Quondam as a hypermuseum -- turning Quondam into a place that takes the notion of (architectural) museum a step beyond. The possibility to use Quondam in the generation of something other, i.e., not just a virtual museum that reenacts the museum typology, rather a museum that generates its own unique (original) collection, and indeed its own existence.
This idea then quickly turned into the exhibit idea: "What to do with museums." ...taking advantage of Quondam's own museum model collection. The possibility of not only using the various museums as "actual" sites for exhibits.
...collecting, displaying, exhibiting, curating, but also creating "museumpieces" that are altogether new.
I agree whole-heartedly that cyberspace offers a "parallel" realm within which to design and 'build'. The term I've used instead of parallel is 'other', as in the best architecture in cyberspace is something other than the architecture of the real world. I too am not interested in seeing the architecture of cyberspace merely being a reenactment of the real world. The real world of architecture already does an excellent job of reenacting itself.
Virtual architecture can be many things, and not necessarily something facilitated by the internet. Virtual architecture that is facilitated by the internet, however, should reasonably utilize whatever the internet has to offer. There can be representation and there can be presentation. Virtual architecture can represent the world as we know it or it can present something other than the world as we know it. Personally, I think it more challenging and design-wise more stimulating to use virtual architecture facilitated by the internet to try presenting something other than what is already available.
Because I focused on creating an 'other than what is already there' museum I learned that collecting and exhibiting digital data only begets more and more and more digital data, i.e., I found myself with a[n architectural] collection that is virtually infinite. This virtual infinite characteristic comes from the intrinsic mutable nature of digital data. As an architect, I now see a virtual architecture challenge in now trying to design a virtual museum [of] architecture that matches the virtual infinity of its collection.
Re: quaestio abstrusa
I found the phrase in the English to Latin section of a pocket Latin/English dictionary. I was looking up the Latin word for puzzle and 'quaestio abstrusa' was the first entry.
abstrusus, abstursa, abstrusum is the Latin adjective for hidden, concealed and quaestio is a seeking, an inquiry, a questioning.
a real puzzle
...generate a real puzzle of a large plan, essentially providing pieces of an Ichnographia. ...each piece of the puzzle will be an image map containing links to other pages which can be text, clues, or just archived pages. These "background" pages could be very serendipitous and even abstruse and even labyrinthine in that they could offer links to ever deeper (obscure) pages.
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.
Virtually anyone can now create a virtual museum, and perhaps the more a virtual museum is unlike a real/traditional museum the better.
eBay.com is very much a new kind of virtual museum, one that displays and sells just about anything and everything. A museum and shop all in one. And don't forget the democracy of the whole operation.
Just for the record, the virtual museum component of www.guggenheim.org is so virtual that it so far exists only as a project, a few introductory webpages, and a very premature Architecture magazine feature. Furthermore, its announced Spring 2001 on-line arrival has not yet switched over to reality.
Perhaps someday someone will write a book entitled Virtual Standards.
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.
Interface is often more like "in your face."
With the theory of chronosomatics the human body is already a museum of humanity's entire history from the ground up, but that's another story.
the architecture of being [fog]
...that Quondam is still a virtual museum of architecture, but more specifically a museum of architecture that engenders the virtual.
The Otto Houses - what role does schizophrenia play with recombinant architectures.
The Mayor's House - first true recombinant plan.
Kahn's Media Convent, then C&P house.
Infringement Complex, expecially the underlying plan.
Maison Millennium - all the stages.
Neo-Campo Marzio plans; and new Campo Marzio plans.
The 'planned' recombinants (e.g., Bye + Gooding).
The architecture composition of Taken Literally.
Villa Savoye-Maison l'Homme crash.
The latest Campo Marzio plan play as featured in QA001.
In the recent Barbara Flanagan article in Metropolis on Venturi and Scott Brown it states:
And when Venturi envisions an electronic "facade of glittering information," the inevitable political question (what does it say and who decides?) can be a vexing one. "What the message is I don't know, and I'm not too ashamed of not knowing," Venturi says. "Content is not the architect's job."
I think Venturi here admits his most present flaw, and even goes on to make a big mistake about the future. As the architect of the first online virtual museum of architecture, I see content as very much the job of the architect.
Can it be said that precisely attacking flaws engenders paradigm shifts?
Kind-of like going into a black hole and then being in the other side.
2. It will be simple enough to ask Venturi himself what he means by "content is not the architect's job," at the symposium in NYC this coming Saturday.
3. As it stands, I think Venturi's quote misleads in that content CAN now well be the architect's job. Whether or not content SHOULD be the architect's job is not the issue I'm proposing.
4. There may be one answer to "what is the content?" in some of Venturi's own prior writings/statements. For example, in the early 1980s Venturi very much championed buildings with all-over patterning. With programmable electronic screens as facades, there is now every opportunity for architects to design facades with many animated patterns.
5. After spending all of the last five years generating the content for and programming several thousand 'screens' of Quondam, I might just have more experience than any other architect when it comes to architecture as the delivery of content.
"Architecture as delivery of content" describes precisely what I see as a forthcoming issue for architects.
