsylvania or any other masterpiece of architecture opens up a new horizon to human existence instead of providing an answer to any question Louis Kahn preached the importance of beginnings The spirit of the start is the most marvellous moment at any time for anything Because in the start 115 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking lies the seed for all things that must follow A thing is unable to start unless i it can contain all that ever can come from it That is the characteristic of a beginning otherwise it is no beginning it is a false beginningquot5 Our entire bodily constitution and senses think in the fundamental sense of identifying and processing information about our situation in the world and mediating sensible behavioural responses In the view of Henry Plotkin professor of psychobiology knowledge signifies more than consciously known words or facts Knowledge is any state in an organism that bears a relationship to the world The dancer and the soccer player think with their body and legs the craftsman and sculptor with their hands and composers with their ears In fact our entire body and existential sense participate in all processes of thinking The dancer has his ear in his toes as Nietzsche argues T T In his essay What calls for thinllting Martin Heidegger relates thinking with the art of cabinet making The philosopher gives the hand an essential role in the processes of thinking and he links the hand with the capacity to speak a theme that was already discussed in earlier chapters of this book Perhaps thinking too is just something like building a cabinet At any rate it is a craft a handicraft and therefore has a special relationship tothe hand In the common view the hand is part of our bodily organism But the hands essence can never be determined or explained by its being an organ which can grasp The hand is infinitely different from all the grasping organs different by an abyss of essence Only a being who can speak that is think can have hands and can handily achieve works of handicraft An artistic thought is not merely a conceptual or logical deduction it implies an existential understanding and a synthesis of lived experience that fuses perception memory and desire Perception fuses memory with the actual percept and consequently even ordinary sense perceptions are complex processes of comparison and evaluation Embodied Memory and Thought llerleau Ponty extends the idea of the processes of embodied thinking to include the entire body as he argues The painter takes his body with himquot y says Paul Valery indeed we cannot imagine how a mind could paint 2 It is 116 D Juhani Pallasmaa surely equally unthinkable that a mind could conceive architecture because of the irreplaceable role of the body in the very constitution of architecture Buildings are not abstract meaningless constructions or aesthetic compositions they are extensions and shelters of our bodies memories identities and minds Consequently architecture arises from existentially true 39 confrontations experiences recollections and aspirations The most abstract of tasks would become nonsensical when detached from its ground in human embodiment Even abstract art articulates the flesh of the world and we share that very flesh as well as the gravitational reality of the world with our bodies The mind is not merely embodied but embodied in such a way that our conceptual system draws largely upon the commonalities of our bodies and of the environments we live in as the authors of Philosophy in the Flesh argue We are occupants of this world with its physical realities and mental mysteries not outside observers or theoreticians of the world The body is also part of our system of memory Philosopher Edward 5 Casey who has written seminal phenomenological studies on place memory and imagination points out the role of the body in the act of memorislng Body memory is the natural center of any sensitive account of remembering In another context he elaborates his view There is no memory without body memory in claiming this I do not mean to say that whenever we remember we are in fact directly engaging in body memory Rather I am saying that we could not remember without having the capacity for body memory Furthermore there are recent philosophical studies such as The Body in the Mind by Mark Johnson and Philosophy in the Flesh by Johnson and George Lakoff that argue emphatically for the embodied nature of thinking itself P In my own collaboration with painters sculptors and craftsmen extending over four decades I have learnt to admire their capacity to grasp essences of things through their hands and bodies and through their non conceptualised existential understanding rather than through intellectual and verbal analyses They rely on the silent wisdom of the body and the hand I have also had the chance to observe that the hand and the body produce distinctly different ideas than the head The latter tend to be conceptual intellectual and geometricised ideas whereas the former usually project a spontaneity sensuality and tactility The hand registers and measures the pulse of lived reality 117 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking An embodied manner of learning and maintaining skills as well as responding to life situations is the dominant mode of knowledge also in traditional societies Learning a skill isprimarily a matter of embodied muscular mimesis acquired through practice rather than conceptual or verbalised instruction I cannot personally recall much talking in my youth at my grandfather39s farm everyday life and work took place in the flesh of farm life everyone knew his or her place in the family and the cycles of daily work and everyone learnt and remembered countless practical skills as embodied patterns of life and work itself I cannot recall anyone ever asking another whether heshe could do a certain thing it was naturally assumed that everyone could do everything required in the tasks of daily farm life The farmers knowledge was constituted of crucial embodied skills that were coded into the seasons and cycles of the year and the concrete situations of daily life rather than books and notes S Existential Knowledge The prevailing view in our culture makes a fundamental distinction between the worlds of science and art Science is understood to represent the realm of normality and of rational and objective knowledge whereas art stands for the world of subjective emotional and essentially irrational sensations The first is understood to possess an instrumental and operational value whereas the second is seen as a form of exclusive cultural entertainment In an interview in 1990 concerning complexities and mysteries of new physics Steven Weinberg who won the Nobel Prizein Physics in 1979 for his discovery of the relationshipbetween electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force was asked Whom would you ask about the complexity of life Shakespeare or Einstein The physician answered immediately Oh for the complexity of life there39s no question Shakespeare And the interviewer continued And you would go to Einstein for simplicity Yes for a sense of why things are the way they are not why people are the way they are because that39s the end of such a long chainof inference P J25 Art articulates our existentially essential experiences but as has been pointed T out in the previous chapter it also represents particular modes of thinking Reactions to the world and processing of information take place directly as an embodied and sensory activity without being turned into concepts or even entering the sphere of consciousness 118 E Juhani Pallasmaa It is evident that we need to rethink some of the very foundations of architectural experience and making in the light of these arguments in addition to balancing the visual bias in architectural thinking we need to be critical of approaching architecture with an intellectual and logistical emphasis A wise and mature architect works with hisher entire body and sense of self While working on a building or an object the architect is simultaneously engaged in the reverse perspective of hisher selfimage in relation to the world and hisher existential knowledge In addition to operative and instrumental knowledge and skills the designer and the artist need existential knowledge mouldedby their experiences of life Existential knowledge arises from the way the person experiences and expresses hisher existence and this knowledge provides the most important context for ethical judgment In design work these two categories of knowledge merge and as a consequence the building is a rational object of utility and an artisticexistential metaphor at the same time All professions and disciplines contain both categories of knowledge in varying degrees and configurations The instrumental dimensions of a craft can be theorised researched taught and incorporated in the practice fairly rationally whereas the existential dimensions are integrated within one39s own self identity life experience and ethical sense as well as one39s personal sense of mission The category of existential wisdom is also much more difficult to teach it not outright impossible Yet it is the irreplaceable condition for creative work It is thoughtmprovoking indeed to recognise that in most countries there is hardly any formal academic education for poets and novelists their work is so strongly based on existential knowledge that these artists are expected to emerge and grow without explicit pedagogically formalised education The teaching of existential wisdom in education takes place primarily through the growth of one s personality which is often a reflection of the teacher39s persona and character on the selfidentity of the studentThis life wisdom is a slow accumulation of experience a gradual maturation of personality and an internalisation l would again use the word embodiment of a sense of responsibility and ambition By ambition I am not referring to social aspirations or goals but to one s internal sense of responsibility and honour and the willingness to cross limits of one39s prior skills and knowledge 119 Chapter 5 Embodied Thinking Heidegger considers teaching even more difficult than learning Teaching is even more difficult than learning Not because the teacher must have a larger store of information and have it always ready Teaching is more difficult than learning because what teaching calls for is this to let learn The real teacher in fact lets nothing else be learned than learning The difficulty of teaching concerns especially the task of teaching existential wisdom Rainer Maria Rilke provides a moving and poetic description of the existential knowledge required for the writing of a single line of verse For verses are not as people imagine simply feelings they are experiences For the sake of a single verse one must see many cities men and things one must know the animals one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the little flowers open in the morning And still it is not yet enough to have memories One must be able to forget them when they are many and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again For it is not yet the memories themselves Not till they have turned to blood within us to glance and gesture nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves not till then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them The qualifications for writing a line of verse listed by one of the finest poets of all time should surely humble anyone seeking to become a poet artist or architect 120 Art creates images and emotions that are experientially as true as the actual encounters of life Rebecca Horn Buster39s Bedroom still from a film by the artist 1990 D Juhani Pallasmaa This very power of synthesis points to a primordial unity of sensation and understanding brought about by the imagination prior to the functioning of either faculty The synthetic role of imagination presupposed by both faculties is indeed so primordial that it operates behind our backs as it were unconsciously A startling consideration this which may explain why it took Western philosophy almost two thousand years to officially recognize its existence Richard Kearney Reality of Imagination Imagination is usually associated specifically with the creative capacity or the realm of art but the faculty of imagination is the foundation of our mental existence and our way of dealing with stimuli and information Research by brain physiologists and psychologists has shown that mental images are registered in the same zones of the brain as visual perceptions and that these images possess all the experiential authenticity of those perceived by our own 131 Chapter 7 Emotion and Imagination eyes No doubt actual stimuli and imaginations in the other sensory realms are similarly close to each other and thus experientially equally real This affinity or sameness of the external and internal experience is of course self evident to any genuine artist without the proof of psychological research Experience memory and imagination are qualitatively equal in our consciousness we may be equally moved by something evoked by our memory or imagination as by an actual experience Art creates images and emotions that are as true as the actual encountersof life Fundamentally in a work of art we encounter ourselves our own emotions and our own being in theworld in an intensified manner A genuine artistic and architectural experience is primarily a strengthened awareness of self An artwork or building made thousands of years ago or produced in a culture completely unknown to us touches us because we encounter the timeless present of being a human being through the work and consequently rediscover the actuality of our own beinginthe world One of the paradoxes of art and architecture is that although all moving works are unique they reflect what is general and shared in the human existential experience In this way art is tautological it keeps repeating the same basic expression over and over again how it feels to be a human being in this world For me one of the most touching and enigmatic works of architecture that l have ever encountered is surely the Ryoanji Zen garden in Kyoto The unexplainable richness subtlety and poetry of this piece of garden art is that it does not present any argument or theory the fifteen stones set on a raked sand surface simply exist and project a combined sense of mystery and dignity vagueness and completeness Art and architecture offer us alternative identities and life situations and this is their great mental task Great works give us the possibility of experiencing our own existence through the existential experience of some of the most talented individuals of humankind This is the miraculous and merciful equality in all art All artistic effect or impact is based on the identification of self with the experienced object or the projection of the self on the object as Melanie Klein argues Jorge Luis Borges points out the true locus of artistic experience The taste of the apple lies in the contact of the fruit with the palate not in the fruit itself in a similar way poetry lies in the meeting of the poem and reader not in the lines of symbols printed on the pages of a book What is essential is the aesthetic act the thrill the almost physical emotion that comes with each reading393 132 E Juhani Pallasmaa 133 We experience a work of art or architecture through our embodied existence and capacity of projection and identification An artistic experience activates a primordial mode of embodied undifferentiated and animisticexperiencing the separation and polarisation of subject and object is temporarily lost and the material world is encountered as if it had its own life force Both the glorious beauty and the pitiful ugliness of the object of artistic representation are momentarily identified with our own embodied experience Many of us can never mourn our personal loss or tragedy with the intensity we suffer the fate of the fictive figures of literature theatre and cinema distilled through the existential experience of a great artist Architectural ugliness or existential falseness can make us experience alienation and weakening of the sense of self and finally make us fall mentally and somatically ill The Gift of lmagination The uniqueness of the human condition is this we live in the manifold worlds of possibilities created and sustained by our experiences recollections and dreams The ability to imagine and daydream is surely the most human and essential of our mental capabilities Perhaps after all we are humans not because of our hands or intelligence but thanks to our capacity for imagination We would definitely not use our hands meaningfully without being able to imagine the result of our action But the deluge of excessive nonhierarchical and meaningless pictures in our current culture of images an unending rainfall of images in ltalo Calvino s wordsi flattens our world of imagination No space is left for the imagination as everything imaginable is already here In his preface to his novel Crash JG Ballard argues the relationship between fiction and reality is turning upside down we are increasingly living in a world of fictions and that is why the writer s task is not to invent fiction Fictions are already here and thus the writer39s task is rather to invent reality 5 I feel likewise that the architectural imagination today assisted and empowered by the computer is producing too much architectural fiction and we need rather to design an architecture of reality to paraphrase the title of Michael Benedikt39s book5 We already long for an architecture that brings us back to the concrete realities of our physical and material world This is not a sentimental longing for a lost world but a world revitalised and reeroticised by an architecture that makes us experience the world rather than itself Chapter 7 Emotion and Imagination quot 39 39L139 The image flood of television externalises images and makes them passive when compared with