Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meditations from May

a couple quotes:

"Sophistry demands a space-time of speech and society, notably political, where there is no room for the terror of the true or false, where there is no need for these criteria to justify what one says and what one does, where one judges only on the effects."

- Jean-Francois Lyotard

"Once things competed for my glance, and anchored in one of them, I felt in the solicitation of the others which made them co-exist with the first...the demands of a horizon and its claim to exist."

- Merleau-Ponty

"By its focusing presence, its mass, architecture has the possibility to hold fast, to anchor, to give measure to the surrounding flux... at the level of detail and on the level of phenomenological experience the perseverance of mass, the haptics of material, is today a necessary counterpoint to dematerialized media."

- Bolles + Wilson

and a dematerialized medium (a render) so that it can be kept on record to one day materialize...

Friday, April 13, 2012

If "architecture is the poetizition of the pragmatic," what is building when you are writing a prescription?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's been a while, but it's nice to get back to leisure writing.  Finally a moment to reflect on what we've done the past three months.  Some lessons from Los Angeles:

1) Making architecture is expensive!  Due to a tight budget and a tight schedule, large sweeping architectural gestures became impossible really fast.  What we were left with was an opportunistic outlook in which we had to jump on every possible design outlet when we got into a more detailed scale of the project.  A major goal and tenant of the Lusona design philosophy that emerged from the whole process has been architecture for cheap - democratic architecture.  

2) Coordination with manufacturers, consultants, planning board, and contractor is paramount.  As the building is still in the design phase and more characters are playing roles in the floor plan, the coordination between all forces shaping the design is crucial; and there are many characters.  

3) How to deal with signage and scale?  The back of the building faces the highway and acts as a giant billboard.  The scale of the facade suggests placing a giant super graphic - billboard scale; meanwhile local building code limits the height of the text to 24 inches.  This leaves us with a giant blank wall - One idea would be to use the blank wall as a canvas for local muralists.  The role of the architecture is then to act as  a support system.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Call to Action?


(from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino)

I should not tell you of Berenice, the unjust city, which crowns with triglyphs, abaci, metopes the gears of its meat-grinding machines (the men assigned topolishing, when they raise their chins over the balustrades and contemplate the atria, stairways, porticos, feel even more imprisoned and short of stature).Instead, I should tell you of the hidden Berenice, the city of the just, handling makeshift materials in the shadowy rooms behind the shops and beneath the stairs, linking a network of wires and pipes and pulleys and pistons and counterweights that infiltrates like a climbing plant among the great cogged wheels (when they jam, a subdued ticking gives warning that a new precision mechanism is governing the city). Instead of describing to you the perfumed pools of the baths where the unjust of Berenice recline and weave their intrigues with rotund eloquence and observe with a proprietary eye the rotund flesh of the bathing odalisques, I should say to you how the just, always cautious to evade the spying sycophants and the Janizaries' mass arrests, recognize one another by their way of speaking, especially their pronunciation of commas and parentheses; from their habits which remain austere and innocent, avoiding complicated and nervous moods; from their sober but tasty cuisine, which evokes an ancient golden age: rice and celery soup, boiled beans, fried squash flowers.  From these data it is possible to deduce an image of the future Berenice, which will bring you closer to knowing the truth than any other information about the city as it is seen today. You must nevertheless bear in mind what I am about to say to you: in the seed of the city of the just, a malignant seed is hidden, in its turn: the certainty and pride of being in the right--and of being more just than many others who call themselves more just than the just. This seed ferments in bitterness, rivalry, resentment; and the natural desire of revenge on the unjust is coloured by a yearning to be in their place and to act as they do.  Another unjust city, though different from the first, is digging out its space within the double sheath of the unjust and just Berenices.  Having said this, I do not wish your eyes to catch a distorted image, so I must draw your attention to an intrinsic quality of this unjust city germinating secretly inside the secret just city: and this is the possible awakening--as if in an excited opening of windows--of a later love for justice, not yet subjected to rules, capable of reassembling a city still more just than it was before it became the vessel of injustice. But if you peer deeper into this new germ of justice you can discern a tiny spot that is spreading like the mounting tendency to impose what is just through what is unjust, and perhaps this is the germ of an immense metropolis ...From my words you will have reached the conclusion that the real Berenice is a temporal succession of different cities, alternately just and unjust. But what I wanted to warn you about is something else: all the future Berenices are already present in this instant, wrapped one within the other, confined, crammed, inextricable.

The Great Khan's atlas contains also the maps of the promised lands visited in thought but not yet discovered or founded: New Atlantis, Utopia, the City of the Sun, Oceana, Tamoe, New Harmony, New Lanark, Icaria. Kublai asked Marco: 'You, who go about exploring and who see signs, can tell me towards which of these futures the favouring winds are driving us.''  For these ports I could not draw a route on the map or set a date for the  
landing.  At times all I need is a brief glimpse, an opening in the midst of anincongruous landscape, a glint of lights in the fog, the dialogue of two passersby meeting in the crowd, and I think that, setting out from there, I will put together, piece by piece, the perfect city, made of fragments mixed with the rest, of instants separated by intervals, of signals one sends out, not knowing who receives them.  If I tell you that the city towards which my journey tends is discontinuous in space and time, now scattered, now more condensed, you must not believe the search for it can stop. Perhaps while we speak, it is rising, scattered, within the confines of your empire; you can hunt for it, but only in the way I have said.  'Already the Great Khan was leafing through his atlas, over the maps of the cities that menace in nightmares and maledictions: Enoch, Babylon, Yahooland, Butua, Brave New World.  He said: 'It is all useless, if the last landing-place can only be the infernal city, and it is there that, in ever-narrowing circles, the current is drawing us.  'And Polo said: 'The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.'

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music and Architecture

great example of music and architecture enhancing one another.  Versailles is a great venue for Battles!  Both are very ornate and in a strange way, kind of terrifying.  Voila comment la musique est censee etre realisee!