Situationist Space: Tom McDonough – 30 Nov.

The situationist read space in disjointed way. For example the Naked City developed by Guy Debord which is basically a disjointed map of Paris and lacks a sense of direction and orientation. The author explains this kind of mapping as a way to free the reader from the standard tools such as scale and orientation. But in fact help in the reader to experience the change in space as he perceives it.

This concept allows one to look at space in a different way and experience it differently and to be read in the context of neighborhood and beyond. This concept of understanding space cannot be standardized as each individual perceives space differently depending on his social experiences.

1.     After what level of disjointing and fragmentation does it become hard to read space all together?

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The Production of Space: Henri Lefebvre- 30 Nov.

The author attempts to explain the notion of space from the Bauhaus space. He says that it was the Bauhaus that truly developed the notion of global space, according to the notion the build form cannot be segregated from the basic objects like windows, doors. He also says that it was the Bauhaus who taught us to view the built form in multiple perspectives.

He explains that this created a consciousness of space while exploring it. And global space established itself in the abstract as a void that is to be filled.

The reading also goes over Giedion’s evolution of space. He ends with a discussion of the nature and purpose of space. Space exists to navigate bodies along routes and across distances.

  1. Has the true definition of space not really changed since the Bauhaus?

Building, Dwelling, Thinking: Martin Heidegger – 26 Nov.

The author discusses the problem of dwelling and its relationship with building. He attempts to develop an understanding the original meaning of the word. He states that humans must learn to dwell and that dwelling is the basic instinct of being. He goes on to explain that it come naturally to man to occupy space and that this instinct has taught man how to build.

He also states the function of intension in dwelling that, if the intention exists that at some level we are already there. He takes the notion of dwelling to another level were in it’s the intention that sparks the idea of dwelling and that if the intention exists then so does the dwelling.

According to this piece of writing Heidegger tries to explain that intentions are spatial in nature and he tries to explain how space has never been an external object or an inner experience.

  1. Can space be occupied in memory?

The Phenomenon Of Place: Christan Norberg Schulz – 26 Nov.

The author opens by discussing that every place has a phenomenon of its own. The also talks about how spaces with discrete function also may be confused with each other because the functions might be more complicated than expected. Even spaces  with obvious functions like private and public are often may have multi layered functions of space.

The authors also talks about private and public sections of a building may be linked and the definition of space in terms of boundaries and not location alone.

The author through the article attempts to highlight the fact that architecture cannot be fully defined by the built environment alone but in fact it is the transition spaces that link the multiple functions and spaces inside the built form that create the true experience of the architectural form.

Space and Power : Ryan Banham – 23 Nov

Space and time (text from the presentation presented in class)

  Space as an essential element in architecture has existed in a basic primary form

since the time man learnt how to build, but space as a quality of architectural

composition did not develop until the middle of the 18th century.

Before that during the classical period the only dimensions know to architecture

was structure and proportion. Space as a term was used only with respect to the

decorations in the interiors to indicate the irregular and unstructured surfaces.

The 18th century saw the rise of space as a dimension in architecture through the

introduction of the romantic gardens; the spaces here too were irregular and

unstructured but had more of a positive quality to them.

The concept of architectural space was completely foreign to the English and

French way of thinking; it was the German theorists of the 19th century who

introduced “space” in its modern architectural sense.  That is “the spatial design

of rooms as opposed to solid surfaces circumscribing them”. Hegel in the 1820’s

referred to buildings as “limiting and enclosing a defined space”. The notion of

space was developed to its greatest extent as a technique of art criticism by the

German art historian Heinrich Wolffin. But it was Frank Lloyd Wright who

demonstrated the concept of Wolffin’s space most effectively.

20th century:

Frank Lloyd Wright:

The larkins building was a simple

adaptation of the traditional interior

of a non‐conformist church to a more

modern and materialistic function. By

FLW

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe:

He developed a great sensitivity to

those spatial relationships which

could be achieved with thin solid

planes and transparent glass

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s

Barcelona Pavilion.