the interior and active imagery evoked by reading a book There is a dramatic difference between the passive looking at pictures on the one hand and images created by one s imagination on the other The effortless images of entertainment imagine on our behalf The mesmerising image flow of the consciousness industry detaches images from their historical cultural and human context and thus liberates the viewer from investing hisher emotions and ethical attitudes in what is perceived Benumbed by mass communication we can already watch the most outrageous cruelty without the least emotional evolvement The deluge of images that grows overwhelming for the senses and emotions suppresses and dulls imagination empathy and compassion As our imagination weakens we are left at the mercy of an incomprehensible future ideals are projections of an optimistic imagination and consequently the loss of imagination is bound to wipe out idealism too in my view the lack of horizon ideals and alternatives even in today39s political thought is a consequence of a withering of political imagination The overpowering sense of pragmatism and lack of stimulating visions today are likely to be consequences of an impoverished imagination A culture that has lost its imagination can only produce apocalyptic visions of threat as projections of its repressed collective unconscious A world devoid of imaginable alternatives due to the absence of imagination is the world of Aldous Huxley s and George Orwell s manipulated subjects The duty of education is to cultivate and support the human abilities of imagination and empathy but the prevailing values of culture tend to discourage fantasy suppress the senses and petrify the boundary between the world and the self The idea of sensory training is nowadays connected solely with artistic education proper but the refinement of sensory literacy and sensory thinking has an irreplaceable value in all areas of human activity Reality of Art The manner through which art affects our mind is one of the great mysteries of human communication The understanding of the essence and mental workings of art has become confused and blurred by the superficial use of the notions of symbolisation and abstraction as well as the obsession 134 When it rains in my films it simply rains Andrey Tarkovsky Nostalghia 1983 Domenicds leaking house Production Opera Film Rome for RAI TV Rete 2 in association with Sovinfilm USSR AD Juhani Pallasmaa with newness A work of art or architecture is not a symbol that represents or indirectly portrays something outside of itself it is an image object that places itself directly in our existential experience The notion of symbolisation should be viewed critically and with suspicion in the context of art Andrey Tarkovsky for one whose films appear to be saturated with symbolic signification strongly denies any specific symbolisation in his work In his films rooms are flooded with water water soaks through ceilings and it is constantly raining Yet he exclaims firmly When it rains in my films it simply rains Also Sartre is critical of the notion of symbolisation in artistic representation in his viewart creates things rather than symbols Tintoretto did not choose that yellow rift in the sky above Golgotha to signify anguish or to provoke it he writes Not sky of anguish or anguished sky it is an anguish become thing an anguish which has turned into yellow rift of sky It is no longer readable Similarly Michelangelo39s stair hall of the Laurentian Library 152459 and the Medici Chapel 150534 with its allegorical sculptures are not symbols of melancholy they are buildings that have fallen into a state of melancholy or more precisely we lend these buildings our own sensation of metaphysical sorrow 135 Chapter 7 Emotion and Imagination The buildings of Louis Kahn are not metaphysical symbols either they are a form of metaphysical meditation through the medium of architecture that leads us to recognise boundaries of our own existence and to deliberate on the essence of life They direct us to experience our own existence with a unique intensity Similarly the masterpieces of early modernity do not represent optimism and love of life through architectural symbolisation Even decades after these buildings were conceived they evoke and maintain these positive sensations they awaken and bring forth the hope sprouting in our soul The joyful buildings of Gunnar Aspund s Stockholm Exhibition 1930 cannot be regarded as symbols of optimism and Alvar Aalto39s Paimio Sanatorium 192933 is not a mere metaphor of healing even today these masterpieces offer the comforting promise of a better future A work of art may of course have conscious symbolic contents and intentions but they are insignificant for the artistic impact or the temporal endurance of the work Even the simplest work of art in terms of its external appearance is not devoid of meanings or of connections with our existential and experiential world An impressive work is always an image condensation that is capable of mediating the entire experience of being intheworld through a singular image But as Anton Ehrenzweig writes Scientific abstraction differs from an empty generalization in the way in which potent abstract art differs from empty ornamentfg In the words of Andrey Tarkovsky The image is not a certain meaning expressed by the director but an entire world reflected as in a drop of waterquot In a similar way the mental impact of architecture does not derive from a formal or aesthetic game it arises from experiences of an authentic sense of life Architecture does not invent meaning it can move us only if it is capable of touching something already buried deep in our embodied memories Art and Emotion The art form of architecture mediates and evokes existential feelings and sensations Architecture of our time however has normalised emotions and usually eliminates completely such extreme emotions as sorrow and bliss melancholy and ecstasy The places and streets conceived by literature painting and cinema are as saturated with emotion and as real as houses and cities built of stone The 136 E Juhani Pallasmaa invisible cities of ltalo Calvino enrich the urban geography of the world in the same way as the material cities built through the labour of thousands of hands The commonplace and desolate rooms of Edward Hopper or the shabby roomin Arles painted by Vincent van Gogh are as full of life and affect as the real rooms in which we live The Zone in Andrey Tarkovsky39s Stalker which exudes an air of inexplicable threat and disaster is certainly more real in our experience than the actual anonymous industrial structures in Estonia where the film was shot because the landscape pictured by the masterful film director contains more significant human meanings than its physically real original The mysterious Room searched for by the Writer and the Scientist under the guidance of Stalker is finally disclosed as a very ordinary room but the imagination of the travellers as well as of the viewer of the film has turned it into a centre point of metaphysical significance This ordinary room has turned into Teilhard de Chardin s Omega the point from which the world can be seen as a whole and correctly Artistic Experience as Exchange In the experience of art and architecture a peculiar exchange takes place i project my emotions and associations onto the work or space and it lends me its aura that emancipates my perceptions and thoughts In Joseph Brodsky s view a poem tells its reader Be like me The imaginary spacequot suggested by the work turns real and it becomes part of my experiential life world As I experience the touching melancholy of llicheangelo s architecture for instance I am in fact moved by my own sense of melancholy as it is evoked and reflected back by the architectural work I lend my melancholy to the Laurentian staircase in the same way that I lend Raskolnikov my experience of frustrated waiting while reading Dostoyevski s Crime and Punishment This identification with the work of art and the scene depicted by it is so powerful that I find it unbearable to look at Titian s painting The Faying of lllarsyas c 1575 in which the satyr is skinned alive in Apollo39s revenge because I feel that my own skin is being violently peeled off An architectural work is not experienced as a series of isolated retinal pictures it is touched and lived in its full and integrated material embodied and spiritual essence A profound work is always a world and a complete microcosm It offers pleasurable shapes and surfaces moulded for the touch of the eye but it also incorporates and integrates physical and 137 Chapter 7 Emotion and Imagination mental structures giving our existential experience of being a strengthened coherence and significance A great building enhances and articulates our understanding of gravity and materiality horizontality and verticality the dimensions of above and below as well as the eternal enigmas of existence light and silence 138 Architectural melancholy of an artistic giant Michelangelo Buonarroti and Bartolomeo Arnmannati Laurentian Library Biblioteca Laurenziana Florence Italy 1525 View of the stairs from above THE YALE ARCHITECTURAL J0lJIlNAL Perspecta 19 THE N HT PRESS CANIBREIDGE ANIB LQBNHDQBN About Making DENZIL IIUBLEY KNOWING THAT DOING TAKES TIME does not help us understand what is being done where how why and with what As one does not dismiss signi cant work because it is of another time neither does one understand a particular work through time Endeavor is not justified by g knowing that we endeavor in time When emphasis is shifted from the thing itself the work to time one loses grasp of what is at hand which is experience Experience in this context is that which teaches quali es and embraces Time is a constituent factor in the conception and making of a work but it is relative The making of a work is tied to other factors intention intuition materiality and process These factors must exist for the realiza tion of any creative work at any time Within the process of making the constituent factors that allow for the realization of a work are not linear in time or nature but are accumulative This accumulated experience is very much an individual reality and it creates a position of knowing questioning and reason from which artistic activity can proceed The revealing of intention and meaning of a given work is dependent on that works materiality on one s relationship to the work and on its stance These factors may open the work to us and afford us a relationship with its meaning or they may not whether the work is of our own time or of the past To think of time as linear or as a series of discrete frames is to address only the manufacturing and reproduction of a work and not its meaning The revelatory properties of creative work are not tied to time but to the integral relationship of purpose and material embodiment When these properties are inherent in a work they ensure the presence of qualities that amplify the work and reveal its meaning and nuance these in turn suggest HUIILEY the power and vision contained As this occurs we begin to see that what ever the work whenever it was made wherever it exists its present voice in the world is as loud as it was when fiist made The present evaluates the 39 past by measuring the meaning works have in and of themselves Given this we can see that linear classi cation of creative work be longs outside the realm of actually creating or even fully experiencing a Work The appreciation of works is not reserved for those of the time and circumstances of its production Wo1ks of signi cance tend to transcend time and circumstance as they peipetuate themselves through stance They place themselves continually in the present with the inquirer our experi ence of works of art architecture and literature proves this point repeatedly The fundamental relationship of idea to material and form is shown to be contained in the purpose of the work It is necessary that history be seen as part of an ongoing reality that cannot be isolated or fractured by a linear structure The evolving meaning that results in the making of a work is part of that works viability the work is historically connected to its own making not by time but by meaning That we are excited by a work s inherent qualities and stance rather than by its relationship to historical factors proves the viability of the work and of our own stance Possible readings sometimes a vital part of the work show possibility to be a conceptual and process orientecl idea that can be inherent in one s intuitive reality This can become a way of working and can convey new awareness of the complexities of process and result We can then suppose that timelessness is an important quality in a work s materiality and stance It ensures that the work will live beyond the moment and will be exalted for its own nature Realizations that result from this are by the fact of their relationship to meaning important These realizations about time and timelessness can also affect the point of view of the maker in profound ways We reach these realizations only when external facts dislodge us from the work contemplated The necessary conditions for creative work are not reached by specula tion as speculation is tied to an L priori need to locate oneself in a particular way These conditions are realized rather within a framework of intuition intention and fact that qualify the path and process of awork s realization This speaks in a general way to the human needs to produce and to inquire as means of surviving and redeeming ourselves for living Inquiry that is arranged in a fixed temporal sequence presupposes a goal that can be limited by and in some instances dislocated from what is inherently possible The power of creative work is generated by the sharing 39 4 A 0 o 3 v A quotLquot quotV39 IIURLEY of experience in spite of the limits of time language or circumstance The magic of the enteiprise overcomes the obvious problem of di erences in T time place and familiarity L The selective gathering and shaping of material is a condition of artistic purpose This condition when present allows a work to be experi enced and therefore lived It enables a richness to be revealed materially and allows the inner world of the individual maker to be manifest in the p actual world This implies that the actual is aifected or altered through human intention and structuring Process is thus preceded by the meaning that conditions give to the maker The compounding of intention and intuition with actual material gives a holistic richness to a work The integral relationship of maker to work is important when the maker is willing to accept the divestment of self within process as an opportunity for willfullness to be quali ed and enhanced The objectivity sought is thus related to understanding Understanding allows the maker to recognize value in each part of the process and this recogni tion is crucial to the activity of inquiry Inquiry is the aspect of making that is not a mere ordering of the world according to mimetic structure or intention Creative works function in the world not because of the world They represent necessary individual extentions and propositions When their composite meanings are commensurate with their urgency they then be come extentions of their speci c categories it is also true however that recognizing them within a category does not enhance their viability as individual extentions Their stance is the factor that must substantiate their meaning When this stance is realized in work and is sound it becomes the point of purpose in dimension Dimension as such can be practical as well as metaphorical and spiritual Dimension is to this point of I purpose a crosscultural element that enhances the evidence of intention endeavor and diversity within the work It is important that inherent differences be appreciated in order to grasp the full meaning of possibility in the world whether actual or con textual Possibility is an aspect of imagination and inquiry that is a necessary condition in the continuum of creative work Taste is an ever present problem in the understanding of a particular work It is a mere fragment of what is really involved and because of its super ciality can lock one outside of understanding Taste does not declare much beyond its limited system It is related to individual cultural or class conditions and cannot aptly address rneaning The material aspects of a work are part of its intuitive conceptual HURLEY and formal making This correlative relationship of thought to material is an essential mechanism by which options are given the status of facts It allows us to address the process of making in a special way It is within this relationship that possibility can become more than a notion or option it becomes a fact Making provides the fullest opportunity for experiencing the world Its reality is one of continuing surprise and possibility Through the activity of making the world is a place for one s inner being its existence and import to materialize as matter Making is therefore a process by which we understand what is needed and appreciated and why I When there is a substantive relationship between intention and mak ing purpose is posited for new generations to contemplate and extend In that we are locked to making through experience rather than through time the need to make with and through history is a common bond In the realm of human experience there is opportunity for possibility individual and collective which renews and extends work in its many spheres As the quality of experience is tied to the making of the individual work a work and its posited stance are matters determined by the maker and not by chance I When work survives it continues to embody the conditions inten tions and sympathies that convey its purpose The urge to affect the world along with clarity of intention and under standing of methodology are essential to significant inquiry To work only from one s accumulated knowledge will not