Re: building text
You know, if I were a blind person, encountering a building covered with braille might be something that takes my appreciation of both history and architecture to a new level, because then I might have a pretty good idea of how ancient Egyptians felt when they 'sensed' their buildings.
Re: building text
It's interesting to 'see' what new imaginings manifest once one begins to think of architecture as the delivery of content.
Acropolis Q at the steps leading to the Garden of Satire [new working title: A View from the Garden of Satire]. ...thus was inspired to now wholeheartedly pursue designing and online presenting Ichnographia Quondam as the consummate Quondam, as virtual museum of architecture, site, domain. Ichnographia Quondam is the large plan of a virtual museum of architecture. I'm now thinking that the IQ in fact becomes Q, indeed becomes the...
Quondam is much more than "an example of draughtsmanly-computerly." It is a true museum of architecture. I don't construct as many cad models as I used to (and no I don't need a manual constantly at hand), but I have worked on two models so far this year, namely the tower of Princeton Memorial Park (1966, unexecuted), perhaps Venturi and Rauch's most Kahnian building, and a reconstruction of the first rendition (c. 327 AD) of what is today Santa Croce in Gerusalemme --this is a large hall from what was once the Sessorian Palace, where Empress Helena lived in Rome between 313 and 326. I'm especially pleased with the quondam Sessorian hall. The model proved most enlightening with regard to beginning to understand what really happened during the paradigm shift in Western culture from Paganism to Christianity. I'd say any "drawing" that can do that goes somewhat beyond just "draughtsmanship".
What has always attracted me to CAD (and other computer activities like word processing, image processing, etc.) is the ability to customize just about anything, from the way lines look, to the "scale" of the drawing, to the angle of perspective, to the look of the screen, etc., etc., etc. For me, all that gives drawing with CAD more "life" then I have ever experienced on a drawing board.
The other "lively" issue with CAD drawings is that they are never completely done, and never is there a sole original either. CAD drawings propagate! For example, in constructing the first Santa Croce in Gerusalemme I needed classical columns, so I effortlessly copied the columns from Quondam's (Schinkel's) Altes Museum model, reduced them in scale, and they look perfect. (not bad for less than ten minutes worth of work)
I've often wanted to make an issue of the fact that Quondam has an infinite collection precisely because almost all of it is in digital form. Any image and any cad database in the collection holds the potential to propagate any number of new images and databases. Moreover, each 3d CAD database holds the potential to generate any number of perspectives, axonometrics, and color/shaded renderings. I would never call any of this "lifeless", rather the exact opposite.
When I say that a New Dexterity should be taught to student architects, it is to teach them just how versatile CAD and other digital data is. Any data "at hand" is really an infinite set of data.
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.
Re: Microsoft's eHomes
I've been sending most of the last week or so organizing the domestic (cad) databases in Quondam's collection in preparation for a forthcoming exhibit/publication simply entitled Domestic Databases. Right now I'm just checking out and becoming more familiar with what Quondam has, but I'm also trying to evaluate what kind of potential such a collection of data holds. For example, might architects find it interesting and useful to design homes/housing with such databases at hand? Or, might the product of architects be a house design plus an accompanying 'domestic database'?
What if more and more homes have walls of large screens -- instead of paint or wallcovering, just select what you want the wall to look like from the database -- family portrait gallery today, museum gallery tomorrow, live feed from the space shuttle the day after. Design here is no longer about controlling the way things look or are arranged, rather about providing choice and potential.
These are just very preliminary ideas, and not exactly original, but the point is that architects could well be more and more the designers of domestic content.
1. the notion of a publication entitled Post-Quondam Architecture which comprises crazy model collisions, etc.
nimiety of ideas
Looked at Vittorio De Feo again; saw where inspiration for the House in Laguna stairs came from; is the current architectural revival of the '50s and the '60s going to be followed by a digital redux of the '70s?
Begin an interpretive overlay of Kahn's Center City Philadelphia plans upon Quondam's Philadelphia model; this could produce a next wave of Koolhaas architecture, or will it also be a new wave of Piranesi / Kahn / Lauf.
The unreal architecture of [Quondam] and other aliases.
wqc/1999, wqc/2001 - retrospective exhibitions. Through notes, Q pages, letters, photography, reading and scan activity a whole treasury of material can now be appropriated (and purposefully displayed). ...some real diverse stuff in these years
Re: Virtual Architecture and Art?
Computers seem to have a lot to do with virtual architecture, most likely because of the new drawing dexterity that computers provide architects. Beyond that, however, computers/CAD enable whole new visualizations of architecture. I am not so much interested in creating virtual environments, as much as environments parallel to real-time/place reality. For example, designing and (virtually) building an addition to Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, or imagining oneself as an architect-as-squatter within Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue. In the sense of creating a whole other history of architecture parallel to the real present.
Re: virtual buildings
In terms of virtual buildings (like Quondam) online, the building has to first come to you before you can go through it. Granted the visitor to a virtual building first sends a request for the virtual building to come. That's the way the Internet works right now--you can't go into a website until the website data comes to you. Relativeness is not the issue as much as inversion is.
Could it be that the more extreme a situation is, the less relative it is?
Could it be that the more extreme a situation is the more it begins to invert itself?