Wednesday, September 26, 2018

POSITIONING ARCHITECTURAL THEORY



The Architectural program is often bases its grounding on three prong approach to formulate comprehensive understanding on architecture discipline: namely, History & Theory | Technology | design. The discourse of architectural theory is generally clubbed with history & theory, with assumption that inquiry system of history or theory of history has same fundamental principles as architectural theory. The intent is to build the argument that theoretically architectural theory is a separate discipline. The history often needs navigation its discourses through linear/comparative timeline, causes, imperatives and historic-ism/ historiography or through social and cultural imperatives,  while architectural theory is a discussion, debate and writing on architectural trends, pattern or history of ideas including theory of history.  Architectural theory is an intellectual discipline locating self and society while history obscures the cult of individualism, bridging the discourses on knowledge and virtues within moral embankment. Architectural theory investigates the methods of critical, creative, interdisciplinary, and outward-facing research while history is inward journey of locating historic-ism logic.  If history brings critical objectivity of past or philosophy to study of fact for contemporary learning, the Architectural theory speculates on past and present simultaneously and influences the process of making of architectural pedagogy.  It’s an epistemological position as a necessary conditions that shapes the architectural theory.














Architectural theory reinforces the individual predilection regarding architectural thinking trajectories and allows re-conceptualization. It initiates and debate on various architectural text not only in linear timeline but also parallel or simultaneous time frame, develops position and critical thinking on the position. Architectural theory is a reading & translation of ideas. It brings about normative foundation (information on form and ideas) along with dialectical (ex. binary of thesis and anti-thesis) understanding.

If one addresses the architectural theory in the context of architectural issues, architectural history and architectural writing by architects, perhaps there would be greater possibility of re-imagining or re-locating paradigmatic shift in the architectural education. It is often seen that architectural theory borrows too much from across discipline for its debate and discussion; in the process it dilutes the architectural discourse as debating discipline as a learning medium.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

NON STRAIGHT FORWARD ARCHITECTURE: ROBERT VENTURI

CARTESIAN RIGOR VS COMPROMISED FRAGMENTATION


" This is no an easy book. It requires professional commitment and close visual attention, and is not for those architects who, lest they offend them, pluck out their eyes"

Vincent Scully
Professor Emiretus, Historian
Yale University

The architectural & theoretical work of Robert Venturi in American context can only be compared with the work Aldo Rossi's work in Europe. This is perhaps the time frame that various theoretician across the western globe began to raise the question on modern manifesto and controlled order of Cartesian system. If one looks at the time frame carefully, its the time of early sixties till late seventies where the architecture suffered from heavy handed of high modern & no-where manifestation in practice domain. In the same time the large pause and vaccum in academic domain filled with complex theoretical discourse on architecture and context. The "Imagebiliy" by Kevin Lynch along with Robert Venturi's treatise "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in 1960, while Aldo Rossi's work on "Architecture of the City" and Leon Krier's "Rational Architecture"in early seventies meant a lot to ponder about architecture and modernity. 

The Complexity and Contradiction brings about the cultural discourse as main theoretical ideals as compared to Architecture of the City, which brings about the question on Historic-ism.  Both the ideals raises not only the theoretical question within academic space but had far reaching consequences in practice domain as well. The word "Post Modernism" began to propel and re-interpreted in architecture across the globe, as some would define it as cultural logic of late capitalism while others would define in terms of culturally and historically relative construction of truth. 

The contribution of Robert Venturi's work (Theoretical and Buildings) is an important lesson when one begin to construct the architectural discourse in post-war era. It brings about rigorous pluralistic, thought provoking, experiential  and refreshing thought during the phase on intellectual fatigue after overdose modern representation of our everyday reality.

Robert Venturi brings about the chapter on contradiction juxtaposed, highlight the vivid ideas of tensions and scaling as an tectonic device in populist sense & as an contradiction adaptation process. The Lieb House is a classic example of scaling and popular image, bringing about parody to the mass consumption (Radio)

Image result for radio house by venturi

Credit: elseplace for all architecture, January 29, 2009

While the idea of memory, appropriation of parody and nostalgia is critically associated with the project " Ghost House", Franklin Benjamin square. The archaeological palimpsest of left over, formation of public plaza as neighborhood space are important manifestation while perceptual engagement in seeking clarity in the assemblage of  historical event with new functions makes the work far more critical than many of his contemporaries. 

Related image

Credit: Blog: Futility Closet


Much of Venturi's work remained in postmodern rethinking on function of art and architecture on one side while the role of an institutions in producing or reshaping the meaning (absolute to relative) on other side. The profession of architecture shall always remain in-debt to Robert Venturi's work and concerns.
Credit: Manoj Parmar | Faculty - Krvia










PURIST TECHNOCRAT: I.M PEI

Kenneth Framton, in his book on "A Critical History, Modern Architecture", in chapter 4 (Place, Production & Scenography, I...