Quondam is an altogether new type of architecture museum. First, as a virtual museum, Quondam possesses the power to act as a museum without the agency of a building, and it may be the first museum of architecture solely in cyberspace. Second, virtuality, that is, potential existence, defines the fundamental theme of Quondam's collection of 3-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) models, most of which represent unbuilt architectural designs.
The objective of Quondam and its collection is to manifest new virtual possibilities--to enable "visits" to buildings that do not exist, to compare the scale of any number of buildings side by side, to analyze specific building designs by taking their "models" apart, and, perhaps, to learn something totally new by reassembling pieces of the "models" in new ways.
...an over-riding interest in things that are incomplete (i.e., unbuilt projects)... ...might somehow relate this theme of incompleteness directly to Quondam. ...displays as fragments or even non-sequiturs. There is also the idea of mixing up the collection as per the idea for the period rooms at the PMA.
Does this mean starting a lot of projects and display them incomplete. Of course, I want to see all the projects complete, but there is also much data within models that just never gets recorded. ...the displays at Quondam as ongoing displays of the whole process of putting models together and putting the museum together. This modus operandi might just work.
...also Quondam as a place of architectural inspiration--a place of the muses. ...getting into the habit of always creating new drawings. The real goal with Quondam should be to create an incredible and extremely large collection of architectural drawings. There should be drawings of everything, and each item should be dated.
...upbeat, future oriented, spontaneous, eclectic and hopefully even more architectural, if not more cyber or virtual. The approach will be freer and almost without any discernible hierarchy.
...continually change the entry page... ...never to be an introduction, but a complete non sequitur from the get-go.
...a site that will confuse them...
...all the crazy stuff that demonstrates the infinite possibilities that CAD and, to some extent, cyberspace afford.
...take more advantage of the expansive web field.
...very stimulating and very Piranesian.
What does it mean to be a virtual museum of architecture?
...address the full potential of a virtual museum of architecture. The main issue is that Quondam's collection is "virtually" an infinite collection, meaning the base model data can be used to generate ever more data, be it new line drawings such as elevations, axonometrics, and perspectives, any number of renderings, and even whole buildings derived from a manipulation of the existing data. It is particularly the possibility of creating whole new buildings to add to the collection that makes a virtual museum of architecture (in this regard at least) completely unprecedented. The closest example of this "manipulative" attitude toward architecture is (ironically) again Hadrian's Villa where the form of remembered places was morphed into another style and an entirely other location.
...the analogous building idea is also a prime candidate for "new" buildings.
Quondam: a "playground"
...Quondam should henceforth be something that a real museum is not or cannot be. There is a long footnote re: muse in Homo Ludens that is very inspiring as to what a virtual museum could be.
a virtual museum of [disinformation] architecture?
Before going INSIDE DENSITY and while INSIDE DENSITY, the back of my mind was occupied with "what could a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture could [or would] never be?"
www.quondam.com presently comprises over 80 megabytes of data in the form of texts and images. As 'director' of Quondam, I'm hesitantly contemplating the (online) deletion of all the data in one keystroke. Seems drastic, but metabolically desirable.
Tabula Rasa is too easy, however. I prefer palimpsest, instead--erasure and then overwriting/overrighting. Of course, replacement would be necessary.
So what can a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture cannot be?
I'm at the point where the dissemination of disinformation appears the most appealing. I'm imagining a museum of architecture that curates and displays an 'un-real' history of architecture, you know, among OTHER things, all those buildings Le Corbusier designed since 27 August 1965, and likewise the dies sanquinis urbanism of lights-camera-Africa in 2056 AD which is covertly inspired by the OTTO-man architecture of pre-Christ South America, and don't forget the equinoctial architecture along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Yes, www.quondam.com may well soon be a 'new and improved' virtual museum of [unscientific fiction] architecture, written and delineated in palimpsest (so the faded 'truth' is nonetheless incompletely 'not there').
I'm becoming more and more convinced that a virtual museum of architecture misses its full virtuality unless it 'calendrically incarnates' other zeitgeists + [or minus] architectures.
atemporality at work?