lead to a recognition of the fullest possible reality of a particular idea If it comes this realization can push one beyond the immediate frame of reference to a process of fermenta tion and digestion work that evolves from this process nds a place within both the collective experience of all people and its own specific category The necessary factors in such work are never dislocated or fractured from the idea which propels the work they become one It is this oneness for which we search through the process of making In this realm of making ideas function as part of the world and as extentions of the world Here the fullness of the work s meaning can be experienced A sense of discovery is a sense of renewal We experience renewal whenever a discovery is made and we find ourselves connected to a very ancient and timeless reality Once realized this reality becomes the practi cal and sensory material of making Contemporary Crafts of the World Essay by Octavio Paz by es 3 Plaut 0 ew b H ra ph ic ociety reenwich on necticui Pu b ishe in association with the u D D rafts u ncil r The Kizaemon Tea bovvl From The Unknown Craftsman by S etsu Yanagi adapted by Bernard Leach Yanagi speaks of a sixteenth cenlury Korean bowl of the Yi dynasty This single Tea bowl is considered to be the finest in the world There are three main kinds of Tea bowls those originating in China Korea and Japan respectively The most lovely are from Korea and men of Tea always give them first place The finest are called mefbutsu signifying the particularly fine pieces There are twentysix bowls registered as meibutsu but the finest of them all is that known as the Kizaemon ldo This bowl is said to contain the essence of Tea In 1931 I was shown this bowl in company with my friend the potter Kanjiro Kawai For a long time I had wished to see this Kizaemon bowl I had expected to see that essence of Tea the seeing eye of Tea masters and to test my own perception it was within box afterbox five deep buried in wool and wrapped in purple silk When I saw it my heart fell A good Tea bowl yes but how ordinary So simple no more ordinary thing could be imagined There is not a trace of ornament not a trace of calculation It is just a Korean food bowl a bowl moreover that a poor man would use every day commonest crockery A typical thing for his use costing next to nothing made by a poor man an article without the flavor of personality used carelessly by its owner bought without pride something anyone could have bought anywhere and everywhere That is the nature of this bowl The clay had been dug from the hill at the back of the house the glaze was made with the ash from the hearth the potter39s wheel had been irregular The shape revealed no particular thought it was one of many The work had been fast the turning was rough done with dirty hands the throwing slipshod the glaze had run over thefoot The throwing room had been dark The thrower could not read The kiln was a wretched affair thefiring careless Sand had stuck to the pot but nobody minded no one invested the thing with any dreams it is enough to make one give up working as a potter This and no more was the truth about this the most celebrated Tea bow in the land But that was as it should be The plain and unagitated the uncalculated the harmless the straightforward the natural the innocent the humble the modest where does beauty lie if not in these qualities The meek the austere the unornatemthey are the natural characteristics that gain man39s affection and respect More than anything else this pot is healthy Made for a purpose made to do work Sold to be used in everyday life if it were fragile it would not serve its purpose By its very nature it must be robust Its healthiness is implicit in its function Onlya commonplace practicality can guarantee health in something made Christian N0rberg Schu1z The concept of dwelling On the way to figurative architecture Identification We have already pointed out that human identification means to relate meaningfully to a world of things Our first step therefore is to arrive at a definition of the concept of thing Today it is common to consider the thing a mere construct composed of sensations What is immediately given it is asserted are the sensedata which constitute things as a result of ex perience This scientific approach however leads to a dangerous abstrac tion from concrete reality and leaves us with a meaningless relativistic world A reaction against relativistic atomism is therefore coming to the fore inspired primarily by phenome nological philosophy Phenomenology took as its point of departure Husserl s slogan to the things themselves and his recognition that modern science did not manage to help our understanding of the concrete li13939eworld Lebens welt7 The lifeworld does not consist of sensations but is immediately given as a world of characteristic mean ingful things which do not have to be constructed through individual ex perience The thing Merleau Ponty says is not mediated by our senses our sensations or our perspectives we go straight to it and it is only in a secondary way that we become aware of the limits of our knowledge and of ourselves as knowing 3 We could also say that man is not born in isolation but as part of structured totality Man has a world from the very beginning a world which simply exists Thus MerleauPonty asserts in the in teraction of things each one is characterized by a kind of a priori to which it remains faithful The significance of a thing inhabits that thing 9 and further Prior to and independently of other people the thing achieves that miracle of expres 6 The thing Natwre Mortequot by P Modersohmx Becker 1905 7 Development of a Bottle in Spacequot U Bocoioml 1912 sion an inner reality which reveals itself externa1ly and expres sion is the language of the thing itself and springs from its configuration What then are these things which reveal their meaning through their con figuration Heidegger offers an answer in a famous essay where he defines the thing as a gathering of world 12 He recalls that the original meaning of the word thing is gathering and il lustrates this significant fact with a phenomenological analysis of a jug Then he goes on defining the world which is gathered by the thing as a fourfold of earth sky mortals and divinities which belong together in a mirror play where each of the four 39 mirrors is in its own Way the essence of the others 3 In other words the things are what they are relative to the basic structure of the world The things make the world appear and there by condition man Wir sind die Be drngten we are the conditioned be thinged ones Heidegger says Iden tification thus means to gain a world through the understanding of things The word understanding is here used in the original sense of standing under or among If we relate Heidegger s concept of thing to the problem of dwelling we may say that dwelling primarily con sists in the appropriation of a world of things not in a material sense but as an ability to interpret the meaning the things gather Things visit mortals with a world Heidegger says and when we understand their message we gain that existential foothold which is dwelling When Heidegger chooses a jug as an illustration he reaches beyond the things that are given in nature The jug is manmade and therefore it is also a work In making a thing such as a jug man intentionally gathers a world or in Heidegger s words sets a world into work 14 The twofold nature of dwell ing thus appears first the faculty of understanding the given things natural or man made and second the making of works which keep and explain what has been understood In our con text these works are settlement urban space institution and house all of which gather a fourfold world An example may illustrate the relation ship between world thing and work Boccioni s sculpture Development of a Bottle in Space 1912 explains the thingness of the bottle As a thing the bottle possesses an inner reality or identity which resides in the world it gathers and is expressed by its con figuration or Gestalt This expression however is not immediately intelli gible The bottle stands there and presents itself as what it is but somehow its meaning remains hidden Boccioni s work of art reveals the meaning It tells us what a bottle is and distinguishes it from other con tainers such as jug and jar The bottle contains a liquid Simul taneously it encloses and exposes its contents Even if the bottle is colored we perceive the volatility of the liquid through the glass a latent movement is present which together with the reflec tions in the material make the thing become alive An earthenware jar does not possess this life its character rather resides in its hiding and in the contrast between material and form and the hidden content The lively play in light is kept by the form of the bot tle What is mobile and transient is fixed and becomes part of the perma nent world of things VVhen the bottle rises in space and stands it conquers inconstancy and gathers multifarious ness in a static center Therefore the bottle has to be symmetrical around the verticalaxis and relatively slender it does not tolerate irregularities Transparency and reflections how ever create a dynamism which is expe rienced as an interaction between out side and inside In the decanter this effect is emphasized by the facets The bottle is therefore simultaneously static and dynamic The contents give meaning to the bottle as a static dynamic center Water and wine source and juice the gift offered to man by earth and sky are gathered and placed in the center and we gather around Thus the bottle brings the world close A jug cannot in the same way constitute a center it has a mouth and a handle it indicates a direction and does not stand at the center of space A Boccioni explains the phenomenology of the bottle In his sculpture a bottle like figure rises with ordering power out of a complex configuration of straight and curved elements Without the bottle this configuration would have appeared chaotic As a gathering center however it does not isolate itself within a complete form rather its faceted contour indicates an ac tive relationship to the surroundings Hence the bottle develops in space rising out of the transient phenomena as a gathering thing In general Boccioni s bottle tells us I that the given things have to be inter preted by man to become an inhabited World True understanding is made possible by the work of art which reveals the thingness of things Poetry is what really lets us dwell Heidegger says and continues Poetry does not fly above and sur mount the earth in order to escape it and hover over it Poetry is what first brings man onto the earth making him belong to it and thus brings him into dwelling 15 Works of architec ture belong to those poetical revela quotfollowing we shall discuss the content 8 Earth and sky landscape by J Ruisdael 9 Inhabited landscapequot winter scene ca 1670 by P Bruegel ca 1560 tions which make us dwell In the of works of architecture that is the world they gather as well as the means which are used to fulfill the gathering taking the concept of world as our point of departure So far we have intended world as a multitude of distinct albeit inter related things Heidegger s fourfold however indicates a more general structure Thus he uses the categories of earth and sky to make us see the basic order of things Earth is the serv ing bearer blossoming and fruiting spreading out in rock and water rising up into plant and animal he says and continues The sky is the vaulting path of the sun the course of the changing moon the wandering glitter of the stars the year s seasons and their changes the light and dusk of day the gloom and glow of night the clemency and inclernency of the weather the drifting clouds and the blue depth of the ether A general and concrete phenomenology of world 1 92 is here suggested which makes the 39 Q 39 things become alive as parts of a mean ingful whole Then man enters and Heidegger says If we think of the verb to dwell in a wide and essential sense then it denotes the way in which humans fulfill their wandering from birth to death on earth under the sky Everywhere the Wandering remains the essence of dwelling as the staying between earth and sky between birth and death between joy and pain be tween work and world If we call this multifarious between the world then the world is the house which is in habited by the mortals The single houses however the villages the cities are works of architecture which in and i g around themselves gather the mul s0 0 v q tifarious between The buildings bring 39 N i39I39 quot the earth as the inhabited landscape 0 Z 39 y P 3 k 395 E I Quit 5 I re S S 39 3 P 9 9139 t 5 nu 7 h 5quot 3 ye 18 39 close to man and at the same time place the nearness of neighborly dwelling under the expanse of the sky 3 The World which is gathered by a work of architecture is hence an inhabited landscape that is a landscape which has been understood as a particular case of the totality earth sky in rela tion to the four modes of dwelling The works of architecture on the various environmental levels make this under standing a concrete fact As things they fulfill their gathering function through their bodily form In other words works of architecture are ob jects of human identification because they embody existential meanings making the world stand forth as it is How is this embodiment accomplished Boccioni s bottle already told us that the gathering function of a thing depends on how it is in space that is how it stands opens and closes reflects etc Expression thus is basi cally physiognomic regardless of the nature of the thing and identification therefore comprises a rapport between man s own body and the bodily form of the object In general any case of em bodiment mirrors other things and represents a certain way of being be tween earth and sky The between of earth and sky however does not only consist in a complex totality of interrelated things it also at any moment presents itself as a Stimmwng or atmosphere All landscapes are characterized by an at mosphere which maintains its identity through climatic and seasonal changes This atmosphere is of essential impor tance because of its unifying role in the environment and identification also consists in being open to environmen tal character In the past the par ticular character or spirit of a place was known as the genius loc39i19 The genius loci is first of all determined by 10 Strrnmung Greifswald in the moonlight by C D Friedrich 1817 19 11 The center as figure 8 Mctrio delta Consotazione Todt 1508 a mode of embodiment which is present in most things and works Through identi cation man possesses a world and thus an identity Today H identity is often considered an in 39terior quality of each individual and growing up is understood as a realiza tion of the hidden self The theory of identi cation however teaches us that identity rather consists in an in teriorization of understood things and that growing up therefore depends on being open to what surrounds us Although the world is immediately given it has to be interpreted to be understood and although man is part of the world he has to concretize his belonging to feel at home Orientation Identification is never separated from daily life but always related to our actions In general what we are do ing depends on the psychological func tion of orientation We have already pointed out that actions as a rule may be understood in terms of goals and paths which together constitute a field or domain of more or less well known places In other words man acts on the basis of an environmental image which is related to the spatial organiza tion of the environment A good en vironmental image gives its possessor an important sense of emotional securi ty Kevin Lynch says which is the obverse of the fear that comes with disorientation 2 Evidently the image varies with the situation but it is also possible to work out a general phe nomenology of orientation that is of existential space Such a phenome nology aims at defining the meaning of center path and domain independent ly of the circumstantial content of the three terms The goal or center is the basic constituent of existential space Human life is always related to KOB 0 AB E Translated from the Iapanese by E DALE SAUNDERS Charles E Tuttle Company Sufdo 139chome 26 BunleyoIeu T912o 4 The Box Man instructions MATERIAL S I 1 empty box of corrugated cardboard Vinyl sheet semitransparent twenty inches square Rubber tape water resistant about eight yards VVire about two yards T Small pointed knife a tool T To have on hand if necessary Three pieces of worn canvas and one pair of work boots in addition to regular work clothes for streetwear Any empty box a yard long by a yard wide and about four feet deep will do However in practice one of the standard forms commonly called a quarto is desirable Standard items are easy to nd and most commercial articles that use standardsized boxes are generally of irregular shape various types of foodstuffs precisely adaptable to the container so that the construction is sturdier than others The most im portant reason to use the standardized form is that it is hard to distinguish one box from another As far as I know most box men utilize this quarto box For if the box has any strik ing features to it its special anonymity will suffer Even the common variety of corrugated cardboard has recently been strengthened and since it is semiwaterproof there is no need to select any special kind unless you are go ing through the rainy season Ordinary cardboard has better 5 ventilation and is lighter and easier to use For those who wish to occupy one box over a period of time regardless of the season I recommend the Frog Box especially good in wet weather This box has a vinyl nish and as the name sug gests it is exceedingly strong in water When new it has a sheen as if oiled but apparently it produces static electricity easily quickly absorbs dirt and gets covered with dust then the