H.P Berlange:  a rationalist form the 19th

century who as profoundly influenced

by FLW.

In his essays discussed “ the art of the

master builder lies in the creation of

space, not the sketching of facades”.

Hence forth space was regarded as a

twin partner with structure in the

creation of architectural composition.

NEW CONCEPTS OF SPACE:

SigfriedGiedion analysis of modern developments:

Described “space and time” as an essential element in architecture, yet he himself

was vague about the precise way this new space concept operates.

Paul Rudolph believed that the concept of space and time has been the

motivating force behind much of “the international style”. While John Burchard

and Albert Bush Brown contended that even the serious efforts of Giedion had

been unable to build connections between Gropius Werkbund building at cologne

and the econdite of “space‐time” of Einstein. 

The implications of this new theory of “space and time” in architecture was

difficult to analysis as it meant different things to those who used it, it may

correctly be compared to Einstein’s theory of relativity. 

Closely related to the analogy with Einstein’s theory of relativity is the notion that

modern architecture is characterized by the use of the 4th dimension.

It was Le Corbusier who in “The New World of Space” discussed the 4th dimension

in architecture being time, considered as a measure of displacement and as

buildings do not move the 4th component would necessarily be contributed by the

observer. While Giedion states that one can appreciate both inside and outside of

the structure simultaneously by standing at the same place a seemingly

contradictory distention which depends in the fact on the extent to which the

structure is sheltered in glass.

Giedion states it is impossible to comprehend Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoie

by a view from a single point as he says it is quite literally construction in space

and time – the body of the house has been hollowed out in all directions so a

cross section at any point shows the inner and outer space penetration. 

Le Corbusier is said to have derived his principles from Arab Architecture his work

too is appreciated whilst walking, and it is only thus while moving around that the

observer sees the architectural disposition.

Giedion’s space and time paradigm might be translated as: modern architecture is

characterized by fact that the inside of a modern building can often be

appreciated from single external view points while the external totality can only

be appreciated as a sequence of visual impressions.

This was the converse of what occurred when one looked at traditional buildings

of similar purpose; for in a typical Renaissance villa as appose to the Villa Savoie,

the totality of the outside of the building is intelligible from a single view point

where as the interior can only be appreciated as a sequence of visual impressions.

One considerers the creation of space to be indistinguishable from the depiction

of space.

The architects before 1400 only created space that was 2 dimensional 

Then between 1500 to 1750 (Renaissance period) 3 dimensional architecture was

created.

Then in the baroque period  saw the rise of the 4th dimension in architecture.

Infinity had begun to enter the considered much before in art than in architecture.

The cubist painters in Paris began to paint whole space by 1911‐1912.

  1. 1.     Is parametric architecture attempting to make the observer synesthetic?

The Space of Flows: Manuel Castells – 23 Nov

The Space of Flows (text from the presentation presented in class)

As we have raised the question about 4th dimension in architecture, or possibly N‐th

dimension, according to Manuel Castells, the author of     The Rise of the Network

Society, we can find one possible answer to this question which is embedded in his

concept of the space of flows. In general, the fourth dimension, by its definition, is

interpreted as time. In Castells opinion, the 4th dimension is timeless time. And

timeless time belongs to what he calls space of flows. 

Let me first give a brief introduction to the author:

Manuel Castells (born in Spain, 1942) is a sociologist especially associated with

information society and communications research. His work focus on areas of urban

sociology, organization studies, internet studies, social movements, sociology of

culture, and political economy. Castells was a key developer of the variety of Marxist

urban sociology that emphasizes the role of social movements in the conflictive

transformation of the city. In 1989, he introduced the concept of the “space of flows”.

In the 1990s, he combined his two research in the book titled: The Information Age:

Economy, Society and Culture, published as a trilogy, The Rise of the Network Society

(1996), The Power of Identity (1997), and End of Millennium (1998).