Regarding Agamben's 'muse[um]ification,' note how I suggest 'using' the museum then as antidote, thus, yes, "agamben's quote is placed diametrically opposite to [my] direction." Quondam--a virtual museum of architecture has always been an experimental project, e.g., "What can a virtual museum be that a real museum cannot be?" Because Quondam's collection is entirely digital, all the data is fluid and pliant, and, as much as the data can render historical taxonomy, it is equally possible to 'use' the data/collection to render ahistorical taxonomy. It is the fluid and pliant [and networked] nature of the data/collection that proffers temproal and/or atemporal taxonomies. Conversely, a museum of architecture comprised of drawings on paper and physical models does not readily offer a fluid and pliant 'use' of the data/collection.
taxonomy : the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms; systematics : the classification of something, especially organisms : a scheme of classification
recalling virt. mus.
...the truth about directing ones own virtual museum of architecture is that one can do whatever one wants to do. In reality there is absolutely nothing that makes Quondam have to have a teleology, and it is just that reality of absolutely no imperatives, no rules, no obligations, and no need of approval that I hope Quondam begins to reflect.
3 things architecture (websites) should do
...the question is: how can quondam (as a museum of architecture) be something that a real museum of architecture cannot be?
Re: 3 things architecture (websites) should do
I'm interested in provideing a place for content, especially content that can't be gotten anywhere else. The look is incidental, and changes at my discretion.
quondam 1: an enormous online collage 2 : some incompletely architectural museum 3 : architecture as delivery of content 4 : a practice hypermuseum 5 : the architecture [publishing] domain of Stephen Lauf 6 : a virtual place in architectural history 7 : a premier unbuilding that continually undoes itself 8 : the first virtual museum of architecture online 9 : once, at one time, formerly; at times, sometimes, once in a while; some day, one day (in the future)
virtual museum commentary
Virtual museums, that is, those museums that exist within the cyberspace of the Internet, travel to individuals rather than having individuals travel to them. The virtual museum in its fundamental 'approach' is exactly opposite that of a real museum.
Quondam's collection, moreover, is unlike any traditional museum collection because it continually generates its own growth. Digital data has the inherent ability to spawn more and more new digital data.
In Quondam thinking, content is preferred over display.
20 November 1996
Five years ago today was the last day that there was no such thing as Quondam - A Virtual Museum of Architecture. Since that time the notion of architect's designing virtual museums has become somewhat vogue, but www.quondam.com has never received 'official' recognition as the first (or at least oldest) virtual museum to be designed by an architect. Oddly, the Guggenheim Virtual Museum has received enormous press and official recognition, yet, in complete irony, it does not even exist as an online entity despite its self proclamation as being the most important virtual building of the 21st century. Quondam used to offer an online journal entitled Not There. Perhaps it's now time for Quondam to start handing out the Not There award.
www.quondam.com today manifests architecture as the delivery of content. Moreover, Quondam strives to deliver architectural content that is not available anywhere else, thus generally following the dictum that a virtual museum should be what a real museum cannot be.
Architecture Now! vol.2
I'm presently working on several volumes of Architecture Not Now!
Perhaps that's what the artist/architect does, apply form to content. Yet, in the case of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius at least, it is the form within a context that discloses the content (if the observer is astute enough to find it)--the content is implied rather applied.
Information Architects Talking About Architects and Architecture
Presently, I like to design delivery of content in the enfilade slash labyrinth style.
Perhaps, someday, I'll design some delivery of content following the architecturale promenade formula.
Actually, I've been struggling with a big design/renovation brief, the solution to which has been eluding me for well over a month now. Alas, today, while just stepping out of the shower, it finally dawned on me--delivery of content in the enfilade slash labyrinth style via bilocation.
Is subtext actually text bilocated?
"On Criticism" an aggregate thread
...a virtual museum of architecture
institutional critique, even (perhaps a virtual museum is what a real museum cannot be)
architecture as the delivery of content
What would happen if you mix two master architects with opposing styles?
comparative scale :: stylistic contrasts :: programmatic comparisons :: exploring architectural potentials/exercising architectural virtuality :: recombinant architectures :: an other architectural history