edge is thicker than the ordinary one and looks wavy You can tell it at once from the common box To construct your box there is no particular procedure to follow First decide what is to be the bottom and the top of the box decide according to whatever design there may be or make the top the side with the least wear or just decide ar bitrarily and cut out the bottom part In cases where one has numerous personal effects to carry the bottom part can be folded inward without cutting and with wire and tape the two ends can be made into a baggage rack Tape the ex posed part of the edges at the three points on the ceiling and T at the one on the side where they come together The greatest care must be taken when making the ob servation window First decide on its size and location since there will be individual variations the following gures are purely for the sake of reference Ideally the upper edge of the window will be six inches from the top of the box and the lower edge eleven inches below that the width will be seventeen inches After you have subtracted the thickness of the base to stabilize the box when in place I put a magazine on my head the upper edge of the window comes to the eyebrows You may perhaps consider this to be too low but one seldom gets the opportunity to look up while the lower edge is used frequently VVhen you are in an upright position it will be diflicult to walk if a stretch of at least ve feet is not visible in front There are no special grounds for comput ing the width These parts should be adjusted to the re 6 The Box Man quired ventilation and the lateral strength of the box At any rate since you can see right down to the ground the window should be as small as possible Next comes the installation of the frosted vinyl curtain over the window There s a little trick here too That is the upper edge is taped to the outside of the opening andithe rest left to hang free but please do not forget to anticipate a lengthwise slit This simple device is useful beyond all ex pectations The slit should be in the center and the two aps should overlap a fraction of an inch As long as the box is held vertical they will serve as screens and no one will be able to see in When the box is tilted slightly an opening ap pears permitting you to see out It is a simple but extremely subtle contrivance so be very careful when selecting the vinyl Something rather heavy yet exible is desirable Anything cheap that immediately stiffens with temperature changes will be a problem Anything imsy is even worse You need some thing exible yet heavy enough not to have to worry about every little draft the breadth of the opening can be easily regulated by tilting the box For a box man the slit in the vinyl is comparable as it were to the expression of the eyes It is wrong to consider this aperture as being on the same level as a peephole With very slight adjustments it is easy to express yourself Of course this is not a look of kindness The worst threatening glare is not so o ensive as this slit Without exaggeration this is one of the few selfdefenses an unprotected box man has I should like to see the man cap able of returning this look with composure In case you re in crowds a lot I suppose you might as well puncture holes in the right and left walls while you re about it Using a thickish nail bore as many openings as possible in an area of about six inches in diameter leaving enough space between them so the strength of the cardboard isn t affected These apertures will serve as both supplemen 7 tary peepholes and be convenient for distinguishing the di rection of sounds However unsightly it will be more advan tageous in case of rain to open the holes from the inside out and have the flaps facing out Last of all cut the remaining wire into one two four and sixinch lengths bend back both ends and prepare them as hooks for hanging things on the wall You should restrict our ersonal effects to a minimum as it is it s uite exhaust Y P 2 2 l ing to arrange the indispensable items radio mug thermos ashlight towel and small miscellaneous bag As for the rubber boots there s nothing particular to add just as long as they don t have any holes If the canvas is wrapped around the waist it is excellent for llingthe space between oneself and the box and for holding the box in place With three layers divided in front it is easy to move in all ways as well as being most convenient for defecation and uri nating and for sundry other purposes An Example The Case of A lust making the box is simple enough at the outside it takes less than an hour However it requires considerable courage to put the box on over your head and get to be a box man Anyway as soon as anyone gets into this simple unprepos sessing paper cubicle and goes out into the streets he turns into an apparition that is neither man nor box A box man possesses some o ensive poison about him I suppose there s some degree of poison even in a picture of the snake lady on 7 I A n ANCHORING STEVEN HOLL SELECTED PFIOJ ECTS 19751988 9 39r y ANCHORING Steven Holl Writing39s relation to architecture affords only an un certain mirror to be held up to evidence it is rather in awordless silence that we have the best chance to stumble into that zone comprised of space tight and matter that is architecture Although they fall short of architectural evidence words present a premise The work is forced to carry over when words themselves cannot Words are arrows point ing in the right directions taken together they form a map of architectural intentions Here then are some excerpted thoughts that have over the past ten years acted as catalysts for the projects that foiiow ANCHORING Architecture is bound to situation Unlike music painting sculpture film and litera ture a construction nonmobile is intertwined with the experience of a place The site of a building is more than a mere ingredient in its conception It is its physical and metaphysicai foundation The resolution of the functional aspects of site and building the vistas sun angies circulation and access are the quotphysicsquot that demand the quotmetaphysicsquot of architecture Through a link an extended motive a building is more than some thing merely fashioned for the site Building transcends physical and functional re quirements by fusing with a place by gathering the meaning of a situation Architecture does not so much intrude on a landscape as it serves to explain it iliumination of a site is not a simplistic replication of its quotcontextquot to reveal an aspect of a place may not confirm its appearancequot Hence the habitual ways of seeing may welt be interrupted Architecture and site should have an experien tial connection a metaphysical link a poetic link When a work of architecture successfully fuses a buiiding and situation a third condition emerges in this third entity denotation and connotation merge expression is linked to idea which is joined to site The suggestive and implicit are manifold aspects of an intention A building has one site in this one situation its intentions are collected Buitding and site have been interdependent since the beginning of Ar chitecture in the past this connection was manifest without conscious intention through the use of local materials and craft and by an associa tion of the landscape with events of history and myth Today the iink between site and architecture must be found in new ways which are part of a constructive transformation in modern life ideas cultivated from the first perception of the site meditations upon initiai thoughts or a reconsi deration of existing topography can become the framework for invention This mode of invention is focused through a relative space as distinct from universal space It is in a bounded domain Ar chitecture is an extension a modification estab lishing absolute meanings relative to a place Even when a new work is an inversion of inherent condi tions its order attempts to embody an aspect or illuminate a specific meaning distinct from gene ralities of abstract space An ideal exists in the specific an absolute in the relative Standing in the courtyard of the Nunnery in Uxmai time is transparent function unknown The path of the sun is perfectty ordered with the an chitecture The framed views align with the distant hills Descending through the ball court ascending the House of Turttesquot and looking again toward the great courtyard the experience trancends ar chitectural beauty Architecture and site are pheno menologically linked At Louis Kahn s Salk institute there is a time of day when the sun reflecting on the ocean merges with light reflecting on the rivulet of water in the trough bisecting the central court Ocean and s 44 41quot 4WWW44 w n courtyard are fused by the phenomenon of sunlight A reflecting on water Architecture and nature are joined in a metaphysics of pface Across a vast iecund valtey in Oregon an ir regutar form clings to the edge oi the Benedictine Monastery on Mt Angel Approached from the gar den of the hilltop cloister it appears as a tow one story building oi modest consequence Once in side it unioids in a burst of space splayed outward and downward ireely engaged in the rolling pano rama ot earth and sky Aalto compieted the edge of the monastic plateau and created a serene cas cade ot space for study and contemplation The qualities of the architecture are fused with the qualities and meaning of its situation The grand shrines of lse Japan are recon structed every twenty years on adjacent sites each temple has two sites Since 4 BC this religious act has had a mysterious power most manifest in the vacant site with its stone pads ready to receive the adjacent temple according to the next twentyyear cycle Time and site are further engaged in the Sakaki the paper ornaments hanging on the Uxrnai View from House of Turtles gates and fences that are repiaced fresh every ten days Adalberto Libera39s Maiaparte residence in Capri stands as a mysterious example of order in space light and time its simple walls merge with the rock and cliffs and rise from the Mediterranean tike a strange platform oitering itself to the sun Without style aimost without identifiable eleva tions it connects with the site by jumping over time IDEA AND PHENOMENA The essence of a work of architecture is an organic link between concept and form Pieces cannot be subtracted or added without upsetting fundamental properties A con cept whether a rationatly explicit statement or a subjective demonstration establishes an order a field of inquiry a limited principle Within the phenomena of experience in a buiit construction the organizing idea is a hidden thread connecting disparate parts with exact intention Al though the experience of semitransparent planes of glass defining a space with a glow of light pre sents a sensory experience irreduceable to a stated concept this inexpression is not a gap be tween concept and phenomena but the range or field where various conclusions intersect The intertwining of idea and phenomena oc curs when a buitding is realized Before beginning architectures metaphysical skeieton of time light space and matter remain unordered Modes of composition are open line plane volume and proportion await activation When site culture and program are given an order an idea may be formed Yet the idea is oniy conception The transparency of a membrane the chalky dullness of a wall the glossy reflection of opaque glass and a beam of suntight intermesh in recipro cal relationships that form the particular ex perience of a piece Materials interlocking with the perceiver39s senses provide the detail that moves us beyond acute sight to tactility From linearity con cavity and transparency to hardness elasticity and dampness the haptic realm opens An architecture of matter and tactiiity aims for a poetics of revealingquot Martin Heidegger which re quires an inspiration of joinery Detail this poetics 5 of revealing inlerplays intimate scaled dissonance with targe scale consonance The vertical patience oi a massive wall is interrupted by a soiitary and miniature cage of clarity at once giving scale and revealing material and matter Similarly the spatial experience of parallax or perspective warp while moving through overlap ping spaces defined by solids and cavities opens the phenomena of spatial fietds The experience of space from a point of view that is in perspective presents a coupling of the externai space of the horizon and the optic point from the body Eye sockets become a kind of architectural position grounded in a phenomena of spatial experience that must be reconciled with the concept and its absence of experiential spatiaiity An infinite number of perspectives projected from an infinite number of viewpoints could be said to make up the spatial field of the phenomena of a work of architecture Space remains in oblivion without light Light39s shadow and shade its different sources its opa city transparency transtucency and conditions of refiection and refraction intertwine to define or redefine space Light subjects space to uncertain ty forming a kind of tentative bridge through fields of experience What a pool of yellow light does to a simple bare volume or what a paraboloid of she dow does to a bone white wall presents us with a psychological and transcendent realm of the phenomena of architecture If we consider the order the idea to be the outer perception and the phenomena the experience to be the inner perception then in a physicai construc tion outer perception and inner perception are inter twined From this position experiential phenomena are the material for a kind of reasoning that joins concept and sensation The objective is unified with the subjective Outer perception of the intellect and inner perception of the senses are synthesized in an ordering of space light and material Architectural thought is the working through of phenomena initiated by idea By quotmakingquot we real ize idea is only a seed for extension in phenomena Sensations of experience become a kind of reason ing distinct to the making of architecture Whether reflecting on the unity of concept and sensation or the intertwining of idea and phenomena the hope is to unite intettect and feeling precision with soul PHOTOELEMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE AN OPEN LANGUAGE The open vocabulary of Malaparte House by A Libera Capri Italy 1938 modern architecture may be extended by any com positional element form method or geometry A situation immediately sets limits Achosen ordering concept and chosen materials begin the effort to extract the nature of the work Prior to site even prior to culture a tangible vocabuiary of the ete ments of architecture remains open Here is a beautifut potential protoelements of architecture Protoelements possible combinations of lines planes and volumes in space remain discon nected transhistorica and transcultural They tloat about in a zeroground of form without gravity but are precursors of a concrete architectonic form There are elements that are transculturai and transtemporal common to the ancient architecture of Kyoto and of Rome These elements are fun damental geometric precepts common to ancient Egypt and high Gothic to twentiethcentury ration alism and expressionism Lines stems of grass twigs cracks in mud cracks in ice veins in a leaf woodgrain nodal lines spiderwebs hair ripples in sand The astonish ing Gothic stone tracery of King39s College Chapel of Westminster Abbey or of Gloucester Cathedral The steel linearity of Paxton s Crystal Palace Wing of a fly 11 12 Planes ribbons of seaweed palm leaves cab bage sediments stone etephant ears sheets of water wings feathers papyrusThe planar wall architecture of ancient Egypt the temple of Luxor The wonderful superimposed lyrical pla narity of Terragni39s Casa GiulianiFrigerio or of Rietved39s Schroder House Volumes nautilus shells pumpkins watermelon tree trunks icebergs endomorph crystals cactus planets The volumetric intensities of Roman architecture the stone drums the pure pyramid of Cestius or the Romanesque interior volumes of St Front at Periguex 39 An open language an extension of the field of ar chitecture is analogous to the range of composition in modern music As a student of music might study the widest variations and structures in composi tion so the student cf architecture mustcultivate an appetite for composition that is other than a habitual way of seeing The combination of tones in a harmonic unit or the dissonance that retlects another side of consonance have architecturai paraitets ll music no longer depends on adherance to a majorminor system of values or a system of classical tonality our musical range is extended in Left Hailstcne that letl at Sydney Australia on 3 January 1971 the study of the composition of architecture we may likewise seek to extend its range but remain open to the inevitable limits that define it with each cir cumstance and site IDEOLOGY VS IDEA General theories of ar chitecture are constrained by a central problem that is to say it a particular theory is true then all other theories are false Pluralism on the other hand leads to an empirical architecture A third direction as potentialiy resiiient as it is definite is the adoption of a limited concept Time culture programmatic circumstance and site are specific factors from which an organizing idea can be formed Aspecitic concept may be developed as a precise order irrespective of the universal claims of any particular ideology A theory of architecture that leads to a system for thinking about and making buildings has at its base a series of fixed ideas constituting an ideol ogy The ideology is evident in each project that is consistent with the general theory By contrast an architecture based on a limited concept begins with dissimilarity and variation It illuminates the singu larity of a specific situation Principles of proportion or deliberation on rhythm and numbers are not invalidated by begin ning with a limited39 concept Abstract principles of architectural composition take a subordinate posi tion within the