Skip to main content


The knowledge paradigm in Architecture is asymptotic representation of imagined communication. The relationship of codes and referents to their architectonics facilitate the possibilities of the structuring of form, while repository of memory provides the formal assemblage of architecture. The Architectural ideas and knowledge is an ensemble of the notion of codes & system and their relationships.


In Architecture, traditionally, the codes have been confined into a strict system of architectonics within defined substitutions of knowledge. The means of practice within such framework is an operation that interrelates the representation that is supposed to be present in its codes and its permutation itself. The representation of codes and systems and architectural competence were recognized within the set of technological, geometrical and skills relating to form and its use.


Modernity consciously imposed the notion of art and architectural synthesis as emergent necessities in order to bring about assumed rationality and logic of two variables derived from science with legible translation with legitimacy of codes, which is also an architectonic code that was presumed to be subservient to production of practice and consumption of knowledge for Utopia.

The domain of communication in the contemporary mode moves away from immediate referents and formulates itself in laissez faire modes of production of architecture. The practice of knowledge is an allegory, may it be in different modes of process of digital absurdity, randomness of city-ness, high technology & low key architecture or low tech & high key architecture to architecture of surplus or architecture of financial crisis, all seems to push the knowledge of architecture & cities to a new episode of a strange fierce struggle of representation.

The contemporary modes also superimpose the idea of practice and production of knowledge within the contradictory projects on representational series of oppositions namely drawings and text, reading and writing, vision and perception. The specificities of sets within the realm of the practice of knowledge are also representatives of one of the many architectonic codes.


The practice and knowledge in the process of being subservient to contemporary modes further reinforced the idea of mutual exclusivity and facilitated the autonomous process of ideation, while essence and existence of each as a system of code lies in this assumed contradiction. The constitution of codes in production of such architecture also maintained the consumption of certain codes which brought about the strange configurational singularity on the other hand rejection of other codes, which perhaps expanded into deliberate abstraction of thought and an implied persuasive construction and system of knowledge. The appearance together or simultaneous occurrence has expanded the notion of pictorial space into pictorial form, which is evident in post - structuralism literary work where as architecture has conveniently divided the rich duality/plurality as a strange opposition of codes. These binary relations have transformed the dynamic architectural pedagogy of relationships into a strange question as if architecture and its channel of inquiry is actually a property of architectural thought and object together or they exist in binary oppositions?

The notion of such oppositions, if assumed to be an independent thought  on architectural ideas and realm of knowledge then both aspects succumb to the problem of representation because translation and production of knowledge are a cumulative product of culturally bound competence of the specific. Otherwise by definition it attempts to reinforce what are absolute (knowledge) and what contaminated (practice) is?

If architecture is a complex system of interacting relational codes of knowledge & practice with a higher degree of cognitive corollary, then architecture of form is a product of systems or condition of translational process. However, if the singular translational domain is to be seen as a mere productions of the syntactic (form) ideas then the knowledge is obliged or succumbs to translation as truncation of semantics. It further destabilizes the imagination that architectural theory is found in intellectual context of architecture and not as an appendage to the production of architecture or its context. 

Furthermore, if the established archaic opposition of codes is allowed to develop independently the codes of transformational structure,  then architecture can be aptly dismantled into a broad category of profoundly prescriptive and obscurely descriptive on one side, it simultaneously reduces the space for dialectic field of analysis within architectural competence. The question of meaning gives away to the question of fixation.

But if production is a translation or re-production of knowledge then architecture is an event arising out of systematic intent with intellectual choice and principled understanding of cultural codes. In such circumstances the demarcation of production of architecture or production of knowledge or the notion of absolute versus contamination is no longer problematic. If it holds true then the idea of translation or notion of absolute is under critical shadow.


