Zeitgeist yesterday

fertile architecture


Body, Imagination, and Architecture @ Quondam
...connection to the forthcoming Strasbourg exhibit, Giurgola as pure assimilating metabolist, and Piranesi as the proto assimilating metabolist (although that more Michelangelo). Also a connection to the Stirling/Le Corbusier, and Schinkel essays/ideas, and also Venturi's new theory of an electronic display architecture.
...references to the current metabolic process of the imagination.
...the meaning and symbolism of humanity’s architecture of highest fertility. ...conveying how the Western assimilation of the globe has had a devasting effect on humanity’s most fertile architecture, and how now the only globally ancient architecture to really survive in time and usage are the Greek and Roman models. ...there may yet be a future for a resurrection of the other ancient architectures. ...issue of scale relative to the architecture of highest fertility.
...architecture related to the terms of pregnancy. Are Romanesque and Gothic architecture related to the early months of pregnancy, or is it significant that the Renaissance coincides with pregnancy at three months.
...start thinking about how virtual architecture fits into the imagination--perhaps assimilating / metabolis / osmotic.

fertile/pregnant architectures
...pre-preliminary research regarding the data of non-western architecture. Some of the “styles/types” fall within the “ages of highest fertility,” which includes ancient Greek and Roman architecture, but not ancient Egyptian architecture. There are, however, many great buildings that arrive later than the “ages of highest fertility”--these great symmetrical complexes of the subcontinent, southeast Asia, and Meso-America (and perhaps even Gothic) are a product of the “pregnant imagination.”

fertile architecture/fertilized architecture
...reading The Hindu Temple and my instincts are correct in terms of seeking fertility in architecture--the Hindu temple is the prime example. ...the whole notion of successive repetition is at the very core of the temple’s design. (
Given the dates of the Hindu temples, it seems that the history of this architecture begins coincidental with the womb, and its subsequent development then coincides with the first three months of the TPH pregnancy. I am just now thinking of a time line of architectural history relative to the TPH pregnancy. Perhaps the history of fertilized architecture begins around AD 700 with Hindu temples and Moslem mosques. The inner sanctuary of the Hindu temples, in fact, called the womb, and perhaps the repetitive domes of Moslem architecture are also related to the womb (besides the fact that I see Islam as the religion where God is pure conception---a being beyond human comprehension). Perhaps then Gothic architecture also becomes part of the history of fertilized architecture, again because of its repetition (and organic, multi-cell structural formation) and because many Gothic cathedrals are dedicated to Mary, the virgin mother. In a strange way, this initial three month period seems to come to an end right when the architecture of assimilation (the Renaissance) enters the picture--the naval coincides with the TPH pregnancy at three months. (This is a very interesting sequence that I did not see before.)
My initial readings of Hindu architecture also made me realize that there may be a significant difference between fertile architecture and fertilized architecture, and the dates of each type (style?) stem from being above or below the womb. Perhaps Hindu, Muslim, and Gothic architecture are a product of when the womb and the developing fetus are actually in the plane of the present, however, I might also see the Pantheon as an example of fertilized architecture--it may symbolize the fertility of Greek and Roman architecture at the point when it becomes fertilized. (I should also note that I just thought that the Pantheon also fall close to the center of the “ages of highest fertility”.

BIA outline
  1.fertilized architecture
      Hindu temples
      Gothic cathedrals
15. fertile architecture
      Greek & Roman

The imagination of frequency surpasses all other modes of the imagination.
The electromagnetic imagination is the most illuminating and clear.
The osmotic imagination endeavors to find all things equal.
The metabolic imagination simultaneously creates while it destroys.
The assimilating imagination is extremely absorbent of data.
The fertile imagination is the most reproductive.

The imagination of frequency surpasses all other modes of the imagination.
The electromagnetic imagination is the most illuminating and clear.
The osmotic imagination endeavors to find all things equal.
The metabolic imagination simultaneously creates while it destroys.
The assimilating imagination is extremely absorbent of data.
The fertile imagination is the most reproductive.

1999.03.10 08:48
epic architectural past
I think the "human story," like the movement of the present, is essentially linear. The first humans were extreme, and the best examples of extreme architecture are the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Circa 550BC, humanity began to operate with a highly fertile imagination, and this "age of highest fertility" lasted till circa 770AD, at which time humanity's imagination became [additionally] pregnant. At the first trimester of pregnancy, circa 1500, humanity began to assimilate itself and its place in the universe. By 1700, the metabolic imagination began to work in conjunction with the assimilating imagination.
We are today still primarily a humanity operating in both an assimilating and metabolic fashion, and thus our architecture too is primarily both assimilating ("international") and metabolic (creative/destructive).
Of course, the "human story" continues, and to discern how it will continue, you just have to analyze the sequential slices of the human body starting at the lowest tips of the rib cage and moving upwards.