organizing idea The universalto specificquot order is inverted to become specificto universalquot The critic will observe that this strategy of inver sion may become an ideology in itself This is not the intention here but even so this would be an ideology forever changing a black swan theory mutable and unpredictable This would be an ideol ogy denying the homogeneity of the accepted by celebrating the extraordinary parallel to nature39s diversity if it is a theory it is a theory that allows for an architecture of strange and mysterious begin nings with the hope of original and unique mean ing in each place Its aim is variation precision and a celebration of the as yetunknown quotThe aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity quot L Wittgenstein INTERTWINING STEVEN HOLL SELECTED PROJECTS 19894995 AA AH EiZL 39 2 p p 39 39 quot PFNNCETON ARCHITECTURAL PRESS lNTERTWlNlNG Steven Holl Now what kind of concept is this the quotintertwiningquot it is I suggest a symbolical or metaphorical concept a hermeneutic concept which comes from the inherent poetizing of radical phenornenologicai thinking It is a concept genuinely grounded in our experience of the elemental the prirnordiai David Michael Levin The Opening of Vision Architecture can shape a lived and sensed intertwining of space and time it can change the way we live Phenomenology concerns the study of essences architecture has the poten tial to put essences back into existence By weaving form space and light architecture can elevate the experience of daily life through the various phenomena that emerge from specific sites programs and architectures On one level an ideaforce drives architecture on another structure material space color light and shadow intertwine in the fabrication of architecture When we move through space with a twist and turn of the head mysteries of gradually unfolding fields of overiapping perspectives are charged with a range of light from the steep shadows of bright sun to the transiucence of dusk A range of smell sound and rnateria from hard stone and steel to the free billowing of silk returns us to pri mordial experiences framing and penetrating our everyday lives Today architecture has the power to be both artistic and humanistic This humanism fuses subjective and objective lives intertwining inner and outer feetings inner and outer thought into a phenomena inspired reformation of vision It is the responsibility of every generation of archi tects to ciarify a purpose to articulate a vision through building The present moment infused with media imagery is witness to surreal changes of multinational identities replacing the specificities of local cuitures The chaos and uncertainty of ftuctuating economies combined with an information overload from the ever increasing suppiy of new technoiogies con tribute to a detachment from natural phenome na thus giving rise to nihilistic attitudes Architecture with its silent spatiality and tactile materiality can reintroduce essential intrinsic meanings and values to human experience Consider a future humanism an architecture that could be much more flexible in terms of the indeterminate and the acausal Architecture could gain from the tremendous potential of information technologies as toois to assist in its concern for bioiogical social and ecological issues This approach altowing seif determina tion of social patterns in living spaces would be distinct from midcentury modernism39s positivis tic authoritarian determination Our bioiogical and ecoiogicat approach must develop more holistically subjective and objective must intertwine Perception is Metaphorical Perception of the every daythe joy of living with a vision open to phenomena corresponds to a metaphorical experiencing of the world David Michael Levin argues in fact that percep tion is spontaneously metaphorical This perception is very different from a scientific observation or a rationalized vision For example earty modern architects rationalized the use of light in buildings and called for the hygienic benefits of plate glass Today we also understand the importance of the subtleties and psychological differences of a vast range of qualities of light With as much attention to darkness and to the contrasting secrets of light and dark we engage in a metaphysics of light Night39s darkness evokes a connection to Dionysian archetypes and mysteries while the bright fight of day is Apollonian exuberant and unconcealed A metaphysics of light is part of intertwining essences with everyday materials forms and space Concave windows cast a net of tight ribbons on walls to trace the phenomena of glass as an ordinary material projecting and retracting extraordinary light Diaphanous light reflecting on a still pond is a liquid ghostly light When a canoe paddle breaks the surface of water a whorl is formed a whirlpool mirror of light is sucked into the darkness The nodal line ripples break vast water surfaces dissipating into a flat curve The knowledge that the phenomena of space dimensions time and light are bound together in architecture is a wisdom of the 39 ancients The scholar and poet Ftumi 120773 observed a special space from which quotstars wheel around the North Poiequot Likewise in the enormous timeless holtows of the Hagia Sophia in lstanbul rays of sculpted sunlight enter and rotate animating the passing of time Duration in tight acts as the silent soul of that enormous space Enmeshing Sitting by an old stone wall a few moments past midday one can see the sunlight not quite perpendicular catching all the stones that pro trude and casting long shadows on the wall below Where sunlight shines on irregular convex stones orangebrown and purpiegray hues are drarnaticaliy enhanced In another instant the sun passes and the wail is completely in shadow The merging of object and field yields an enmeshed experience an interaction that is particular to architecture Unlike painting or sculpture from which one can turn away unlike music or tiim that one can turn off architecture There is no such thing as phenomenology but there are indeed phenomenologicai problernsquot tudwig Wittgenstein 12 surrounds us it promises intimate contact with shifting changing merging materiais textures colors and light in an intertwining of flat and deep threedimensional paraliactical space and time Architectural synthesis of changing back ground middle ground and foreground with all subjective qualities of material and light forms the basis for an intertwining perception When we sit at a desk in a room by a window the distant view light from the window material on the floor wood on the desk and the near eraser in hand all begin to merge This overlap is crucial to the creation of an intertwining space We must consider space light color geometry detail and material in an intertwining ccntinu um Though we can disassernbie these ele ments and study them individually during the design process finally they merge Ultimately we cannot separate perception into geometries activities and sensations Compressed or sometimes expanded the interiocking of light material and detail creates over time a quotwholequot cinema of merging and yielding enmeshed experience Perpectival Space I Fluid Space Proceeding through space in the city we move within a network of overlapping perspectives in motion As the body advances vistas open and ctose distant middie and near views palpitate The shitting movement between near and far objects walls and buildings makes an aiwayschanging visually tectonic landscape called parailaxquot The promenade elicits a host of spontaneous intertwined experiences within urban space in the complex spaces of the mod ern city buildings are not so much objects as partial visions forming a perspectival continuum The horizon is porous percolating with our movement under construction or eroding in time At night solids and voids reverse them selves in a spatiality of darkness A lltaieido sccpe of color a misty night in New York is a Space brings the resonance ol the acoustic near to lilequot John Cage w pN l i t marvelous liquid matter of green beyond yellow reddish ridges undulating on a blue haze orange biurs slowly unfolding from shapeless marks to precise white gtows The spaces buildings window waits signs and colors all intertwine The giow of nights spatiality in the metropolis a depth formed from shadows colors and a lineof sight differs from the depth of daytime spatiality formed by the sun Night tight forms tluid luminous space Fiuid light has different viscosity Tokyo night Manhat tan night and Amsterdam night differ The viscosity of night space has a density and a speed of flow particular to each specific place Viscosity the quality of gaseous or fluid bodies resulting from molecular attraction and density determines the speed of flow The different quali ties of darkness and light affect not oniy a spatial visual fiuidity but also a psychological space of association sometimes fast other times slow in a small town for example a giowing street lamp in the night rain makes a slowly moving viscous space Architecture is sometimes only a siow viscosity of fluid space in motion imagine in a building the difference in parailax experienced from overiapping perspectives be Laminar flow movement around a cylinder tween stipping staggering orthogonal spaces and curvilinear bending aqueous spaces Spatial viscosity determines aqueous space Architecture can define ttuid movement by deter mining daytime and nighttime viscosities of light and shadow Style and form at some point dis appear this is one metaphysics of intertwining Time is Duration What are the facets of architectures relation ships with the fourth and fifth dimensions within a threedimensional vocabulary Time and perception in architecture intertwine with light and space of architecture within a certain duration The philosopher Henri Bergson thought we should speak not of time but of duration The idea of lived time dur e r elle is particular to each cuiture and has no universal definition However a useful framework of time39s passage is discussed in The Sacred and Profane by Mircea Eliade Eliade describes how two kinds of time one a quotsuccession of eterni tiesquot the other quotan evanescent durationquot exist for primitive man In these early liturgical terms calendar time flows in a closed circle cosmic and sanctified by the gods This conception of time akin to the quotcyclic time of Greek civilization stands in extreme contrast to the Western view of ongoing historical time Ongoing historical time39s evershorter spans have become in our media conscious sensationalist culture espe cially tedious and misleading The Greeks had a cosmological conception of time a cosmic order that moves in a circle Time had endlessness This year FloshHasha nah marks the celebration of the Jewish new year 5756 On spring equinox it will be the Persian new year of 1375 In four years the so called turn of the miilennia brings the Western year 2000 Is our sense of time specific to the coliective cuiture into which we are born Or does our inner lite when it is strongly felt assert a transcendent pull on inner time redou biing in a healthy skepticism Perhaps we each have our own psychic field of time to challenge the unconscious acceptance of a predescribed commercially driven time The reversibility of time an idea discussed in recent modern physics is a concept eiaborated upon in ancient Buddhism For the Buddhist time consists of a continuous flugtlt a fluidity of time that makes every form that is manifest in time perishable The instantaneity of time another Buddhist concept describes the unre ality of the present instant which is continuously transformed into past and nonbeing The psychic field of time the Buddhist39s reversibiiity of time and the instantaneity of time challenge the fixed time of architecture and advance a time of duration in architecture Flepiacing Western time with Eastern time we can extend the duration of architecture This thinking together with sensory experience pre sents an architecture of continuous open fiux open to the distant past wide open to a far away future that envelope the past while the past enveiops the future Like a differential equation from integral calculus a duration is de scribed on an ascending nonrepeating cycle Time has long been posited as the fourth dimension of architecture inseparable from its spaces Erich Mendesohn39s Einstein Tower of 1919 buiit in Potsdam aimed at capturing dynamic mysteries of physics The critic Robin Evans described its aspired space 39 It required that space be conceived as a continuously altering fieldquot Theo van Doesburg likewise aspired to spacetime in his Color Construction in the Fourth Dimension of Space Timequot of 1924 Words are his sails the way they are set turns them into conceptsquot Waiter Benjamin Kcnvoiut N Today with Superstring theory physicists speak of the fifth sixth and seventh dimensions Gravity of Mass in Tension The Stone and The Feather The visionary Buckminster Fuller was a pioneer of the lightweight the liberation of building from gravity Fuller invented a conscious lightness He fathered a weightlessness He counter poised heavy stone brick and timber with the birdlike frame the featherweight tensile skin His systems of spiderweblike tensile domes and frames rejected the heavy for the light in contrast to such a singular mcnistic philosophy ltaio Calvino mused in one of his last texts Six Memos for the Next Millennium quottwo opposite tendencies have competed in literature one tries to make tanguage into a weightless element that hovers above things like a cloud or perhaps the finest dust or better still a field of magnetic impulses The other tries to give ianguage the weight density and con creteness of things bodies and sensationsquot Calvino circumscribes a weightiness and the weightless as if they are two separate condi tions while in architecture one forcegravity is inevitable A phenomenal architecture calls for both the stone and the feather Sensed mess and perceived gravity directly affect our perceptions of architecture The weight of the low thick brick arches in Sigurd Lewerentz39s Church at the Bottom of the Lake outside of Stockholm con veys the power of gravity and mass Dim light gains its power from the heaviness of the brick masses overhead while also lighting the inner spaces A duality exists in the bricks weight pressing in on the dim light The power and soul of this place wouid be erased if the space was built in lightweight metal construction Architectures expression of mass and materials according to gravity weight bearing tension torsion and buckling like the orches tration of musical instruments is made more dynamic through the contrast of heavy bass drums tuba and light fiute violin clarinet The contrast in mass of the bass instruments in Bela Bartok39s Music for Strings Percussion and Celeste is emphasized by the physical separa tion of the light and heavy instruments on stage during the performance of the piece Music39s materiaiity is resonantly conveyed via the instruments to aural temporal experience Architectures materiality is likewise conveyed i 391 I via the structure and material of optic and haptic spatial experience Order Geometry Proportion Order does not imply beauty Louis Kahn Cityorder and natureorder exist in harmony and cacophony As a stone spinning on a string exerts centrifugal force and the petals of a fiower grow centrifugally the geometry of the city and nature collide to form a tornado of centrifugal andor centripetal forces Such vortexes of city and nature signal other vortexes and geometries for intertwining with phenomena On the moiecular level the doubts heiix struc ture of complementary or homologous chro mosomes carries the genetic codes of heredity and reproduction The work of intertwining con siders new geometries and other orders merg ing space and time in new ways The form of an architectures geometry by itself is not univocal its meaning is not fixed In the abstract no geometry is inferior to any other none superior Beginning with an infinite possibiiity of combinations of geometries Euciidean topological Booiean as wait as the open possibility of any syntactical logic of architecture possible expressions are infinite And yet the ideaforce that drives an archi tectural design the idea that wraps manifold factors and elements in a whole expression is finite Geometrical infinities are constantly subjected to finite ideas idea I Limit Architecture transcends geometry it is an organic link between concept and form Archi tecture s meaning lies in the intertwining of its site its phenomena its idea Architecture may be expressive yet it also carries like a vehicie ontological and epistemological maps Site force circumstance program and phenomena are connected with ideaforce Forming a con cept defines a field of inquiry a territory of research for investigation that helps to form meaning The idea is the force that drives the design The iieid of inquiry sets the focus and the limit and most importantly the responsibiiity of work in rigor and depth What is an excellent concept How can we interpret its strength or weakness A manifold reiation of complex elements are held together by a concept A concept s distinctness and clarity is limited to a situation and can build meaning into a site and program The organiz ing idea is a hidden thread connecting disparate parts with exact intention Organizing ideas are heuristic devices that can tie disparate architecturai eiements into a larger whole and yet they must be free and open enough for functional development As heuristic devices they can be invented from inspirations of site history program or geography As mythopoetic stories buildings quotmake connec tions to histories sites cultures and passions Material and the Haptic Reaim One sees the hardness and brittleness of giass and when with a tinkiing sound it breaks this sound is conveyed by the visible glass One sees the springi ness of steei the ductiiity of red hot steei the hardness of a plane blade the