reading list

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2008.04.09 11:22
to clarify, when I wrote...
It may be well worth noting that the publication of S,M,L,XL closely coincides with the dawn of the easily-browsable/easily-publishable hypersized Internet. Ends and beginnings are both extreme situations was in response to:
I don't think there's been a book [since S,M,L,XL] with such broad influence since. What do you think?
...meaning that, since S,M,L,XL, it's from the Internet that broad influence now emanates.

2008.04.11 12:37
Now 1/10th into de Duve's Kant After Duchamp. The passages I read last night reminded me of some passages within Tafuri's Theories and History of Architecture. I guess I like lists interspersed throughout prose. Likewise, just reading the index of Lefebvre's The Production of Space fascinates me.
Had hoped to gleam more from "Museum" within Privacy and Publicity, thus now planning to reread "The Portable Museum" within Demo's The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp.

2008.06.01 11:07
Can you say canonical?
"In this painstaking analysis of an apparent architectural syntax, the author offers a fresh interpretation of one of the canonical works of the Brutalist movement--the Stirling and Gowan Leicester Engineering Building, completed in 1963. Responding independently to one aspect of a theme broached by Manfredo Tafuri in Oppositions 3, Eisenman attempts to uncover the precise manner in which Stirling has rewritten the "words" of modern architecture."
--Kenneth Frampton, an introduction to "Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I." (1974).
The article was first presented in lecture form at Cooper Union in the spring of 1973 and again at Yale during the spring of 1974.
"The thrust of the argument below will be that the Leicester Engineering Building invokes a similar critical and thus, polemical, intention as Venturi, but does so in a different and perhaps less traditional manner--by distorting the form of the iconic structure as opposed to perverting the form of the iconic content, as in the case with Venturi."
"Much of the work of Louis Kahn, which proposes a classical alternative to a modern eclecticism, can surely be seen..."
"...and more recently in the wall decompositions of John Hejduk, destroys it conceptually."
"Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I" was a (personal) inspirational motivator for a fourth year design (taken through to working drawings) project, Fall 1979. None of the faculty "got" the design--it was like Leicester Engineering meets Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Hyper Avant. Very distorted iconic structure fucks with perverted iconic content. Then during "working drawings", Spring 1980, witnessed schizophrenic survival of horrific expressway accident, emergency room lobotomy, subsequent two-week drug-inducted coma, and the commencement of a whole new history (where all that remains canonical is a sense of humor).

2009.06.14 15:36
please comment or destroy, thank you
Been reading The Judicious Eye: Architecture Against the Other Arts by Rykwert (2008), and, for some reason I'm not entirely sure of, it came to mind as I read the initial post here. I think it's like I see The Judicious Eye as what the above essay draft could be were it really developed (into a dense 492 page book). What the above essay is empty of (and The Judicious Eye certainly is not) is direct reference to specific buildings and designs along with the architects and artists thereof. Interestingly though, The Judicious Eye is more a complicated subject unfolded, and not so much a complexity. Treating the subject of The Judicious Eye as a complexity could be a very robust endeavor however.

2011.01.31 11:36
[Read 2226 last Autumn. The most satisfying novel I've read in quite some time. The experience somewhat reminded me of reading Joseph and His Brothers in 1982. Bolano's rendition (in part four) of the disintegration of the eastern front at the end of WWII was uncannily similar to how my father described that situation to me as we were driving through (what is now part of) Poland, in May 1990, back to his family farm which was confiscated by Russians sometime early Spring 1945.]
Since last Thursday, I'm reading Pier Vittorio Aureli's forthcoming (probably March 2011) The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. Quite by chance, if not indeed by accident, I'm in possession of a proof copy released for review December 2010. So far I've read the chapter on Piranesi, "Instauratio Urbis: Piranesi's Campo Marzio versus Nolli's Pianta di Roma" (twice), and the chapter on Boullée, "Architecture as a State of Exception: Étienne-Louis Boullée's Project for a Metropolis". When I first found the book available, I had no idea as to its contents. Needless to say, however, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a whole chapter devoted (at least in name) to Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius. Alas, Aureli doesn't really say much about the Ichnographia itself, at least nothing that Peter Eisenman hasn't already said. In fact, Aureli has written what amounts to something like an apologia for Eisenman's notion that the Ichnographia must be viewed in opposition to Nolli's plan of Rome and thus represents architecture as autonomous. Strange though, however, that while Eisenman is [re]cited virtually verbatim, there is no direct reference to Eisenman within the text or the notes--although, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture is part of the Writing Architecture series which is a project of the Anyone Corporation.
[Here's where I will relate pages 54-62 of Eco's The Limits of Interpretation.]
[The Scenograpia shows all that's left of ancient Rome within the Campo Marzio, and the Ichnographia shows us 1000 years of ancient Rome's Campus Martius all at the same time.]
After finishing Instrauratio Urbis a second time this morning, I then got out Bufalini'a map again, and made another discovery--the 'O' of ROMA along the top of Bufalini's map corresponds with Piranesi's placement of the spiraling oval of the Naumachia Domitiani. Piranesi is probably laughing right now.
Regarding Boullée, it is unfortunate that Aureli does not relate Boullée's architecture back to Piranesi's architecture of the Campo Marzio, especially in terms of planning and gigantism.