Hugh Pearman in two recent posts wrote:
"Architectural operating systems (as opposed to surface styling) are predominantly Gothic or Classical."
"What I called the 'architectural operating system' as a deliberate computer analogy--might clarify rather than confuse, for me if nobody else."
I suggest a wholly other batch of "architectural operating systems" that derive from the morphology and physiology of our own bodies, the machines that we are instead of the machines that computers are.
Some architectures are extreme.
Some architectures are fertile.
Some architectures are pregnant.
Some architectures are assimilating.
Some architectures are metabolic.
Some architectures are osmotic.
Some architectures are electro-magnetic.
Some architectures are total frequency.
Figuring out what buildings/architects fit in which category(s) may well be the ultimate architectural parlor game. (Hint: Classical is high fertility and Gothic is early pregnancy.)
Hugh also made reference to the notion of architects having "to have his or her 'personal myth' to believe in and guide them." For what its worth, I have "discovered" my own myth, and its called The Timepiece of Humanity or the theory of chronosomatics.

2000.02.03 11:43
an answer to "Now what?"
Hugh Pearman states and asks:
Such being the case, we can conclude that Decon has run out of steam as a manifesto-led movement, and we must look to its successor. Ideas, anyone?
Steve Lauf replies:
Is Decon the only thing to have run out of steam? Has the now pervasive and generally accepted way of looking at and being critical of architecture also run out of steam? For example, does moving from seeing Decon as reactionary to now (maybe) seeing the New Austerity as the latest reaction really convey a sense of meaning beyond the oscillations of fashion and trend? Has each new "critical" building become nothing more than the latest "creation" of the now global fashion show? Likewise, has the element of shock become ingrained within the (elite) architectural profession, the same way shock has become "stock-in-trade" in a good deal of high fashion? [I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the architecture that receives attention and the industry surrounding it being akin to the fashion industry, but I do think there is something wrong about not recognizing the phenomenon as such.]
Here's how I now look critically at architecture (and urban design) both currently and historically:
What architecture is extreme?
What architecture is fertile?
What architecture is pregnant?
What architecture is assimilating?
What architecture is metabolic?
What architecture is osmotic?
What architecture is electromagnetic?
What architecture manifests the highest frequencies?
What I've found so far is that some architectures fall straight into some of the categories above while some architectures are categorical hybrids. Here are some examples:
the Pyramids, Stonehenge, St. Peter's (Vatican), Bilbao(?)--extreme, extreme architectures.
the Pantheon, Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, entry sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Kimbell Art Gallery -- examples of the best osmotic architecture there is.
Classical Greek and Roman Architecture--pure architecture of fertility.
the Hindu Templ --the ultimate transcendence from an architecture of fertility to an architecture of pregnancy, whereas the Gothic Cathedral is an architecture of pregnancy, albeit virginal.
all of 20th century Berlin--the metabolic (create and destroy and create and destroy and ...)
To understand architecture of assimilation, look at the Renaissance, but also look to early 20th century Purism to understand assimilation in the extreme, i.e., purge.
Today's architectures are by and large assimilating and/or metabolic (contextual and/or 'deconstructivist'?).
You're very lucky if you ever see pure examples of electromagnetic or frequency architectures today because they are almost entirely architectures of the far off future.
There are many more examples to offer, but that's all for now.
In general, I see all architectures as reenactionary (as opposed to reactionary).
Architecture reenacts human imagination, and human imagination reenacts the way the human body is and operates. The human body and the design thereof is THE enactment. The human imagination then reenacts corporal morphology and physiology, and architecture then reenacts our reenacting imaginations.

2000.02.16 16:27
Re: Theory dynamics; what theories?
Saul writes:
Stephen Lauf proposed a different sort of dynamic as governing architectural theories, based on metabolism (!) I don't see how that view could be anything other than metaphorical, but it is intriguing if only because it raises one sort of alternative view (and thus introduces the notion that there could well be various competing accounts of architectural theory dynamics--hence one important task is to first grasp what those candidates are).
Steve replies:
I am not proposing "a different sort of dynamic as governing architectural theories, based on metabolism." Rather I am working out a theory (chronosomatics) whereby human imagination reenacts corporal physiology and/or morphology. The metabolic imagination is just one of the human imaginations; the others include the extreme imagination, the fertile imagination, the pregnant imagination, the assimilating imagination, the osmotic imagination, the high-frequencies imagination. I then further theorize that these various operative modes of imagination in turn are reenacted in architecture.
For example, I see the Pantheon and Kahn's Kimball Art Museum as both prime example of an architecture that reenacts the osmotic imagination, which is an imagination that reenacts the physiological process of osmosis, which is the equalizing diffusion of concentrations either side of a semipermeable membrane. Both the Pantheon and Kimball are semipermeable (each in its own way) and both buildings work towards 'equalizing' the outside and the inside (again each in its own way). Furthermore, osmotic architecture seems to often capture a 'sacred' quality.
There are many other examples that I have thus far made note of…

reenactionary notes
12. metabolic architectures.
13. osmotic architectures.
14. extreme architectures.
15. fertile archtiectures.
16. pregnant architectures.
17. assimilating architectures.
18. electromagnetic architectures.
19. all frequency architectures.
58. Imaginations, Zeitgeists and Architectures.