softness of shavingsmlviaurice Merleau Ponty Phenomenology of Perception Church at Borgund central Norway remains unchanged since middle ages Entering the blackened buitding the smell of tar on wood is the most powerful sensation until the eyes gradually adjust to the dim light w quot 39 The experience of material in architecture is not just visual but tactile aural olfactory it is all of these intertwined with space and our bodily trajectory in time Perhaps no other realm more directly engages multiple phenomena and sensory experience than the haptic realm The haptic realm of architecture is defined by the sense of touch When the materiality of the details forming an architectural space become evident the haptic realm opensup Sensory experience is intensified psychological dimen sions engaged Today the industrial and commercial forces at work on the productsquot for architecture tend toward the synthetic wooden casement windows are delivered with weatherproof plastic vinyl coverings metals are quotanodizedquot or coated with a synthetic outer finish tiles are glazed with colored synthetic coatings and stone is simulated as is wood grain The sense of touch is dulled or canceled with these commercial industrial methods The texture and essence of material and detail is displaced Materials may be altered through a variety of means that do not diminish and may even enhance their natural properties Glass be comes radiant as in transformed states its functional role is shifted Bending glass induces dazzling variations to a simple plane with the geometric curvature of reflected light Cast glass with its mysterious opacity traps light in its mass and projects it in a diffused glow Sand blasted glass likewise has a luminescence that changes subtly depending on the glass thick ness and type and the grain size of the silica sand used Metals can be significantly transformed by sandblasting bending and acid oxidization to create rich materiality of surface and color The beauty oi various colors and textures of oxida tion integral to materials and their weathering change in time give details a timecolored dimension Cast metals aluminum bronze and brass add to the palette of alternatives A variety of metals such as copper nickel and zinc can now be electronically atomized and sprayed nearly coid in a layer over a surface of a different material opening up new possibilities for finished and plastic details The texture of a silk drape the sharp corners of cut steel the mottled shade and shadow of rough sprayed piaster and the sound of a spoon striking a concave wooden bowl reveal an authentic essence that stimulates the senses Remaining Experimental In Spinoza39s thought life is not an idea a matter of the ory it is a way of beingSpinoza did not believe in hope or even in courage he believed in joy and in vision Giles Deleuze Expression in Philosophy Architecture must remain experimental and open to new ideas and aspirations In the face of tremendous conservative forces that con stantly push it towards the already proven already buitt and aiready thought architecture must explore the not yet felt Only in an aspiring mode can the visions of our lives be concret ized and the joy shared with future generations If a project39s program is destitute it is the architect39s responsibility to invent and attempt new programs Rather than simply solving for a given program what architecture contributes beyond the program is important A faiiure of nerve today represents the coliapse of a profes sion and the withdrawal of an art We must remain open and experimental and perhaps marginal The realization of one inspired idea in turn inspires others Phenomenal experience worth the fight is answered without words the silent response is the joy radiated in the light space and materials of architecture With intertwining we begin a new chapter of Anchoring where the sitesituation is both subject and object both existence and essence A new intensity is anticipated in a crisscrossing of the tangible haptic the thought ideaforce and the site in the intertwining of ideaforce phenomenal properties and siteforce three do not quite merge into one Herein lies a mystery that is familiar but unexplained The intertwining has a between that alternates from within to without Our body moves through and simultaneously is coupled with the substances of architectural space the quotflesh of the worldquot Maurice lvlerleau Ponty This paradox of the seer and the seen is a reflexivity oi touch vislon that includes thought In a three dirnenslona triad the reciprocal insertion of the bodyoneself ln the inter woven landscapes of architecture yields identity and difference This insertion of oneself is an intertwining of one in the other of architecture Without purpose as an object without recourse as a style architecture depends on this recipro cal insertion of the other oneself From this unique position fresh experiences avail them selves The body concentrates the mysteries Within this fresh chiasma of a phenomenal architecture our aim is to explore the not yet worked over The aim for a vision that begins in the particularity of site and is culturaily ground ed is propelled by idea toward the touchvision axis and toward phenomenal experience Not only an architecture of feeling our aim is for an intertwining of subjectiveobjective Our aim is to realize space with strong phenomenal properties while elevating architecture to a level of thought Michael Benedikt FOR AN ARCHITECTURE OF REALITY THERE ARE VALUED TIMES in almost everyone s experience when the world is perceived afresh perhaps after a rain as the sun glistens on the streets and windows catch a departing cloud or alone when one sees again the roundness of an apple At these times our perceptions are not at all sentimental They are rather matter of fact neutral and undesiring yet suffused with an unreasoned joy at the simple corre spondence of appearance and reality at the evident tightness of things as they are It is as though the sound and feel of a new car door closing with a kerchunk were magni ed and extended to dwell in the look sound smell and feel of all things The world becomes singularly meaningful yet without being symboli cal Objects and colors do not point to other realms signs say what they have to and fall silent Conventional associations fall away a ag against the sky does not conjure a stream of patriotic images soldiers funerals moonwalks like some TV documentary but contains in its luminosity and sharp apping a distilled signi cance unique to the actual sight and sound of it We are not conscious Ah this means that of reference allusion or instruction These processes become transparent as their material carriers either disappear like words or like bells and old trees collapse upon themselves to become crisp and real and somehow more the things they are Such experiences such privileged moments can be profoundly mov ing and precisely from such moments I believe we build our best and 39 necessary sense of an independent yet meaningful reality I should like to call them direct esrhetic experiences of the real and to suggest the following in our mediasaturated times it falls to architecture to have the direct esthetic experience of the real at the center of its concerns Compare the following description by Robert Venturi of an award winning house with a passage from Paul Horgarfs novel Whitewater A Delaware villa this abundant house derives from the 18th century classical barns traditional in Delaware Taking of from this type the architects substituted stucco on block for masonry and at stylized columns for the chunky Doric order Above the front pedi ment an ornamental screen based on an Austrian Baroque prototype describes the music room behind it while on the other side a classical lunette screen supported on giant order columns increases the scale of the house from the valley The designer s response evokes on a symbolic level the Palladian and Lutyens like roots of American Coun g p g g g try houses The flat lightweight symbolic ornament eschews pom s E ii A tongue in Cheek altusigns i0 gea llgg gt r posity mixing architectural metaphors and making tongue in cheek al A3g pigFlint Houg Greenvme Delaware Vemmi Rauchgy It s not what they brag about the lilacs and the green tile dome on the city hall and the Greek pillars on the bank No it s what happens after the sun goes down and the vapor lights on the tall aluminum poles over the highway come on Do you think I am raving You know the sky is still brilliant but evening is coming and for the first ve minutes or so the vapor lamps have a color and the thing is so magic when it happens it is enough to make you dizzy Everything on the earth is a sort of gray by then yes lilac gray and there are shadows down the streets but there while the sky is changing those lights are the most beauti il thing in the United States And you know It s all an accident They don t know how beautiful the light is2 and there are shadowsidown the streetsquot DischFalk Field gAusti11 Texas P Strategically Paul Horgan puts into the mouth of an inarticulate teen ager words that capture the inarticulable signi cance of a direct esthetic experience of the real Here as in the following excerpt from a poem by Robert Hass the mundane is blessed Car sleeps in the window gleam dust mores On the oak table llers of sole p slewing in the juice of tangerines slices of green pepper on a bone white dish3 The novel and the poem though each an act of communication are windows to a reality empty of the intention to communicate a reality neither potential nor ideal but actual to a world of things in themselves seen clearly The house as such on the other hand seems intended as little more than communication a knowing and somewhat insolent manipulation of symbols at arm s length to create the proper message If the vapor lights on the aluminum pole are real and have meaning if the sleeping cat and the white dish are real and have mean ing then they mean and are real in a quite different wayfrorn the way chunky Doric or flat and stylized columns mean and are real How so Explicit communications between people aside such as writing or speech is the physical world with its beaches and trees highways and hangars talking to us Does something s being meaningful necessarily imply its having something to say Can reality be read like a book or deciphered like a code for its quotmessages Which raises the corollary question if so from whom are thesemessages F reality em ty of the intention tascotnmunicqte 8 Room inwoolridge HallquotAt1stin T l quot I think not At least not literally in the way for example medieval theology after St Augustine held the world to be God s Book which the Fall had incapacitated us to read It is one thing to recognize that man searches for meaning but another to say that reality is so obliging as to be in itself meaningful Nor does the earnestness of our search give us license to construct meanings freely In our time with more known than ever about the intricate workings of nature and man is the world still too thin to bear contemplation unfattened by myth or too loose to keep our interest without imposing upon it some easy dramatur gical structure We seem to fear that unless we keep talking and calling upon the world to talk we will be overcome by the dread muteness of objects and by the heedlessness of nature that we might awaken to our true condition as strangers in a strange land But as Ortega y Gasset MerleauPonty and the existentialists and phe nomenologists of this century have pointed out just being a man or woman and alive is enough to guarantee the world s meaningfulness and we need not fear On to any moment of perception instantly inevi tably and without bidding the perspective of an entire cultural and bio logical heritage is brought to bear Our uprightness is in every tree rocks divide themselves into the throwable and the not the future is always ahead The aluminum poles are cold the cat warm the plate clean Really Yes These human facts reverberate with meanings that run deep into our personal yet common histories But the objects themselves stand for nothing Even or especially when the world is seen most sensitively vividly and dispassionately our hu manness is already soaked into it Just as whipping around to see your T back in a mirror is futile so no objective that is nonhuman viewpoint no matter how brief can be taken with respect to reality You cannot catch the world unaware and naked of meaning b k just being alive isgrzoug Q to guaranteee the l t 0 d S I Il1l39lg hie T xasr Community Hall If the search for a vantage point outside the human situation must fail it represents nevertheless a vital and very human desire even instinct to know what is really going on apart from our wishes and limitations to achieve maximum contact with realityas is and to nd beauty where it lies If every thought conjured a reality a glass of iced tea snaps to hand the world would rapidly degenerate into a nightmarish Fantasy Island Here we would meet ourselves over and over again in every face and thing trapped by our own meager imaginations In fact we depend on the world s broad indifference to our designs its capacity for sur prise and its resistance to our touch for our very sanity We can find the world inescapably meaningful and real precisely because of and not in spite of its obstinacy we must wind our lives around the real and live in its voids and opportunities the blurring of mon mdfact Proposed fountain for Houston model night viewyiw39thplase Emi1i Ambas2 0 Today overt and self conscious fabulation on top of fabulation in the manner say of ltalo Calvino or Jorge Luis Borges in literature and following them Emilio Ambasz or John Hejduk in architecture if not confessedly mere begltilement betrays I believe the same impatience 4 x9 e57522794 mL with the secrets nature and human nature truly hold from us as that of a 39 A gt boy who returning from a hunting trip emptyhanded is full of tales J 2gt Fquot azi5g z 7 c39 39 2 built on the tales told by others of beasts and wizards and knowing 553 f j 2 3l Zi if 5 trees of feats and strange inversions Yes one can see how vital a role s 72 3Zf fiction has played in the developpient of cultures How could one not E p But as John Gardner pointed out fiction is ultimately to be grounded in 3 our common experience of the world outside fictiori if in our cultural jgjjfg life and ultimately our everyday life we are not to spiral endlessly away W pE 572 from reality J pfpfggffjgo fvgj 39 3Q39 73 G3 x JL y 57 J w One quickly sees that allusion reference and symbolism in postmodern W 55 M architecture are comparable to the much discussed process in postmo dern literature where the blurring of fiction and fact dazzling effects in X8 p y A r i y 8 byampCidiii the form and surfaceof the language takeoffs and oblique references p 0 p r e J From BerlmMaSq eJyrjohtn Hejd t to other works andor the work at hand manic mythologizing sly ar 52 i A2 J J J t 2 1 a1 G2 chaism and in all dizzying self retlection on and in the literary act are typical 19347 Du vitae 39m gt 0u 1 3 fJD65 Be that as it may the question for us is this can or should a building s meaning be fabricated with building parts by the architect or client or publicist by any process analogous to the way writers construct worlds and meanings with words in literary fiction Better is architecture prop erly a medium of communication at all regardless of the factuality of what it says 5 i To both these questions I say no not now In ways I intend to expand upon later we count upon our buildings to form the stable matrix of our lives to protect us to stand up to us to give us addresses and not to be made of mirrors Buildings are what one might call primary objects necessarily permanent and largely impassive We should not begin to lose them to the communicators the directors and actors and musi cians politicians columnists photographers anchorrnen and ad men or for that matter to the producers broadcasters and publishers who have film and paper and cable companies enough and to whom with an undying interest in telling us what we want to hear showing us what we want to see and in keeping us tuned in to the collective dream the whole physical and mental landscape has become as canvas to an artist In striving for a meaningful architecture historicistironist or mythicizingclassicist postmodern architects inevitably find themselves at one remove from any authentic reality and set on a theoretical course that leads to abandoning an architecture that belongs to the realm of things which words signs and symbols refer to for an architecture of ciphers themselves Architecture becomes just one more medium and architects well intentioned communicators if not just entertainers with shelter In an information age it is too easy to lose sightof the fact that what something is is distinct from what it communicates Joining the pervasive suppression of the perception of reality in favor of the perception of messages of what is in favor of what is meant will loosen us ever further from the possibility of an architecture grounded in fact and a sense of the necessary Arguments about the education communicationentertainment value of Gothic cathedrals or ancient Greek friezes do not apply neither the Goths nor the Greeks had televi S1011 39 H we ly y ly r I 5 Housingisowetvar Soutll Africa 1 I Ky the stable matrix0ft0ur 11 j p 7 i 1 s Churchg I Play tdel Catmeini M Xico T cause the very nature of the direct esthetic experience is such as to see Behind all this lies the fact that buildings designed on the notion that architecture is a medium of communication cannot hope to create satis fying if any direct esthetic experiences of their own reality This be through allusion and symbolism to what is actually there And what is there is too often not a reality with integrity of its own but one at the service of the reality of referents the architect would have us see The rise of postmodernism had little to do with its proclaimed ideals namely the creation