model / misbehavior

subversively reenacting

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2001.11.27 13:27
Re: Substantial Theory Article
I wouldn't exactly call "Darwinian Processes and Memes in Architecture: A Memetic Theory of Modernism" a substantial theory article. There are several flaws, and didn't Tom Wolfe pretty much write the same thing twenty years ago in From Bauhaus To Our House?
I also had to ask myself, where is this world that has been taken over by International Style modernism? There happens to be one truly International Style house in my neighborhood, but I doubt if you can find a half dozen more in Philadelphia. So, from where I'm sitting, Modernism is only a small percentage of reality here. Maybe there is rampant International Style in Texas where the authors are from. Or maybe the authors really live in Europe or South America or Southeast Asia. Or maybe the Modernism virus has infected most of the world, and somehow where I live is not effected. Does that mean I live in a place that actually hasn't evolved? Oh dear.
Isn't it completely ironic that an article about evolutionary processes contains the following passage? "No-one wants to have to reach back and re-wire their brain into new habits of thinking, because such a process can be traumatic. It is far easier to hold onto one's ideas and values, and when challenged, the natural reaction is to defend them emotionally without thinking about their origin." Evolution aside, to me this is just proof of widespread intellectual laziness. And besides, isn't evolution a rather slow process? Hey! Isn't there usually a direct relationship between laziness and slowness?
I thought this "theory" was going to get interesting when metabolism (of all things) came up. But, mentioning metabolism without relating its inherent creative-destructive duality is nothing more than a sign of either laziness or slowness. Personally, I think slowness is the operative here. Maybe there's a virus that causes slowness, and another one for laziness. That would certainly explain why it is so prevalent.
Funny how there was no real analysis of the effects on 20th century world design engendered by World War I and World War II. Or, before that, Colonialism as ur-International Style.
I remember when I was a second year student and I had to explain to my studio adviser at the time (Hal Guida, he went on to be the Project Architect for the new Capitol at Canberra, Australia) why I didn't have more work done after the weekend. I told him I went to the King Tut exhibit in Washington DC. Hal immediately became excited because he had recently seen the exhibit as well. We talked a little about the great stuff in the exhibit, and then he said, "We really haven't come that far since then, have we?"

2002.11.27 11:11
Somewhat Incompletely Louis I. Kahn (being finished)
I went to the local gas station/convenience store to buy a pack of cigarettes last night. Waiting in line at the counter I noticed a picture of a hi-rise building implosion on the front page of (Monday's) Philadelphia Inquirer. I looked closer, and sure enough, the Louis I. Kahn designed Mill Creek Housing towers were imploded Sunday morning 24 November 2002.
This past August, when I was going around taking pictures of Kahn's local (to) Philadelphia works for Somewhat Incompletely Louis I. Kahn, was the first and only time I every visited Mill Creek Housing. I did take a number of pictures of the towers and the likewise abandoned adjacent low-rise housing as well. There's no question that I especially treasure these pictures now.



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