2003.05.18 12:53
Re: logical software
...you may have in the past seen me make reference to The Timepiece of Humanity and/or chronosomatics... ...this text comprises the initial results of my 'reading' the hardware and software of the human body as an architecture delivering content.
There was also a time when I considered composing The Body, the Imagination, and Architecture were the physiological operations of the body (fertility, assimilation, metabolism, osmosis, electro-magnetism, ultra-frequent synapses) are explored as also engendering 'physiologies' of human imaginations (fertile imagination, assimilating imagination, metabolic imagination, osmotic imagination, electromagnetic imagination, ultra-frequent synaptic imagination) which were then explored as further engendering physiologically categorized architectures (fertile architecture, assimilating architecture, metabolic architecture, osmotic architecture, osmotic architecture, electromagnetic architecture, ultra-frequent synaptic architecture). There are many unpublished notes and some drawings pertaining to this project.

2005.04.29 17:04
Sexual Architecture??

The Khajuraho Temples (circa 950-1150 AD) happened chronosomatically when the plane of the present sliced through the ovaries, hence manifesting an architecture of high fertility. Can there still be an architecture where the fertile imagination is utilized with such profundity?

2007.07.11 16:45
Verb: Featured Discussion
Is it all still pretty operative criticism?
Perhaps architectural criticism needs to begin operating differently where:
some criticisms are extreme™
some criticisms are fertile™
some criticisms are pregnant™
some criticisms are assimilating™
some criticisms are metabolic™
some criticisms are osmotic™
some criticisms are electro-magnetic™
some criticisms are total frequency™
But maybe that will only happen when (we begin to realize that):
some architectures are extreme™
some architectures are fertile™
some architectures are pregnant™
some architectures are assimilating™
some architectures are metabolic™
some architectures are osmotic™
some architectures are electro-magnetic™
some architectures are total frequency™

2007.12.03 08:05
Guess Who
..but what about the subcategories of profane and sacred space?
fertile space
conceptual space
assimilating space
metabolic space
diaphragmic space
networked space
osmotic space
electromagnetic space
all-frequency space

2007.12.03 09:19
Guess Who
Both the profane and the sacred are human "being". Take away the qualifying hierarchy and you'll see the whole picture, which is much more.
After reading The Sacred and the Profane perhaps pick up Slovoj Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity. It might help fill out the "whole picture."
I forgot a subcategory:
fertile space
conceptual space
pregnant space
assimilating space
metabolic space
diaphragmic space
networked space
osmotic space
electromagnetic space
all-frequency space
for a school I'd go:
inside -- assimilating space and all-frquency space
outside -- metabolic space

2012.08.31 17:34
The Objectification of the Deterritorialized Whole[nesses]     dt12/0311

fertile wholeness

2012.09.02 09:49
a whole bunch of...
As mentioned by the second and third posters, this thread is a reaction to the "perennial whole" blog and its comments.
tammuz, you slip a bit in your opening statements (regarding the Ka'ba). You are presuming to know what my understanding of "electro-magnetic architecture" is, thus your comment more only stems from your understanding (--or at least tell us what you see my understanding of "electro-magnetic architecture" to be). It is not the Ka'ba itself that I see presenting a "conceptual wholeness," rather it is the perennial event of which the Ka'ba is the center that presents a conceptual wholeness (of Islam).
The Villa Savoye presents an extreme case of assmilating wholeness because the elements of architecture have been so absorbed to the point of 'ethnic cleansing', thus, if not exactly manifesting a 'racially pure' architecture, at least a highly homogenized architecture.
I'm still trying to come to grips with "omni-frequency" myself. The gist of the notion, however, emanates from the concentrated confluence of all the senses to the point of an enveloping cognition.
In "The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole" Venturi speaks to the ease of designing a whole (building) via exclusion versus the difficulty of designing a whole (building) via inclusion. I find it interesting that Giurgola, at the same time (and place), wrote about taking the "partial view" toward design(ing). I hope to investigate this coincidence more closely, and both examples begin this thread in reaction to the 'perennial whole' blog.
To say "that all the wholenesses [I] refer[red] to are "tropic wholenesses"" is to prematurely reterritorialize the "systems". I am not using 'fertile', 'assimilating', 'metabolic', etc. as "figures of speech in which the words are used in a sense different from their literal meaning" (i.e., trope). What I have done is deterritorialize (although still keep whole) the literal meanings of the words (from [describing] operational systems of the body to [describing] operational systems of the imagination).




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