Practice and knowledge are two main processes and by virtue of their existence, we determine or conceptualize, what is external (architecture). The translation of both domains depends on a series of abstraction and extraction or conceptual clarity and deductive generalization. The key word is translation, which is a powerful source of greater insight. The mechanism of translation is easily refuted in the general sense but not by critical framework, as translation is the grounded condition of any architectural discourse, this is because the practice of knowledge is a domain of theoretical act and the question of representation lies within the realm of translation.

The translation embodies the dismantling of connectedness. The translation as discussed by WALTER BENJAMIN’S ‘THE TASK OF THE TRANSLATOR [1923]

“As a result, the task of translator is not to ‘assemble’ or express what is to be conveyed since the poet/writer has already done that when writing the original text; the task of the translator rather ‘consists in finding that intended effect [Intention] upon the language into which he is translating which produces in it the echo of the original’ and his/her translation ‘instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original’s mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language.’ Thus the two texts, both the original and its translation, share what calls a ‘vital link’ and from this linguistic harmony arises a greater language, a ‘pure language’. This is the reason why the task of translator is something unique and powerful because until he has released this greater language in his translation, ‘it remains hidden in the languages.’

He further argued that the translation is not transference, re-production or image of an original. The original survives in translation. The translation constitutes the original it is added to. The original calls for translation which establishes nostalgia for innocence and the life it never had. The translation abuses the original or it contaminates the original in the process of transformation.

Hence the system of codes and processes of translation are embedded within the act of architectural production. The theoretical ascent of practice of knowledge is an ascent of transformational conditions that is necessary for survival of the logic of knowledge. The architectural practice is a production of knowledge or production of knowledge is an architectural practice & these relations are symbiotic & co-related.


In broader & generic sense, any alternate format (of science variables) in form of an object or intent that is brought into architecture from outside and interpreted within architecture, which in turn shall act as an appendage of intellectual narcissism, delimiting the process in production of knowledge pertinent to architecture, and further that may not be able to articulate the theories that are specific to architecture and aiming solely to realm of architectural phenomena.

In narrower sense the notion of practice and knowledge has regional perspective and region embraces the knowledge on production, may it be practice or knowledge. It is perhaps parochial conception to regulate the idea of alternate as being appendage to knowledge & practice as being appendage to engineered objects. It is perhaps appropriate to state that the production of architecture is to embrace cultural ethos & its specificities.  It is also perhaps productive way of looking at practice from culture and regional perspective instead of embracing the new means of linkages & tortured its way into the reality of architecture of region.


Benjamin, Walter:    The Task Of The Translator [1923]
Chomsky, Norman:            


Popular posts from this blog


The recent trends of architecture demonstrates the pugnacious departure from disciplined modernism. The traditional notion of creativity is slowly replaced by innovation in technological inputs and tools that generate the forms rather than tools that aids the process of generating one. The sinuous forms, non-structured or non euclidean geometry are encapsulating minds and thoughts into unidirectional understanding of architecture as form making process. Having said that the argument of Aesthetic or delight is not only re-created but formally put in to the realm of hedonism. The architecture has never been so polemic at any stage of its evolution. The only reliable source of justification of  the emergence of such architecture is the way cultural ingredient that are induced universally, uniformly and unequivocally across the globe through in-numerous mediums amounting into forced reality.

The sterile or dogmatic ideas are slowly giving away to kinetic notion of architecture, the purity …


The recent publication of book titled " City Riffs" by Richard Plunz ( Columbia University, GSAPP) is based on urbanism discourse (dialogue) in relation to place and ecology. The preface by Kenneth Frampton argues the production of urban knowledge in neo-liberal economy results in aporetic question on limits and scope in the field of urban study. He brings about three important and critical discourses by Christopher Alexander on low rise, high density model, E.J Mishan work on "The Cost of Economic Growth" and Plunz work on "CIty Riffs" demonstrating the linear process of indictment of urban transformation towards maldistribution of resources.
The book brings the analogy of place and ecology, which needs in-depth understanding as both shares concept of place and space. His argument on place based centrality to urban discourse which perhaps has not been dissected theoretically enough as compare to environmental science. He argues further that how biological…