Re: PBL Knowledge
Anyone here on the list read that new book entitled The Architecture of Nimiety: An Abundance of Redundance in Architectural Education, Theory And Practice?
I heard conflicting reports that it is either exactly 197 words long, or 197 pages long, or 197 chapters long. One critic hailed it as "a monument to déjà vu all over again, absolute proof that what comes around is usually what was missed the first few times it came around."
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture
...you very much got, and explained far better than I could, what I was trying to get at regarding Alex's "Evolutionary theory and architecture" proposal. A. may indeed be right about there being a lack in architectural history when it comes to explaining shifts from style to style (and this interests me greatly), but I'm not convinced so far that evolutionary theory (which ever one that may be) is the best(?) way to explain shifts from style to style.
Up until (more or less) the "International Style", architectures where very much linked to geography/locale and the politics(/religion) that comes with geography [--and here Norberg-Schulz's Meaning In Western Architecture offers good explanation]. Of course, European colonialism can be seen as an "internationalization" (or is it "globalization"?) of European/Western architecture precursing the "International Style," as well as the beginning of the eradication of many indigenous architectural styles throughout the world. Is this history best explained as evolutionary? Is the shift from Mayan architecture to Baroque architecture in Mexico, for example, something evolutionary? Not exactly survival of the fittest; more like survival of the one's with the guns and the greed, and, oh yes, the holy mission to spread the Christian faith.
Personally, I sometimes wonder whether Mayan architecture may have sometime/somehow played an influencing/inspiring role in terms of (particularly) Spanish Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture
Regarding paradigm, the dictionary definition is that of being a model, which is not exactly the same as a "meme". For example, the shift in antique Roman culture from Paganism to Christianity is a paradigm shift that occurred largely because of the legalizing of Christianity and the outlawing of Paganism. One could say that Christianity spread within the antique world via "meme", which in modern terms would be called evangelism, but the cultural shift from Paganism to Christian is very much based on legal paradigms.
I forgot to mention in my last post the close relation between "meme" and reenactment (and what I have occasionally referred to as reenactionary architecturism). Reenactment as a pure function precedes "meme" in that the function of (human/individual) memory itself is a mental reenactment, thus "memes", more than anything are the spreading of mental reenactments, just like viruses replicate/reenact themselves.
When it come to "style", one could ask "What (if anything) is the style reenacting?" In Meaning In Western Architecture, without specifying reenactment, Norberg-Schulz nonetheless explains the axiality of Egyptian temples as analogous to the axiality of the Nile, etc. Likewise, the cardo and decumanus of Roman town plans represent (reenact) the axis of the Earth and the motion of the sun respectively. One could even ask what (if anything) does symmetry in design reenact? [Does symmetry in design stem largely from the overwhelming symmetrical design of the human body?]
If one takes the design of the human body as a paradigm, can one then say that corporAl symmetry was then reenacted corporEAlly, and thereafter symmetry in design was spread as paradigm via meme?
Is it fair to say that A. is (or appears to be) taking the theory of evolution as a paradigm and via meme applying it to the history of architecture? Or is a theory of evolution already manifest as a paradigm within the history of architecture, and A. is (the first?) detecting it? [Oddly, if A. is successful in his pursuits, the answer to both questions will be yes.]
All of the above regarding reenactment stem from the logical hypothesis that a reenactment can never be as original as that which it reenacts, and that reenactment come with degrees of separation between the reenactment and that which is being reenacted. Thus (I see) paradigm as closer in degrees to something original and meme as closer in degrees to reenactment.
[Here's one of my favorite examples of reenactionary architecturism:] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution originated, but the design of the city itself is very much a reenactment--there are other historical cities named Philadelphia (today's Amman, Jordan, for example), and Holme's survey/plan reenacts a Roman camp town precisely, even to the point where the cardo here today, Broad Street, is the longest straight urban street in the world. After the American Revolution, Philadelphia became the first, albeit interim, capital of the USA, and it's architecture then began to reenact the architecture of ancient Greece, which was used as a paradigm of "democratic" design.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the design of Philadelphia's new Benjamin Franklin Parkway set out to reenact the Champs Elysees of Paris, and there indeed are replicas of the palaces of the Place de la Concorde at Logan Circle, the centerpiece of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as reenactment becomes even more compounding when it is recognized that its design, as unwittingly manifest today, matches exactly Piranesi's design of an axis of life within the Ichnographia Campus Martius
fashion tip (of the iceberg)
arbitration and arbitrariness blurred
reality being relative to the vastness of its container
arbitration and arbitrariness come into focus as instinct
"the time it takes to do this" as continuum
i.e., "...to compose this novel in a real/virtual manner. Do you assume this intention needs support from the living?"
background music: ...sounds a blur (in a good way) between Saussure and the debunked Blavatsky, but to no surprise as I have heard the two in the same breathe before.