2011.02.01 11:38
Umberto Eco's The Limits of Interpretation is almost completely available online. I've read half of it over the beginning of winter holidays, and plan to read the rest soon. As mentioned above, I see the texts of pages 54-62 germane to a critique of Aureli's "Instauratio Urbis: Piranesi's Campo Marzio versus Nolli's Pianta di Roma":
"...a convenient opposition between interpreting (critically) and merely using a text. To critically interpret a text means to read it in order to discover, along with our reaction to it, something about its nature. To use a text means to start from it in order to get something else, even accepting the risk of misinterpreting it from the semantic point of view."
Eco, p. 57.
Aureli and Eisenman use Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius as a defense of their own beliefs of autonomous and/or absolute architecture, and indeed manifest misinterpretations (e.g. "Piranesi reinvented Rome as a city without streets.", Aureli, p. 137.) because they continue to ignore critical interpretations that have manifest many discoveries as to the actual nature of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius.

2011..02.11 10:40
Le Corbusier, Oeuvre Complète 1957-65.
Dal Co and Forster, Frank O. Gehry: The Complete Works.
John Hejduk, Adjusting Foundations.
El Croquis 131/132 and El Croquis 134/135 (OMA/AMO/Rem Koolhaas).
James Stirling - Michael Wilford & Associates: la Nuova Galleria di Stato e Stoccarda.
van Berkel and Bos, MOVE.
Liane Lefaivre, Leon Battista Alberti's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.
Oppositions 18.
Lotus International 35 or Learning from Las Vegas (first edition).
Luigi Ficacci, Piranesi: The Complete Etchings.
[Unthinking an Architecture]

2012.03.25 10:23
Response to Donna, re: Traditional Architecture
Palladio, Piranesi, Kahn, Kahn, Kahn, Kahn
I have a feeling that the Stalinist Architecture Revival Style won't emerge until sometime in the 22nd century. I mean, it's just much too soon for such an ultra avant-garde to happen this century.
I suppose 1985 can no longer be considered contemporary, but regarding "contemporary architects in classicism" see Stephen Kieran (of Kieran Timberlake) "The Image in the Empty Frame: Wu Hall and the Art of Representation."

2012.06.11 09:49
Why is architectural theory so hard to read?
I just read chapter 3 of The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (now for the fourth time) this afternoon, and I reread the Introduction and the footnotes this morning. It is not an easy book, especially for a relative novice of architecture. If you want to discuss the book here within this thread, I'm game.
The notion of the city as archipelago is worthwhile, although not at all original to Aureli--see "Cities within the city" in Lotus International 19 (1978) by Ungers, Koolhaas et al for the origins of the notion. Aureli's finding of "archipelagos" within instances of architecture of the last 500 years is a little forced, and the 'history' that goes along with Aureli's hypothesis can make the overall analysis seem somewhat more dense than it really needs to be--a nimity of academic trappings which in the end may well prevent "what opens the potential for imagining it differently."
I have already commented (within archinect/forum) on various aspects of this text on four occasions: 2011.02.01, 2011.01.31, 2008.12.30 and 2008.12.31.

2013.02.16 15:49
16 February
Patrik Schumacher: The term 'Parametricism' implies that all elements of architecture are becoming parametrically malleable and thus adaptive to each other and to the context.
Luhmann refers to architecture within his The Art of Society where he theorizes art as a self-referential social system. He subsumes architecture within the art system. This treatment of architecture has to be rejected today. It reflects the traditional classification of architecture among the arts. It is one of the central, historical theses of the theory of architectural autopoiesis that this treatment of architecture under the umbrella concept of 'the arts' is long since an anachronism--at least since the refoundation of the discipline of Modern architecture during the 1920s.
Patrik Schumacher, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, p. 146.
Modernism: Modernist architecture was faced with a veritable explosion of the problem domain as full blown industrialization was followed by social revolution which--for the first time--introduced the masses as new clients for architecture. This explosive expansion of design tasks was paralled by new solution spaces: the ready availability of new construction methods (steel and reinforced concrete), as well as the emergence of the new design resources that were delivered by abstract art opening up a hitherto unimagined realm of creative formal invention.
Patrik Schumacher, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, pp. 291-2.
I can't tell yet if The Autopoiesis of Architecture is written parametrically, but it is certainly worthwhile when read parametrically.

2013.04.05 12:42
5 April
For a few of weeks now, I've been of the opinion that The Autopoiesis of Architecture would have been a much better book if it had been written and composed like S,M,L,XL.



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