So let’s talk about the concept of space of flows. To approach the complexity of this

concept, let us proceed step by step, starting with defining what is space. Space, in

social theory, cannot be defined without reference to social practices. It is an

expression of society, and is a material product, in relationship to other material

products – including people – who engage in historically determined social

relationships that provide space with a form, a function, and a social meaning. In

conclusion, space, in social theory, is the material support of time‐sharing social

practices. The term “time‐sharing social practices” refers to space bringing together

those practices that are simultaneous in time. 

Since our society is constructed around flows: flows of capital, flows of information,

flows of technology, flows of organization interaction, flows of images, sounds, and

symbols, the spaces of flows is the material organization of time‐sharing social

practices that work through flows. 

There are three layers of space of flows. The first layer is constituted of circuit of

electronic impulses. This is the material support of space of flows. It includes

microelectronics, telecommunication, broadcasting, etc. which is all based on

information technologies. 

The second layer of space of flows is constituted by nodes and hubs. This suggested

that the space of flows is not placeless. It is based on an electronic network that

links up specific places. Some places play the role of exchangers and coordinators.

Both nodes and hubs are hierarchically organized according to their relative weight

in the network. 

The third layer refers to the spatial organization of the dominant, managerial elites.

The elites represent power and wealth, which is projected throughout the world,

and while ordinary people’s life and experience rooted in places, culture, and history. 

If we agree that the space of flows is the dominant spatial form in the network

society, then architecture and design are to be redefined. The space of flow blurs the

relationship between architecture and society. Since the spatial manifestation of

dominant interests now takes place around the world and across cultures, the

uprooting of experience, history, and specific culture as the background of meaning

is leading to the generalization of non‐historical, non‐cultural architecture. 

The work from postmodernism is considered examples for this concept, since it

declares the end of all systems of meaning. And it creates a mixture of elements that

looks for harmony through transhistorical reformation. Since the boundary of

architecture and society is blurred, instead of designing space of places,

postmodernism has expressed the new ideology of designing space of flows. 

Examples of works that we are all familiar with: 

AT&T building in NY city by Philip Johnson

Piazza d’Italia, New Orleans, by Charles Moore

All these examples are architecture itself considered as space of flows. However,

architecture could also be regarded as a media, through which space of flows could

be experienced. In this case, architecture is considered the neutral, pure and

transparent form that exposes the solitude of the space of flows. 

Barcelona Airport, by Ricardo Bofill

Madrid AVE Station, by Rafael Moneo 

Castells believes that these two architectures communicate with their user through

silence. The Barcelona airport by using marble floor, dark glass façade, and glass

separating panels and its big open space, left the passengers in the middle of the

space of flows. The new Madrid AVE station was renovated into a new indoor palm

tree park. The real station with the high speed train is adjacent to this park. The

contrast between the train and the park makes the segment of space of flows

becomes exposed.  

At the end of this article, the author made a comparison between the space of flows

and space of places. The space of places is a locale whose form, function and

meaning are self‐contained within the boundaries of physical contiguity, where for

space of flows, such physical contiguity is not needed. 

The relationship between the space of flows and space of places, between

simultaneous globalization and localization are not predetermined in their outcome.

The space of flows, which itself is a network free from history, culture or social

context; tend to impose its logic over the scattered, segmented places. Here the

author went back to his sociologist point of view and express his concern about the

co‐existence of globalization and localization. The globalization network tends to

impose its logic over the local, and he believes that cultural and physical bridges

have to be built in order to connect this gap.

  1. Is there a way of bridging the gap between globalization and localization?

Julian Bleeker: Design Matters

The lecture focused on the way films may be used as an inspiration of design development. He talked about how sci-fi film makers may work with designers in a two way creative process to generate ground-breaking advancements in the fields or product design and design technology development.

The moving picture has always served for the testing grounds of new design advancements and to test how real they can be made to feel. A film allows the developers and the consumers to see the product working in an environment that can be the product might later be launched in.

Films have the ability to make the non-existent look ordinary and thus have always paved the path for new inventions. Architecture too has great potential of being explored through this medium and the acceptability of the same can be tested on the viewer of the film.