of a richer more complex more symbolic and therefore more humane architecture than was possible on the canons of the Modern Movement When architects create plywood arches Y quotT Pf 39 39 th t omnr g39llge t 1i lX chromed Ionic columns or concrete garlands the arch is not a real arch quot WQ r PAP V PQ P Piazza C1 Ita1iahihNi iolean pz PP o I to anyone nor the column a real column the garland a garland These if P T e T are quite simply appreciated for the novel things they are Here fresh ness is all Postmodernism s frequent sparkle and suddenness insou ciant historicizingand dandy seriousness do often give rise to buildings that delight But as Susan Sontag wrote in Against Interpretation this stylization as distinct from style reflects an ambivalence affec tion contradicted by contempt obsession contradicted by irony towards the subject matter 6 that ultimately undermines its own ends For little remains after the rush of refreshed vision and the polemical distance traversed to find space for the ironic posture that supports the whole enterprise soon makes itself felt One is far from home One is left with T ribbons U T P the gang mm B it N P b1i r5 139Vi Building 1 P9rt1and 0f Son ts 0R s E PX Pl THE TENOR OF MY COMMENTARY thus far may not seem entirely new I am thinking not only of recent writings by say Christian NorbergSchulz Christopher Alexander Aldo van Eyck Edward Relph and some others but also of the critical reaction to new explic itly postmodern work found in the editorial letters and commentary A sections of such popular professional journals as Progressive Architec ture Architectural Record and Architectural Review See Appendix But I hope we can now see that fake cute academic contrived these frequently used termsof derogation in criticism of postmodernism and existential place authentic these terms of appeal al1 point to something something missing in the buildings a sense of reality Today when it is almost universally agreedthat what you see is not what you get it seems rather naive to speak of one reality or intui tions thereof The world most sophisticated people believe is an ever evolving socially constructed personally projected solution to what can one say the problems of existence It is therefore fundamen tally relative And only by maintaining this Idealist doctrine we believe are we able to fully exercise our human potential life your life and with it reality your reality is what you make of it And so unceasingly distracted by data media events opinions advertisements and entertainments all conspiring to interchangeability able to appeal to recent scienti c thinking which from physics to sociology champions neutrality with regard to frames of reference and even the a priori un knowability of reality persuaded deeply of the psychological world view and furthermore righteous about the humanism of it all it is small wonder that one can hardly write the word reality without quo tation marks any more or say it without them either i Even pragmatist William James the only psychologist I know of who addressed our sense of reality as such did he know it would come under threat advanced the many worlds argument3 that is the idea that there is not one world but many right here the world of physical things the world of scienti c concepts the world of myths the world of chess and so on each with its own style of existence and each of which he argued was as real as the strength of our belief in it The strength of this belief in turn is based upon a what good it does us to believe it 19 its internal logical consistency and c its not con icting with external facts ie other beliefs and worlds This view strikes us as contemporary We think of ourselves in various roles in various worlds as a matter of course now there is the world of work the world of home and family of sport of religious observance the world of your choice within the world of television and so on And if amongst these worlds these roles these selves we search vainly for the real us it is not because there is no real us but because we have come to believe more deeply that all theworld s being astage pre cludes the very possibility And yet and yet While professing manyworldism and changing our clothes while nodding at how mercurial are the truths of science and therefore everything else we are actually oneworldists to a man A when it comes to a good cup of coffee A touch on our shoulder we are here So familiar is the ring of truth the tenor of reality the bite and sweet gravity Sontag of things real and beautiful that if we are most of us as I surmise fairly expert at discerning what is really real from what is not then there lies here a tragedy of some proportion we will not claim the expertise for fear of appearing unworldly 1 ishtrzing radon a barn in 0nrario A 1 IsStflick iquot Tendrils gqthefed a new purple 8l sS ball and f thou quot 8 deiberationnth wifes spfe dIQ3939 I 2 I I I G O 09 Barn M01tke0ntai SO WHAT TO DO I have spoken of the direct esthetic experience of the real Can one analyze this experience Can one analyze what makes up our sense of the real Can so allencompassing and portentous a word as reality be found to apply to architecture in anything but a trivial way I think so and I believe there are directions for the future to be found in continuing our exploration One can begin by noting that certain parts of reality and certain times in the ongoing stream of events are commonly considered less than or other than really real Dreams for example Dreams are real of course but we deal with them in ways that show that we understand their rather special status and relationship to everyday reality There are other more interesting cases games illusions jokes rehearsals re enactments magic deceptions each set aside or bracketed from reality proper differently and for different reasons One turns to EN ing Goffman for the analysis these cases deserve especially in his book Frame Analysis And then there is art Art s relationship to reality is surely the most difficult one about which to theorize conclusively The very problem is an eternal subject for art and the rewards for progress while eluding capture by theory are high Early chapters of Arthur Danto s recent book The Trans guration of the Commonplacew examine the ways in which art is not real and conclude that the relationship between art and reality is one of aboutness How does one part of reality art come to be regarded as being charac teristically about the rest By the way artworks are framed that is by the avowed intentions and behavior of the artist the gallery or stage in which they are placed or the deliberate nonplacement of the work in a gallery or on stage by the critical exegesis of historians critics dealers peers y in short by the way works are taken by virtue of being in the artworld i p an Architecture of Dreans x in 1 t Emi1i9 F0quot p V s 7 aniiAfchiteCl039 of Illusiaris l r OgerBuilding Cincinnati39RichardHaas In such a view a piece of architecture to be art must enter the artworld and ful ll its responsibilities there It must be envisaged be presented be posed framed as art is and be about something Again the psy chic and professional rewards are high and success is rare the process is one of utmost seriousness and demanding of extraordinary skill Given then a thrust toward art by architects that is a striving toward achieving the particular and difficult unreality 39 of art and given the likelihood of missing the mark in the attempt are we not likely to find all the un rea1ities represented in the recent history of architecture We should be able to discern an Architecture of Dreams an Architecture of Games an Architecture of Illusions an Architecture of Enactments pre and re an Architecture of Jokes and so on This still leaves the desideratum of architectureas art From our per spective however even architecture as art and art as aboutness seem to be ideas that together lead away from reality and an Architecture of Reality or real architecture too We must either drop art and assign to real architecture a special aboutness of its own or we must drop the requirement of aboutness entirely and have architecture simply be itself without being about anything In the latter case we might wish to retain the idea of architectureasart and claim that Danto to the contrary art too can just be On re ection though one despairs of the possibility of an art or an architecture that can just be without being about just being And perhaps framing creatures that we are that is the best we can hope for i t an Arclzirecrure ofJokesi 0 m Commercrial Building Austin T V of Houston School ofiAirchitecptu 3 39 at an Architecture ofPgaenaqmgtj39 it h Centre Pompidou Parisf1fran e paaotrand Rogers i is unwilling to give up architecture asart how can architecture be art Which brings us back to the possibility of an architecture with a special aboutness of its own We nd ourselves close to being able to answer the question what then is real architecture and its corollary if one and reality simultaneously At this point it seems safe to say that first real architecture is architec ture especially ready so to speak for its direct esthetic experience an architecture that does not disappoint us by turning out in the light of that experience to be little more that a vehicle contrived to bear meanings and second real architecture if it must inevitably be an architecture about something at least from the perspective of a designer or critic is about being very real This if you will is its special aboutness Real architecture is then architecture in which the quality of realness is paramount And here with realness is how the idea of reality can best enter the realm of architectural discourse Like proportion or scale like any number of qualities ascribable to architecture good and bad realness becomes an attribute of buildings that can be pointed out and discussed can be found lacking here present in greater degree there and so on in short realness becomes an observable quality amenable to some level of conceptual formulation What remains to be done in this essay is to explore necessarily in out line the components of realness the whole enterprise to be carried out in the light and memory of direct esthetic experiences of the real which are fundamental and which form the guiding intuition REALNESS I THINK CAN BE divided into four components the last one of which has two aspects presence significance materiality and emptiness ernptiness emptinessz Each contributes to realness more or less independently a lack of one say materiality does not imply a lack of another say signi cance Rather weakness or absence of one component leads to diminution of the summative effect that is realness By the same token the powerful presence of one component might compensate if you will for the weakness of another Presence may be understood in the trivial sense After all if you can see it and touch it it has presence in as much as it exists to the senses But here presence means something more than merely being perceptible something rather analogous to the presence attributed to certain peop1e stage presence in an actor for instance or to presence of mind Implied is a certain tautness attentiveness assertiveness A building with presence for example is not apologetic but asserts itself as architecture having a right to be here to bump off a few trees and defer to others to take up its position as a new entity in the physi cal world A building with presence is not one that would wish to disap pear as do underground camou agecontextual and some mirror glass buildings nor is it coy silly garbled embarrassed referential nervous joking or il1usory al1 attempts at getting away from being here now A An objector building or person with presence has a shine a sensuous ness a symmetry to it Well constructed though perhaps as temporary as a bird clean though its paint may be peeling its presence is experi enced not only visually but also by coherent appeal to other senses to touch movement sound smell Edges are distinct just as contours are distinctive Articulated parts are not so much adjacent or linked as mu tually poised just as the whole does not shamble ll and butt but stands precisely where it needs to be and ends there Every material and texture is fully itself and revealed From the are on the eaves of a p P Chinese temple to the chain that drips pearls of rain from the brilliant i 1 2l Sl fl edges are distjinct colors of the Parthenon to its subtly curved steps in the sun enhance 0 0 p Mafk tjH 11glilumfgrexasyto ments of every kind have been devised to bring out a building S 11quot r Bd as Pad r p I as shape and its harmonics All in the service of presence A building with presence with a kind of mute awareness of its doors left ajar and windows open finally seerns attentive to our presence Imrnensely patient surrounding us with a benign otherness it falls to hand as Heidegger put it Dimensioned and hinged just so it meets us exactly It waits for our return 0s P s it 2s Stands sBui1dins 0ne Buenos A A satin A enhttrwrinenfs of 1Roof Hiei San lJapanI i 4 If presence is largely a perceptual matter signi cance is a cognitive one I intend the term in its least technical sense closer to important as in Jack was a signi cant person in my life or as in signi cant event than to the semiotic process of signifying itself as in the signi cance of the thumbsdown gesture survives to this day Signi cance is not achieved by the display of icons signs and symbols no matter how appropriate but by how buildings actually come to be and how they continue to be part of the lives of the people who dream them draw them build them own them and use them Buildings with signi cance are signi cant to someone rather than or in addition to being symbolic of something Symbols and icons function in the context of ritual signi cant objects and places need not be so framed It follows that designers and theorists interested in architec tural symbolism would nd themselves drawn to ritual building types such as crematoria or libraries and or bound to treat ritualistically and with unwarranted piety the most everyday routines and environments Pyramids over everything perform offhand consecrations every east window creates an Axis or Rebirth rather than a place to sprout beans and every stair is an Ascent to Heaven rather than to upstairs Symbols can be nonsigni cant things can be signi cant and not be symbolic between symbolism and signi cance signi cance has the existential import and is the larger category 1 i rm rh ie c399iririiin ginn Last Days of the Kvomintang Be t the lt ives of peopi I if p9 y Cl lllrCil Playyaidel Carmienquot it o For example while no one would contest that a medieval bell tower was a ne and meaningful architectural element putting one in say a shopping center inevitably subverts its symbolic power If the bell tower arrived by atbed and crane then for all the useful things that it does bong on the hour orient shoppers its signi cance will always include the lack of correspondence between its true history and its historic ity a lack that nags at and hollows the swell of nostalgia it begins Iconic scenography as a mode of architectural design rests on cynicism about the very possibility of authenticity When inauthenticity is seen as harmless and or as the inevitable outcome of applying creative energy to a design problem then cynicism becomes a necessary professional posture never quite cloaked by any amount of wit and winsomeness No a new building is given historical signi cance over and above its formal timeliness only if it brings to light the genuine history hurnan or natural of its site and the circumstances of its construction Signi cant buildings real buildings are achieved rather than provided They are built over time by someone rather than arriving all but readymade by strangers Thus we should not be surprised at how oftenanonyrnous buildings provided by government or housing authority or pro vided by corporations are neglected vandalized or just suffered and ignored Buildings with signi cance show a fundamental seriousness even when they are follies 4and a sense of magnitude independent of their actual size Their good workmanship forms a bond in the manner of a gift between the designerownerbuilder and the user no matter how modest the scale and materials Effort care ingenuity rather than clev erness knowledge ambition these traits of its creators come through in a building and tell us how it is to be taken Roof Brebnor H use Transvaa1soumArncasa 2 39 Iherhistory of its sitequot lln achieved rather thdiiinn provided 39 Qty 39 E Pk4 Y setis oferasnitrtdes E D Catherine t 0o h Certain buildings gather to themselves a credibility by the above factors alone Impervious and silent as clouds pass over days of rain and hail as generations are born and die p St Peter s Basilica for example ex ists now as an almost incomprehensibly massive investment of human effort material resources and time one that transcends any judgment about its beauty or worth Such monumental buildings quite literally de ne what isBut to some extent all buildings share in their power simply for being architecture One can see how buildings constructed rapidly by indifferent men with indifferent plans using remotely made and general parts are bound to create indifference at best in the pop ulation at large let alone in those actually involved These buildings lack significance to anyone and are the less real for it py39pI0l1spe under const ihael enediiltt rtg 7 wr v Marerializy is probably the least problematic of the four components It re ects our intuition that for something to be real it ought to be made of stuff material having a paplability a temperature a weight and inertia an inherent strength Hence our native skepticism of the real ity of radio waves quarks dreams and space The appeal for materi ality however is not an appeal for heaviness of materials The dark and corded tents of the Beduoin are no less material than the stone vaults of a 14thcentury French monastery Part of our appreciating the materiality of an object has to do with our appreciation of the natural origin of its substance and the manufacturing or forming processes that the latter has evidently undergone New and very synthetic materials are confusing in this way neither their origin nor their forming is readily perceivable This makes materiality the component of realness most often implicated when something is judged to be fake though the term applies also in more difficulttodiscuss ways to the other components Veneers are fake if and when they sug gest solidity and consistency of material throughout the piece When they do not they may function and be seen to function as casings crusts or skins Most plastic veneers are doubly fake they disguise not only the lack of correspondence between surface and interior but also the nature of the material in the rst place like a decoy The ubiquity of gypsum wallboard drywall construction derives of course from the speed economy and formal freedom with which walls and ceilings of eyefooling substantiality can be made Essential to its success how ever is drywall s visual similarity to plastered masonry still some how the real thing even after all these years and the fact that we cannot tirelessly remain aware of the difference 3 PW Hons CatPenlt sHalls Philadelphia P Rita Robert I is quot V Q T casings flsantap MonicapCalifornia Eric Ow Technically speaking a material is fake when it displays some but not y all of the qualities of the material we take it to be And it is the selecting of qualities that will do from the complex of qualities properly be longing to the real stuff that together with the dissemblance indicates what Sartre would have called bad faith on the part of the designer provider toward the userappreciator unless that is the deception is framed as such For example almost all the architecture of fantasy de pends on a deceptive materiality This can be made acceptable and en joyable though only to the extent that the suspension of disbelief is willing Disneyland has gates movie palaces have doors and if within they are not entirely believable they are at least leaveable For all this one cannot realistically suggest that buildings be of all natural material the way Frank Lloyd Wright or the architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement might have wished The forces of econom ics the ageold desire of clients to have more precious materials and effects than they can afford together with the ambitions of architects along these same lines the existence of an enormous body of prece dents that includes some of our most revered examples of fine architec ture Palladio s stuccostone for example all these make an insis tence on authenticity in materials somewhat quixotic There are three ways out The first is to follow the 1915 advice of Geoffrey Scott who seemed to recognize the impending renewal of the problem s importance He sim ply advised moderation and common sense and would have been pleased with say Grand Central Terminal in New Yorkquot Like the majority of large Beaux Arts buildings this framework of iron and steel was seamlessly clad in a stone veneer Of considerable mass in itself however unlike the threequarter inch thick granite facings we bolt from behind onto our office towers the stone retains most of the struc tural and material exigencies that characterize solid masonry construc tionltAlthough the massiveness and materiality suggested by the classi cal form of the building as a whole is orders of magnitude greater than its actual mass he would have found the building as we surely do material enough in spite of the deception V I V lt gri39xn39 i i it 1 P 1 i V allusive as allusive and to seize upon the genuinely unique properties iness ese r e m s in i 13 But there is one more com of th structu esb co e delble The other two ways out are or were essentially modernist strategies f p0M K h t G nding early expression at the turn of the century primarily in the work 5 7 4 T 5 and essays of Adolf Loos The first is to use materials no matter how s j pt M of the material to show the thickness of veneer the hollowness of g f i gypsum board walls the marvel of forrnica marble the freedom and power of paint This addresses the issue of authenticity by framing by S T making fakery honest as it were One must be wary however of covertly believing the lie while overtly admitting deceit The second strategy consists in a eschewing materials that do not look i g t or behave like what they are 19 using materials that have keen tactile S E J T V V mgtile visualtand kirzestlzericI visual and kinesthetic ql1alities shirlY or veined or sawna re struCtur p B 5Farmer s Lumber Z all stressing materials so that in feeling their Pain we are drawn to A T A T r p 4 a consider their substance and d not using materials that look or feel like nothing in particular whose material is immaterial as it were The last point is important For indeterminacy of material detracts from re alness as much as fakery The term ticky tacky expresses well not only our disdain for the supposed cheapness of a material but our defeat at identifying it s Clarity in what a building is made of how it is made on that account and how the way it looks reflects both are all essential then to a building whose realness is to deiive in full measure from materiality The case of ruins and very old buildings is illustrative Here wear and signs of maintenance cracks and collapses reveal all and when this clarity of materiality is joined by presence and Signi cance the real Q our defeat in 0lQ O Juan CaPi5F3110iis Califo T T chiael caves ponent to realness that explains the power of ruins and of the many fine vernacular buildings and those rare designed ones that stand so un blinkingly and enigmatically in the light of our ratiocinations about them emptiness is P y if v Cr ick9 iiltrI 1 coll Ps I i F fl 61 G T L E W3F TWh 1 39l1itl New Brat 39 T The word ernptiness has a set of connotations not intended here that sick and hollow feeling of loss or loneliness the pain of hunger and so forth What is meant by emptiness here is rather more like silence clarity and transparency Emptiness may resound without sound may be lled by its potential to be lled and make open what is complete Yes emptiness is surely the most dif cult component of realness with which to deal verbally yet perhaps the most important one Very much an intuition it can be analyzed only up to a point and suggestiveness in the language is more necessary than ever u 39 39 H may r3s0urzd sozind P 0 1quoti1lt Place Market Seattl zm Washi t G B 1 1 it I think that two distinct types or aspects of emptiness are discernible related to each other I can only say somehow Emptiness is approxi mated by words such as artlessness innocence suchness quiddity inevitability unworldliness pu39rposelessness all terms indicating the emptiness of intention we attribute to nature The appeal to nature as a model in architectural theory is fundamentally the search for realness through emptiness or through emulating God s work both of which share the property of being beside or beyond hu man wilfulness and intelligence and thus de nitive of an independent base reality upon which and within which life is managed Nature is patient everproductive and disinterested in the results the way no man or woman can be This lends to natural objects the paradoxical qualities of both arbitrariness and inevitability Teleologicalfunctional explana tions of say the patterns on butter y wings are childish the ower does not bloom so that we can enjoy its fragrance nor does it rain in order to slake the thirst of animals As the Zen haiku has it departing geese do not intend their reflection in the lake below For architecture emptiness implies that a building should not be slave to its program twisting and turning to accommodate our every move ment and wish squirming to please as it were but rather should be formed according to innate principles of order structure shelter the evolution of architecture itself and accident Itshould be found useful and beautiful like a tree The dumb and inexplicable features of old andor vernacular buildings otherwise so straightforwardly organized are often precisely those that attract us to inhabit them Offering oppor tunity rather than giving direction they are indifferent to our designs on them They were there before us they are wrong in a way that chal lenges us to possess them creatively they seem realer if not better than anything we could design from scratch and that is why increas ingly we like them How hard it is to design egolessly form without rhetoric without arti ce pretension or dragging surplus Few architects have succeeded and then only in maturity Louis Kahn was one who strove publicly to do so and succeeded at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and the Salk Institute at La Jolla Kahn s word for emptiness was Silence and indeed to experience the open cycloid vaults that enfront the Kim bell is to hear Silence You know what is so wonderful about those porches he said of them They re so unnecessary Mies van der Rohe s search for anonymity and stylelessness was prompted by the same insight but crippled by adherence to the ideal of rationality and a certain megalornania while Adolf Loos had arrived at silence long before the meaning and language of architecture he asserted was to be nothing other than building itself the materials and techniques of construction sensuous and unadorned brought to limpid perfection Two strains are to be found in the work of Robert Venturi on the one hand a willful almost perverse delight in tackiness and proletarian taste excesses on the other a striving for the dumbness happy wrong ness justso nessquot realnessof vernacular architecture Now the former may indeed be like the popular architecture of the strip and sub urb and in this sense realistic but this architecture is itself unreal in the sense I have been discussing it and referring to it merely adds another layer of unrealness From this corpus of Venturi s work from certain passages in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture and then Learning from Las Vegas comes the license we see in postmo dernism to which I and Venturi himself have objected But the second strain of work bricky slightly odd direct yet somehow confounding a line of work culminating in his excellent Gordon Wu Hall at Princeton University comes closer to having emptiness and I believe comes closer to exemplifying what Venturi had in mind in Complexity and Contradiction S I In I In P Q f Mu b I I Gu Kimball Art Museurn Fort W rthr TexasL0uis Kahn 139 a direct yetgysognefio P Princem Newt Emptiness is more akin to the idea of space or interval The Japanese have the word ma which comes close to the meaning of emptiness in tended here Ma Ma is in the gaps between stepping stones in the silence between the notes in music in what is made when a door slides open When a child s swing reaches the point of neither rising nor fall ing and is momentarily weightless there is ma Yet emptinessz is ma and something else When we speak of the draw of a good replace when we feel the pull of an empty room for us to enter and dwell there when we see in something incomplete the chance for continuation or nd in things closed a gate there is emptiness Kahn again provides an example Beneath the Kimbel1 s porch vaults we are drawn up inhaling sailing with them And in the rhythm of the other vaults identical sisters but closed these open ones beg the air for yet more At the Salk the pearlescent plaza with its central water course and radical tensile openness draws together the sea just beyond the hills and the sky overhead We lift up our eyes and our spirit is made to lie down How different is this emptiness this silence from the silence that pervades so much of the work of the Neo Rationalists Theirs is the silence of a graveyard the surreal airlessness of a de Chirico painting where architectural forms closed mute and banalhave us believe not that they are pregnant with ineffable signifi cance but that we are suddenly deaf W to pal to ehter etSeatt39e Washin t 39 the sea just Iieyond HP John Dewey had explained esthetic feeling as the satisfaction derived from the neat opening and closing of an experience framed and orches trated by an artist Rare in everyday life which is perpetually unreL solved esthetic experiences are especially valued all the more for sup porting as they do belief in the possibility of symmetry and justice in the design of the world as a whole It is not inaccurate I think to say that Dewey s ideas are widely held to explain adequately what is nice about Art and why we ought to have it Emptiness calls for something differ ent Emptinessz component of realness that it is is more like life as we find it and points us towards the beauty in life s openness and beckon ing in window gleam in dust motes on an oak table Architecture with emptiness is thus always unfinished if not literally then by the space it makes and the potential it shows We become engaged with the intervals and open ends i L 2 k t s spaceoirytmakegigxt 0 El m iniflry chQQ1 Miguel de quotAllende Laglollai A California39 The urge is strong to make a building complete in itself and nished a totally encompassing dazzling climate controlled and conditioned ex perience But totality and completeness are too often achieved at the expense of realness For all their presence and materiality the four square composure of a Palladian villa or surburban house by Mario Botta can seem smug and contrived the buildings not themselves but portraits of themselves impervious imperious and ideal And at the other end of the design spectrum achieving another sort of self sufficiency shopping malls and Portmanesque hotels with their tub bed cus trees under air conditioned daylight their tireless escalators waterworks and constant faintly reverberating clamor are little short of preenactments of life aboard a space colony Not unlike the malls much contemporary high style architecture lacks emptiness by being quite literally full Full if not of people and goods and pushy displays then of Design Ramps and catwalks columns and rails steps and gridsand stepped grids skylit crevasses small things too big big things too small nineteen colors composed furniture art and more art rotunda little pyramids pediment pieces Arcadian tab leaux spaces within spaces within spaces overlaid and layered four deep with thin walls and theories architectural origami no room is left for us to enter Here in fact both emptiness and emptiness come together in their lack For these buildings are not only full of things coming and going they are full of themselves and their cleverness V Villa Foscari i if i i 0fIu alsontsntailtal Kite onxnebeacn venice California s 23 I 22 21 353 2 QE 1rn Ibr pezgtr R IL HERE THEN ARE THE COMPONENTS of realness presence sig rzz cance materiality and emptiness Certainly these or something very close to them are the true constituents of our intuition of real ness or conversely the attributes of things physical and real to us Over and above the merits of this particular analysis however I am convinced that the type of phenomenological enquiry attempted here is essential for architectural theory For in recent years architectural the ory as an enterprise has become almost entirely historiographical in its outlook and methods Having strayed from a long and venerable course the efforts of the Moderns to be of or ahead of their time to rethink architecture its ends and means have come to be seen as the very cause of their demise and it is small wonder that eclecticism and histor icism and mythicism now tempt us For all its failings however the Modern Movement represented a pro found ideological technological and economic shift in the way build ings were and are regarded and built one that cannot be wished away historicized or dealt with regretfully While it may be argued that ironic poses and movieset history allegories and recondite allu sions reflect most accurately and properly our information and entertainrnent o1iented culture they can also be seen as a defeat a slid ing of architecture into the world of television For it can be argued equally well that an architecture that stands against or in contrast to the culturewide trend to ephemeralization and relativisrn as a kind of last bastion of dumb reality and foil to it all constitutes the more appropri ate timely and potentially more esthetic response This of course is my position and my plea Czeslaw Milosz arrived in Paris one summer morning in 1931 In his autobiography he describes it thus Four or ve o clock Grey pink irridescent air like the enamel inside a shell We inhaled Paris with open nostrils cutting across it on foot diagonally from the north towards the Seine The moist owers the vegetables the coffee the damp pavement the mingling odors of night and day We lost count of the streets we forgot about our own existence the promise was in nite it was the promise of life If I needed an ism for the architecture I have variously called real architecture and the architecture of reality and if New Modernism were not enough then with Milosz and Horgan s teenager Philipson Durham stoned on realness I would call it High Realism This would describe not only architecture designed now to have the special quality of realness but also countless buildings mostly anonymous which like those painted by Richard Estes capture us by their pres ence signi cance materiality and emptiness J v d nearMa High Realism undoubtedly an architecture easier to call for than to master easier to find than to produce Its inspiration lies in an elusive esthetic experience as precious as it is rare in our rnedia soaked age the direct esthetic experience of the real i T If we cannot grasp reality as a whole or even be sure that we have in part we seem nonetheless to be allowed glimpses We know it to be at hand And the quality of realness that certain objects people and places have more than others leads us on like a scent a promise evi dence